Plans for Formula 1 to race at Silverstone after the 2020 season begins have resolved another hurdle with the British government approving competitive sports starting June 1.
Silverstone will host two grand prix shortly after consecutive rounds on the first two weekends in July at the Austrian Red Bull Ring.
The concept was hit when it was announced The UK will impose 14-day quarantine requirements for international arrivals starting June 8, but confirmation that the third stage of the return of elite sports is a welcome development.
Announced on Saturday (local time) by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Oliver Dowden, Phase 3 means that events are permitted starting tomorrow, but must be held behind closed doors with a number of strict biosecurity measures.
“Now for more than two months after the sport has stopped and after discussion all the time with medical experts and professional sports agencies, I am pleased to announce today that the government has published guidelines that allow competitive sports to continue behind closed doors since the earliest Monday and, most importantly, only when it is safe to do so, “Dowden said.
“It’s up to each sport when to continue the competition; they know their sport the best.
“But football, tennis, horse racing, Formula 1, cricket, golf, rugby, snooker, and others are ready to return to our screens immediately, with the first horse racing coming out of the gates in the North East next week.
“It’s a big challenge to get to this point. We have taken a forensic approach, led by doctors, working with the British Public Health and Department of Health every step along the way. “
While the quarantine problem still exists, Silverstone Managing Director Stuart Pringle expressed his belief that a solution would be found, saying Sky Sports F1 last week, “We are still in contact with the Government but I am encouraged that there is progress.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also reportedly intervened by telling ministers to “realize Formula 1”.
Quarantine obligations affect not only races in the UK but the championship widely given that seven out of 10 teams are based there.
The new F1 calendar hasn’t been released yet a report from Austria claims that its national government has approved a grand prix plan at the Red Bull Ring on July 5 and July 12.
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