Record crowds at Silverstone Grand Prix

Silverstone Formula 1 weekend, Mark Webber wins, Hugh Grant and Fan Paul Israel were there Pictures by Jamie Lorriman
Silverstone Formula 1 weekend, Mark Webber wins, Hugh Grant and Fan Paul Israel were there Pictures by Jamie Lorriman

A record number of fans attended the British Grand Prix Silverstone despite torrential rain.

A race day attendance of 127,000 was a record at the Northamptonshire circuit despite disruption caused by severe and unprecedented wet weather leading up to, and during the event.

Richard Phillips, managing director of Silverstone Circuits Ltd, said: “Given the extreme weather conditions and position we found ourselves in on Friday, I don’t think Sunday could have gone much better.

“The sun shone, we had a great race, a popular winner and I’m delighted that we were able to get all the fans in and out of the circuit.

“There were some unavoidable delays but, on the whole, we managed to keep everyone moving safely.”

The total cumulative attendance reached 297,000, with 80,000 at Silverstone on Friday and 90,000 on Saturday.

More than 22,000 stayed behind to continue the post-race celebrations and hear from drivers at the Grand Prix Party, which was free to all ticket holders.

Mr Phillips said: “The fans really have been incredible. They make the British Grand Prix and are truly exceptional. I’d like to thank every single one of them for their continuing support over what was a trying weekend.”

Car passengers were advised not to attend the qualifying sessions after persistent rain left many of the public car parks unusable.

Mr Phillips said: “We had to make some difficult decisions on Friday, but they turned out to be absolutely the right decisions.

“Limiting the number that travelled to the circuit by car on Saturday enabled us to work through Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night to ensure that we were in better shape for Sunday to get everyone into Silverstone for the main race. It was an incredible effort by all the staff here.”

A number of VIPs and high profile guests were at Silverstone for the event, Kate Hudson, Jude Law, Hugh Grant, Simon Pegg and Rowan Atkinson, England cricketers Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Jimmy Anderson and Eoin Morgan, Jamie Redknapp, musicians James Blunt, JB from JLS, Matt Bellamy and Dominic Howard from Muse, Goldie and Leo Sayer, DJ Chris Moyles, Gordon Ramsay, Melanie Sykes and jockey Frankie Dettori.