While delighted to be racing in front of his adoring British fans, world champion Lewis Hamilton is fearful the decision to allow a capacity crowd access to Silverstone might prove premature.
Always at pains to thank the fans in the stands, speaking to reporters at the Red Bull Ring today, Lewis Hamilton appeared to pour cold water on the news that all ticket holders will be allowed access to next month’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Earlier today, Silverstone confirmed that all ticket holders to this year’s Grand Prix will have access as the event has been included in the latest phase of the UK Government’s Event Research Programme (ERP).
However, mindful of the ongoing pandemic, ticket holders are advised that they will be asked for either proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of arrival or proof of full vaccination, the second dose having been received at least 14 days prior to the first day of attending the Grand Prix.
While delighted to know that his adoring public will be there to cheer him on as he battles Max Verstappen for the 2021 title, Hamilton is concerned that the decision may prove premature.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to see people, and to see the British crowd, because it is the best crowd of the whole year,” he said. “Last year we didn’t have them, so to be able to see them and feel the energy that they bring into a weekend…
“Of course I watch the news,” he continued, “and I hear about the cases going up in the UK. So on that side, I worry for people, naturally.
“I don’t want to turn it into a negative,” he insisted. “I am excited to see so many people. The selfish part of me, I want to see all the people there. But I turn on the news this morning, and I’ve been watching it these past days, and I know that the UK rates have increased since people are loosening up a little bit, and not everyone is vaccinated.
“I do worry about people. I read that the vaccinations is good, there’s less people being in hospital. But I don’t know. It feels a bit premature to me.
“But it’s not my choice,” he added. “People go there, I hope we learn something from it, and I hope people stay safe, keep their masks on. That’s what I’d encourage everyone, continue to wash their hands, continue to wear your masks, particularly in those big crowds.
“As I said, it’s been great that we’ve had people, even in the last race, and 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 full pelt. And using our British fans as a test pen…”