70th Anniversary Grand Prix
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70th Anniversary Grand Prix

70th Anniversary Grand Prix
Race 5 of 13[a] in the 2020 Formula One World Championship
Layout of the Silverstone Circuit
Layout of the Silverstone Circuit
Race details
Date 9 August 2020
Official name Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 2020
Location Silverstone Circuit
Silverstone, United Kingdom
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.891 km (3.660 mi)
Scheduled distance 52 laps, 306.198 km (190.263 mi)
Attendance 0[b]

The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix (officially known as the Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 2020) is a one-off Formula One motor race due to be held on 9 August 2020 at the Silverstone Circuit in Silverstone, United Kingdom, the second of two back to back races in 2020 at the venue, with the 2020 British Grand Prix that took place at the same circuit seven days earlier.[1] The race is due to be the fifth round of the rescheduled 2020 Formula One World Championship. It will be held as a 70-year commemoration race of the Formula One World Championship at the same circuit which hosted the first championship Grand Prix in 1950.

Background

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The opening rounds of the 2020 championship were heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several Grands Prix were cancelled or postponed after the aborted opening round in Australia, prompting the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile to draft a new calendar. When the calendar was redrafted following the pandemic the Hungarian and British Grands Prix had swapped dates with the Hungarian Grand Prix moving to 19 July and the British Grand Prix taking the 2 August date.[2] The early cancellation and indefinite postponements prompted a series of double races. The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix was added to the calendar as a one-off event to ensure confirmation of new events.

There had been doubts over whether Silverstone would be able to host Formula One due to quarantine measures proposed by the British government,[3] hopes were raised again by an apparent intervention by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson encouraging his ministers to give Formula One an exemption for racing to go ahead.[4] The British Government did give approval for Formula One at Silverstone.[5] The addition to the calendar of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on 9 August, also at Silverstone, means that for the first time in twenty-seven years the United Kingdom will host two Formula One races in the same season. The last season to have two British races in a season prior to this was the 1993 season when Donington Park hosted the European Grand Prix and Silverstone hosted the British Grand Prix.[6] It was later revealed that Silverstone had offered to hold as many as 12 races in total during the season.[7] Similarly to the opening three rounds, both the British Grand Prix and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix will be held 'behind closed doors' without spectators.[8][9]Northamptonshire Police reiterated the importance of fans staying away from Silverstone for public health reasons during the two Grand Prix weekends and that strict measures would be in place to stop unauthorised persons from entering the circuit.[10]

Entrants

The drivers and teams were the same as the pre-season entry list with the only exception of Sergio Pérez, who was replaced by Nico Hülkenberg at the British Grand Prix.[11]Robert Kubica is due to take part in the first practice session for Alfa Romeo Racing, replacing Antonio Giovinazzi.[12]

It had been widely reported that Pérez is to miss the Grand Prix as he tested positive for SARS-2 coronavirus (which causes COVID-19) three days before the British Grand Prix, which would be in line with the current British government requirement for those who have tested positive to self-isolate for ten days.[13] Pérez's Racing Point team are still waiting for clarification from the relevant authorities, including the Government of the United Kingdom, regarding the self isolation rules. United Kingdom COVID-19 quarantine rules prior to July 30 stated that persons must self isolate for seven rather than 10 days, meaning Pérez could race in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix if he returned a negative the Thursday before that race.[14] However, it was reported following qualifying for the British Grand Prix that since Formula One was relying on the goodwill of the relevant authorities to host races, the FIA would demand that Pérez undergo a ten day isolation period. Despite these reports no formal announcement was made by Formula One or the FIA to confirm this was actually the case .[15] On 6 August, Racing Point confirmed that Pérez would be able to race, so long as he returned a negative coronavirus test.[16]

Tyre choices

Pirelli will bring the C2, C3 and C4 compound tyres for teams to use in the race, the same selections as used at the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring and the Austrian and Styrian Grands Prix held at Red Bull Ring. By contrast the 2020 British Grand Prix held on the same circuit layout the week before saw the C1, C2 and C3 selection used - the change was made to add strategic interest to the second race and to make sure the teams use the three practice sessions. This comes after plans to have a reverse starting grid at the second event were opposed by the Mercedes team.[17]

The previous race at Silverstone had seen three cars - those of Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr. - experiencing punctures in the closing stages. Following the race, proposals were made to retain the same tyre compounds for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, since the softer compounds planned to be used would be more susceptible to wear and degradation.[18] Pirelli decided to stick to its original selection of the C2, C3, and C4 tyres, albeit with increased minimum tyre pressures stipulated.[19] Furthermore, the planned running of 2021 prototype tyres in Free Practice 2 was scrapped in order to allow teams more time to optimise the running of their race packages (meaning car and tyres) with the new tyre pressure limits.[20]

Notes

  1. ^ The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic saw several Grands Prix cancelled or rescheduled. A revised calendar currently consists of thirteen races, but the sport's management announced that they expected the final calendar to have as many as eighteen.
  2. ^ The Grand Prix will be held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.

References

  1. ^ "F1 confirms first 8 races of revised 2020 calendar". Formula One. 2 June 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "F1 Calendar 2020 - Enjoy a Record-breaking 22 Races in the 2020 Season". www.formula1.com. 19 August 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ Cooper, Adam; Noble, Jonathan (19 May 2020). "British GP plans dealt big blow by quarantine measures". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ Cooper, Adam (25 May 2020). "UK PM Boris Johnson tells ministers to help make British GP happen". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ Collantine, Keith; Rencken, Dieter (31 May 2020). "F1 to confirm Silverstone double-header as government gives approval". racefans.net. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Hawkins, Billy (28 April 2020). "Formula 1: 2020 season could include TWO British Grands Prix with campaign to begin in Austria on first weekend in July". talksport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ "Silverstone offered to host 12 F1 races in 2020". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ "Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix 2020". Silverstone. 20 July 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ "Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix". Silverstone. 10 August 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ "Northamptonshire Police issues F1 warning". 21 July 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "70th Anniversary Grand Prix - Entry List" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 6 August 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ Smith, Luke (5 August 2020). "Kubica returns to Alfa Romeo cockpit for Silverstone FP1". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ "Perez tests positive, will miss British Grand Prix". planetf1.com. 30 July 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ Smith, Luke (31 July 2020). "Racing Point awaiting clarification for Perez's F1 return".
  15. ^ "Notes on the British GP". 1 August 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ "Racing Point say Perez will race in 70th Anniversary GP - pending negative Covid test". Formula1.com. 6 August 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ Cooper, Adam (11 June 2020). "Tyre compounds will switch for second F1 race of Silverstone double-header". Autosport. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ "Pirelli investigates tyre failures at British GP". 3 August 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ Benson, Andrew (4 August 2020). "Pirelli discusses Silverstone tyre failures". www.bbc.co.uk/sport. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ Cooper, Adam (5 August 2020). "Pirelli to scrap Silverstone FP2 tyre testing". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 2020.


Previous race:
2020 British Grand Prix

2020 season
Next race:
2020 Spanish Grand Prix
Previous race:
None
70th Anniversary Grand Prix Next race:
None

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