French GP in doubt after government extends ban

Date published: April 14 2020

Paul_Ricard_circuit

The French Grand Prix could be the next race postponed after France extended its ban on large public gatherings until July.

The Paul Ricard in the south of France is scheduled to host the French Grand Prix on June 28, the race that – at least for now – could open the 2020 Formula 1 season.

However, the event is under threat.

French president Emmanuel Marcon has extended his country’s ban on mass gatherings, banning all events until at least mid-July.

The French GP falls into that window.

“Places where people gather – restaurants, cafes, hotels, cinemas, theatres, concert halls and museums – will remain closed,” said Marcon.

“Big festivals and events with large public gatherings cannot take place before mid-July at the earliest.

“The [national] situation will be evaluated collectively from mid-May, every week, to adapt things and give you visibility.”

Added to that, Macron announced that France’s “borders with non-European countries will remain closed until further notice.”

Macron’s announcement puts paid to suggestions that Formula 1 could have begun the season behind closed doors in France.

F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn recently revealed that he was open to grands prix taking place without spectators in order to get the season underway as soon as possible.

But with some 2,000 people involved in the Formula 1 show, even that is banned under Monday’s announcement.

Should the French GP be postponed, it will be the 10th grand prix to either be postponed or cancelled.

It also means Austria’s Red Bull Ring could July 5 could mark the start of the 2020 season. Unless of course it too is postponed to a later date.

Already Silverstone on July 19 has said it is unlikely that the British GP will go ahead on its designated date.

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