It's announcement day as something starts to move in the 2020 calendar organization: the French Grand Prix is officially cancelled, while Silverstone formally announce that, if the event will take place, it will be behind close doors.
A tough decision for the French organizers, taken after the French government decision to ban major events until at least the middle of July to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
As it is impossibile to be at Le Castellet on June 28th, the GP organization, along with allpartners involved, decided to officially cancel the event and wait for summer 2021 to come back on track.
“Given the evolution of the situation linked to the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the French Grand Prix takes note of the decisions announced by the French State making it impossible to maintain our event." Said Eric Boullier, Managing Director of the event. "The eyes of the GIP Grand Prix de France – Le Castellet are already turning towards the summer of 2021 in order to offer our spectators an even more original event in the heart of the Southern Region."
"We have been in close contact with the French promoter during this evolving situation and while it is disappointing for our fans and the F1 community that the French Grand Prix will not take place we fully support the decision taken by the French authorities in France and look forward to being back at Paul Ricard soon.” added Chase Carey, Formula 1 Chairman and Chief Executive.
A different news, instead, comes from the British Grand Prix organization: the rumors of the past weeks are confirmed, as a note from Silverstone confirms that the event will take place behind closed doors, meaning the Championship will actually take place this year.
“I am extremely disappointed to tell you that we are unable to stage this year’s British Grand Prix in front of the fans at Silverstone" said in an official note Stuart Pringle, Silverstone Managing Director. “We have left this difficult decision for as long as possible, but it is abundantly clear given the current conditions in the country and the Government requirements in place now and for the foreseeable future, that a Grand Prix under normal conditions is just not going to be possible.
“Our obligations to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in preparing and delivering the event, our volunteer marshals and Race Makers, and of course, you, the amazing fans, means that this is the best, safest and only decision we could make.
“We have consistently said that should we find ourselves in this position we will support Formula 1 as they seek to find alternative ways to enable F1 racing to take place this year.
“Following this weekend's news from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport we are now working with them on the viability of an event behind closed doors".
Pringle also confirmed that all tickets will be refound or valid for the 2021 season, while the 2020 event will be available to watch both on Sky and Channel 4.
The British venue is expected to host two race weekends, following Austria's opening rounds.