Turkish GP organisers have announced that 40,000 tickets for their November 15 event at Istanbul Park were sold within six hours this week.
The race has returned to the calendar after a nine-year absence and is one of several rounds of the F1 world championship – along with Mugello, the Nürburgring, Portimão and Imola – that were included on the sport’s rebuilt 2020 schedule as a result of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Intercity, the promoter of the event that will be open to the public, is hoping for 100,000 spectators to pass through the gates on race day, or half of Istanbul Park’s capacity.
Sales are off to a good start with 40,000 general admission tickets sold in six hours earlier this week, with race fans in Turkey scrambling to take advantage of the tickets’ bargain-basement price of 30 Turkish Lira, or a little over €3!
“We were planning to fill the full capacity, 220,000 seats, under normal circumstances but it’s not possible with COVID-19,” said Intercity chairman Vural Ak.
“Before us, this organisation was without [an] owner. We are passionate and enthusiastic about this sport and we can organise it successfully. But, as you know, there is COVID-19.
“That’s why we hope to bring about 100,000 people.”
However, Intercity is carefully watching Turkey’s sanitary situation regarding COVID-19 and has filed a contingency plan just in case.
“We have to be prepared for anything,” he said. “If the disease becomes worse than today, then the race can be done without spectators.
“However, we know the capacity of this track. Around 220,000 spectators can watch the race in the grandstands and in the open areas.
“At the moment for safety reasons, if we close some sections, about 100,000 spectators will be able to watch the race by following social distancing rules.”