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Turkey abandons plans to stage F1 return with fans

Turkey abandons plans to stage F1 return with fans

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Turkey abandons plans to stage F1 return with fans

Turkey abandons plans to stage F1 return with fans

Turkish Grand Prix organisers have been forced to abandon plans to stage their return to the Formula 1 calendar this year with fans in attendance due to rising Covid fears.

The November 13-15 race at the Istanbul Park will still go ahead, but behind closed doors following an announcement made by the local Istanbul government.

The move comes after a recommendation from the city's Pandemic Committee was approved by the Sanitation Committee.

A statement read: "Within the scope of the efforts to combat the coronavirus epidemic, and in accordance with the recommendation of the Istanbul Provincial Pandemic Committee, it has been decided by the Provincial Hygiene Committee, the Formula 1 DHL Turkish Grand Prix 2020 will be held without spectators."

The organisers had originally announced ambitious plans for a crowd of 100,000 across the three days, with early ticket sales rising to 40,000 due to prices as cheap as £3 per day.

The decision, while understandable in the circumstances, serves as a major blow to organisers ahead of welcoming back F1 to the country for the first time in nine years.

Commenting on the announcement, an F1 spokesperson said: "Our season has been guided by a safety-first approach and that will continue to be our priority.

"In Turkey, we were looking forward to seeing fans but the situation in the country means this is no longer possible and we fully understand and respect the decision."

Mugello was able to invite a small number of fans for the staging of the Tuscan GP, while Russian GP organisers played host to 30,000 per day, although it is understood the final numbers failed to reach this target.

At present, this weekend's Eifel GP at the Nürburgring, followed by the races at Portimao and Imola, are due to be held with limited numbers of fans in attendance.

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