Report: No fans at the Portuguese Grand Prix

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The 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit is to take place without any spectators in the stands.

That is according to Motorsportweek.com, who state that the decision has been made to stage the Portuguese Grand Prix as a closed event due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

The Portuguese Grand Prix returned to the Formula 1 calendar in 2020 in front of a live audience, with the Portimao-based Algarve International Circuit proving to be a real hit with the fans and a solid challenge for the drivers due to its constant undulating nature.

Sir Lewis Hamilton claimed victory in dominant fashion, one which saw him break Michael Schumacher’s record with a 92nd career victory.

The opening race of the 2021 campaign in Bahrain was open to fans who had received both Covid vaccinations or those that had recovered from the virus, while Round 2 at Imola was contested with empty grandstands.

And Formula 1 has stated already that it will be difficult to get fans back through the gates in 2021.

Imola empty stand

Check all the latest 2021 teamwear via the official Formula 1 store

“I think it will be a challenge this year,” Dr Paul Rea, the FIA’s new head of medical and rescue, was previously quoted in the Auto+Medical magazine.

“From a team’s perspective, it should be more manageable this year because everybody’s familiar with the protocols from last year.

“The other aspect to it as well is that the national guidelines from country to country have very much streamlined and are much more similar compared to last year, because people have just had more time to get to grips with the guidelines.

“From an organiser’s perspective, in terms of F1 and getting spectators, part and parcel of the sport is the spectators in the stands. But I think it has to be done in a safe manner that we don’t risk everything.

“It’s still going to be a challenge to bring spectators back into the sport, but we’ll see how the vaccinations go on as the season progresses and see how national governments relax their guidelines.”

The British Grand Prix, set to take place on July 18 at Silverstone, is hopeful of having a crowd under the proposed vaccine passport scheme.

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