LONDON -Silverstone will be allowed a capacity crowd for the July 18 British Formula One Grand Prix, a home race for Mercedes' seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton, the sport announced on Thursday.
The last pre-pandemic race held at the circuit with spectators in 2019 saw a three-day attendance of 351,000 and 141,000 on race Sunday.
The circuit hosted two races last year, both without a crowd, but this year's attendance is set to be the biggest of any sporting event in Britain since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March last year.
"It is fantastic news that Silverstone will be a full capacity event," said Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali.
"It will be an incredible weekend with hundreds of thousands of fans being there to see our first ever Sprint event on the Saturday and the main event on Sunday."
The grand prix will be the first to try out a new format, with qualifying on Friday and then a sprint race on Saturday to determine the grid for Sunday's race.
Points will also be awarded to the top three finishers on Saturday.
Silverstone, also a home GP for the majority of teams, had the biggest crowd of any race in 2019.
Hamilton will be one of three Britons in the race, along with McLaren's Lando Norris and Williams' George Russell.
The July 16-19 event has been included, along with Wimbledon tennis, the golf Open and Euro 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley, in the British government's Event Research Programme.
"This is something we have all been working towards for months and I cannot wait to welcome a full capacity crowd back to Silverstone this July," said Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle.
"Many of our fans rolled their tickets over from 2020 but they are now well placed to enjoy what is sure to be one of the highlights of the summer."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Jon Boyle and Ken Ferris)