Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2018

UK may allow races behind closed doors in June

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In the round-up: The British government has indicated it may permit sporting events to take place behind closed doors from next month, potentially allowing the British Grand Prix to go ahead at Silverstone in July.

What they say

The UK government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy (PDF link) indicates sport could resume again after the end of May:

To aid planning, the Government’s current aim is that the second step will be made no earlier than Monday 1 June, subject to these conditions being satisfied.

This second step “may include as many of the following measures as possible”, such as:

Permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.

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Comment of the day

@Roodda isn’t convinvced Britain will be able to hold a grand prix by July:

How is Silverstone going to go ahead? Seriously? Two countries in the world you would avoid right are the US and UK. How could the UK hold two races in a week, yet they have about 4,500 new cases per day with no sign of subsiding?

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On this day in F1

Ayrton Senna, McLaren, Imola, 1990
Ayrton Senna, McLaren, Imola, 1990
  • 30 years ago today Ayrton Senna took pole position for the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 16 comments on “UK may allow races behind closed doors in June”

    1. Guessing, from the lack of the rumours surround Vettel, and taking into account that they came from auto motor und sport, you have taken them as serious as I did?

      1. @johnmilk – well, Keith’s put this article up now. Apart from AMuS, he’s referred to an article from Bild as well in that.

        1. @phylyp @bascb I was mislead by them a couple of times before ahah

          so, is it true? ahah

          1. They have been at times led on a bit both by Red Bull and by Mercedes to bring stories out of those teams views @johnmilk, and it is always healthy to be sceptical with these kind of things. But it has since been officially anounced by Vettel and Ferrari together, so yeah it is true.

            1. Yes I know @bascb was being sarcastic on the last one

      2. Well, since AMuS seems to have good contacts at Red Bull, Mercedes and kept a good line to Vettel in the past as well as some contacts at Ferrari (or maybe from Italian press who have contacts there?) from the Schumacher years, I wouldn’t dismiss their news at all @johnmilk.

        And off course now we have the article over here too, so it seems credible enough to be published

    2. I think when they are referring to cultural and sporting events behind closed doors, there may be an additional consideration of size – I’d be expecting something like a football match or a maypole dance rather than something as large as, and involving such a big group of people as, a F1 race.

      Once something like the EPL is allowed to resume, I’d be expecting F1 to be getting some consideration by the government, but would also expect it to be a couple of weeks at least later before it would be allowed to proceed as its a totally different animal in terms of participants both in size and in scope for their travel requirements.

      1. @dbradock I assume smaller national-level races will be allowed to resume in June if the plan goes ahead, primarily the ones where most of the funding comes through entry fees rather than spectator counts. Races with TV component perhaps to go ahead if they’re broadcasting small paddocks (not BTCC because of how many are involved there, but perhaps the sort of race which gets 10-minute highlights reels onto Channel 4 a week afterwards could have limited camera/technical teams present to support that).

        It’s great news, because up to this point, the word had been for there to be no motorsport whatsoever in the UK until July. This would, in retrospect, have been a big jump to go from there straight to F1 (even behind closed doors).

    3. I see that F1 is trying to negotiate not having to do 2 weeks in isolation on entry to the UK.. I’m far from Europe so I’m not sure what the mood is there, but I can see most countries requiring 2 weeks of isolation before entry to their country. My understanding is that prior to the Austrian GP, everyone associated with the event is doing this(?). A 2 week stand down between events is going to be a logistical headache for F1.

      1. @antznz Hence, why I can’t see how the first Silverstone-race could take place on either July 19 or 26 should the second Red Bull Ring-race take place on July 12.

        1. jamesluke2488
          12th May 2020, 7:37

          There is a small print in the 14 day UK isolation, if you come from France you don’t have to isolate. So as long as the teams can get into France, evening if they have to leave immediately they can come straight to the UK without having to isolate.

        2. @jerejj But if they run the first race on July 5 and the second mid-week on July 8, they can leave, spend 2 weeks in isolation and be ready to race again in Silverstone in July 26-29. And then repeat. Sure the space between the races is 2.5 weeks which is valuable time when trying to condense the calendar, but it’s the best thing they can do.

          1. @black Could work but would get quite tight with the timing.

        3. @antznz Use lorries and buses, then go through the Eurotunnel. For some reason, the proposed quarantine is for planes and boats only, as if the virus is afraid of tunnels or something.

    4. The COTD has a fair point in there.

      Regarding the BBC-article: Once again, it fails to note that the French GP has already been outright cancelled for this year. Furthermore, the Canadian GP is, of course, more or less a given lost-case for this year for both climatic and logistical reasons, and as for the Singapore GP: Why couldn’t it take place on any other date besides the scheduled? I understand that concerning bringing it forward, but pushing it back should be doable given that it’d increase the chances of it happening at all as the build-up process could commence later, hence, giving them a better chance to start doing that in time under the circumstances.

      1. I think for Singapore the issue is all the work that has to be done to prepare the streets, as well as the fact that it means closing down a section of the city for a month. It means they need a longer lead time – since they have to announce and prepare local business for having to be restricted and/or closed for that month, they cannot do that at short notice. And we probably won’t be able to get a longer term to react during the pandemic @jerejj

        Oh, and having F1 there, in the middle of the metropolis, is not a really great idea IMO anytime soon anyway. I am not too sure Singapore is keen on doing that.

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