Russia to allow fans at Sochi Formula One race

Formula One Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 10, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice, following the resumption of F1 after the outbreak of COVID-19. /Mark Thompson/ REUTERS

Russia is ready to allow spectators at the Formula One race scheduled to take place in Sochi in September, organizers said on Friday after confirmation of the race.

F1 officially announced that the Russian Grand Prix will go on as planned on September 25-27.

Officials reported earlier that the first eight races will be held without spectators as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to batter the world.

The Russian GP is set to be the tenth race of the 2020 Season.

“Russia is ready to welcome teams and audiences for the F1 Russian Grand Prix,” TASS quotes Dmitry Chernyshenko, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Chairperson of the F1 Russian Grand Prix organization committee.

“The government will provide the necessary assistance to prepare and hold the competitions. I would like to highlight the partner-like approach of the organizers, Formula One Group, as we reached the mutually beneficial agreement to hold the Russian Grand Prix. Formula One is one of the most popular international world-class competitions, it will be an important event for the Russian sports,” he added.

The first race of the 2020 season took place last week in Austria, the second is planned in the same country as well before moving on to Hungary, later to the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium and Italy.

Russia is one of the worst affected countries by the COVID-19 pandemic, having reported more than 712,000 infections and over 11,000 deaths.