in focus

Live music and celebrity stardust are making F1 a true festival of speed

Formula One is determined to make sure the action doesn’t stop when the chequered flag falls, writes F1 correspondent Kieran Jackson

Tuesday 18 July 2023 12:35 BST
<p>Brad Pitt and Damson Idris shoot their new film before the British Grand Prix  </p>

Brad Pitt and Damson Idris shoot their new film before the British Grand Prix

Experiencing an unprecedented period of popularity – in spite of the fact that, this year, the title is a foregone conclusion – Formula One is desperate to put on a show, using every last drop of cash to deliver a spectacle both on and off the track. As the bio on the official F1 Twitter account states: “Our big game? We do it 23 times a year. This is no ordinary sport.”

Nowhere is this more evident than at Silverstone. One of the traditional linchpins of the F1 calendar, having held the first ever race in May 1950, the airfield in Northamptonshire has modernised into an all-encompassing entertainment complex, from the main entrance and the Hamilton Straight (named after Sir Lewis) to Copse and Stowe at the other end of this 3.61 mile circuit.

This year, there was extra razzmatazz for the British Grand Prix with a record 480,000 fans in attendance. Across four days alongside the racing, Silverstone hosted what was effectively an evening music festival, boasting some of the world’s biggest artists. Opening with three-time Brit Award winner Cat Burns, DJ Calvin Harris, Black Eyed Peas and chart-topper Tom Grennan all appeared on the main stage, positioned just to the side of the Wellington Straight.

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