Silverstone calls for ‘vaccine passports’ to allow full crowd at British Grand Prix

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In the round-up: The promoter of the British Grand Prix has joined other sports in calling on the government to introduce a ‘Covid certification’ process – commonly referred to as ‘vaccine passports’ – to allow the full attendance of fans at summer sporting events.

In brief

Silverstone calls for “full return of fans” ahead of British GP

Silverstone has joined the governing bodies of football, rugby and other major British sporting events in urging the government to commit to the full return of fans ahead of the British Grand Prix and other major competitions.

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson, leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer and other members of parliament, the group urged the government to urgently address when fans will be permitted to return to major events.

“Looking ahead to June 21, we support the government’s ambition to secure the full return of fans, without restrictions if possible,” the letter stated. “Of necessity, this will depend upon the government agreeing that it is safe to lessen or drop social distancing requirements.”

“It is important that we have certainty as soon as possible on the form this guidance will take so we can plan efficiently and effectively with many big sporting events scheduled for late June and onwards,” it added. The British Grand Prix weekend will be held from July 16th to 18th.

The group supports the use of ‘Covid certification’ to ensure large numbers of fans can attend in safety. “All of our sports can see the benefit that a Covid certification process offers in getting more fans safely back to their sport as quickly as possible,” said the letter. “We know that our stadia can only be fully filled with an assurance process.

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021
Some fans were able to attend the Bahrain Grand Prix

“This process must ensure that everyone can access stadia and must include arrangements that would verify a negative Covid test or an antibody test alongside vaccination certification.”

Both of last year’s races at Silverstone were held behind closed doors. The 141,000-strong crowd which attended the 2019 event was the largest attendance at any F1 race that year.

Bahrain allowed fans to attend the season-opening race last month if they could prove they had been vaccinated against, or recovered from, Covid-19. Around 4,500 fans attended the race. The next round of the world championship at Imola will be held behind closed doors.

Paul Ricard employs four-legged friends

Sheep, Paul Ricard, 2021
‘Is that Ewe-ki Tsunoda?’

Paul Ricard, home of the French Grand Prix, has used a novel and ecologically-friendly means of maintaining its grass areas. Two shepherds brought a herd of 400 sheep to the venue last month to feed on the grass, cutting it back without the need for motorised equipment. Seven lambs were born during their stay, all of which are healthy.

Assetto Corsa 2 rumoured

A sequel to Kunos Simulazioni’s Assetto Corsa is in the works, but could be as much as three years away. The developer’s owner Digital Bros stated in its annual report: “starting 2024, numerous new productions will be released, including the second version of Assetto Corsa, created by the internal studio Kunos Simulazioni.”

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