The British Grand Prix will definitely be a behind closed doors Formula 1 race if the event can go ahead this year, Silverstone has confirmed.

With F1 currently assessing how to get the 2020 season underway amid the hiatus caused by the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Silverstone had  made it clear it was willing to be flexible in order to enable grand prix racing to take place this year.

The opening nine races of the season have already been postponed or cancelled altogether and F1’s latest plan included kicking off the campaign with a behind closed doors race at Austria on July 5 before Silverstone staged multiple races also without spectators.

Silverstone had given itself until the end of this month to make a final decision on the fate of this year’s British Grand Prix, which is due to be held on July 19.

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It has now been made clear that any race to be held at Silverstone will be done so without spectators, if the British Grand Prix can go ahead at all.

The Northamptonshire circuit’s managing director Stuart Pringle said in a statement that he was “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," the statement continued. 

“Our obligation to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in preparing and delivering the event, our volunteer marshals and race makers, and of course, you, the amazing fans, means that 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.

“Following this weekend’s news from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport we are now working with them on the viability of an event behind closed doors.

“Should this be possible, it will be of some small comfort for you to know that the 2020 Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix will be available to watch live on Sky and Channel 4.”

Pringle confirmed that ticket holders will be offered full refunds or a transfer booking for the 2021 British Grand Prix. 

“Customers who have purchased a ticket will be given the option of either transferring their booking directly to 2021 or of taking a full refund,” Pringle said.

“All customers will be contacted in the next two weeks with full details, so we do ask you to please be patient with us as we work through all our bookings.”