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Final call on British GP ‘probably weeks’ away

Mat Coch

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Monday 4th May, 2020 - 7:46am

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A decision on the British Grand Prix is ‘probably weeks’ away

The final decision on whether the Formula 1 British Grand Prix can take place behind closed doors is yet to be made according to circuit boss Stuart Pringle.

It came to light last week that the Silverstone event would not allow spectators to attend this years event when a letter was sent to ticket holders informing them of the change.

The British Grand Prix is scheduled to run across the July 17-19 weekend, tentatively making it the second round of the 2020 season.

Formula 1 has targeted the Austrian Grand Prix, two weeks prior to the British event, as the opener for the campaign.

However, Silverstone boss Pringle has revealed that while the event could run behind closed doors, there are still no certainties despite the announcement.

“We don’t actually know whether or not we have a race behind closed doors – I need to be clear on that,” Pringle told the BBC.

“We need to understand from the government the criteria that need to be achieved to be allowed to run a sporting event behind closed doors.

“I’m working with with the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport, and with the governing body Motorsport UK, to establish whether or not we can comply with those and meet them and surpass them.

“We also have to reach an agreement with the Formula 1 world championship. That’s not the work of a moment.

“There’s absolutely the desire on the part of both parties to make that happen but it’s it’s complicated, it’s contractual, and it will take a few more days, probably weeks to get there.”

Pringle revealed there are other practical considerations too, with additional processes that would likely need to be introduced.

“We also need to understand what would need to be in place to run a safe and secure event behind closed doors.

“That will include things that we don’t normally do, like testing for Covid-19 and various medical procedures.

“So there’s a whole heap of work and it’s having to be done now by an awful lot less people that would normally do it and I’m becoming quite familiar with the wee small hours of the morning to try to get through the through the volume, but that’s no hardship.

“We’ve just got to get some clarity and see whether we can get at least a race behind closed doors.

“I think we’ll all enjoy that, it’ll be something for our summer even if we can’t be there in person.”

The opening 10 events of the 2020 season have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with three of those cancelled.

There are now doubts over the Hungarian Grand Prix, while organisers in Germany have offered Hockenheim as a possibility should it be needed.

Formula 1 boss Chase Carey has said the sport is targeting as many as 18 events in 2020.

The original calendar was set to be the longest in history with 22 races.

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