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Hungarian GP rules out spectators for August race

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LONDON – The Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix scheduled for August can only go ahead without spectators due to the latest restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Friday. The race at the Hungaroring, a circuit outside Budapest, is due to take place on Aug. 2 but Hungary on Thursday said events with more than 500 participants cannot be held until Aug. 15. Prime Minister Viktor Orban also said restrictions on movement in Budapest and surroundings, where 80% of the country’s coronavirus deaths have been recorded, would not be eased until the fatality rate fell there. “It is now evident that any F1 race in Hungary can now only be held behind closed doors,” the grand prix organisers said in a statement. Formula One plans to start its stalled season with two races at Austria’s rural Red Bull Ring from July 3-5, followed by Silverstone in Britain. Spectators will not be allowed at either venue. It has yet to publish a revised calendar, however, and Hungary could now be pushed back to later in August given that well over 1,000 people will be present even without any paying public.

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