Silverstone could stage two GPs in one weekend when Formula One returns

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The British racing circuit Silverstone could stage two Formula One races in one weekend this summer.

But the races would be in front of empty stands at the Northamptonshire track instead of the 140,000 usually crammed in for the British Grand Prix.

The Government last night announced an extension of the UK lockdown for at least another three weeks in a bid to slow the spread of the deadly Covid-19 bug.

Grand Prix bosses met on Thursday to discuss when and how to get the season under way once the crisis eases.

BBC Sport reported they are hatching a plan to start the season on July 5 in Austria followed by back-to-back races at Silverstone over what is due to be British Grand Prix weekend on July 19.

The British GP would likely remain with the possibility of adding a European Grand Prix to the revised calendar for the first time since 2016 at the same track 24 hours earlier.

A statement from F1 said: “Our intention is to start the 2020 season at some point this summer. At this time no-one can be certain of exactly when the situation will improve, but when it does, we will be ready to go racing again.

“Formula 1 is currently working with our promoters on a revised 2020 calendar with the actual sequence and schedule dates for races likely to differ significantly from our original 2020 calendar. This will be published in due course.

“As previously announced we will utilise the summer break being brought forward to March/April to race during the normal summer break period, and anticipate the season end date will extend beyond our original end date of 27-29th November.”

Two races at Silverstone would likely be popular with teams as seven of the ten teams are based in England.

World champions Mercedes’ HQ is at nearby Brackley and Racing Point’s factory is just across the road from the Silverstone circuit. Rivals Red Bull are based just down the A5 in Milton Keynes.

Earlier this month, F1 engineers from Mercedes’ Brixworth factory helped produce a breathing aid which is now in production and helping keep Covid-19 patients out of intensive care

This year’s first nine F1 races have all been postponed as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. The French Grand Prix on June 28 was the latest to be wiped out and Silverstone bosses set a deadline of the end of this month to decide if the British event would follow promising refunds for ticket holders if the event is postponed.

Easing of lockdown restrictions in Austria might mean its race could go ahead as originally planned on July 5 behind closed doors.