Lewis Hamilton admitted to being “kind of split” over the news that F1 can race in front of a full house at Silverstone next month amid a rise once again in daily Covid-19 cases in the UK.
Formula 1 announced on Thursday that the British Grand Prix shall be included in the UK’s government’s Event Research programme, which will allow Silverstone to fill its grandstands to full capacity.
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Hamilton welcomed the news and the prospect of entertaining a full contingent of British fans next month, but the Mercedes driver also felt worried about the recent rise in covid cases and the impact it could have on the health of those attending the race.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to see people and firstly to see the British crowd because it is the best crowd of the whole year and obviously last year we didn’t have them,” he said, speaking in Austria ahead of this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix.
“So to be able to see them and feel the energy they bring into a weekend… [But] obviously of course I watch the news, I know about the cases going up massively in the UK. So on that side I worry for people, naturally.”
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While cases are trending higher once again in the UK, Silverstone will only open its gates to those that will provide either proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of arrival at Silverstone, or proof of full vaccination, the second dose having been received at least 14 days prior to the first day of attending the British Grand Prix.
“I don’t want to turn it into a negative, I am excited to see so many people,” Hamilton added. “The selfish part of me, I want to see all the people there.
“But I turned on the news this morning and I’ve been watching it these past days and I know that UK [infection] rates have increased since people are loosening up a little bit and not everyone is vaccinated.
“I do worry about people. But I read that the vaccination is good for, you know, there’s less people being in hospital. But it feels a bit premature.
“As I said I think it’s been great that we’ve had people even in the last race,” he concluded. “I’ve not heard any negative things come from the last race.
“But I like to err on the side of caution and slowly build up rather than going full pelt and using our British fans as a test.”
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