Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2019

Full crowd for British Grand Prix “absolutely on the table”

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In the round-up: The managing director of Silverstone says full attendance may be possible for July’s race.

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Comment of the day

F1 needs to be less predictable – but not by sacrificing its sporting purity, says @F1frog:

Personally I would prefer for F1 to be more unpredictable, but I prefer it like this to artificially created unpredictability.

That is why 2012 was such a great session; because it was totally unpredictable, but that came naturally and was not artificial. Hopefully the 2022 rules will do the same thing, because there is nothing unfair about those rules, so it will not be artificial unpredictability.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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47 comments on “Full crowd for British Grand Prix “absolutely on the table””

  1. F1 should just skip Silverstone altogether. The track was completely ruined in 2010 and it has no flow whatsoever. And also by dumping British GP we maybe could see the day when RaceFans writes about news not related to the UK…

    1. @huhhii how do you completely ruin a 5.9 km racetrack by just replacing 4 slow-fast-fast-slow corners (2 right and 2 left) with 4 fast-fast-slow-slow corners (again, 2 right and 2 left) and a long straight?

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      25th February 2021, 7:00

      I couldn’t disagree more, the only grade 1 circuits I’d rate more highly are Suzuka, Spa and Mugello.

    3. I disagree. Silverstone is still a great track although the updated corners flow less well than previously.
      Regarding “UK news” the majority of teams are based in the UK so when the authors talk about brexit for example it is relevant to F1 as a whole, Hamilton articles are also relevant as he is a formula 1 driver and current champion. I actually think racefans has variety in it’s articles, on the first page alone the majority of articles are about Grosjean, the release of the 2021 Sauber and Redbull and a couple of articles about Albon who races under a Thai flag, the next most recent articles talk about Ricciardo and his move to McLaren so I don’t see bias towards the UK at the moment.

    4. And we live in the UK, so we want to know what’s happening. If you want to know what’s going on in F1 abroad get on a foreign forum! You’ll probably find that nothing is happening, cause it all happens over here in the UK!

    5. “The track was completely ruined in 2010 and it has no flow whatsoever”

      That’ll be why the drivers love it so much then? Oh…and this is a British site about an industry which is predominantly located in Britain…see where I’m going wit this?

    6. I think the track is just as good if not better than before. Bridge is the only corner that’s a miss. The right hander at Abbey is a good new corner, there’s opportunities to overtake into Village and Brooklands where there wasn’t before. Plus all the good bits of the previous configuration are still there. Take away DRS and have cars that can follow and it’s a hell of a racetrack. Without the British GP, F1 loses its home race because, by and large, F1 is British.

    7. Like others, I totally disagree. I think Silverstone is arguably the best track on the calendar. Take the 2019 race, for example, with that fantastic lead battle between the two Mercedes drivers, and then the battle between Verstappen and Leclerc. With the possible exception of Portimao, there is no other track where a battle like that could happen. It is also one of the few tracks where it is truly spectacular to watch the cars, along with Spa, Suzuka, and maybe COTA and Interlagos. If Silverstone was removed from the calendar, it would be a great loss to Formula 1.

      Having said that, I would love to see a modern day F1 race at Brands Hatch, which is the best track in the world for touring car racing, in my opinion. But I wouldn’t want it to replace Silverstone.

    8. Skipping is a bit harsh. I like it but its definitely not my favourite, you have to deduct some points for that pit and paddock building but I do understand that maybe not everyone is also there for the scenery. I have to say though, I do like the idea that it is the home race for most teams, at least in a practical sense with less traveling etc. (although I think that calling F1 British is debatable). But like F1 frog said above, Brands Hatch would be fantastic!

    9. I liked the Bridge section and the old start/finish straight.

    10. The revamp was definitely not a complete success. About the site. F1 is largely about the UK. Perhaps a bit less bias could be positive.

    11. We didn’t vote Brexit just to have some Johnny Foreigners telling us how to write an F1 fan site!

      (Joke btw)

  2. Regarding COTD, in my opinion a budget cap is one of the best ways to get a competitive field. History has shown us that generally speaking, the most dominant teams tend to be among the biggest spenders. Likewise, the teams who struggle financially are usually the least competitive. There is always some exceptions (Toyota), but generally speaking there’s a strong correlation between money spent and success.

