Silverstone’s hopes of staging the British Grand Prix have significantly improved after Formula 1 was given the go-ahead by the UK government to hold two races this summer.

F1 hoped to get the heavily-delayed 2020 season off the ground with back-to-back races in Austria in early July before returning to Britain for another double-header event at Silverstone, but the plans were dented by the introduction of the UK government’s new quarantine rules which will force international arrivals to observe a 14-day quarantine period from June 8.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson kickstarted an intervention to ensure the races could go ahead and the UK government has since indicated that its travel restrictions will be relaxed for elite sports following weeks of talks.

Speaking during a briefing on Saturday, Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, specifically mentioned F1 as the UK government declared the resumption of sport behind closed doors from Monday June 1.

"The wait is over," Dowden said.

"Live British sport will shortly be back on in safe and carefully controlled environments. This guidance provides the safe framework for sports to resume competitions.

"It's up to each individual sport to decide exactly when to resume competition; they know their sports best.

"But football, tennis, horse racing, F1, cricket, golf, rugby, snooker and others are set to return to our screens shortly, with horse racing first out of the gate in the north-east next week.”

Despite not gaining an overall blanket exemption, it is understood that the government will now provide flexibility for sports personnel arriving in the UK providing a detailed plan of travel arrangements and movements within the country is approved.

An F1 spokesperson said:  "We welcome the government's efforts to ensure elite sport can continue to operate and their support for our return to racing.

"We will maintain a close dialogue with them in the coming weeks as we prepare to start our season in the first week of July.”

It comes as F1 is expected to unveil its plans for the European leg of the revised 2020 calendar in the coming days, following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Silverstone’s pair of races are set to be the fourth and fifth events on the calendar on August 2 and August 9.

The 2020 world championship season will start with back-to-back races in Austria on July 5 and July 12, followed by the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 16, the Silverstone double-header, and then further rounds in Spain, Belgium and Italy.

All European rounds will take place behind closed doors within a "biosphere" environment, with everyone in the paddock set to be frequently tested for coronavirus. F1's 10 teams will be limited to a maximum of 80 people at each race.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...