Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Kvyat backs return of spectators as 30,000 are expected at Sochi

2020 Russian Grand Prix

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Daniil Kvyat says he is confident the Russian Grand Prix organisers have taken the correct steps by allowing the largest contingent of spectators seen at a race so far this year.

Formula 1 has held races behind closed doors since the delayed start of its 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However a small number of spectators were allowed into the last race at Mugello.

This weekend 30,000 fans are being permitted to attend the race at Sochi Autodrom, which is a significant rise. But Kvyat, who is starting his sixth home race this weekend, backed the decision to allow more spectators in.

“We’ve been doing a lot of races already until this point and we mildly started to introduce spectators already from Mugello,” he said. “Of course Formula 1 and the FIA are closely monitoring the situation. All the rules are very tight here. The paddock rules are also very, very careful.

“I’m pretty sure everyone who thought about this idea, they thought very well about all the Covid restrictions and the safety for all of us. So I’m sure we will be able to enjoy a trouble-free race in that respect.”

Formula 1 has put strict rules in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infections being introduced into the paddock. Those allowed in must produce negative tests for the virus every five days. Today Formula 1 presenter Will Buxton confirmed he will not be present in Sochi after testing positive for Covid-19.

Some countries, such as Britain and Germany, currently advise their citizens not to visit Russia. However Sebastian Vettel has travelled to the country for this weekend’s race.

“It’s a tricky one,” said Vettel when asked about his decision to travel. “I think we have to obviously trust the organisers here and the FIA and FOM to look after us. So not that much more that I want to say.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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7 comments on “Kvyat backs return of spectators as 30,000 are expected at Sochi”

  1. Sounds real loony with Covid on the spread!

  2. Well, all the restrictions will go out the window when Mr Putin, his entourage and bodyguards, barge into the paddock and anywhere else they feel like going,

    In any case to have spectators will almost definitely ensure that people on the control points, gates, pinch points etc get infected, plus no doubt people in the crowd.

    If one were an alien power bent upon the destruction of mankind, this is exactly what would be needed. (As was/is currently proven in the UK with the relaxation of rules and the blind ignorance of masses flocking to the seaside, rallies, parties raves etc. The result would make the alien very happy )

    But of course I was forgetting that Russia has the vaccine, or so it was said by Mr P himself.

  3. I’m still skeptical towards allowing this many people within the track boundaries, the same secluded area simultaneously under the present circumstances. The issue isn’t allowing attendees itself, but the numbers, which are, I still feel, over-optimistic in this COVID-year. Mugello’s figures more modest target proved okay, so I don’t understand the unnecessary urge of Sochi Autodrom, Nurburgring, Portimao, Imola, and Istanbul Park to have attendees to significantly higher numbers instead of something in, for example, three-digit figures, or four-digits between 1000 and 2000, or 2000 and 3000 at max. Why take unnecessary and unforced risks rather than play it safe and be conservative? I didn’t expect Will to get infected, though, but hope and am confident he’s going to be okay like Checo, as he’s also generally healthy and fit. I hope this decision to admit an unnecessarily high number of people won’t backfire and potentially ruin the remainder of the season.

    1. Yeah, I am with you there @jerejj, I am wholly unconvinced of the wisdom of allowing more or less the standard number of visitors in at Sochi right now.

  4. In hindsight I wish this GP got dropped and we have Zandvoort without spectators instead.

    Like @jerejj I wish it won’t backfire butI’m not optimistic

  5. I doubt it’s wise at all but we’ll never hear if there’s a dramatic spike in cases/deaths from Russia.

    Hopefully the protections and protocols in place for Teams, Drivers etc will hold

  6. Nice to have see some common sense being applied after these ridiculous overreactions!

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