Lewis Hamilton wary of using “British fans as a test pen”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton says he is “excited” to see fans return at the British Grand Prix, however he feels it might be “a bit premature” and urges attendees to remain cautious.

Silverstone has announced that there will be a “full crowd” at this year’s British Grand Prix, as part of UK’s Event Research Programme for large events.

This will make the 2021 British Grand Prix the first race to have a capacity crowd since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked about it at the Styrian Grand Prix Thursday press conference, Lewis Hamilton was “split” about the news.

“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,” the Briton 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.

“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.

“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.

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“I do worry about people. I read that the vaccination 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. 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.”

To be able to attend the event, fans will have to be tested for COVID-19 within 48 hours of arriving at Silverstone or will have to be fully vaccinated. Lewis applauds the move, but still thinks it is too soon.

“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.

“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…,” concluded the seven-time champion.

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