Motorsport

It feels a bit premature, says Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton voiced concern for fans visiting next month’s British Grand Prix, calling the decision to allow a full capacity crowd at Silverstone “a bit premature” amid the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Feeling “split”

Organisers announced on Thursday they received government approval to host up to 130,000 fans for the July 18 race, but Hamilton said he was feeling “split” about the decision.

“I watch the news, so I hear about the cases going up in the UK. On that side I’m worrying for people, naturally,” Hamilton said.

“There is less people being in hospital but it feels a bit premature to me. I hope we learn something from it, and I hope people stay safe and keep their masks on.”

Working with authorities

The Silverstone team said it was working with health authorities in Northamptonshire on the specific conditions of entry that will enable the event to operate safely. It said visitors must show proof of full vaccination or proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of arrival.

Silverstone will host the second Grand Prix with a full capacity crowd since the start of the pandemic, after next week’s Austrian GP.

Hamilton said he did not want to “turn it into a negative” and that he was excited “to see people, and firstly to see the British crowd … to be out to see them and feel the energy that they bring into a weekend.”

Hamilton main’s challenger for the F1 title this season, championship leader Max Verstappen, called a packed Silverstone “simply lovely.”

“To have a full crowd in Silverstone is what you want, that is what creates the atmosphere and what makes F1 special,” the Red Bull driver said.

The drivers spoke at a news conference ahead of the Austrian GP on Sunday.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 5:20:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/motorsport/it-feels-a-bit-premature-says-lewis-hamilton/article34981662.ece

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