Formula 1 says the UK government’s plans to quarantine overseas visitors would make it “impossible” to stage a British Grand Prix.

The government is set to impose a new 14-day quarantine measure on people arriving in Britain from next month in a bid to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

F1 has outlined its plan to create a controlled “biosphere” environment - with all paddock personnel kept apart and repeatedly tested for coronavirus every 48 hours - to senior officials in the hope of convincing the government to waive the travel restrictions. 

Championship officials are currently working on a plan to get the delayed 2020 season underway with back-to-back behind closed doors races in Austria beginning on July 5, before returning to the UK to stage another double-header event at Silverstone.

The British Grand Prix venue was given the green light to stage two races without fans on consecutive weekends on July 26 and August 2 after agreeing terms with F1 last week, but the plans could be scuppered if the government fails to grant F1 exemption.

“A 14-day quarantine would make it impossible to have a British Grand Prix this year,” a Formula 1 spokesman said on Tuesday.

“It has a major impact on literally tens of thousands of jobs linked to F1 and the supply chains. If all elite sport is to return to TV, then exemptions must be provided.”

According to British newspaper The Sun, there are growing indications that the UK government will not exempt sports from its planned isolation measures.

It reported on Monday night that Oliver Dowden, the UK secretary state for digital, culture, media and sport, has been overruled by health ministers after initially agreeing to back exemptions.

As it stands, it is understood that only lorry drivers and key workers will be exempt from the new quarantine rules.

Confirmation of sport not being including on the small list of exemptions would put hopes of holding a British Grand Prix in jeopardy, with seven of F1’s 10 teams based in the UK.

In the event that Silverstone is unable to stage any races in the year that marks the 70th anniversary of the Northamptonshire track hosting the first world championship race, Hockenheim is on standby after holding talks with F1 about the possibility of holding a race. 

F1 is excepted to reveal further detail about its plan to kickstart the season this week.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...