Turkish Grand Prix to be held without Formula One fans

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) — Plans to hold the Turkish Grand Prix with Formula One fans next month have been scrapped, the Istanbul governor’s office said Monday.

Organizers had hoped to welcome as many as 100,000 fans to the Istanbul Park circuit for the first Turkish F1 race since 2011 after the event was added to the calendar as a late replacement amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, authorities now say that will not be possible.

“The Provincial Public Health Committee … decided that the aforementioned race take place without spectators,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

Most F1 races this season have been held without fans. Almost 3,000 fans were allowed to attend the Tuscan Grand Prix last month, and Russian organizers said there were 30,000 people per day over the weekend in Sochi late last month.

Turkey has been accused of hiding the true extent of the coronavirus’ spread after the health minister revealed that the daily COVID-19 figures published by the ministry since July 29 reflected only patients with symptoms and excluded asymptomatic positive cases.

Turkey has reported 324,443 “patients” and 8,441 deaths from COVID-19 since March.

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