No UK quarantine exemption throws British GP and F1 season plans in the air

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Formula 1's plan to kick-start the 2020 season from July has received a blow after the sport was not granted an exemption from the UK's new quarantine law.

On Friday, the government confirmed all people, but for a small list of workers, must enter a 14-day period of self-isolation upon arrival into the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement has huge ramifications for F1 as seven of the 10 teams are located in England, so the lack of an exemption would force the sport to take three-week breaks between races in different countries to meet the UK rules.

This has also led to new uncertainty over plans for the British Grand Prix. Silverstone had recently agreed a deal with commercial rights holder Liberty Media for two closed-door races, likely on July 26 and August 2.

But should the quarantine rules still be in effect, those dates would have to be pushed back by at least a week.

Earlier this week, however, an F1 spokesperson claimed holding the British GP this year would be "impossible" if the quarantine was put into effect.

But reacting to the news, Silverstone chief Stuart Pringle suggests a later race remains a strong option if F1 faces any issues logistically.

"I am very clear that the importance of the industry is understood by government," he told Sky Sports.

"So I remain optimistic that a sensible and pragmatic solution, which puts the onus on the sport quite rightly to come up with the right solution, can be found.

"We can accommodate later dates in August if required, possibly even into September conceptually, but it's not so much about what we can's can the championship piece together a calendar that allows them to go from country to country?

"And can they have the confidence to commit to that in a timescale that allows the freighting plan to come together because it's the logistics that are the key to getting this championship underway."

Talks are ongoing between F1 and the UK government on a solution, and with the quarantine measures set to be reviewed every 21 days, there is still room for an exemption to be granted or the requirement dropped altogether.

The fate of Silverstone though will rest on if F1 bosses would be happy to simply push back the dates slightly or whether they turn to Hockenheim, which has emerged as the likely replacement.

A German GP though appears more likely in August as it is suggested the sport may capitalise on the short travel time from Austria to Hungary for a race on July 19.

After that it makes sense to think the UK-based teams would return home and complete the quarantine, should it still be in effect, before heading to Hockenheim for at least one race on August 9.

Given the uncertainty though, at this point who knows!