Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2019

Silverstone calls for ‘vaccine passports’ to allow full crowd at British Grand Prix

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: The promoter of the British Grand Prix has joined other sports in calling on the government to introduce a ‘Covid certification’ process – commonly referred to as ‘vaccine passports’ – to allow the full attendance of fans at summer sporting events.

In brief

Silverstone calls for “full return of fans” ahead of British GP

Silverstone has joined the governing bodies of football, rugby and other major British sporting events in urging the government to commit to the full return of fans ahead of the British Grand Prix and other major competitions.

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson, leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer and other members of parliament, the group urged the government to urgently address when fans will be permitted to return to major events.

“Looking ahead to June 21, we support the government’s ambition to secure the full return of fans, without restrictions if possible,” the letter stated. “Of necessity, this will depend upon the government agreeing that it is safe to lessen or drop social distancing requirements.”

“It is important that we have certainty as soon as possible on the form this guidance will take so we can plan efficiently and effectively with many big sporting events scheduled for late June and onwards,” it added. The British Grand Prix weekend will be held from July 16th to 18th.

The group supports the use of ‘Covid certification’ to ensure large numbers of fans can attend in safety. “All of our sports can see the benefit that a Covid certification process offers in getting more fans safely back to their sport as quickly as possible,” said the letter. “We know that our stadia can only be fully filled with an assurance process.

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021
Some fans were able to attend the Bahrain Grand Prix
“This process must ensure that everyone can access stadia and must include arrangements that would verify a negative Covid test or an antibody test alongside vaccination certification.”

Both of last year’s races at Silverstone were held behind closed doors. The 141,000-strong crowd which attended the 2019 event was the largest attendance at any F1 race that year.

Bahrain allowed fans to attend the season-opening race last month if they could prove they had been vaccinated against, or recovered from, Covid-19. Around 4,500 fans attended the race. The next round of the world championship at Imola will be held behind closed doors.

Paul Ricard employs four-legged friends

Sheep, Paul Ricard, 2021
‘Is that Ewe-ki Tsunoda?’
Paul Ricard, home of the French Grand Prix, has used a novel and ecologically-friendly means of maintaining its grass areas. Two shepherds brought a herd of 400 sheep to the venue last month to feed on the grass, cutting it back without the need for motorised equipment. Seven lambs were born during their stay, all of which are healthy.

Assetto Corsa 2 rumoured

A sequel to Kunos Simulazioni’s Assetto Corsa is in the works, but could be as much as three years away. The developer’s owner Digital Bros stated in its annual report: “starting 2024, numerous new productions will be released, including the second version of Assetto Corsa, created by the internal studio Kunos Simulazioni.”

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Comment of the day

How does Aston Martin’s new reserve driver compare against the driver he substituted for last year?

Hulkenberg is more consistent than Stroll, but I wouldn’t say he’s much better. While Stroll grabbed almost every opportunity for a podium, Hulkenberg threw all of them away.

The 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix was the decisive moment in Hulkenberg’s career. Had he won it or at least finished on the podium (and I believe many drivers would’ve done so that day), he could’ve landed a top drive for 2014, most likely Ferrari. Instead he ruined his own and Hamilton’s race.
Srdjan Mandic (@srga91)

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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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  • 39 comments on “Silverstone calls for ‘vaccine passports’ to allow full crowd at British Grand Prix”

    1. In the US the proof of vaccination card template is available for download on the internet. Just need to fill it out as “proof” of vaccination.

      1. Which is precisely why something better is going to be needed before it can be used as a proof to get into events. I have a vaccine card, and anyone could forge one with the right template. It’s only intended for administrative purposes at the clinic where you got your shots, not as proof of vaccination.

      2. @jimfromus The concept of doing even that much is controversial here in the UK. A lot of people are expecting to be able to go to social events with no documentary evidence of immunity at all. Some people also can’t jump through the hoops to do any of the things likely to be needed for a “vaccine passport” – some people are allergic to the ingredients of the various vaccines and about 20% of British people don’t have any form of internet (likely to be a pre-requisite for any “vaccine passport” if this government’s previous methods are anything to go by).

        The vaccination card is supposed to be for the patient’s own reference. The NHS puts the information onto the patient record, and at this time, testing negative is required regardless of vaccination status should one wish to travel (which, although possible to illegally replicate, is considerably more difficult and typically quite expensive).

