Government puts a stop: F1’s Imola comeback without spectators

( – After Sochi and recently Portimao, Imola actually had the plan to let a set number of spectators come to his Formula 1 Grand Prix at the beginning of November. But in view of the increasing number of infections, nothing will come of it.


When Formula 1 drove for the last time in Imola in 2006, the rush was great



The route operator received approval last month to sell 13,000 tickets and to set up VIP hospitality for local sponsors and guests from the regional authorities. However, this week a decree from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s office ordered a number of new corona measures.

These provide for a stricter procedure against crowds at events. In addition, the closure of restaurants and cafes after 6 p.m. for the entire country was ordered.

No exemption for Formula 1

Efforts by the governor of the Emilia-Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini, to obtain a derogation for the race failed. “The government has banned us fans, and we are very disappointed about it,” said Imola boss Uberto Selvatico Estense in an interview with ‘’.

“We also very much regret the inconvenience this decision causes us. The Governor of Emilia-Romagna spoke to the Minister of Health today, but they refused to waive the decree.”

Onboard: One lap in Imola

Ferrari driver Marc Gene in the F2007 from the 2007 Formula 1 season and with the cockpit perspective for a flying lap in Imola

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Imola had come up with detailed plans to ensure effective social distancing through the distribution of fans in the stands. After the green light was given, money was poured into the necessary preparations.

Course manager: Everything was okay last week

Admittedly, not all of the 13,000 admission tickets offered had been sold in advance. In Imola, however, the rush was assumed to be delayed, because people were still holding back in the event of a cancellation or some kind of audience restriction. But exactly this restriction has now occurred.

“It is not easy to explain to the fans that the government changed their minds in a very short time, because only a week ago they confirmed that we could have fans,” said Selvatico Estense. “So we carried on with the whole organization, with all the things that we had prepared.”

The U-turn just four days before the event not only cost a lot of money, but also puts the route operators in need of explanation, the Imola boss fears.

Worry about incomprehension among fans with tickets

“It is a very short time to tell people that it is not possible to attend the event. (…) We are sure to have some difficulties with people who will try to get in. They bought a ticket and do not understand why they are now excluded. “

Photo gallery: What happened to old Formula 1 tracks?

A Formula 1 spokesman said to ‘’: “We had hoped to be able to welcome fans to the race this weekend, but we fully understand and respect the decision of the authorities. We hope that ours Fans continue to enjoy the race from home. “

In addition to Imola, Turkey recently had to bury its plans to let up to 100,000 spectators on the track. The race on November 15th will take place behind closed doors. At the Eifel GP at the Nürburgring, spectators from certain areas were only allowed with negative test results.

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