Motorsport Tickets has hailed the announcement that Silverstone will allow a capacity crowd of 140,000 for next month’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix as an opportunity to accelerate the return of sports travel.

The event has been included in the latest phase of the UK Government’s Event Research Programme (ERP) and will be able to welcome all ticket holders to the 2021 event from July 16-18.

All adults attending will have to be fully vaccinated or be in possession of a negative test for COVID-19, with further details for ticket holders to be published in the coming week.

Stuart Pringle, managing director of Silverstone, said: “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.  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.

“[This is] an amazing, safe opportunity the British Grand Prix offers to show the world how Britain has dragged itself back on track following the fight against the pandemic.”

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton expressed delight at fans returning to Silverstone, but was cautious about the decision to allow full capacity and “using our British fans as a test.”

Richard Gibson-Venner, marketing director of authorised ticket seller Motorsport Tickets, said recent data suggests fans are eager to return to motorsport venues with confidence growing about safety.

He said: “We appreciate that there are some concerns about the Silverstone news, but we believe this is a real win for spectator sports tourists and for British motorsport fans to hear that next month’s Silverstone Grand Prix will take place in front of a 140,000 strong crowd; the largest gathering since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

“Though more people than ever have enjoyed the Formula One from their armchairs, we firmly believe it is best enjoyed from the thrum of the grandstands, where fans can soak in the atmosphere, hear the roar of the cars and enjoy the entertainment held before and after each race.

“At Motorsport Tickets, we’ve seen a huge demand uptake in recent weeks across from European customers. The Netherlands, in particular, where their traffic light system has really enabled fans to confidently book and make plans to travel across borders.

“We hope the opening up of Silverstone is the start of a wider springboard to travel opening up and enabling sports fans to get back travelling to races across the world.”

Silverstone said all ticket holders are now able to download their e-tickets by logging in to their account on the venue’s website.

The move follows large crowds being permitted for the final matches of Euro 2020, as well as Wimbledon and the Open golf tournament.

Capacity at Wembley will be raised to 60,000 fans for the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020, Wimbledon will start at 50-per-cent capacity today (June 28) before rising to a full 15,000 capacity for the men’s and women’s finals, while 32,000 spectators a day will be permitted at the Open.