Wednesday, October 21

Coronavirus: Silverstone set end of April deadline to decide if British Grand Prix can go ahead

Silverstone has said it has until the end of April to decide whether or not the British Grand Prix can go ahead in July.

Formula One bosses are in the process of putting together a new calendar for the 2020 season after the opening eight races on the calendar were called off due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Canadian Grand Prix is the next scheduled event, due to take place on the weekend of 12-14 June, with the British Grand Prix scheduled to take place just over a month later.

A joint statement from Silverstone and Formula One read: “Silverstone and Formula 1 remain in close dialogue regarding the ongoing situation and are assessing the feasibility of holding the British Grand Prix on 17-19 July.

“We fully appreciate that other UK sporting events in July have taken decisions regarding their events, but it is important to highlight that their logistics and sporting arrangements differ from Silverstone’s and, therefore, our timeline gives us until the end of April to make a final decision.

“The safety of our fans, colleagues and the F1 community will be our priority and we will continue to engage with the appropriate authorities.”

Organisers of the Canadian race last week said they would need to make a decision by Easter weekend, April 10-12, on the fate of their event.

It is understood Formula One are keen to publish a revised calendar for the season before any further races are postponed.

The season-opening Australian Grand Prix was called off at the last minute after a McLaren employee who had travelled to Melbourne tested positive for the virus.

Lewis Hamilton won his home Grand Prix at Silverstone last year

Organisers had already postponed the Chinese Grand Prix, and other races quickly followed.

As it stands, only the Monaco Grand Prix has been cancelled, with others keen to find dates later in the year.

Last week, Motorsport UK, the governing body for motor racing in this country, extended its suspension of events through until the end of June.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed – which normally pulls in a gate of more than 200,000 people across four days – had been set to take place the weekend before the British Grand Prix but has been postponed.

PA