In an official announcement, circuit authorities at Silverstone confirmed that this year’s event won’t have any spectators. Circuits authorities sent ticket holders a confirmation regarding the announcement. The news shouldn’t come as a big surprise considering F1 hinted at closed-door races for the first few rounds when the season begins.
Keeping health and safety in mind, Silverstone Managing Director Stuart Pringle officially announced the news to ticket holders via a letter. F1 is keen on holding races sooner rather than later to conduct some form of a championship in 2020. However, with COVID-19 looming large, “ghost races” are the only option for now.
While a race without spectators is depressing, the upside is the fact that the race is actually going ahead. Recently, Formula 1 announced the cancellation of the French Grand Prix. France now joins 9 other Grands Prix which are either canceled or postponed for 2020. Many expect the season to officially kick off in July with the Austrian Grand Prix.
Silverstone was one of the first circuits to explore the options of hosting multiple rounds during a race weekend. With the sport trying to squeeze in as many races as possible, circuit authorities suggested a reverse layout as a possible secondary race.
“I am extremely disappointed to tell you that we are unable to stage this year’s British Grand Prix in front of the fans at Silverstone,”
“We have left this difficult decision for as long as possible”
“But it is abundantly clear given the current conditions in the country and the government requirements in place now and for the foreseeable future, that a Grand Prix under normal conditions is just not going to be possible.
“Our obligations to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in preparing and delivering the event”
“This is the best, safest, and only decision we could make”
“We have consistently said that should we find ourselves in this position we will support Formula 1″
“As they seek to find alternative ways to enable F1 racing to take place this year” reads Pringle’s official statement.
At this stage, fans would gladly take ghost races over no racing at all. However, an empty grandstand is disappointing nonetheless.