Formula One has announced the cancellation of this season’s French Grand Prix as France continues to battle Coronavirus.
This announcement comes less than a fortnight after France President – Emmanuel Macron announced that the country would remain in lockdown until mid-May, although social gatherings of 100+ people won’t be permitted until July.
France therefore becomes the third race to be cancelled this season after Australia and Monaco, with further cancellations likely to follow including the Dutch and Belgian GPs due to both countries having longer bans on mass gatherings in place.
Speaking of the decision to cancel, Managing Director of GIP Grand Prix de France – Eric Boullier said; “Given the evolution of the situation linked to the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the French Grand Prix takes note of the decisions announced by the French State making it impossible to maintain our event.
Boullier also revealed that the organisers are already looking ahead to ‘the summer of 2021 in order to offer our spectators an even more unprecedented event at the heart of the Region Sud.”
F1 CEO, Chase Carey expressed his disappointment for “our fans and F1 community” that this year’s French Grand Prix is cancelled, whilst pledging the sport’s full support for the decision taken by French authorities.
If purchased tickets and need information on reimbursement, please visit https://www.gpfrance.com for further details.
British GP Behind Closed Doors
British Grand Prix Organisers meanwhile have confirmed that this year’s race will be held behind closed doors, should the event take place depending on the UK’s lockdown plans.
Silverstone chief, Stuart Pringle expressed disappointment that the British GP can’t be staged “in front of the fans at Silverstone,” after deciding to leave this decision as long as possible but government requirements for now and foreseeable future means “that a Grand Prix under normal conditions is just not going to be possible.”
Pringle added that the need to protect everyone involved in preparing and staging the event from volunteer marshals to fans meant “that this is the best, safest and only decision we could make.”
As initially planned, Silverstone will continue to support F1 in finding alternative ways to “enable F1 racing to take place” in 2020 according to Pringle.
Pringle also revealed that discussions are underway with the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) “on the viability of an event behind closed doors.”
Should that plan come to fruition then live TV coverage will be available on Sky and Channel 4 in the UK.
Current ticket holders will receive the option of transferring their booking to next year or take a full refund, whilst thousands of tickets for next year’s race will be distributed to NHS staff as a treat for their effort throughout this pandemic.