Formula 1 could provide Silverstone with financial backing to ensure that the British Grand Prix can go ahead as planned this year.

Silverstone announced on Monday that the British Grand Prix currently remained on course for its July 19 calendar slot but confirmed that any races at the venue would be held without spectators.

According to a report in The Guardian, Silverstone could receive funds from F1 to help combat the financial hit the circuit will face by holding races behind closed doors and missing out on the ticket sales it usually relies on to host the British Grand Prix.

While F1 and Silverstone have both declined to comment on the matter, it is understood a financial agreement has been struck between the two parties which will result in the hosting fee being waived.

Silverstone, which agreed a five-year contract extension to host the British Grand Prix last year, has taken advantage of the UK government’s job retention scheme. 

“We were an early adopter of the furlough scheme because we had to close our business,” Silverstone circuit managing director Stuart Pringle explained.

"We need to get back as a business but we can’t do it if it risks killing people. We are going to need support from our bank but there aren’t many businesses that won’t and they are supportive.

“We are very confident we can ride this out, it’s just going to set us back.”

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It comes after F1’s owners, Liberty Media, provided a $1.4bn cash injection to help ease the strain over the coming months amid the coronavirus pandemic which has laid waste to the 2020 season schedule.

F1 and its 10 teams find themselves in a delicate situation as a result of the financial uncertainty caused by the crisis. Although it is determined to cram in a full world championship this year, F1 must choose carefully where it goes racing in order to foot some bills.

The opening 10 rounds of the season have been affected so far, with organisers for the French Grand Prix confirming on Monday that the race would not go ahead this year as Paul Ricard joined Monaco in becoming the second event to be fully cancelled.

Silverstone is open to hold multiple races without fans in a bid to help F1 get the 2020 campaign underway and meet its target of staging between 15-18 races.

Championship officials are working to find a way to get the 2020 season off the ground in the coming months and outlined an initial blueprint that would see the Austrian Grand Prix kick off the campaign on July 5 at the Red Bull Ring.

The race would be the first of a number of European rounds to be held behind closed doors through July, August and early September.

These events would be followed by races in Eurasia, Asia and the Americas across the autumn before concluding the season with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December.

 

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