Coronavirus Outbreak: Belgian GP given green light to proceed without spectators as Formula 1 nears return
The Formula 1 season has yet to start, with three races cancelled and seven postponed, but series organisers are planning to get going in July with two races behind closed doors in Austria.
The Belgian Formula One Grand Prix, scheduled for the end of August but threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, can go ahead without spectators, regional authorities said on Friday.
The Formula One season has yet to start, with three races cancelled and seven postponed, but series organisers are planning to get going in July with two races behind closed doors in Austria.
The government has said no sports or cultural events can take place before 30 June but sports clubs can resume training in the presence of a coach and with no more than 20 people present from 18 May.
Le Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps se réjouit de la décision prise ce jour par le Comité de concertation, élargi aux experts du déconfinement, de permettre une reprise partielle de ses activités à partir du lundi 18 mai. Plus d'infos ▶️https://t.co/aqHKpvB5tu pic.twitter.com/7tQsdUh5Sx
— Spa-Francorchamps (@circuitspa) May 15, 2020
“The Belgian Grand Prix can be held behind closed doors, as well as all the necessary prior training,” the Belgian region of Wallonia said in a statement.
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit said on its website that it had implemented health and prevention measures to comply with directives.
Formula One has yet to publish a revised calendar, with commercial rights holders Liberty Media aiming for a reduced schedule of 15-18 races running into December and possibly even January.
Belgium was scheduled for 30 August on the original calendar.
"In the next Grand Prix of Portugal and Spain, unfortunately, we will not have anyone, but Monaco is presented as the first where a limited number of people should be admitted on Sunday," Formule 1 CEO said.
Bottas, who has been with the team since 2017, has yet to finish a race this season ahead of either teammate and world champion Lewis Hamilton or Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
The Mercedes driver started from second on the grid behind teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished third behind Verstappen's Red Bull and took a bonus point for the fastest lap.