After Wembley with the London stadium almost full, now it’s the turn of the car circuit that will host the Formula 1 Grand Prix on Sunday. Meanwhile in the UK
After the European final at Wembley with 67,500 spectators, Great Britain is launching a new challenge on the reopening of the sport to the general public: the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Silverstone will welcome 140,000 spectators for Sunday’s race, with 350,000 overall including the two days of rehearsals.
The Covid emergency is far from over overseas, where on Thursday the daily infections driven by the delta variant exceeded 50 thousand, but the organizers of the Grand Prix are confident that they can guarantee safety thanks to the experimental government protocols (Erp) that will be tested for the occasion. For London that of Silversone is considered a decisive test also in view of the return of the public to the stadiums in the next Premier League season which will restart on August 14th. Grand Prix sporting director Stuart Pringle worked closely with Northamptonshire health authorities who in turn report to the national Public Health England system. “I am fully confident in our ability to get everything done safely,” said Pringle, “after all the challenges we have had for our finances over the past 18 months this is not an industry that puts its head in the sand and pulls dice, we wouldn’t do it if we weren’t convinced we could do it ».
Viewers must have been fully vaccinated for Covid for at least 15 days or must exhibit a negative test performed within the last 48 hours. But the organizers trust above all in the wide spaces of the circuit which extends over an area of 220 hectares and has stands spread over two kilometers and 19 entrances along the 5.6 kilometers of the perimeter. The organizational effort also concerns personnel: from the 128 employees who normally manage and supervise the plant, this will reach 7,000 on the day of the race. For document checks, the aim is to do 20,000 in two fields outside the circuit and another 30,000 directly on the buses that will serve as a shuttle from the car parks. Inside the plant it will not be mandatory to wear masks, this by decision of the British authorities who want to test the impact on infections with the experimental protocol. Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton is hoping that the home crowd can push him to victory to recover points from Max Verstappen’s very fast Red Bull. «The roar of the crowd here is different from all the other circuits» said the British McLaren driver, «considering that there has been a long withdrawal from the fans over the last year, this energy has been very lacking and now it gives us excitement. and nervousness because we want to have our best weekend ».
Motoring is confirmed as the leading sport in bringing the general public back to sporting events. At the end of May there were 135,000 spectators in the United States at the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500, valid for the Indycar championship. This was 40% of the capacity of the facility, after the race was moved from May to August in 2020 and was held without an audience.