Silverstone open to multiple F1 races in 2020 even if British GP delayed

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Silverstone would be open to hosting multiple Formula 1 races in 2020 even as questions over the July British Grand Prix remain.

Currently, the first eight events of this season have been either cancelled or postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the Canadian GP on June 14 the first scheduled race.

A final decision on the British GP, pencilled in for July 19, is expected to be made by the end of this month, but the recent cancellation of the Wimbledon tennis championships, which was set to end just a week before the F1 race, has thrown it into further doubt.

"There are two reasons. Number one is that Silverstone is one round in a world championship and our colleagues at Formula 1 are trying incredibly hard to piece together a season that will start much later [than planned]," managing director Stuart Pringle told Sky Sports explaining the later deadline. 

"There have been a number of postponements and one cancellation and they are trying to reknit that calendar together. We are one element of that and it's important that Formula 1 get the chance to try and get a world championship season away.

"We can give them the time we need to do that because we're a fixed venue, we're not like a street circuit. We've got fixed set-up and infrastructure and we've also got an incredibly experienced team, we know what we're doing, so we can allow ourselves the month of April to make a decision which is sufficient for Formula 1 I hope to get their plans together."

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If the British GP does have to be postponed, however, Pringle is sure a later date could be found despite possible weather concerns.

"We could run all the way through but there's a reason we run [F1] in the British summer which is because it's the most civilised time of the year," he noted.

"It is no coincidence that Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and The Open golf are sandwiched in a pretty tight window because that's the best chance of decent weather. We'll take the four weeks to review whether our July 19th date is suitable or not."

It has been suggested that, in this 70th anniversary year since the first F1 championship, which began at Silverstone in 1950, the circuit could become a hub of sorts by hosting multiple races given the close proximity of many teams to the venue.

"All I've done is say to Formula 1 we are willing to work with them in any way, shape or form that they think is in the best interests of the championship," the Silverstone boss said on that possibility.

"The majority of the teams are within a stone's throw of the circuit, so operationally it would be pretty straightforward.

"We've got the fixed infrastructure, the staff could go home to their own beds of an evening in large parts, so if that's how we can help then I'd be delighted to do that."

British Grand Prix Now the Latest Race in Doubts Over Coronavirus ...

Pringle even gave tentative support to the idea of using alternative layouts, including racing the circuit in reverse.

"It's not such a silly thought," Pringle said. "We're not licensed to run the other way, but these are extraordinary times, and I guess that extraordinary decisions are being made.

"It's difficult for Formula 1, they're not just looking at what's going on in Great Britain, they're looking at what's going on around the world and how their travel arrangements have to fit in.

"But it's perhaps not such a crazy question."