No fans allowed at Azerbaijan F1 GP amid virus concerns

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, centre, in action between Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland during the Formula One at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Dec.13, 2020. (Hamad Mohammed, Pool via AP)
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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — No fans will be allowed at the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix on June 6 because of ongoing coronavirus concerns, organizers said Friday.

The Baku City Circuit which organizes the race said the decision not to allow fans “comes after extensive deliberation” with the Azerbaijan government, F1 and motorsport's governing body, the FIA.

“Every opportunity has been explored to find a way to stage the race weekend in 2021 in a safe and responsible manner that would allow the return of fans to the fastest street circuit in F1,” the BCC said in a statement.

“However, while the global situation and pandemic response is continuing to improve, it has become clear that the 2021 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix race weekend has arrived too soon for BCC to safely host the event with fans present.”

The race, which is held on a windy street circuit through the city, was one of several canceled last year because of the pandemic.

Fans who bought tickets can use them next year at no extra cost, or apply for a refund.

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