Silverstone open to British GP in August

Jamie Woodhouse

Silverstone open to hosting British Grand Prix later in August.

Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle says the circuit are willing to push the British Grand Prix back to August if it saves the race.

The UK Government announced that Formula 1 would not be exempt from the first stage of their self-isolation rules coming into force from June 8, putting the planned back-to-back races at Silverstone on July 26 and August 2 in major doubt.

But if it means that a British Grand Prix goes ahead in 2020, then Silverstone are open to holding the event later in August.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Pringle said: “We’ve got our original dates that we’ve been holding and talking around in mid-to-late July, but actually we’ve got a degree of flexibility through August as well.

“I don’t think that finding a date for Formula 1 is going to be a problem, or indeed two dates. What we need is the green light from government, and that will take time.

“In terms of the period we need to stand the venue up, without fans present, it really is relatively short. There’s quite a lot of planning that needs to account for the COVID-19 implications, and that’s new, uncharted territory for us.

“But everything runs out of a fixed infrastructure. We’ve got two permanent paddock blocks, so we’re not talking about putting up too many marquees or fan areas or anything like that.”

People entering the UK must self-isolate for 14 days under the rules, and since they are going to be reviewed every three weeks, they could be gone by the end of July.

But Pringle said that Formula 1 getting clearance from the government would be a better solution.

“I think Formula 1 as a championship needs that exemption, and needs to understand where it is, because they’ve got to plan,” he said.

“It’s a huge logistical operation, they’ve got to knit together a series of dates and get a freight plan that works, and got to know what the impact on the personnel is. That requires some clarity.

“I think there is cause for optimism, that if we were to go further to the right in the calendar then it would make things easier.

“But I think actually from a planning point of view, they need to know sooner rather than later that the teams can come back and forth, seven-tenths of the teams can come back and forth to their base between a couple of races.

“For Silverstone, if we move into August, that might give a little more certainty, but actually, I think it’s probably essential that there’s clarity on the quarantine situation in advance of that.”

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