Turkish Grand Prix organisers have done a complete U-turn on their plans to welcome 100,000 fans to their November 15 event, having finally decided to close the race to all spectator attendance.
Istanbul Park had initially hoped to open the venue's gates to a healthy contingent of race fans thanks to safety measures and a very low ticket price, with pre-race online sales reflecting a strong public interest.
But a recent increase of COVID-19 cases in several European countries has ultimately compelled Turkey to close its F1 event to spectators.
"Within the scope of efforts to combat the coronavirus epidemic, and in accordance with the recommendation of the Istanbul Provincial Pandemic Committee, the F1 Turkish Grand Prix will be held without spectators," read a statement by the local Istanbul government released on Monday morning.
While a few thousand fans - essentially Scuderia Ferrari club members - were sitting in the grandstands at Mugello, the Russian Grand Prix was the first race this season to open its gates to the public, with approximately 30,000 fans attending the venue on race day.
This week's Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring will also enjoy a spectator presence, while Portimão and Imola are also expected to open their gates to fans.