Silverstone has reached an agreement with Formula 1 to host two grands prix behind closed doors this summer when racing can resume.
F1 is working on a revised calendar for 2020 following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the first 10 races of the original schedule either postponed or cancelled. With July 5 the targeted start date for the season with a pair of races in Austria, the sport has now finalized terms with the home of the British Grand Prix to similarly host back-to-back events.
“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,” Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle told the BBC. “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.”
The UK Government is imposing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period on anyone arriving via air from June 1; however F1 is working on whether it would be exempt from this as a result of strict testing measures to be implemented in order to be able to safely return to racing. Based on timings of the initial rounds in Austria, Silverstone is provisionally likely to hold races on July 26 and August 2.
F1 wants to create a “biosphere” where those involved in the running of the initial events are isolated from the outside world as much as possible. F1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn admits the effort required to take such measures is what makes the prospect of two races at the same venue so attractive.