Formula 1 bosses in talks with UK government over quarantine measures

More than 140,000 fans were at Silverstone to watch the British Grand Prix last year

Formula 1 bosses are in talks with the UK government as to whether new measures to control coronavirus affect plans to re-start the season.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday that air travellers into the UK would soon be forced to self-isolate for a 14-day period after arrival.

On paper, that could scupper F1’s plans to hold two races in Austria and two at Silverstone on consecutive weekends.

But F1 has detailed plans to ensure its activities will be coronavirus-safe.

It is to set up a rigorous testing procedure for all staff attending races, including Covid-19 tests before travel and further tests for everyone every two days.

And a series of isolation measures will be imposed on travelling staff, including keeping teams separate from one another at the track, at hotels and travel in between.

Ten grands prix have so far been postponed or cancelled this year as the coronavirus outbreak has played havoc with the season.

Johnson has not yet revealed the full detail of the government’s plans with regard to quarantining international arrivals, including when they will be imposed and for how long they are expected to last.

BBC Sport understands F1 bosses have been involved in detailed discussion with the government at all levels regarding the testing and isolation plans it will have in place. Those talks will continue this week as more detail emerges.

F1 boss Chase Carey said last week that he was “increasingly confident” the season would be able to get off the ground at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on the weekend of 3-5 July.

F1 is planning a second race at the same track on 12 July, before two races in the UK on 19 and 26 July, although plans for the Austrian events are much further advanced than those at Silverstone, with which financial details are yet to be agreed.

F1 then plans to move on to a further four races in Europe, at a yet-to-be confirmed selection of the tracks in Spain, Hungary, France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. There is also a possibility of a race in Germany at the Hockenheim track, even though that was not on the original 2020 schedule.

All these events would be held behind closed doors, with no spectators and likely no media either.

F1 hopes to confirm the European portion of the calendar in the next two to three weeks.

After that, F1 hopes to head off around the world to Eurasia, Asia, the Americas and end the season in the Middle East in December.

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