Formula One’s Belgian Grand Prix could be raced behind closed doors on August 30, local authorities announced on Friday.

Despite a ban on mass gatherings in the country until August 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wallonia’s Minister-President Elio Di Rupo said the event could go ahead.

“This measure is valid only on the condition of strictly respecting social distancing rules and hygiene and sanitary guidelines,” he said in a statement.

Now the Belgian authorities have given the go-ahead, the Spa-Francorchamps organisers will have to negotiate with F1 promoters Liberty Media to cover the shortfall from lost gate receipts.

According to news agency Belga, almost 165,000 tickets had been sold.

The COVID-19 outbreak has decimated the F1 calendar, with 10 races either cancelled or postponed.

Organisers are hoping to start the season with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5 behind closed doors.


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