Silverstone's plans to host a full capacity crowd at the British Grand Prix have been put in jeopardy by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to extend the UK's lockdown restrictions by four weeks.
The country's roadmap to lifting all Covid-19 restrictions hit a roadblock on Monday despite the UK's successful vaccine rollout, following the increasing prevalence of the coronavirus Delta variant.
Rising cases convinced PM Johnson and his government to delay "freedom day" until July 19, or one day after the British Grand Prix's scheduled race date.
The lockdown extension would theoretically limit the attendance for the tenth round of the 2021 F1 World Championship, with the event falling within the 10,000-spectator cap threshold.
However, the British Grand Prix's inclusion in the UK's Event Research Programme, a programme that allows for larger crowds at certain events in order to monitor Covid transmission rates, could see Silverstone open its gates to a significant number of race fans.
"Following today’s announcement confirming that the easing of lockdown restrictions will be delayed by four weeks, we’d like to reassure you that we remain confident fans will be back at Silverstone for the 2021 Formula 1 British Grand Prix in July," stated Silverstone Circuit on Monday.
"Our ongoing discussions with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, as well as Public Health England, are positive. We will communicate the full details with you once we have them."
Before Monday's announcement by the UK government, Silverstone had initially planned to welcome a sell-out crowd of 140,000 spectators
As a reminder, the race will also see the first trial of F1's new qualifying race format that will take place on Saturday afternoon.