Pringle warns British GP is ‘not a slam dunk’

Date published: April 30 2020

Mercedes-British-Grand-Prix-Silverstone-PA

Formula 1 wants to head to Silverstone after racing in Austria but circuit boss Stuart Pringle has warned that hosting a British GP is “not a slam dunk”.

Earlier this week F1 chief Chase Carey revealed his plans to get the 2020 season underway.

The Liberty boss wants to start in Austria with a double-header in July before moving to the United Kingdom to race at Silverstone.

That too would be a double-header and, like Austria, it would also be run without an audience.

But while Pringle is in favour, he concedes there is still a lot to be decided before Silverstone can say for definite that it will host a grand prix.

“There’s a lot of detail to work through still,” he said in interview with Motorsport.com.

“I think we need to be quite careful, and it’s not just what we can or can’t do in this country, it’s how does that fit with a season?

“Because they’re not going to want to start something that they can’t conclude.

“Clearly there is will on everybody’s part to find a solution that works. But there’s still some work to do.

“This is not a slam dunk.”

Silverstone will need to adhere to government restrictions meaning no mass gatherings with Pringle saying behind closed doors is the only way Formula 1 will be permitted to race.

He added: “The situation in the UK is we’re not legally allowed to run a public event and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon, and certainly not within the planning timescale that we need to put the race on.

“The British GP is the biggest sporting event in the UK, and although we’ve got a lot of permanent infrastructure, a lot of temporary stuff has to go in, and that takes a long time.

“So with a heavy heart we’ve said we can’t run the British GP in front of the crowd.

“We’ve always said we’re up for looking at that, and from a Silverstone perspective, it should be doable bBut it totally depends on where we get to as a country, and the rules in place at the time, and what the government has to say about it.

“The good news is that at the weekend the department of digital, culture, media and sport indicated that they’re going to sit down with sporting bodies and get the medical officers to look at what might need to happen for sport to restart behind closed doors.

“We are part of those conversations, together with Motorsport UK, and we’re looking to see what we want to do, ie have the potential to run a Grand Prix behind closed doors, and how that could be achieved in a way that’s compliant with any criteria that they set.

“In the meantime we remain in dialogue with F1 on whether or not Silverstone is a suitable venue for one of their European races to take place behind closed doors, if we can meet that all-important government bar, wherever its set, in terms of testing, etcetera.”

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