Turkish Grand Prix to be held without spectators

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The Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix 2020 will be held on Nov. 13-15 behind closed doors due to coronavirus fears, the Istanbul Governor’s Office confirmed yesterday.

The decision was announced after the Istanbul Provincial Public Hygiene Board approved the city’s Provincial Pandemic Committee’s recommendation.

Turkey will host a Grand Prix for the first time since 2011.

Round 14 of the Formula 1 season will take place at the Intercity Istanbul Park in the district of Tuzla, located on the city’s Asian side on Nov. 13-15. The tickets for the Turkish Grand Prix had been on sale since Sept. 15.

The capacity of Intercity Istanbul Park is 220,000, however keeping in line with the coronavirus measures, Intercity Board Chair Vural Ak in a press conference on Sept. 1 said around 100,000 spectators would be able to join all the three-day races, before the decision to hold it without spectators was made.

“We will sell the cheapest tickets of all Formula 1 races,” Ak had added, underlining that daily tickets would only cost 30 Turkish Liras [$4].

The “no spectator” decision would surely damage the economic prospects as foreign tourists were expected to come for the Grand Prix. Ak had said they were expecting to host 20,000 foreign tourists to generate around $50 million in cash inflow.

“With the locals, we are expecting a total spending of $100 million during the races,” Ak had said last month.

In the latest Twitter poll conducted by a page called Tutkumuz F1, which means “F1 is our passion” in Turkish, 63.2 percent of more than 6,000 voters guessed that the Turkish Grand Prix would be held without fans.

Hurriyet Daily News

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