      3. Its a fantasy that the government can put together a proper digital passport by July. Remember the great contact tracing app?
        If I remember they still have to implement incoming good checks to keep food on the shelves this summer.
        I expect Silverstone to be allowed 20-30 thousand if the virus numbers keep dropping, and if this is picked out as a good test case.

    2. Dean Franklin
      9th April 2021, 6:25

      Take this emergency use vaccine for a disease that kills virtually no-one under 70 otherwise you can’t participate in normal society.

      Seems fair…

        1. Dean Franklin
          9th April 2021, 7:58

          But you’re starting from a very low base for people under 70 and especially under 50.

      1. Well @deanfranklin,
        You’re ignorantly shortsighted then.
        1) many below 70 died of this virus, or have serious health issues during their long recovery;
        2) probably all of the over 70’s were directly or indirectly infected by a below 70.
        3) non vaccination requires strict lockdowns to stop the health system to collapse (and indirectly cause tremendous grief).

        If you don’t believe in the vaccine nor in the seriousness of COVID-19, then I suggest you organise a COVID camp for you and your followers and get infected to obtain an alternative form of some immunity (protection).

        1. Dean Franklin
          9th April 2021, 8:49

          Of course people below 70 died but most had underlying health issues.

          You can’t protect everyone.

          I think people who want a vaccine should have it, and those that don’t want it shouldn’t have it.

          The world’s dealt with worse health crises without such ridiculous, draconian measures that have turned life upside down.

          1. The world’s dealt with worse health crises without such ridiculous, draconian measures that have turned life upside down.

            Which ones, @DeanFranklin?
            Spanish Flu?
            Black Plague?
            Smallpox Pandemic?
            All many more deaths, even after similar or stricter containment measures.

            I agree that all should be free to decide if, or if not, they want to take the vaccine. But I expect our governments to take appropriate measures to contain the pandemic and recognise that the virus spread under 70’s (or whatever age you decide mortality rate is accepted) are a major cause of overall infection spread and possible collapse of the health system if not contained.

            PS I wonder when they’ll declare ignorance an underlying mental health issue :P

            1. What ridiculous statements to make. It is you who are displaying ignorance by clearly not investigating the data behind this crisis. Open your mind, go on, it’s very liberating.
              And fyi this “vaccine” does not stop infection or cross infection, even eg Pfizer admitted that. It’s efficacy is based on it’s ability to reduce serious side effects once you have the virus.
              Try thinking for yourself and not simply spouting out what you’re told on the news.

            2. @gmacz, you’re still a bit short on your knowledge there.

              Indeed vaccines do not fully ‘stop’ the infections and some people can still be infectious. But it significantly reduces them both (there are no final research results yet and initial results show wide variations between the various vaccines, thus I won’t claim by how much).
              Any person who can think for themselves though knows that if less people become infectious, the R value goes down, and when below 1 the pandemic will shrink/disappear.

              Thus yes vaccinating people below 70 is still a smart strategy, at least until we find a medicine.

          2. The vaccines have prevented mortality from COVID-19 infection. That alone is a very valuable prospect. Regardless of the relatively low mortality rates of COVID-19 compared to say Ebola (not to mention the significant morbidity from lung, heart, brain, joint, renal, liver disease, the impact of which has yet to be determined the the coming years), the absolute numbers of people dead from COVID-19 affecting the world’s population would be catastrophic. What you covid deniers or anti vaccine or anti covid vaccine people don’t understand is this still a novel virus, it is very virulent, can be unpredictable in its clinical course and can have permanent effects on everyone. Even if the vaccines cannot prevent infection from COVID-19, at least severity of disease is lessened, henceforth morbidity and mortality as well as the length of time of COVID-19 infection. This also prevents transmission. Once the majority of the population is immunised, we can also hope to achieve herd immunity.

        2. Sadly there are multiple people under 70 who died because of the vaccine at this point @coldfly
          In the end a Formula 1 race is a private event, and they are free to impose the restrictions they see fit

          1. @coldfly Just to let you know from my own opinion, you’re spot on and anyone arguing with you on the points you are making is ill-informed, as you have been correctly pointing out.

            1. Thanks @Robbie,
              I’ll just keep sharing research results.

              People should draw their own conclusions, but at least see the facts as well. Enough pseudo science and scary stories on FB and other new media sites.

          2. That’s (mostly) right @paeschli. Though only for 1 vaccine (causality is assumed rather than proven) and a 2nd vaccine being investigated now.

