Hamilton believes there will be 140,000 ‘premature’ spectators at British Grand Prix

LONDON: World Champion Lewis Hamilton (Photo) fears that it is “premature” to allow 140,000 spectators to attend the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Following talks between the UK government and the heads of Silverstone, the July race will be watched by the largest sporting crowd in the country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

The British Grand Prix will take place on July 18 and the bosses of Silverstone will be allowed to sell the entire qualifying weekend and the race itself.

However, Hamilton said he was “somewhat divided” on the issue.

“I read that the vaccination is good because there are fewer people hospitalized but it seems a bit premature (to have a full crowd),” said the British star in Spielberg in Austria where he was preparing for the Styrian Grand this weekend. Price.

“But people are going, I hope we learn something from it, and I hope everyone stays safe.”

Hamilton insisted he didn’t want to make the announcement too negative.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to see the people and the British crowd because it’s the best crowd of the whole year,” he said.

“Last year we didn’t have any, so we could see them and feel the energy they bring over a weekend.

“(But) obviously I’m watching the news, so I hear about cases that are increasing massively in the UK. So on that side I’m worried about people, of course. ”

Silverstone chief executive Stuart Pringle has reportedly pointed out to government officials that the circuit would go bankrupt if fans were not allowed.

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

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Secretaries of State Oliver Dowden and Michael Gove and Silverstone Managing Director Stuart Pringle for their tireless work to achieve this great result. All the drivers and teams are looking forward to Silverstone and we can’t wait to be there in July. “

Last year’s British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix at Silverstone were held behind closed doors.

Silverstone argued that their 70,000 grandstand seats at the former Royal Air Force base are scattered over 3.5 miles, while the event is not dependent on public transport, with the vast majority of spectators arriving by car. .

Ticket holders will either need to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test, performed within 48 hours of arrival at Silverstone, or be fully vaccinated.

It was announced earlier this week that more than 60,000 fans will be allowed to attend the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley.

Wimbledon Center Court is also expected to reach full capacity of 15,000 spectators for the women’s and men’s singles finals on July 10-11, while Royal St George’s will admit up to 32,000 spectators per day for the British Open Golf. – AFP

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