The promoters of the Singapore Grand Prix have ruled out the holding of the Formula One race in the country without spectators creating further uncertainty over the chances of the event scheduled in September to take place.
Formula One has plans of starting the stalled season in July with the races to be held behind closed doors in Austria and Britain due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. The sport did not give up on the returning of the crowds later this year.
Singapore GP promoters ruled out chances of race without spectators
Singapore GP promoters told The Straits Times newspaper on Saturday that they were maintaining an open dialogue with Formula One but it was "not feasible to conduct the race behind closed doors". "The top priority remains the well-being and safety of our fans, volunteers, and all Singaporeans," a spokesman said.
He added, "works typically require three months to complete, and this will depend on whether such activities are permitted under the prevailing government regulations". Last year's race on the Marina Bay street circuit was watched by 268,000 spectators over the three days, with overseas visitors making up 40 percent of the crowd. Formula One has yet to publish a revised calendar, with three races canceled and seven postponed so far, but draft versions have appeared on the internet without featuring Singapore.
The island nation has reported nearly 27,000 cases of coronavirus, the highest per capita infection rate in Asia, largely due to mass outbreaks in cramped accommodation for foreign laborers. The government has ordered a nationwide lockdown due to run until June 1.
(With agency inputs)