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Bahrain GP to admit frontline workers as it goes behind closed doors

The Formula One events in Bahrain will offer a limited number of grandstand seats for families of frontline health workers and first responders, despite taking place predominantly without spectators.

The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) announced that the Bahrain Grand Prix on November 29 and the Sakhir GP on the shorter version of the track on December 6 will open to frontline workers to thank them for their “commitment in responding to the pandemic in the Kingdom.”

The decision has been made as a result of the current status of the global COVID-19 pandemic, following extensive discussions between the Circuit and the Government of Bahrain.

The BIC said it is working closely with Formula 1, the FIA and the relevant government ministries in Bahrain to ensure that the race proceeds with all necessary health protection measures in place, based on detailed and established protocols.

BIC chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa said: “Whilst we will not be able to welcome many fans to our events this year, we are delighted to have the opportunity to recognise the courage and efforts of our frontline healthcare workers and first responders by allocating all in-person attendance of the F1 experience to them.

“We are determined to put on a show for the hundreds of millions of people who will be watching from the safety of their own homes around the world.”

Liberty Media, which owns Formula One, noted in its third quarter financial report on Thursday that “F1 does not expect to have fans at any of the remaining 2020 races”.

The Abu Dhabi GP has already confirmed on its official website that its event on December 13 will take place behind closed doors, and it is the same for next weekend’s Turkish GP after organisers dropped plans to admit spectators.

Image: Dave Jefferys / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Edited for size