Formula 1

The British Grand Prix: Formula 1 comes home

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This weekend Formula 1 returns to where it all began as Silverstone once again plays host to the British Grand Prix.

One of the most popular on the calendar, Silverstone is one of F1's classic races and provides an atmosphere to match.

Each year over 100,000 die-hard (usually McLaren) fans brave the mud baths called car parks and the unpredictable weather to enjoy a weekend of racing, sharing their experiences with other petrol heads.

Very few of these races remain on the calendar with only the Germans, Italians and the Spanish in recent years able to match the enthusiasm and the knowledge of the British crowd.

Of course in recent years F1 has looked to new countries in an attempt to rekindle the type of enthusiasm in some of the 21st century's most important markets, with China, India and the USA all back on the calendar.

While the USA does have a decent number of F1 fans, the sport fails to boast the same popularity as IndyCar or NASCAR. 

As for India, the race only joined in 2011 and enjoyed a positive first year with 95,000 fans heading to the Buddh Circuit, but that number dropped quite sharply to 65,000 last year, and finally China has been on the calendar now since 2004 and despite the large market, the race does not produce the crowds to match.

That final point can be applied to most venues and has been the reason for several races leaving after only a few years. Turkey's Istanbul Otodrom is one of the best modern races to have joined the calendar but was forced out of F1 after 2011 as small crowds meant the race was not financially viable. 

Other races are boosted by expats and F1 'tourists' especially the 'classic' races at Spa in Belgium and Monaco, both races are seen as a pilgrimage for the die-hard F1 fan.

The therefore quite unique atmosphere that accompanies the British Grand Prix is of great delight to the teams and drivers alike who all describe Silverstone as one of the most enjoyable races of the year.

As F1 grows in the emerging markets, venues like Abu Dhabi and India could produce the same passionate crowds that Silverstone does, the younger generation of Arabs and Indians are producing a much larger number of car and motorsport fanatics. 

Asia is also coming through strong with Malaysia, Singapore and the South East Asian region producing plenty of young kart drivers, should one of them make it all the way to F1 that would be another major boost for F1 for the local races.

With that growing interest it is hoped that the newer races on the calendar can, in the future, provide the same passionate, knowledgeable crowds that will be flocking to an old airfield in the Northamptonshire countryside this weekend.


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Formula 1

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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