    I would also argue that budget cap is not artificial at all. If anything, the fact that it is perfectly legal for hundred-billion dollar companies like Mercedes to outspend the bottom half of the grid put together is what truly makes the sport artificial.

    1. @kingshark I agree, it should be about having the cleverest technical innovators and car designers, not about having the most money.

      1. While that sentiment is understandable, due to so many teams being based in the UK that means if you cannot offer financial compensation to get staff to move to Italy for example then how do you attract the best talent? John Barnard never made his time at Ferrari work for him and it’s arguable he only worked for them due to a large pay check.

        I think the budget caps are the right idea but there could be unintended consequences for the decision so it’s dangerous to just assume it’s a silver bullet.

    2. I agree, if we consider that most of Tilke old track revamps are a disaster or just kills the flow and character of the circuits (ex Barcelona, or worse, Hockemheim) with hairpins or off camber corners, the Silverstone changes maintain the character and most of the flow of Silverstone circuit (and we should be grateful Tilke wasn’t involved on this one!) and most important , without touching on the really standout corners. But it must be said that I find Silverstone great on all the configurations, the really fast one until the end of the 80s, the more technical one from the nineties and the current layout are all great. The only downside for current layout is the increased tarmac areas outside the track which make mistakes less punishing.

  3. Mclaren Indycar and Ferrari WEC – wonder how these teams feel the is split between ‘using up spare resources after F1 budget cap’ and ‘needing wins to keep the brand magic alive’.

    WEC is going to be so stacked in 2023.

    1. Ferrari in top class Le mans. YES PLEASE!

  4. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    25th February 2021, 6:48

    Hats off to the ACO and IMSA. I struggle to make sense of how they can make the Hypercar and LMDh classes converge with a target lap time slower than the current front-running LMP2 teams achieve but they are certainly attracting a mouthwatering array of manufacturers.

  5. Was the unpredictability in 2012 (seven different winners in the first seven races) unartificial, though? People initially struggled to get on top of the tyres before things eventually settled out.

    Too early to judge attendance possibility for Silverstone this far in advance. The early-season events in Bahrain, Imola, and co., I wonder what are their chances of having spectator attendance. Bahrain at least is selling tickets, I checked yesterday.

    1. pretty sure i remember a lot of people complaining the start of 2012 was a “lottery” because of the unpredictable tyres…

    2. But as you said, @jerejj things eventually settled out (but it was exciting the entire year not just the first seven races). Wasn’t that because the teams did eventually get on top of the tyres, not because any regulations changed. Some may say that is artificial, but I disagree because I think it is more like having a particularly difficult regulation change. All the teams struggled at first, but the ‘better’ teams got on top of the ‘new rules’ first, and even at the start some could work it out better than others. I think that is not artificial, just a difficult new set of regulations that the teams struggled to get on top of. This, I think, is something that would be good if it happened in 2022, although the budget cap is the main change that I think is good, because the best team should be the one with the best team members, not the one with the most money. In my opinion, artificial unpredictability is success ballast, reverse grids and boost reduction; these are the things I would most object to in Formula 1.

      1. @f1frog Yeah I agree. If the 2012 season had continued how the first 7 or 8 races went and no team had ever understood the tyres then I could see how people would call it a lottery. But that didn’t happen. Eventually the teams learned how to get the tyres into their operating windows and a more normal pecking order was established. The tyres were more like a puzzle that each team had to solve by themselves, and those that did so faster or better had an advantage over those that didn’t.

  6. Hmm not it won’t. Since Britain is the worst country in the western world regarding covid. They are so bad that they produce new strains of the virus so no it won’t happen. Cole back and tell me I was right when we get there.

    1. It’s just sour grapes with Germany and France. France tried to make two vaccines for Covid and gave up, unfortunately they conned the EU into advanced orders for their product. So they tried to steal our supply of the British vaccine. Now they are trying to rubbish our vaccine. Thank heavens for Brexit.

