The operators of Silverstone racetrack have reached a deal in principle to host two Formula 1 races behind closed doors as part of the revised 2020 season.
Rumours across the motorsport press had suggested that F1’s eagerness to bulk up a season that has been shortened by the coronavirus crisis had included the idea of hosting multiple races on the same track, with Austria also said to be targeted for starting the season with 2 races at the same track.
Further rumours indicated that a deal to host multiple races at Silverstone had hit a stumbling block over the track wanting too high a fee to host multiple races, but in a statement released on social media today, the track’s Managing Director Stuart Pringle announced a deal has been reached and the track will host a pair of races, subject to government approval.
He said, “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. 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.”
However, questions currently remain over quarantine restrictions. The UK government has announced its intention that international visitors to the UK should self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, although it has not yet said when this rule will begin to be enforced.
It is reported F1 is seeking an exemption from the UK government in order to hold its races. Although 7 out of Formula 1’s 10 teams have UK factories, staff still have to travel internationally to go to races, while there is also the case of non-UK based staff being able to come to the UK to race.
Earlier this week, Belgium’s government announced the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit can host its race, despite the nation’s government previously announcing a ban on mass gatherings until the end of August at the earliest.