Villeneuve: Cancel 2020 F1 championship and hold 'Grand Slam' GP's

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Jacques Villeneuve believes Formula 1 should abandon the 2020 championship and instead hold what he called 'Grand Slam' races.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has wiped out this year's calendar with the first eight Grands Prix either cancelled or postponed and more expected to follow.

F1 bosses though are still hopeful of putting together a 15-race season which would meet contractual obligations for broadcasters to pay their full amount while just 12 events are needed for an official championship to be declared.

Villeneuve though believes any thought of hosting a race before late summer is hopeful.

"Even if the world opens up and we can have a Grand Prix after the pandemic, it takes time to set up an event," the outspoken Canadian told French broadcaster Canal Plus.

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"The first Grands Prix on the calendar should take place in September. I imagine the various organizations and Formula 1's owners will want to hold the maximum amount of races to comply with their contracts' minimum requirement, but that would be a mistake.

"It would be a pity to start filling up August and then have races unfold from September until Christmas, and even beyond, just for the sake of having a championship."

F1 has already decided to delay planned technical rule changes until 2022 at the earliest and the 1997 world champion thinks the sport should build towards a normal season next year.

"It might be smarter to say: 'There won't be a championship. We'll race and each race will be a unique event, like the Indy 500 or the Le Mans 24 Hours,'" Villeneuve continued.

"Each Grand Prix would be like a Grand Slam rather a round of half of a championship and it would also allow teams to use the end of 2020 to prepare for 2021."

Another benefit of Jacques' non-championship events would be the freedom to use different formats and former Red Bull driver Mark Webber is behind the plan to hold shorter GP weekends.

“Formula 1, with the travelling circus and even TV which requires huge production teams, faces a big challenge,” he said.

“They’re looking at condensing the weekends to two days from three days and I think that’s a great idea to help get some events in without rushing them through.”