Silverstone welcomes 100,000 spectators through its gates just days before ‘Freedom Day’ as fans pack the grandstands to get glimpse of Lewis Hamilton and Co at British Grand Prix’s first ever Formula One Sprint race
- Monday July 19 will see all legal Covid-19 restrictions finally lifted in England
- But this weekend has seen a huge six-figure crowd flock to the Silverstone track
- Mercedes’ British driver Hamilton is looking to win another race at his home GP
- It’s the first ever tryout for the controversial new sprint race in Northamptonshire
Silverstone has welcomed 100,000 spectators, with supporters flocking to the circuit and packing the grandstand just days before ‘Freedom Day’.
The government has announced Monday July 19 will mark the end of all legal Covid-19 restrictions, with live sports events set to return to full capacity.
But fans have travelled in massive numbers to Northamptonshire to watch this weekend’s British Grand Prix, with a crowd of six figures now at the track, marking it as the biggest crowd at a sporting event in the UK since the start of the pandemic.
Silverstone has welcomed 100,000 supporters through its doors for the British Grand Prix
The Northamptonshire circuit’s grandstands are packed to the rafters in what is now the biggest crowd at a sporting event in the UK since the start of the coronavirus pandemic
On Friday, British star Lewis Hamilton thrilled the crowd with a superb drive to see him qualify in pole position for Saturday’s brand new sprint race; official pole position for Sunday’s race will be the sprint race winner.
The Mercedes driver edged out title rival Max Verstappen, of Red Bull, by 0.075 seconds to grab top spot for the 17-lap race which has been brought in for this weekend.
There are three world championship points available for the winner of the sprint, two for second, and one for third, with Hamilton targeting both the sprint and the Grand Prix to close the gap on current leader Verstappen.
Fans are keen to get a glimpse of Brit Sir Lewis Hamilton, who qualified top for the sprint race
There are expected to be 140,000 fans at Sunday’s Grand Prix race in 30 degree Celsius heat
And Sir Lewis praised the atmosphere at the track after qualifying top, along with fellow Brit George Russell, who drove superbly to qualify eighth.
Hamilton said: ‘It has been such a difficult time for everyone and we finally have all the fans at the British Grand Prix and the desire to deliver for everyone is beyond belief.
‘We watched the England game the other day, you see how much passion there is in England. It was a difficult time for everyone and I was hoping I could do my part in bringing something positive.
‘It is only the first step but, wow, what a fantastic way to end the day. We have been missing this for a whole years, I have lost my voice a little. I am so grateful to see everyone here.
‘To come to Silverstone and have a full crowd like this. You feel the energy. I was hopeful with the great work we did at the team and the energy of the fans would get us here. This is down to the fans.’
More are expected at the Grand Prix race on Sunday, with 140,000 due to attend on a sweltering day when temperatures are set to approach 30 degrees Celsius.