Bahrain F1 events ode to COVID bravehearts


Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix behind closed doors Image: Bahrain Intl. Circuit & Musco Lighting

The Formula One events in Bahrain will offer a limited number of grandstand seats for families of frontline health workers and first responders in recognition of the bravehearts’ selfless work for humanity in these grave times of COVID-19. However, the showpiece event will predominantly take place without spectators in the Middle East country.

Formula One (also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of international single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and owned by Liberty Media, an American mass media company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, the Formula One Group.

The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) announced that the Bahrain Grand Prix on November 29th and the Sakhir Grand Prix on the shorter version of the track on December 6th will open to frontline workers to thank them for their “commitment in responding to the pandemic in the Kingdom”.

The decision has been reached following extensive discussions between the Circuit and the Government of Bahrain and taking into consideration the fact that COVID-19 continues to spiral out of control the world over.

The Bahrain International Circuit is a motorsport venue opened in 2004 and used for drag racing, GP2 Series and the annual Bahrain Grand Prix. The 2004 Grand Prix was the first held in the Middle East.

The BIC said it is working closely with Formula 1, the FIA and the relevant Government ministries in Bahrain to ensure that the race proceeds with all necessary health guidelines in place, based on detailed and established protocols.

BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa stated, “Whilst we will not be able to welcome many fans to our events this year, we are delighted to have the opportunity to recognize the courage and efforts of our frontline healthcare workers and first responders by allocating all in-person attendance of the F1 experience to them.”

The top official added, “We are determined to put on a show for the hundreds of millions of people who will be watching from the safety of their own homes around the world.”

Liberty Media, which owns Formula One, noted in its third quarter financial report that “F1 does not expect to have fans at any of the remaining 2020 races”.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has already confirmed on its official website that its event on December 13th will be a closed door affair, and ditto for next weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix after organizers dropped plans to admit spectators going by the fatal form of coronavirus and the greater intensity with which it is continuing to strike the world.

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