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Monaco organizers say race is going ahead

NEWS STORY
17/03/2020

Though last week's statement from Formula One Management and the FIA said that it is hoped the season will get underway at the end of May, it was not known if this meant the Monaco Grand Prix - scheduled for 21 - 24 May - would happen or whether proceedings would actually get underway two weeks later in Baku.

While announcing that it is effectively shutting up shop due to the coronavirus, the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM), says that it is confident the race will go ahead as planned.

"Due to the latest developments concerning the increased threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and in accordance with Governmental Public Health directives, the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) advises that it is now closing its doors to members and the general public," said the ACM in a statement.

"The Restaurant, the Boutique and the Ticket office are also closed as of today and until further notice.

"As was communicated in the official press release dated 12th March, the Grands Prix de Monaco Historique (8th to 10th May, 2020) and Formula 1 (21st to 24th May, 2020), are currently expected to take place as originally planned."

Should the event be cancelled it would be one of the most difficult to reschedule, not only due to the fact that it takes place on public roads but the whole build process which compromises movement in the Principality for weeks in advance.

With no end of the outbreak in sight, the schedules being predicted by various media outlets are pretty much meaningless, but assuming the season can commence in the next couple of months it will means a number of triple headers, with talk of even a quadruple header.

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1. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 17/03/2020 17:47

"I can't see the Monaco GP going ahead and being not gloomy but realistic on top of @John Stedman's excellent post here, who would want to risk going with Europe being the epicenter? This virus could take a couple of years on the first pass through the population and there is no guarantee that we'll be immune after that.

I can tell you now that the Highlands (visit www.highlands.co.nz) Festival of Speed will not be rescheduled as there isn't enough racing days available in the current calendar which finishes in April. Cancelling is the right call in the circumstances.

First cancelled event that I've been affected by as I and many other volunteers were lined up to marshal (that's me you sometimes see at start finish for the likes of Toyota Racing Series). Sounds pretty cool, and it is, the best part is getting metres or a few feet away from the cars as the blast past and we get the second best view of the whole track. I shall miss this event however, our health comes first, especially for those that this virus affects most.

Once COVID-19 / Wuhan Virus or whatever it's called, has a vaccine and we can get back to gatherings, give volunteering a go at a circuit near you. It's a great way to see how events like this are run from the inside and "giving back" to motorsport feels good.

I'm not sure if the Monaco GP organisers are just trying to put a brave face on things or know something about COVID-19 contagion the rest of us don't.
"

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2. Posted by John Stedman, 17/03/2020 14:08

"The 'Get In' construction process for the Monaco GP takes 12 weeks, followed by 4 weeks of racing activity, then 6 weeks to 'Get Out'. That means that normal life in the Principality is disrupted for 22 weeks. If the GP does not take place in May then it will not be practical to reschedule it for the autumn, because the weather will have deteriorated before the track is ready. Far from being an independent country, Monte Carlo is largely a French Dominion, and France is highly unlikely to relax its stringent 'lockdown' before the summer. The seasons will not wait, so there will be no F1 GP on the Cote d'Azur this year."

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