'Biggest ever' F1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone to help drive £100m boost for Northamptonshire

  • Watch Matthew Hudson's report for ITV News Anglia

The biggest-ever British Grand Prix at Silverstone will help generate around £100 million for the area, according to the boss of the circuit.

A record crowd of more than 400,000 people is expected across the race weekend in Northamptonshire.

This year Formula One returns to Silverstone without any Covid restrictions, which has been welcomed by many businesses which have struggled for last two years.

Stuart Pringle, managing director of Silverstone, said: "The 2022 Formula One British Grand Prix is going to be the biggest ever event that we've run at Silverstone.

"We thought it was a big crowd last year. This year the demand has been exceptional, it's very exciting.

"I think lots of people really felt during the Covid period that sport and live events were important to them and they didn't want to miss out.

"Plus that terribly exciting Championship last year with it going down to the wire. So yes, a bumper crowd this year with over 400,000 over the weekend.

"The Formula One British Grand Prix and the Moto GP, the motorcycle equivalent, contribute over £100m to the local economy with visitors that come to both the events.

"The campsites, the hotels, the pubs, the restaurants, bed and breakfasts all hugely benefit. We're proud to play a part economically."

Lewis Hamilton, from Stevenage, will hope to put Mercedes on the podium at his home Grand Prix in Silverstone. Credit: PA

Silverstone's contract with Formula One currently runs until 2024, but Mr Pringle believes their success in attracting a record crowd will help in future negotiations.

"I would sincerely hope that Formula One think we're doing a good job bringing in this record crowd.

"We're certainly very proud of the fact that, by their own survey, we've been voted as the best event of the year by fans for the last three years.

"We're certainly committed to enhancing and developing the Formula One British Grand Prix, particularly on the music and entertainment side for the last couple of years of this contract. So I hope that will make it an easy decision for all parties to make when we get to have that conversation."

Hamilton Fields Campsite is booked out with around 2,000 guests. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Hospitality businesses are preparing to make the most of the British Grand Prix and the huge crowds it attracts.

It is an important revenue stream for Hamilton Fields Campsite which is already booked out with around 2,000 guests.

At the White Horse pub in Silverstone village the landlord Steve Hancock says the lack of Covid restrictions will make a big difference.

Mr Hancock said last year they "had full table service, we had the rule of six and that made things very, very difficult for us because we're very, very busy over the grand prix.

"We had to bring extra tables, we had to bring extra staff in, all of that was extra cost. This year, all back to normal and people can actually enjoy themselves.

"They can get up, they can sing, they can listen to live entertainment, they don't have to be sat down all the time so I think it's going to be a fantastic grand prix."

British Grand Prix race schedule:

Friday 1 July (1pm-2pm) - Practice 1

Friday 1 July (4pm-5pm) - Practice 2

Saturday 2 July (12pm-1pm) - Practice 3

Saturday 2 July (3pm-4pm) - Qualifying

Sunday 3 July (3pm-5pm) - Race

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