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Fans excluded from Imola event

NEWS STORY
28/10/2020

A late move by the Italian authorities means that fans will not be allowed to attend this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

While approval had previously been given for up to 13,000 fans to attend each day of the two-day meeting, the decision by the Italian government at the weekend to close restaurants and bars at 18:00 and banning spectators at open-air sporting events, has left officials at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari no choice byt to hold the event behind closed doors.

A late attempt by the governor of the Emilia Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini, who suggested reducing the number of fans attending to half, 6,500, was rejected.

"The government has banned our fans and we are very disappointed for that," Imola boss Uberto Selvatico Estense told Motorsport.com. "We're very sorry also for the inconvenience we are facing for this decision.

"The governor of Emilia Romagna was talking to the minister of health today, but they denied any waiver to the decree," he added.

"It's not easy to explain to the fans that the government has changed their opinion in a very short time, because just one week ago they confirmed that we were allowed to have fans. So we went further with all the organisation, all the stuff that we were preparing. We spent a lot of money just to be ready for this opportunity.

"It's late, just four days left to the event, so it's a very short time to tell people that we cancelled the attendance. Now we have to explain to the spectators that it's not in doubt that we will reimburse the tickets.

"We will face some trouble for sure with people who will try to enter. They bought a ticket and don't understand why they are excluded now."

With Bahrain yet to confirm its plans, the decision by authorities in Turkey and Abu Dhabi to exclude spectators means that fans are unlikely to be able to attend a Grand Prix in person until next year's Australian Grand Prix on 21 March.

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1. Posted by alvarezh3, 28/10/2020 19:59

"With the strength that the pandemic has resurfaced, F1 can be happy Italy has not closed it's borders......yet!

Let's enjoy the racing while we can, specially when we can see another team other than MB and RB leading a race on merit even if only for a few laps."

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