The 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix is now set to take place behind closed doors, despite prior hopes of a crowd attending the June race.
In a statement, race organizers cited the continued impact of the Coronavirus pandemic as the reason for the decision. The race at the Baku City Circuit isn't due to take place until June 6th, but the action taken today means it is just the latest race on the 2021 calendar that will be affected by the pandemic.
"Baku City Circuit today confirmed that the return of Formula 1 to Azerbaijan on the weekend of June 4th - 6th, 2021 will be staged behind closed doors.", the BCC explains in a written statement.
"This decision was taken in light of ongoing health and safety concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic and comes after extensive deliberation between BCC and the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic, Formula One World Championship Ltd and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
"While the global situation and pandemic response is continuing to improve, it has become clear that the 2021 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix race weekend has arrived too soon for BCC to safely host the event with fans present", the BCC concludes.
Its currently unclear whether any other races due to take place this summer will follow suit, as there had previously been hopes that events such as the British Grand Prix at Silverstone would be able to facilitate a capacity crowd.