A deal between Formula 1 and Silverstone has been agreed to host two F1 races behind closed doors this year, although the British government is grappling with restrictions due to coronavirus and so things could overturn at any time.
The 2020 F1 season should start with the two races scheduled in Austria, the first week of July. The two races that are expected to take place in the UK will follow those of the Red Bull Ring with just one week off.
At the beginning of this week, the BBC placed Formula 1 and Silverstone in a temporary block regarding the finances of hosting closed-door races. In spite of everything, F1 was willing to give up the usual hosting fee and ensure that Silverstone did not suffer any loss of money.
Stuart Pringle, the Silverstone managing director, said that the agreement between the two has been reached and that two races will be held behind closed doors according to the F1 schedule.
“I am delighted to confirm that Silverstone and Formula 1 have reached an agreement in principle to host two races behind closed doors this summer,” Stuart Pringle affirmed in a statement to The Race.
“However, these races will be subject to government approval, as our priority is the safety of all involved and strict compliance with COVID-19 regulations.
“I would like to thank all our fans who have been so supportive throughout this and to assure them we are determined to do all we can to help Formula 1 put on a show this summer.”
Another extremely important factor is in the hands of the British government, because if they decide to take quarantine measures for F1 staff, all those who will be present in Austria will be stuck there.
Formula 1 members are seeking to obtain a waiver from the rules that will provide for a 14-day quarantine period for people travelling to the UK.
If the Silverstone circuit will be able to host these two races behind closed doors, a look of consideration will be on Hockenheim - in Germany -, where negotiations are currently underway as stated by F1 CEO Chase Carey.
Although it is not yet clear whether the German circuit will be used as a substitute for other European races.
Formula 1 expectations are very specific. It is hoped that the races in Europe can take place with no audience so as to increase the possibility of holding events in other countries.
Plans for 2020 seem to be starting to find a little stability, among other things, the Belgian security council has made the decision that the Belgian Grand Prix will be held behind closed doors.
Having previously stated that the races will be behind closed doors, Silverstone has informed fans that have already purchased the ticket that they will be able to get a refund or a transfer for the 2021 F1 season.
Another intention is to donate tickets to NHS staff and other workers for the hard work and effort they are taking to manage this virus.
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