Start, Silverstone, 2019

UK government ‘will allow Silverstone F1 races to go ahead despite quarantine’

2020 F1 season

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The British government will allow Formula 1’s planned races at Silverstone to go ahead in spite of the new quarantine arrangements which will come into force next month, according to a report.

Last week the government announced arrivals to Britain from other countries will be required to isolate themselves for two weeks as of June 8th, jeopardising F1’s hopes of running two races in the country. While a number of exemptions are permitted, no sporting events were mentioned among them when details of the quarantine were announced on Friday.

The quarantine will be reviewed every three weeks. According to The Times, this could provide an opportunity to expand the number of exemptions which are permitted, and ministers have been told to ensure the races can go ahead.

The British Grand Prix was originally due to take place on July 19th. F1 now hopes to hold two races behind closed doors at the Northamptonshire track on July 26th and August 2nd.

The first two races of the postponed 2020 F1 season are due to take place in Austria on July 5th and the week after at the Red Bull Ring.

Britain has a significant motorsport industry and is home to seven of the 10 Formula 1 teams. Permitting them to travel in and out of the country more easily could also help the championship schedule other races earlier in the season.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “UK government ‘will allow Silverstone F1 races to go ahead despite quarantine’”

  1. Bruno Verrari
    25th May 2020, 22:10

    July 5 and 12: Red Bull Ring
    July 26 and August 2: Silverstone
    2 weeks break
    August 16 and 23 (?): Hungary
    August 30: Spa
    September 6: Monza
    2 weeks break
    September 20: Singapore

    1. I don’t believe Singapore is happening, it will likely be Suzuka, Russia and China around that time, with the season ending in Abu-Dhabi and Bahrain potentially.

      1. Chances of Suzuka and Sochi happening are also super low.

        1. @Chaitanya How? Singapore’s chances are almost non-existent, but how would Suzuka’s and Sochi’s chances be ‘super’ low?
          @mashiat I don’t have high hopes for China within this year.

          1. Russia is one of the worst affected countries right now(start of summer) and the race at Sochi taking place early fall the govt there will need to prepare to supposed 2nd wave of human malware. Also with regards to Japan given summer olympics were postponed, we might see almost all sporting events for this year postponed or cancelled for same reason.

          2. @Chaitanya Russia’s track is in the middle of nowhere, it’s one of those propaganda races that are keen to stage the race no matter what and till late September many things can change.

            As for Japan, they postponed the Olympics in mid July (preparations should already have started many weeks before), a sporting event 10x-100x bigger with athletes and fans arriving from all around the world including countries like USA, Brazil etc, where the athletes would have stayed in the same hotels in the middle of Tokyo, the biggest city on Earth (or one of the biggest).
            Suzuka is just a no-fans race in October in a remote area (relative to Tokyo), where all the staff (the bare minimum) will be tested before they arrive.
            A bit different situation.

          3. I also don’t have high hopes for any race outside Europe and Middle East. However, considering Shinzo Abe has declared the “‘Japan model’ has beaten the virus” (link) I would venture Suzuka is one of the most likely candidates for hosting a race outside those two areas.

      2. More likely are alternate venues like Portimao and Imola. Suzuka tough one as its outside Europe.

    2. This is a better calendar imo than the usual one

  2. AFAIK Singapore isn’t likely.

  3. I’d be a bit disappointed if the UK Government roll over on its regulations for F1 but enforces it for other major sport or entertainment industries that need to have people enter the country.

    As much as I’m missing the racing, I find it hard to believe that F1 should be treated any differently to anything else and should be subject to the same regulations as anything else.

    Unfortunately, as has been borne out time and time again with the UK and other countries, there seems to be differing sets of rules for different elite persons and industries.

    1. “a bit disappointed by the UK government” is the biggest under statement of the day, and not just over this issue!

      Rolling over on their own regulations is what they do best.

    2. Perhaps they are asking for F1 teams to be regarded like lorry drivers, who have been given exemption from quarantine. I’d guess the general health and discipline with F1 teams is a tad better than with most lorry drivers.

