Silverstone "cautiously optimistic" over F1 British GP fan return

The boss of Silverstone feels "cautiously optimistic" Formula 1 fans could return to the circuit for the British Grand Prix in July following the latest government announcements

Silverstone "cautiously optimistic" over F1 British GP fan return

The British government unveiled its road map for easing the current lockdown measures earlier this week, which included plans for spectators to attend live sporting events by the summer.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament that "the turnstiles of our sports stadia will once again rotate" as he outlined the blueprint for fans to return to the grandstands.

Under the proposals, large outdoor seated venues will be permitted to allow up to 10,000 fans or 25% of the total seat capacity - whichever is lower - from 17 May.

This could then be increased as early as 21 June, leading to suggestions that many of the UK's major summer sports events could enjoy capacity crowds amid the ongoing vaccination campaign and falling COVID-19 case numbers.

The British Grand Prix ran behind closed doors in 2020, and while the race would be in line to benefit from the government measures on spectator access for 2021, managing director Stuart Pringle remained cautious in his messaging.

"I'm cautiously optimistic, there is a long way to go," Pringle said in an interview with BBC 5 Live on Wednesday morning.

"But the requirements have been clearly set out. There are variables that are within nobody's control, if another variant of concern were to arrive, or if there was a problem with the vaccination roll-out.

"But equally, things have been going well, and I think that people want to get behind an opportunity that gives some light at the end of the tunnel.

"The government is right to point out this is the fourth step, and there are three [before], and things could go wrong at every stage.

"So it's by no means certain. It's very difficult as a promoter."

The British Grand Prix typically welcomes up to 340,000 fans across the three-day race weekend, with a high number of tickets sold for last year's race being rolled over to 2021.

One proposal to emerge in recent days surrounds vaccine passports, serving as proof that those attending large sporting events have received a COVID-19 vaccination and have been tested regularly.

Asked for his thoughts on using vaccine passports to ensure safe access for spectators, Pringle said it was "in principle a good idea for live sport events."

"Those of us who run sports stadia have been talking to the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport about potentially hooking in our electronic ticket apps to the NHS app to find a way of validating your entry ticket, if you have got the correct test result on your NHS app," Pringle said.

"So I think it's absolutely worth exploring, and I think fans would go for it.

"I think fans, if it involves a little bit of effort, or possibly even a bit of cost, the chance to go and see your team, to see your favourite sport, that's something that we'd all consider this summer."

The British Grand Prix is scheduled to take place at Silverstone from 16-18 July.

shares
comments
Podcast: What we learned from the Red Bull RB16B F1 car launch

Previous article

Podcast: What we learned from the Red Bull RB16B F1 car launch

Next article

The pros and cons of F1’s 2021 rule changes

The pros and cons of F1’s 2021 rule changes
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Smith
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021