Bumper crowd boosts Silverstone
Silverstone bosses are hopeful that fan power has improved their hopes of a place on next season's F1 calendar.
Last Updated: 22/06/09 6:02pm
Silverstone chiefs are hopeful that fan power has improved their hopes of a place on next season's Formula One calendar.
The British Grand Prix attracted a cumulative crowd over the three days of 310,000 - including 120,000 for last Sunday's race - the highest at the Northamptonshire circuit for 15 years.
The race is now due to switch to Donington Park for next year, but the track's ongoing financial problems - not helped by the threat of a breakaway series - continues to put their plans in doubt.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Max Mosley both also suggested during the course of the weekend Silverstone may yet host the event next season.
With the venue an overwhelming favourite with the drivers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see Silverstone not playing a part in the sport in the future.
Richard Phillips, managing director of Silverstone Circuits Ltd, said: "The support for Silverstone and the British Grand Prix over the past three days - from fans, drivers and teams - has been overwhelming.
"The fans have a real affinity with Silverstone, and the drivers love coming here. It's a fantastic circuit.
"You just have to look at the attendance figures over the past three days, and Sebastian Vettel's reaction to winning here, to see that Silverstone is a very special place."
Such was the reception Vettel received from the fans, he admitted afterwards regret at not being English.
Phillips added: "We have the best fans in the world and I sincerely hope to see them back at Silverstone next year.
"There have been growing concerns over Donington Park's ability to host the British Grand Prix, in 2010 and beyond, but comments over the weekend from Mr Ecclestone and the FIA have been reassuring.
"The support from fans over this weekend has undoubtedly had an impact on the way they are viewing the future of the British Grand Prix and Silverstone.
"We've said all along that Silverstone is ready to step in if Donington's plans fall over, and that remains the case.
"Silverstone has never looked so good. This year's British Grand Prix was phenomenal, one of the best run and well supported events I have ever worked on.
"We're hopeful we'll see everyone back here next year."