      1. That would be the vaccine developed in a partnership with a German company and produced in Belgium?

        Also, the UK government was the one that gave an unconditional offer, which is why it is also paying 30-50 percent more per dose than the EU is paying. The idea of ‘stealing’ doses is also dubious when the supplier wasn’t delivering what was due, and there were allegations that they chose to prioritise the UK because it is paying over the odds for its doses.

      2. Steal your vaccine? i think if you do any research it was Oxford and 2 Dutch University MC who develop that vaccin.
        The only thing what we learned here is that each country needs a medincine factory who could produce the vaccin in masses.
        Take your comments about stealing somewhere else.

        1. He’s not talking about stealing the IP for the vaccine, he’s talking about the EU blocking the export of the vaccine supply booked and paid for by the UK.

          Call it attempting to commandeer goods paid for by other parties if you like. Attempted theft works just as well for me. Add to that the threats of breaking the Brexit agreement if we didn’t capitulate.

          Anyway, the EU saw sense and backed down, so you are correct in suggesting that they didn’t actually steal it.

          However, we seem to be some way off from racing related topics…

    2. “They are so bad that they produce new strains of the virus so no it won’t happen”

      Ever heard of the South African variant? And where did the virus originate? Britain is also vaccinating it’s population at a rate far higher than any other country in the World, leaving Europe far far behind. We’ll be at races long before anyone else mate!

    3. Given that the UK is doing more genome sequencing than anyone else in the world, it’s not surprising that new variants were picked up there. There will be similar mutations going on elsewhere, but most other countries aren’t testing for them.
      Damned if you do, damned if you don’t it seems…

    4. Don’t talk like that: variants just can happen in just 3 persons as like all other Visrussen. It’s just testing and how beter they do the tests you pick up more variants. I know in Holland (Netherlands) discovered several variants during tests (most were shortlived and didn’t impact the masses)

  7. “produce new strains of the virus” ??? I can see you aren’t the UK’s biggest fan (you can have this view, I don’t care) but being scientifically illiterate like this doesn’t help your cause.

  8. Ferrari’s Le Mans return is MASSIVE! Surprised it doesn’t get much fanfare on here…

  9. Full crowd is a pipe dream. Could easily go down as one of the more funny quotes of 2021.

    1. If the roadmap announced this week for England goes according to plan then full crown will be permitted. Many “if”s in there but it’s definitely not a “pipe dream”, given the scale of the vaccine rollout and the inevitable assistance of warmer weather as we move into spring and summer.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        25th February 2021, 15:07

        Trouble is that it was announced by the UK government. The majority of their plans have been a disaster and the majority of things they say are lies. The only thing they’ve got right so far is the vaccination roll-out and that’s because for once, they left it to the experts.

    2. With Leeds and Reading festival also claiming they think they’ll be on this year too I find it all a bit bonkers. Until we have a vast majority of the population vaccinated it seems a pipe dream having huge events with no social distancing. I think they’ll end up with these sorts of events also being steered on infection data at the time personally. Still a long way to go on vaccinations and trusting that the infection rate and R number will decrease significantly further still.

    3. @balue At the current rate, every UK adult who wants vaccination should have had the first dose by mid-July (the time of the British Grand Prix). Take-up among the population so far has been above that required for vaccine-based herd immunity of those populations (which for this virus appears to be slightly over 60%, if the Israeli statistics are to be believed). Britain is probably the first race of the season that could pull off a full, or nearly-full, audience.

      The only serious question I have about the plan is families. Children will not be vaccinated by that point (the research won’t be there in time), and it would be a bad idea to have children become a vector for spreading it as a childhood disease (even if, among children, it’s on average less severe than amongst adults).

      It would probably be wise to have a socially-distanced stand or two reserved for families and people who can’t/won’t get a vaccine, with a reserved socially-distanced gate, access route and ordering system for drinks/snacks/souvenirs, while allowing everything else to be at standard capacity (with no restrictions on who can be there). This means the people most at risk, or who have particular concerns about the risk they run without vaccination, can attend in reasonable safety.

      Perhaps it would even be wise to have a socially distanced viewing area (best placed in General Admission) for people who may be vaccinated but are nervous about crowds because people are still used to being distanced. Providing methods for people to manage their own risk profiles hopefully would encourage more people to attend rather than claim a refund, give more confidence to spectators during the weekend and persuade people to return again and again (thus guaranteeing a stronger income stream for the British Grand Prix).

