F1 to restart without public in Silverstone?
The Formula 1 circuit is considering seriously to restart the competition without any public in July or August in Silverstone (UK), where seven of the ten F1 teams are headquartered nearby. That was announced by the BBC after a videoconference between the teams, the stakeholders, and FIA President Jean Todt.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the eight first races of the championship were canceled. Until now, the next championship scheduled is in Toronto, Canada on June 14th. The Grand Prix of Silverstone is planned for July 19th. The Belgian one, in Spa-Francorchamps, is foreseen on August 30th on the calendar. In total, 14 races remain scheduled this year, but voices are heard to extend the season eventually.
Hosting multiple Grand Prix
A few days ago, Silverstone’s managing director, Stuart Pringle, suggested the UK racetrack could host several international Grand Prix, just because most teams are housed nearby. That would prevent the teams to travel around the world.
“The majority of the teams are within a stone’s throw of the circuit, so operationally, it would be pretty straightforward to host multiple races,” Pringle told Sky Sports. “We’ve got the fixed infrastructure, the staff could go home to their own beds in an evening for the large part.”
Racing in opposite direction?
Asked by journalists whether some races could be held in the opposite direction on the circuit, Pringle answered that this might not be such a crazy idea, although the racetrack isn’t licensed to do so. But exceptional times could allow for exceptional measures, the Silverstone boss said.
If the races are to restart in the UK in July, this could eventually be done ‘behind closed doors’. For Silverstone, claiming to have attracted most spectators in the last two years, that would be a first. Pringle insisted that a decision should be made before the end of April in order to be able to organize everything properly.
Turning in 20% of wages
Meanwhile, top men of the Formula One, like big boss Chase Carey, managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn, and fifteen other directors, have announced they will turn in 20% of their wages in the next two months. It’s seen as a sign of solidarity with those affected by the corona crisis.
Carey and the others are following the example of teams like Williams, MacLaren, and Racing Point that announced similar initiatives earlier. Almost half of the 500 employees of the London- based F1 management are put on temporary unemployment.