ORGANISERS of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone are in talks with the government about staging it behind closed doors.

Martin Pringle, the circuit's managing director, has announced the race - scheduled for July 17 - cannot be held with fans due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of people from across Oxfordshire normally attend the event, staged just over the border in Northamptonshire.

It is also a home Grand Prix for Williams, Renault and Haas, who all have bases in the county.

Pringle wrote: "I am extremely disappointed to tell you that we are unable to stage this year's British Grand Prix in front of the fans at Silverstone.

"We have left the difficult decision for as long as possible, but it is abundantly clear given the current conditions in the country and the government requirements in place now and for the foreseeable future, that a Grand Prix under normal conditions is just not going to be possible."

It is unclear at this point even if an event without crowds can go ahead.

The French Grand Prix, due to be held three weeks before the Silverstone race, has become the tenth Grand Prix called off.

It will mean the season will not start until July, with the round in Austria on July 5 the next in line.