The Turkish Grand Prix has already been announced as an official date in the 2020 Formula 1 calendar. The Istanbul Park circuit will host this event on November 15, although the FIA and Formula 1 have commented that this will be due to a single event so far as the circuit and the highest category of motorsport do not have a current contract to hold races in the coming years. Well, this was not the only announcement, but the Turkish Grand Prix hopes to have a crowd of 100,000 spectators. This is expected to be the first F1 event that will have a face-to-face audience in the grandstands. It has been a difficult year for everyone, and this sport has been no exception. Events such as the Italian, Austrian and British Grand Prixs have had to be without that characteristic public such as the Tifosi in Monza supporting both Ferrari drivers and the Orange Army at the Red Bull Ring supporting Max Verstappen. There were some Grand Prixs that will not even be on the calendar this year, such as the Mexican Grand Prix with the famous stadium section or the Japanese Grand Prix with those creative fans who usually attend year after year.
The organizers of the Turkish Grand Prix, as well as the FIA and F1, were not sure if the event would be held with public, however, at a press conference with Vural Ak, who is the president of the Intercity promoters, commented that the event will be for fans. Thanks to the Istanbul Park facilities, which is in an open space and is quite spacious, Ak has confirmed that this venue can accommodate up to a total of 100,000 attendees with all the necessary hygiene measures. It should be noted that this number of people is half its total capacity. For the moment, this is confirmed, but if there is an increase in cases of the Covid-19 virus in the following months, the organizers will not hesitate to make the event behind closed doors.
“We have to be prepared for anything. If the disease becomes worse than today, then the race can be done without spectators. However, we know the capacity of this track. Around 220,000 spectators can watch the race in the grandstands and in the open areas.” Vural Ak commented. “At the moment for safety reasons, if we close some sections, about 100,000 spectators will be able to watch the race by following social distancing rules.”
Another jaw-dropping piece of news is that tickets to the Turkish Grand Prix will cost 30 Turkish lira per day (€ 3), for a total of 90 Turkish lira (€ 9) for the entire weekend. The reason for this was explained by Ak in today’s conference.
“Formula 1 normally has certain standards and ticket prices are at a certain level. However, as Intercity, we do not seek to gain financial advantage from this and the government has encouraged us.” He mentioned. “The ticket prices are 30 TL per day. It will be 90 TL in total for three days. Tickets will be on sale next week and we think they will sell out very quickly.” Ak confirmed.
“An official came and looked at the asphalt and the infrastructure and thanked us, saying that almost everything was like the first day. With only two-and-a-half months to go, a more experienced team will come and see what updates need to be made.”
If the Turkish Grand Prix is an event with attendance, this will be a relief for all countries since it has been a while since the last event was supposed to take place with public, that was the Australian Grand Prix, but it was cancelled minutes before after the first day of on-track action after a McLaren team member was tested positive and the British team decided to withdraw from the event. Hopefully we can see some public on the grandstands cheering their favourite driver and team.