• February 9, 2023

Formula 1 confirms Portuguese Grand Prix and Azerbaijan to have no crowds

Before last year, the Portuguese GP last took place in 1996

Formula 1 has confirmed that the Portuguese Grand Prix will be held on May 2nd as the third race of the 2021 World Championship.

The sport said Portuguese authorities would decide whether viewers could attend in the coming weeks.

The organizers of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from June 4-6 have announced that their race will take place behind closed doors.

A statement said the weekend in Baku “came too early to safely host the event with fans present”.

F1 plans to have the longest season ever with 23 races this year.

President Stefano Domenicali said: “We are confident and excited about our 2021 season after showing last year that we can safely deliver 17 races.”

Portugal is on the United Kingdom’s “red list” of countries at increased risk for the pandemic due to the emergence of new coronavirus variants.

F1 employees participating in the race will not be returning to the UK from these countries within the 10-day embargo.

Everyone is traveling to the Spanish Grand Prix, which follows a week later. After that, some will head straight to Monaco, whose race is scheduled for May 21st, while others will stay in Spain until more than 10 days since leaving Portugal before returning to the UK.

All F1 employees are regularly tested under strict Covid protocols to fight the virus.

As with other so-called “elite” sports, F1 maintained its “elite sports exemption” from immigration restrictions during the pandemic.

However, staff are still limited to travel only between their homes and workplaces for a set period of time after returning to the UK.

Portugal returned to the F1 calendar for the first time since 1996 last year when the sport attempted to create a largely Europe-based calendar amid the pandemic.

The event on the hilly stretch of Portimao in the Algarve proved popular and the sport has returned after gaps left at the beginning of the season due to the postponement of the Australian and Chinese races due to immigration restrictions in those countries.

Australia has been moved to November, but there is no place for China yet.

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