Coronavirus: French GP cancelled, talks to stage Silverstone race behind closed doors

By Joe Wright 27 April 2020 10
Coronavirus: French GP cancelled, talks to stage Silverstone race behind closed doors

The 2020 French Grand Prix has been cancelled due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers confirmed on Monday that the race at Circuit Paul Ricard, scheduled for June 28, will not take place as the French government has banned all major public events until the middle of July.

It is the 10th race of the 2020 Formula One season either to be cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.

The decision comes as organisers of the 2020 British Grand Prix confirmed the race at Silverstone on July 19 would have to be held behind closed doors, if it goes ahead at all.

In a statement to fans released on Monday, Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle said: "I am extremely disappointed to tell you that we are unable to stage this year's British Grand Prix in front of 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 just 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."

Pringle confirmed that discussions over the feasibility of a behind-closed-doors event are ongoing and assured fans with 2020 tickets that they will be given the option of transferring their booking to next year or taking a full refund.

He also added: "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 doubt of the huge debt of gratitude we owe to them."

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Joe Wright