Sir Lewis Hamilton’s first race in his bid for an unprecedented eighth world championship is set to take place in front of fans after Bahrain Grand Prix organisers announced people who have recovered from Covid-19 or been vaccinated will be allowed to attend.
In a first for a global sporting event, Bahrain GP chiefs said fans can watch the race providing 14 days have passed since their second dose, or since they were infected with the illness.
Masks will be mandatory at the grand prix, which will take place on March 28, while fans will be subjected to medical checks on arrival at the track.
Formula One chiefs last week declined Bahrain’s offer to vaccinate all personnel attending the pre-season test (March 12-14) and first race a fortnight later.
Last year’s consecutive races in Bahrain on November 29 and December 6 took place behind closed doors.
Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, chief executive of the Bahrain International Circuit, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch our ticket sales today, once again giving fans the opportunity to witness the spectacle of F1.
“In November and December last year, we had the honour to host our healthcare heroes as spectators, and we are pleased this time be open for a broader group of fans, with tickets available to buy for this prestigious first race of the season.”
Last week, Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle said he remains hopeful that the British Grand Prix will be staged in front of a 140,000-capacity crowd.
The Formula One race, a highlight of the British sporting summer, is scheduled for July 18.