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Silverstone 'optimistic' it can still run British GP in July

Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle reacts to British GP announcement and latest F1 2020 plans on the F1 Show on Sky Sports News

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Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle reacts to British GP announcement, F1's latest 2020 plans, and discusses prospect of two races on the F1 Show.

Silverstone says it is a "great shame" that July's British GP will only be able to take place without fans in attendance - but is "totally optimistic" it can help F1 with its 2020 plans, even if that means back-to-back races.

The British GP is now the second scheduled race on the revised 2020 calendar following the French GP's cancellation, with F1 hoping to start the season in Austria, but any event at Silverstone will have to take place behind closed doors because of the coronavirus restrictions in the UK.

The circuit's boss Stuart Pringle was one of many guests on Monday's F1 Show to discuss Silverstone's announcement and the latest F1 plans.

"We've got a very active and busy line of communication with Formula 1," said Pringle on the show, which airs on Sky Sports News every Monday at 2pm. "We're all striving for the same aim here which is to get the season underway.

"It's a great shame that we've had to announce today that we are not going to be able to run in front of fans.

"We let it run as long as we reasonably could. But it's quite clear from the situation nationally that it's not going to be clear enough for us to run with fans."

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Martin Brundle and Karun Chandhok give their takes on plans to start the season behind closed doors at the Austrian GP, on The F1 Show.

Pringle, however, is hopeful that the circuit will be able to stage a race.

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"Racing behind closed doors will be entirely subject to government rules," he added. "But it's very encouraging that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport indicated over the weekend that they are keen to start a dialogue between medical officials and people in sport to see what might need to be done to achieve that."

What about back-to-back races?

F1 revealed it's 2020 proposals on Monday, with the sport optimistic of holding a "15-18" race season, starting in Austria on the weekend of July 3-5, and finishing in Abu Dhabi in December.

Sky Sports F1 understands current plans to start the campaign centre on holding a behind-closed-doors double-header across consecutive weekends at Austria's Red Bull Ring.

The season would then move on to Silverstone for two races without fans on consecutive weekends.

"We're totally optimistic that we can help Formula 1, quite possibly [with] more than one round if that's what works," said Pringle. "Although it would make a lot more sense for the championship to carry on from country to country."

He added: "I think the challenge is much more around knitting together a season that will flow naturally and has the certainty that it will run. We can be very flexible at Silverstone."

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