Lewis Hamilton torn over British Grand Prix announcement – ‘I do worry about people’ | F1 | Sport

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Lewis Hamilton says he’s been left “split” after the announcement the British Grand Prix would be hosting a full crowd this season, as part of the UK government’s Event Research Programme for large events.

On Thursday, Silverstone announced 140,000 fans would be allowed into the Northampton circuit on 16-18 July for the F1 event, after staging two races behind closed doors last year.

It marks the first full capacity event on the F1 calendar since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hamilton, who was excited about the return of fans, also felt it was “a bit premature” with the rising number of coronavirus cases in the UK.

“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,” said Hamilton.

“Last year we didn’t have them, so to be able to see them and feel the energy that they bring into a weekend.

“On the second, of course, I watch the news and I hear about the cases going up in the UK. So on that side, I worry for people, naturally.

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“I don’t want to turn it into a negative. 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 are fewer people in hospital. But I don’t know. It feels a bit premature to me.

“But it’s not my choice. 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.”

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Silverstone and F1 organisers also confirmed that those attending must either have received both COVID-19 vaccinations or have tested negative on a lateral flow test within 48 hours of arriving at the circuit.

“I think 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,” Hamilton continued.

“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, I’m, yeah…”

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