British GP fans rebel against ever-increasing ticket prices
It’s the leading motor-racing event of the UK sporting summer, but attendance at this month’s British Grand Prix is expected to be significantly down as Formula One fans rebel against ever-increasing ticket prices.
The cheapest tickets for next’s Sunday’s race at Silverstone start at £145 – among the highest of any Grand Prix. This appears to have priced out many F1 enthusiasts as the downturn bites, with a course spokesman admitting to The Independent yesterday that sales “aren’t that strong”.
Public interest has also been hit by the lack of British success as neither Jenson Button nor Lewis Hamilton has won a race this year.
At close of business yesterday, Silverstone’s website showed that 22 ticket categories are still available while only 11 are sold out.
In comparison, last year Silverstone announced several weeks before the race that less than 5,000 tickets were remaining and on race-day a record 127,000 spectators were in attendance. This was despite downpours which transformed car parks into mud baths and forced organizers to turn spectators away for the qualifying sessions.
As many as 30,000 ticket-holders were told to stay away from the circuit as car parks were waterlogged and local roads were left groaning under the weight of traffic trying to access the circuit. To prevent this from being repeated the race organizers have invested in improving the non-tarmacked car parks and expanded both park and ride and shuttle services. However, it doesn’t look like traffic jams will be a problem this year.
On 30 May, three F1 teams, Marussia, McLaren and Williams, took to Twitter to try to drum up support. In a coordinated approach they all wrote: “Only #28 days to go until the 2013 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix! Have you got your tickets yet?”
A spokesman for Silverstone yesterday admitted that sales started slowly, He said: “We had record crowds at Silverstone in 2011 and 2012 and during our initial sales period for this year’s event ticket sales were not as strong, however they have picked up significantly in the last six to eight weeks and we are pleased to report that although the crowd will not be as big as last years it will still be one of our biggest of recent years. Independent.co.uk