On Monday 13th of April, French president Emmanuel Macron confirmed that the current measures to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 in France will remain unchanged. France entered a one-month lockdown in the beginning of March, but it has been extended till 11th of May, with additional ban of all mass gatherings till mid July.
The French GP that was supposed to take place on 28th of June was supposed to be the inauguration of the 2020 F1 season, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the governing body of F1 to postpone or cancel 9 rounds in total. With those measures in work, the future of the French GP is in danger, and it destroys the hopes for the start of the season even behind closed doors.
Macron addressed those limitations during his Monday speech: “Places where people gather – restaurants, cafes, hotels, cinemas, theatres, concert halls and museums – will remain closed. Big festivals and events with large public gatherings cannot take place before mid-July at the earliest. The situation will be evaluated collectively from mid-May, every week, to adapt things and give you visibility. Our borders with non-European countries will remains closed until further notice.”
Ross Brawn expressed that the 2020 F1 season could fit as much as 19 (!) races if the season would begin in July. Additionally, if the beginning of season would happen as late as October 2020, Brawn is positive that they could reach the 8 races limit in order to still be declared a world championship. Currently there are no updates about the GP’s following the French GP - namely Austria and Silverstone. The Austrian GP was supposed to be held on 5th of July, a week after the French GP. British GP was supposed to be held on the 19th of July, but it has been said that the officials will make a decision on it by the end of April.
The announcement by the French government will most likely result in either cancellation or postponement of the French GP and other sporting events such as Tour de France, that was supposed to take place the same weekend as the French GP.