Ban on mass events casts doubt over Belgian GP

Jamie Woodhouse

Belgian Grand Prix in doubt.

The Belgian GP is now in serious doubt after the government extended the ban on mass events until August 31.

The race is scheduled to take place on August 30, but Belgian prime minister Sophie Wilmes has confirmed that all mass events, like festivals or large sports events, are now banned until August 31.

The opening nine rounds of the 2020 season have already been put on hold, while the French Grand Prix is close to being postponed to make it ten.

While Formula 1 has suggested that races could be held without fans, that would be a huge financial hit for Spa with the circuit drawing crowds of 250,000 in recent years.

In a statement, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit said: “The National Security Council has decided to ban mass events until 31 August. The Circuit remains attentive to the next communication of the National Security Council. We will inform you as soon as possible of any new developments.”

Formula 1 are hoping to get the season underway in July with a calendar of 19 races, while October is the latest that the season could start to do the minimum of eight races that would be needed to make it a World Championship season.

Speaking to, FIA president Jean Todt said: “Once we know we can start, I think we could really see two-to-three grands prix a month.

“If we start in July/August and go to December, we have six months, from five to six months, multiplied by three and it gives you one option.

“But don’t forget we may face situations where one organiser can host the event safely but eventually feels: ‘I don’t want. I don’t feel in the mood to host the event’.

“So ultimately this kind of situation may occur. An event is a celebration, and it’s what I mentioned earlier: we may be in a situation where everything is put together to do it but there is no real feeling to celebrate.”

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