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
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022