The 2020 Italian Grand Prix will be held behind closed doors

Silverstone (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Hopes that this year’s Italian Grand Prix would be held in front of a controlled number of spectators were quashed on Thursday.

Officials announced in a statement that the event to be staged from September 4-6 at Monza will be run behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fans who have bought tickets in advance for the hugely popular race will be given a full refund, said the statement.

The Italian event, one of two ever-presents on the Formula One calendar since the 1950 inaugural world championship season, is scheduled to be held a week before Ferrari host the 1000th race of the team’s history at Mugello, the Tuscany Grand Prix.

The organisers of that event, on a track owned by Ferrari, remain optimistic that some spectators will be allowed.

Organisers of the Russian Grand Prix to be held at Sochi at the end of September have been selling tickets in the belief that spectators will be allowed to attend.