Nurses and doctors invited to closed Italian Grand Prix

The 2020 Italian Grand Prix this Sunday will be held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic but 250 doctors and nurses will watch from the grandstands as guests, Ferrari said on Wednesday ahead of their home race.

The race at Monza, outside Milan, is the eighth round of a Formula One season that has so far been staged without live spectators, with teams operating in isolated ‘bubbles’ and limited media in attendance.

Ferrari said the medics, who will keep socially distanced, were being invited as “a symbolic honour for their courage, sense of duty and altruism as front line workers in the fight against Covid-19.”

Italy is one of the European countries worst hit by the pandemic, with more than 35,000 deaths in an outbreak that peaked between March and April.

The race after Monza is the Tuscan Grand Prix at Ferrari-owned Mugello, north of Florence, and that will be the first to admit paying spectators.

Some 2,880 per day are set to watch from three grandstands over the three days.

Most of the races after that are also expected to admit limited numbers of spectators.