The wait for the F1 season to get underway could finally be over after Silverstone circuit owners tweeted that this year’s British Grand Prix will take place, albeit without fans. Silverstone’s owners said that a race “under normal conditions is just not going to be possible” because of coronavirus. The coronavirus F1 outbreak has already seen races being cancelled so far and it earlier looked like the wait for the F1 season to get underway was only getting longer.
In his letter to F1 fans, Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle wrote that he was extremely disappointed to inform fans that this year’s British Grand Prix will not be staged in front of the fans at Silverstone. He further wrote that this difficult decision was kept on hold as long as possible, but now that it is very much clear given the current conditions in the country and the government requirements in place now and for the foreseeable future, that a British Grand Prix under normal conditions is just not going to be possible.
✍️An update from our Managing Director, Stuart Pringle about the Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix 2020. pic.twitter.com/APIXq8F2OS— Silverstone (@SilverstoneUK) April 27, 2020
The letter further mentioned that Silverstone is looking at the health and safety of everyone involved in preparing and delivering the British Grand Prix event and of course, the amazing fans, and for that, this is the best, safest and only decision which could be made. He further said that the organisers of British Grand Prix have consistently said that should they find themselves in this position, they will support Formula One as they seek to find alternative ways to enable F1 racing to take place this year.
While the British Grand Prix could take place behind closed doors, the French Grand Prix, which was due to take place on 28 June, was called off by F1 due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report in The Guardian, Eric Boullier, managing director of the French Grand Prix, said that given the evolution of the situation linked to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the French Grand Prix took note of the decisions announced by the French State making it impossible to maintain the event.
Chase Carey, chairman and chief executive officer of F1 added that the organisation was in close contact with the French promoters during the coronavirus pandemic and while it is disappointing for fans and the F1 community that the French Grand Prix will not take place, the F1 fully supports the decision taken by the French authorities in France and look forward to being back at Paul Ricard soon.