  10. AMR 21? really? Where is the imagination?

    I would have called it Daddy’s cash 3. Or dc 3 for short

    1. I would call it “Better Owner Than The Other Rich Man”.

    2. DC3 would perhaps be subject to copyright (it’s a famous plane designation).

  11. I agree with the sentiment of COTD but not this line.


    “That is why 2012 was such a great session; because it was totally unpredictable, but that came naturally and was not artificial.”

    The reason the early part of 2012 was such a lottery was because of the artificially designed to degrade gimmick tires which saw teams & drivers lucking into getting them to work & then been unable to repeat it because they didn’t know what they had done to make them work.

    It came across as been a total lottery with each race feeling completely disconnected to the prior/next one due to how awful those tires were & how much extreme levels of babying/management those awful tires required.

    I’d actually say that 2012 is my least favourite F1 season of the 45+ i’ve watched. Was the definition of artificially generated quantity over quality imo. 2012 was an awful season as far as i’m concerned & much of the quantity over quality that took place was totally forgettable because of how low quality what was classed as ‘racing’ actually was.

    1. @roger-ayles
      I don’t think it was artificial, for the reasons that I explained in reply to Jere higher up in the comments section, which you can read for why I think that.

      1. @roger-ayles @f1frog @stefmeister I also agree that it was too artificial, but I do get the sentiment that it was still up to the teams to adapt and work with it. But yeah for sure that is so well said to say a team that nailed it one weekend couldn’t duplicate that the next time around for they couldn’t really explain to themselves why they nailed it in the first place. It was too much to the extreme of being a lottery. Imho of course. When there are 7 different winners such as there were, while that sounds exciting on paper, and without any context one might even think we’re talking about a spec series, we didn’t get a chance to ‘rate’ the drivers and how they were doing, as they didn’t even know how/why they won one weekend, and then suddenly couldn’t come close the next. Way too much depended on the tires hitting a mystery sweet spot at a time that could not be predicted

        To me I just cannot escape the artificialness of it because it was obviously an attempt to make up for the usual cars too negatively affected in dirty air. Recall they had made a faint attempt at a working group to solve the aero dependency issues only a few years prior to 2012, the results of which were barely followed through on with any real and lasting effort of any benefit, and here we remain to this day badly needing the drastic changes that will finally come to fruition next year. And it took new owners to get that done.

        So yeah I can only see 2012’s tire experience as an attempt at a bandaid fix, just as the tires remain a joke to this day. Just as is DRS a coverup for clean air dependent cars. But note the tires have not been made so unpredictable since. Unpredictable yes, but not nearly so as in 2012. Let’s ask ourselves why. F1 obviously did not think that was the way to continue on in the following seasons. Pirelli had taken it too far.

        1. Maybe the first seven races were a bit of a lottery, but the teams did eventually get on top of the issues which means it was still possible, and I still found the second half of the year very exciting.
          @roger-ayles and @stefmeister you both mentioned that the actual racing wasn’t as exciting in 2012. What would you say was the best season for great ‘racing’ because I actually think 2020 was a brilliant season for the quality of the racing, which is why it was the best season for years, in my opinion. What do you think?

  12. @F1frog I personally struggled to really get into the 2012 season & it’s not one I look back on with any real fondness.

    The way the tyres were early on felt too extreme to me & I was one of those who felt it was more of a lottery. I also just in general felt there was too much management been required & that it took away some of the overall spectacle of watching the drivers pushing the cars closer to the limit, Something I also recall drivers been quite unhappy about.

    But outside of the tyres I think DRS was more often than not far too powerful that year (I think it was at it’s most powerful in 2012) & as a result of that much of the racing/overtaking was quite unsatisfying because of how easy DRS & at times the tyres made a lot of it.

  13. Hamilton won’t do squat for suffering Saudis, just like he ignored pleas from Bahrainis begging for help from that regime at the last race there, because what matters is black lives and these are not his people. Remember he even honored the Bahrain by dressing in the traditional garb before. Black power and upvotes on social media from his brothas and sistas in US is what it’s all about, and all this arab stuff has no relevance and therefore no interest for him, but then he always was a massive hypocrite.

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