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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Silverstone set to hold two races this year as part of redesigned F1 calendar

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Two grands prix are set to be staged at Silverstone this summer as part of a revised Formula One calendar, subject to the approval of the British Government.

The circuit’s managing director announced on Friday afternoon that an agreement had been reached in principle with Formula One to hold an additional race as the series looks to build a new schedule. The first 10 races have been postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been reported that the decision hinges on an exemption being made to United Kingdom rules on quarantine, and that the intention would be for the races to be back to back.

In the UK Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy document published on Monday, it outlined plans to introduce a 14-day quarantine period for all international arrivals, except those from the Republic of Ireland and France.

Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle said: “I am delighted to confirm that Silverstone and Formula 1 have reached an agreement in principle to host two races behind closed doors this summer.

“However these races will be subject to government approval, as our priority is the safety of all involved and strict compliance with Covid-19 regulations.

“I would like to thank all our fans who have been so supportive throughout this and to assure them we are determined to do all we can to help Formula 1 put on a show this summer.”

Austria is set to host the opening race of the 2020 season in July, which had been due to start in Australia in March.

A statement on the Formula One website last month stated that the intention is to hold races during the traditional summer break period, and that the season end date will extend beyond the original weekend of November 27-29.

Formula One managing director Ross Brawn outlined earlier this month how the sport will take steps to mitigate the risk of personnel contracting Covid-19.

“All team staff will be tested every two days,” he said.

“We’ll have restrictions on how people move around within the paddock,” Brawn added in an interview with Sky Sports F1.

“We can’t have staff that socially distance so we have to create an environment within itself that is effectively a small bubble of isolation.

“The teams will stay within their own groups. They won’t mingle with other teams and they’ll stay in their own hotels. There will be no motorhomes there.”

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