LONDON: British Grand Prix organisers have set an end of April deadline to decide whether the country’s Formula One race goes ahead as scheduled in July or becomes another casualty of the coronavirus.
The race, a highlight of a British sporting summer that looks likely to be wiped out by the pandemic, has been the best attended on the F1 calendar in recent seasons with a total crowd of 351,000 last year.
The Sunday turnout at the former World War Two airfield in central England was 141,000 in 2019, with the race close to home for seven of the sport’s 10 teams including six times world champion Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.
Britain’s Hamilton won at Silverstone last year for a record sixth time.
Britain has strict social distancing measures in place at present, with all sport on hold and the authorities asking everyone to stay at home except for essential travel.
Formula One’s season has yet to start, with two races cancelled and six more postponed so far.
“Silverstone and Formula One remain in close dialogue regarding the ongoing situation and are assessing the feasibility of holding the British Grand Prix on 17th–19th July,” Silverstone said yesterday.
“We fully appreciate that other UK sporting events in July have taken decisions regarding their events,” the statement continued.
“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.”