Silverstone proposing expansion to a four-day British GP weekend

The start of the British Grand Prix. Silverstone July 2021. Credit: Alamy
The start of the British Grand Prix. Silverstone July 2021. Credit: Alamy

Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle said he is pushing Formula 1 to expand the British Grand Prix race weekend to cover four days.

Whether it is a normal Formula 1 race weekend or a sprint edition, the on-track action is usually conducted from Friday to Sunday.

But as for the support series, Pringle would also like to see the Thursday brought into play, in order to add another day for the fans where some form of action is taking place on the track.

“We’re looking to extend the weekend,” said Pringle, quoted by Motorsport.com, while speaking at Autosport International.

“I’m working hard on Formula 1. I believe they need to change the format of the weekend. They say: ‘Oh well it’s the FIA, they’ve got to do the systems test and stuff’ – well, do them a day earlier.

“Let’s do some stuff on Thursday. There are a lot of people who want to come and see things, and three days isn’t really enough.

“Let’s make it that big, best part of a week’s festival. People do turn up at Silverstone on a Tuesday and put the tent up, and that’s it, they’re in.”

Silverstone welcomed a record crowd for the 2022 British Grand Prix, with an attendance of just over 400,000 recorded across the race weekend.

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Why a four-day British GP weekend would work for Formula 1

Now, it is true that Formula 1 needs to strongly consider the impact on personnel of the ever-increasing calendar, set to comprise of 24 grands prix in 2022, but the proposal for Pringle would lead to an improved British GP experience for the fans, with limited extra involvement for Formula 1 personnel.

Since the idea is for supporting series to take care of track action on that Thursday, the vast majority of these operating on less demanding schedules, such a change could be done with minimal knock-on effect for the Formula 1 folk.

The Australian Grand Prix currently operates to a four-day weekend for example, with Thursday used for support series events from the likes of Supercars and S5000, so there is proof on the calendar already that this schedule can be done.

Of course for some series this would require some late schedule changes, but with Formula 3 and Formula 2 for example already set to be at Silverstone as part of the support schedule, perhaps they could get involved by bringing part of their race weekend forward to Thursday? Or, it could be an opportunity for other domestic series to join the scene.

 

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