British Grand Prix at Silverstone to go ahead without fans
Staging a race under normal conditions is just not going to be possible, says circuit boss
Silverstone bosses this morning confirmed there will be no fans at this year's British Grand Prix, if the race goes ahead.
The Northamptonshire circuit's managing director Stuart Pringle admitted the Covid-19 crisis means a race under normal circumstances will not be possible.
But he stopped short of confirming plans for the circuit could stage two races over one weekend if the delayed 2020 season gets underway in July.
Mr Pringle said: "I am extremely disappointed that we are unable to stage this year’s British Grand Prix in front of the fans at Silverstone.
"We have left this difficult decision for as long as possible, but it is abundantly clear given the current conditions in the country and the Government requirements in place now and for the foreseeable future, that a Grand Prix under normal conditions is just not going to be possible.
"Our obligations to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in preparing and delivering the event, our volunteer marshals and Race Makers, and of course, you, the amazing fans, means that this is the best, safest and only decision we could make."
Around 350,000 fans flock to Silverstone over British Grand Prix weekend and the circuit now faces a massive task organising refunds.
Mr Pringle confirmed anybody with tickets for 2020 will get refunds and the circuit will give away thousands of tickets to NHS staff and other key workers for next year's race.
He added: "Nothing matters more to Silverstone and our owners, the British Racing Drivers’ Club, than taking care of our motorsport fans. Without you we wouldn’t exist – it’s as simple as that.
"I would like to reassure customers who have purchased a ticket will be given the option of either transferring their booking directly to 2021 or of taking a full refund. All customers will be contacted in the next two weeks with full details, so we do ask you to please be patient with us as we work through all our bookings.
I can also confirm that next year, we intend to give away thousands of tickets for the 2021 event to NHS and other key workers who have literally been putting their lives on the line for us all, during these challenging times. No one can be in any doubt of the huge debt of gratitude we owe to them."