The Turkish Grand Prix will return to the Formula 1 calendar this year and there are hopes it can accommodate as many as 100,000 spectators, according to organiser Intercity.
The Istanbul Park circuit hasn’t been a feature of the F1 calendar since it was dropped in 2011, but thanks to the coronavirus, it has been drafted in to bulk up the 2020 calendar, which will feature 17 rounds.
The Turkish GP will form round 14 with a date of November 15, before the season heads to Bahrain for a double-header and then Abu Dhabi for the traditional season finale.
Intercity chairman, Vural Ak, said during a press conference on Tuesday that spectators would be permitted under current circumstances, with a crowd of 100,000 believed possible, though that could be cut if the pandemic worsens.
“We are prepared for anything. If the disease becomes worse than now, then the race can be run without spectators,” he said.
“However, we know the capacity of this track is about 220,000 spectators in the grandstands and open areas.
“If we have to close some sections for safety reasons, then about 100,000 spectators will be able to watch the race following social distancing rules.”
Ak also revealed that ticket prices will be very low, with Intercity not looking to make a profit from the event, which is government-backed.
“Formula 1 normally has certain standards and ticket prices are at a certain level,” he added. “However we do not seek to gain financial advantage from this and the government has encouraged us.
“The ticket prices will be 30 TL per day. It will be 90 TL in total for three days. Tickets will be on sale next week and we think the tickets will sell very quickly.”
All races run so far this season have been spectator-less, but there are plans to allow a very limited number of fans at the Tuscan GP in mid-September, with Russia also permitting fans to its race. Portugal too is allowing limited access, whilst Abu Dhabi has ruled out opening its grandstands.