British GP gets quarantine boost from PM Johnson but August dates now possible

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Formula 1's plan to host two races at Silverstone has received a boost with Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to request a quarantine exemption.

Last week, the two British races and indeed plans for a new 2020 season were hit when the government didn't exclude sporting events from a new mandatory two-week period of self-isolation for all travellers entering the UK from June 8.

Without the exemption, it would have forced F1 to basically hold races every three weeks as the seven teams based in the country travelled back and forth, while all non-UK based drivers and teams would have to enter Britain well in advance of the races at Silverstone.

Following the news, F1 has remained in contact with the government arguing the case for the quarantine bypass by outlining the measures that would be taken and the importance of holding a 2020 championship.

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And, according to The Times, PM Johnson is supportive of the events and will now request the exemption be granted.

Exactly, how long that process takes though will depend on if the Silverstone rounds can proceed on their new dates of July 26 and August 2.

If the government waits until the planned three-week re-evaluation of the quarantine then it's likely F1 will bring forward races at Hockenheim and the Hungaroring, with the British GP's pushed back to mid-August.

That though doesn't concern Silverstone MD Stuart Pringle.

“We’ve got our original dates that we’ve been holding and talking around in mid-to-late July, but actually we’ve got a degree of flexibility through August as well," he told Sky Sports.

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“I don’t think that finding a date for Formula 1 is going to be a problem, or indeed two dates. What we need is the green light from the government and that will take time.

“In terms of the period we need to stand the venue up, without fans present, it really is relatively short. There’s quite a lot of planning that needs to account for the COVID-19 implications, and that’s new, uncharted territory for us.

“But everything runs out of a fixed infrastructure. We’ve got two permanent paddock blocks, so we’re not talking about putting up too many marquees or fan areas or anything like that.”