    3. I agree entirely. And the same goes for any other country looking to make an exemption for F1

  4. The headline is a bit misleading. “UK government ‘will allow Silverstone F1 races to go ahead despite quarantine’ “.
    OK , the govt. is “allowing” the race to go ahead, but this doesn’t clear up the quarantine issue. Has it been bypassed for F1 or not.?
    If not, then all the “allowance” of the govt. won’t get the people to the race in a timely manner. Back to square one.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      26th May 2020, 7:26

      @rekibsn Apart from the title, there also is an article below this title. The article is a tad chaotic perhaps, but it does mention “excemption” a few times.

    2. @rekibsn I was going to post something similar until I saw your post. The headline indeed is ‘misleading’ as nothing’s set in stone yet about F1 getting an exemption after all.

  5. It’s all Speculation on the Calendar front but the latest Rumours show a Calendar like this:
    05/07/20 – Austrian GP – AUT R1
    12/07/20 – Slovenian GP – AUT R2
    26/07/20 – British GP – GB R1
    02/08/20 – European GP – GB R2
    09/08/20 – Hungarian GP
    23/08/20 – Spanish GP
    30/08/20 – Belgian GP
    06/09/20 – Italian GP
    20/09/20 – Azerbaijan GP
    27/09/20 – Russian GP
    11/10/20 – Japanese GP
    18/10/20 – Chinese GP
    01/11/20 – US GP
    08/11/20 – Mexican GP
    15/11/20 – Brazilian GP
    29/11/20 – Gulf Air GP / Vietnam GP
    06/12/20 – Bahrain GP
    13/12/20 – Abu Dhabi GP

    Don’t quote me on names or exact dates but this is the closest to a sensible Schedule that I have seen.

    1. @C.A.P F1 It’s, of course, all just speculation at this point, hence, no point putting much weight on this, but if the Vietnamese GP could take place on subsequent weekends with the Middle Eastern-races, then it could definitely also do that with Japan and or China. The word, though, has been that for its inaugural year, the Vietnamese GP has to take place as a standalone event, i.e., both preceded and followed by a non-race weekend. I also won’t quote you on the names, of course, but find some of those weird. Vietnam is nowhere near the Middle East while Slovenia is an entirely separate country from Austria, LOL. Nevertheless, I don’t buy into these even to the smallest of extent.

      1. They’re probably calling it the Slovenian GP as it has to be different from the first race and Slovenia has probably paid to get its name there.
        The San Marino GP was never run in San Marino, always in italy.

        1. @jerejj All is speculation and Slovenia has only been suggested due to the closeness, it would have to pay for the naming rights. They allndo have to have a different title. Also, the Vietnam GP does look unlikely and the Gulf Air title referred to a second Race at Bahrain, not a Vietnam GP, I should have made that clear. The 2nd Austrian Race could be the European GP and the second British round could be the London GP. As you said, all Speculation.

  6. Silverstone can go ahead, as long as the drivers are only doing it to test their eyesight…

    1. Ahh yes I forgot about the changes to the regs. Under the new Cummings amendment that is indeed now permitted. Along with a sub clause which states that all car’s taking part are to run with the slogan “should have gone to spec savers!” 😉

  7. This is incredibly arrogant and is a massive slap in the face for all those in the UK sticking to the rules. We will ignore a 14 day quarantine… because motorsport! It sets a worrying precedent and the cost of doing so may be beyond repair for all involved.

    1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
      27th May 2020, 13:42

      One rule for them.

  8. What is the UK gaining by letting the races happen? Few Million revenue for Silverstone can’t be the Motivation, can it?
    But it would look strange not to allow the teams to race in the UK but travel in and out to do so in other countries.

  9. I’m not sure I understand the push here. I miss having a race every few weeks as well, but I do not think F1 should be an exception or leading the charge. I don’t think there should be a charge, to be honest.

    Let’s be honest, this season is already lost. No matter what happens from here, the season will have an asterisk and the winner will have an asterisk. If it makes sense to run races this year, so be it. But if not, they should not be forcing the issue, imo.

  10. Race one: 260 miles
    (about the same as London to Durham).
    Race two: 260 miles reverse track.
    (Durham to London, return leg).

    Stopping at beauty spots (Stowe Gardens, National Trust) allowed.

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