British Grand Prix: Silverstone to welcome full capacity crowd for Formula 1 race in July

The British Grand Prix will take place in front of a capacity crowd after the Formula 1 race was granted test event status; the GP falls a day before coronavirus restrictions are set to be lifted; the move means more than 140,000 spectators could watch the race on July 18

Silverstone will operate at a full capacity for the British Grand Prix in July, meaning more than 140,000 spectators could be in attendance for the Formula 1 race.

The GP takes place on July 18, a day before coronavirus restrictions are set to be lifted, but a full crowd will be allowed after organisers secured test event status for the weekend’s racing.

In 2019 the British GP attracted a race-day attendance of 141,000.

“It is fantastic news that Silverstone will be a full capacity event and it will be an incredible weekend with hundreds of thousands of fans being there to see our first ever Sprint event on the Saturday and the main event on Sunday,” Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO of Formula 1, said.

“I want to express my huge appreciation to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Secretaries of State, Oliver Dowden and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove and Silverstone’s Managing Director, Stuart Pringle for their tireless work to achieve this great outcome.

“All of the drivers and the teams are hugely looking forward to Silverstone and we can’t wait to be there in July.”

Organisers said they will be in touch with all ticket holders in the coming days with further details about how the weekend will run as a pilot event.

In a statement, it was confirmed ticket holders will be asked for either proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of arrival at Silverstone, or proof of full vaccination – the second dose having been received at least 14 days prior to the first day of attending the British Grand Prix.

Sky F1’s Martin Brundle said: “This so important for the British Formula 1 fans, and Formula 1 fans in general. Silverstone really needed that piece of news, and so did Formula 1. It’s really important.

“The atmosphere is always great at the track and hopefully we can take another great race to the British Grand Prix.”

Silverstone staged two behind-closed-door races last summer but have been working closely with government officials to have fans return safely for 2021.

“This is something we have all been working towards for months and I cannot wait to welcome a full capacity crowd back to Silverstone this July,” said managing director Stuart Pringle.

“Many of our fans rolled their tickets over from 2020 but they are now well placed to enjoy what is sure to be one of the highlights of the summer.”

The new-look British GP schedule

Day Session Time
Friday, July 16 Practice One 2.30pm-3.30pm
Friday, July 16 Qualifying 6pm-7pm
Saturday, July 17 Practice Two 12pm-1pm
Saturday, July 17 Sprint Qualifying 4.30pm-5pm
Sunday, July 18 Race 3pm

Large crowd for new Sprint Qualifying format

This year’s British GP holds additional significance for F1 due to the fact it will be the venue for the sport’s new trial Sprint Qualifying format.

Ensuring there is competitive F1 track action on all three days of the event, the new short Saturday race of around half an hour in duration will set the grid for the main Grand Prix on Sunday.

The sport’s usual qualifying session moves to Friday evening, with the results setting the starting order for Sprint Qualifying. The sprint event, which offers minor points to the first three finishers, then determines the grid for the usual Sunday Grand Prix, which is unchanged.

All the action will be live on Sky Sports F1.


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