The chances of hosting a Formula One race in 2020, is growing slimmer and slimmer by the day. As it turns out, the French Grand Prix is possibly the next victim to face the F1 postponement axe. The speculation comes in the wake of France extending its ban on large public gatherings until July.
Since the French Grand Prix at the Paul Ricard circuit is scheduled for June 28th, the likelihood of that race going ahead is slim. Previously, Formula One targeted France to play host to the opening round of the 2020 Formula 1 season. Unfortunately, the global situation is worsening, and the event is under threat.
French president Emmanuel Macron extended France’s ban on mass gatherings until at least mid-July. This spells bad news for French F1 fans, as the French Grand Prix falls into that window.
“Places where people gather – restaurants, cafes, hotels, cinemas, theatres, concert halls and museums – will remain closed,” said Marcon.
“Big festivals and events with large public gatherings cannot take place before mid-July at the earliest. The [national] situation will be evaluated collectively from mid-May, every week, to adapt things and give you visibility.”
How will this affect the 2020 F1 season?
The coronavirus pandemic even forced France to close their borders with non-European countries until further notice. Macron’s order places F1’s ability to commence the 2020 season under even more doubt. They even shot down the idea of hosting a race behind closed doors.
F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn admitted that he has no quarrel against grands prix taking place without spectators. This is because, he also wants the 2020 F1 season to get underway as soon as possible.
However, since Formula One employs around 2,000 people, hosting a French Grand Prix is also out of question for a while. If F1 postpones the French GP, it will be the 10th grand prix to face such a fate.
Furthermore, the Austrian Grand Prix in July could mark the start of the 2020 season. Unless of course the local authorities also postpone the race. Already Silverstone confirmed that it is unlikely that the British GP will go ahead on its designated date.