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British Grand Prix "soul-destroying" without fans

British Grand Prix "soul-destroying" without fans

F1 News

British Grand Prix "soul-destroying" without fans

British Grand Prix "soul-destroying" without fans

Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle has described the behind closed doors races of 2020 as "soul-destroying" as the circuit prepares for its biggest crowd on record.

F1 raced largely without fans present last year as it battled to continue racing through the Covid pandemic although on rare occasions there were spectators, the numbers were strictly limited.

Neither of the two races held at Silverstone last year hosted fans and speaking on the Silverstone podcast, Pringle described the feeling of holding an event without spectators.

"Sport without fans has very little relevance really," he said. "Last year was soul-destroying. It was great that we got the race, plural, on and it actually made very good television all season and I thought that F1 did an unbelievable job to deliver those 17 rounds.

"It was to their enormous credit that they achieved what no other sport did, to be able to go around the world and to do that. But lord it was soul-destroying being there.

"I had the best seat in the house all to myself. I sat on my own in the president's suite in my bubble of one, overlooking the start-finish straight.

"You would think it would be wonderful but it was actually miserable. It was just hopeless."

F1 set to top 'Mansell-mania' highs

The Red Bull Ring welcomed 60,000 fans for the second of its two races, the Austrian Grand Prix.

This was the largest crowd F1 had seen since before the pandemic hit, but this figure will be hit out of the park by the 140,000 expected to line Silverstone on Sunday.

The Northamptonshire circuit was the host to one of the most iconic images in F1 history as fans flooded the track to celebrate home hero Nigel Mansell in 1992.

Pringle continued: "We do this because we love the atmosphere and we love the fans and I cannot wait to have the largest crowd, I think, we have ever had at Silverstone.

"I say I think because we don't have records for Mansell-mania in '87 and '92, but certainly as long as we have had computer records, 2021 will be the biggest crowd."

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