Organisers for the Bahrain Grand Prix have confirmed that the 2020 event will be the first Formula 1 event to be run behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 virus.
Bahrain remains set to host the second round of the 2020 F1 World Championship on March 22, just one week following the season opener in Melbourne, Australia.
News of the event being closed off to spectators comes days after the kingdom had suspended ticket sales in order to review of the situation, which has now led to the decision to not allow spectators into the facility for the race weekend.
365体育投注APPIn a statement released on Sunday morning, the Bahrain International Circuit confirmed the news of the spectator ban.
“In consultation with our international partners and the Kingdom’s national health taskforce, Bahrain has made the decision to hold this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix as a participants-only event.
365体育投注APP“As an F1 host nation, balancing the welfare of supporters and race goers is a tremendous responsibility.
“Given the continued spread of Covid-19 globally, convening a major sporting event, which is open to the public and allows thousands of international travellers and local fans to interact in close proximity would not be the right thing to do at the present time.
But to ensure that neither the sport, nor its global supporter base, is unduly impacted, the race weekend itself will still go ahead as a televised event.
365体育投注APP“Bahrain’s own early actions to prevent, identify and isolate cases of individuals with Covid-19 has been extremely successful to date.”
The circuit believes efforts to ensure the strict measures in place to stop the spread of the virus would have been hampered if the many thousands of fans had attended the event.
“The approach has involved rapid, proactive measures, identifying those affected by the virus, of which the overwhelming majority of cases relate to those travelling into the country by air,” it added.
“Aggressive social distancing measures have further increased the effectiveness of preventing the virus’ spread, something that would clearly be near impossible to maintain were the race to have proceeded as originally planned.
365体育投注APP“We know how disappointed many will be by this news, especially for those planning to travel to the event, which has become a cornerstone event of the international F1 calendar, but safety has to remain our utmost priority.”
Bahrain’s decision to close the race off to spectators comes just hours after several regions in Italy have been placed on lockdown – including Modena, where Ferrari is based.
At the time of writing, both the Australian and Bahrain Grand Prix’s are set to take place as scheduled.