The number of fans who will be allowed through the gates for this weekend’s Portuguese GP has been reduced.
Recent races have seen fans return to the grandstands – the Russian Grand Prix was watched by 30,000 spectators while the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring had a limit of 20,000.
But new COVID-19 restrictions in Portugal means that the targeted attendance of around 50,000 fans for each day of the race weekend as Formula 1 returns to the nation has been lowered.
Now the limit will be 27,500 fans for each day, a number which the government has approved.
Motorsport.com report that the general admission tickets are the ones which have been removed, leaving the grandstand tickets in place.
“As is well known, Portugal saw measures to combat the pandemic COVID-19 increased last week, as determined by the government, with a series of additional restrictive measures taking effect in the national territory,” a statement from the Algarve International Circuit reads.
“As a consequence of these new measures, the health and administrative authorities have also determined new limitations and prohibitions regarding the presence of the public at the Portuguese Grand Prix, namely a further decrease in the total number of spectators allowed.
“We would very much like the current moment to be different, so that everything could happen in a different way, but we have to adapt to situations, as they come across us, and resolve them within the possibilities within our reach.”
Motorsport.com sate that “Portimao confirmed it would offer fans a full refund on tickets if requested, and that it was working on “several solutions” for those in the general admission zone.”
While the news of new restrictions on the attendance for the race is a disappointment as Portugal hosts its first Formula 1 race since 1996, it is a far better picture than earlier reports created after talk that the Portuguese Grand Prix could have become a closed event with no fans at all allowed to attend.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) October 20, 2020
Mercedes will be presented with their first opportunity to secure a seventh Constructors’ Championship in a row at the Portuguese Grand Prix depending on Red Bull’s performance.
If the Austrian outfit fail to score points then P1 and P3 will be good enough for Mercedes, but if the Silver Arrows take a one-two finish and the fastest lap bonus point, then Red Bull need at least five points to mathematically stay in the picture.