Plans to host two F1 races at Silverstone later this year are under threat as sources indicate that the UK government will not exempt sports from planned quarantine restrictions.
The UK government recently announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for overseas visitors and is expected to be imposed from the start of next month.
F1 has been in talks with the government, with the hope that those travelling for F1 will be exempt from the ruling.
According to Motorsport.com, sources have indicated that the government is unlikely to include sports in the list of categories that will not have to comply with the quarantine.
Britain’s The Sun also reported on Monday night that Oliver Dowden, the UK secretary state for digital, culture, media and sport, had agreed to back exemptions – but has now been overruled by ministers at the department of health and cabinet office, with only truck drivers and diplomats by-passing the new rules.
Should F1 not be exempt from the ruling, it is unlikely the British GP will go ahead as three teams – Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri – are all based outside of the UK. F1 tyre supplier Pirelli is also based outside of the UK.
Hockenheim is on standby should the grands prix at Silverstone be unable to proceed as scheduled.
Speaking with Sky F1, Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle acknowledged that travel restrictions are on the sport’s biggest hurdles.
“It is about overseas teams coming to the UK, but it’s also about the UK teams going back and forth from their home bases.
“Yes, it’s going to be considerably easier for 70% of the teams to get to this race over other races, but there are still 30% who are not based in ‘motor sport valley’ here in Northamptonshire
“So there do need to be robust solutions and solutions that need to meet not just the requirements of this country, but also other countries in the championship, because there won’t be a championship if the only place that F1 can run is Great Britain.
“There needs to be a holistic solution that works for the thing as a whole. I know there’s a huge amount of work going into that, I know there’s a lot of desire on everybody’s part to find a workable solution, and there is a little bit of time still. I have high hopes that those solutions will be found.”