The continuous spread of the COVID-19 has already affected thousands of people globally. It also led to the cancellation and postponement of numerous major events worldwide. In Formula 1, the virus already caused the Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for April 19 in Shanghai to be postponed indefinitely. Now, it seems another Grand Prix has been affected by the disease.
In a statement issued by the Bahrain International Circuit, this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix will be held as a participants-only event. It essentially means that fans and spectators will not be allowed to watch the event live this coming March 22, 2020. As a result, the grandstands will very much be empty – an unprecedented sight for a Formula 1 event.
Despite it being a participants-only event, the race weekend will continue and go-ahead as a televised event. So for you F1 fans in Bahrain, you can still watch it on TV. According to the organizers, having the event behind closed doors will allow the sport to continue and its global fan base to be unaffected.
“Given the continued spread of Covid-19 globally, convening a major sporting event, which is open to the public and allows thousands of international travelers and local fans to interact in close proximity would not be the right thing to do at the present time,” organizers said in a statement.
For those wondering, the Bahrain GP is the second round of the 2020 F1 season, following the season opener in Melbourne, Australia. Interestingly, the inaugural race is set to continue with no reports of it being postponed or canceled for the time being. This could pose a problem for some teams such as Ferrari as travel restrictions have already been imposed in various countries worldwide for countries affected by the COVID-19.
F1 says that they are taking a scientific approach with precautions, and are in constant communication with public health authorities and organizers with regards to the steps they can take to help contain the spread.