            That’s why vaccination needs to be a personal choice, however they should explain the other facts as well:
            – tell people the chance of (fatal) blood clots is the same as a single long haul flight;
            – IFR for 60-69s is roughly 3.5-4%; for 50-59s 1-1.5%, for 40-49% 0.5%, and 0.2% for below 40’s
            – Even for the below 40’s the (annual) risk of dying of the disease is much bigger than the risk of dying of blood clots. (In those countries with biweekly infections above 25 cases per million, which is currently all western countries, UK = 700)
            – but most importantly vaccinated people can help reduce the spread of the virus, and speed up opening the country.

            So maybe if if you don’t want to do it for yourself, then do it for others. Like reducing speed in a school zone, or stop smoking around children.

            1. @coldfly I got an AstraZeneca shot 3 days ago.

      2. The vaccine passport being proposed in the UK would accept recovering from COVID-19 as valid as well (some of the proposed versions don’t even need medical verification of this) or a negative test result. Otherwise it would be ageist (most people are prioritised for the vaccine by age).

      3. The new variants are killing people of all ages, those that don’t die can suffer long COVID, get chronically ill and/or have their life expectancy reduced.

        1. I’m 36 next month. I caught covid in April last year and was seriously ill. Even getting dressed caused me to get breathless. Even though I was very ill with it, it was never severe enough to go to hospital fortunately. A year later I still suffer with “long covid” so yeah definitely agree with olivier.

          I always go to the British GP but am missing this year. Think I’d rather wait one more year for the situation to massively improve.

    3. That was a nasty blow for Veekay there!
      I would so much like the disappearance of power steering in F1, it’s a gimmick drivers can do without, just as DRS.

      1. @jeff1s Power steering a gimmick? I’ve never seen anyone claim this about power steering, LOL.

        1. antony obrien
          9th April 2021, 10:47

          Its not a gimmick but it is a driver aid we could do without.

        2. @jere driver aid

    4. A+ for the “Ewe-ki Tsunoda” joke.

    5. That reminds me, what happened to the RaceFans caption competition? I always enjoyed that.

      1. Yes please bring that back.

      2. @dave-m

        “Cookie monster volunteers to taste the new F1 branded Oreo”

      3. @dave-m @coldfly I very much want to bring it back and intend to do so in future. It’s on hiatus at the moment. During the pandemic I haven’t been satisfied we’ve had a supply of suitable images to be able to run it regularly, which is a consequence of the restrictions in the paddock at the moment. But those sheep pictures would certainly have qualified.

    6. Vaccine passport limits fundamental freedoms given by the EU laws and regulations.

      Then again the Brits didn’t want to do anything with those fundamental freedoms in the first place and choice isolationism with the Brexit.

      1. If Boris wasn’t so incompetent in managing COVID-19, restrictions may not have been so iron first as they are likely to be i the near future

    7. The IndyCar crash looks like it happened because of a slight corner-cut on the grass.

      Assetto Corsa 2, I hope this would happen. Hopefully, it’d have more tracks and cars (especially modern F1 or at least different from the previous).

      1. Lewisham Milton
        9th April 2021, 10:41

        They need a few sheep down there!

    8. Happy birthday to Mad Eric, Slr, Dirgegirl and Traverse

      Happy birthday to all of you guys, you share the same birthday with Jacques Villeneuve, a one in kind F1 personality. Happy birthday Jacques too !

      F1 boss who won with Schumacher and Alonso picking litter

      For a second, you never know, I though it was Flavio Briatore ! Anyway, hats off to Christian Silk for doing what he is currently doing. It’s hard to be that humble for someone in his position.

      1. * one of a kind

      2. For a second, you never know, I though it was Flavio Briatore

        I still did, until I read you comment @tifoso1989.
        I thought that he was convicted for something and as a penalty had to do community cleaning or something.

        1. I insisted to read the full article because I couldn’t believe it. Flavio saying he didn’t do much to help with climate change ! C’mon he was still hanging out with teenagers in the last couple of years, he can’t be serious.

          I thought that he was convicted for something and as a penalty had to do community cleaning or something.

          He’s too shady, he will find out a loophole in the regulations to escape that penalty. Remember how he got back a yacht that was seized by the Italian customs and went to auction. The yacht was sold to his friend and former partner Bernie Ecclestone…

    9. I have the original Assetto Corsa and I find the cars impossible to drive. Putting the power down my car always spins or slides everywhere, even with full TC, stability etc – my laptime in Imola in a Ferrari F1 car was 20-30 seconds off the pace!

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