The British Grand Prix will be held behind closed doors if it takes place at all, the race organizers at Silverstone have announced.
The first 10 rounds of the 2020 Formula 1 championship have so far been either postponed or canceled, with F1 targeting a season restart in Austria on July 5. Silverstone’s original race date was July 19, and while that could still change, the circuit’s managing director Stuart Pringle has written to fans to say they will not be allowed to attend.
“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,” Pringle wrote. “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. Should this be possible, it will be of some small comfort for you to know that the 2020 Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix will be available to watch live on Sky and Channel 4.”
The British Grand Prix has regularly been the best-attended race on the calendar, with more than 350,000 attending last year’s event over the three days at Silverstone. Fans who bought tickets for this year’s race will be able to apply for a refund or transfer their booking to the 2021 race.