On August 16, in the torrid Spanish heat, Formula 1 will race behind closed doors at Montmelò. Barcelona will therefore host the race which could not take place in spring and in line with other European circuits will not pay Liberty Media for its 2020 place on the Formula One calendar. The coronavirus in Spain had a similar trend to Italy and as in the Italian peninsula, Spain is witnessing several stages of reopening; in August everything should be ready to avoid Formula 1 staff quarantines, but there will still be no room for public in the stands.
Joan Fontserè, the general manager of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, explained the conditions that led Liberty Media to provide the right support for the race at the circuit which also hosted the official winter testing sessions ahead of the 2020 season:
“One of the conditions that we made to Liberty Media is that of avoiding paying the usual fees and expenses for the race, given the fact that we will not sell tickets or have any particular advantages for the area. The situation of the circuit is paradoxical, because – despite everything that has happened – economically we are in order, better than other years. It must be taken into account that the economic impact of the Grands Prix, that of Formula 1 and the motorcycle championship, is generated off the track, while the cost of the fees is in our budget” – the manager told EFE.
From the organizational perspective, Barcelona is ready for the challenge of an anti-Covid Grand Prix: “The FIA, Liberty Media and the local authorities will give the guidelines for managing the logistics of the event. There will be between 1500 and 2000 people at the circuit, an essential number for organizing a race. The first protocol that we have will be controlling the temperature at the circuit entrance, which will be done at two gates. As you can imagine, it would have been impossible to measure the temperature of 100 thousand spectators. Once inside the track the teams will work as if they were in a bubble, and will not relate to the other teams except in exceptional cases. Ferrari, for example, has booked a hotel for exclusive use. It should also be added that it will be the responsibility of the circuit to carry out all the cleaning operations necessary to ensure the least probability of contagion.”- Joan Fontserè concluded.