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Hamilton slams Silverstone ticket prices

NEWS STORY
21/06/2024

Lewis Hamilton has hit out at Silverstone bosses, claiming that high cost of tickets is pricing out fans at a time the cost of living is already putting them under the squeeze.

When Chris Sylt previously predicted that ticket prices for the British Grand Prix would increase dramatically, he was widely mocked, though it didn't take long for him to be proven entirely correct.

However, the buyout of F1 by Liberty Media, not to mention the increasing popularity of the sport courtesy of things like Drive to Survive, has seen Sylt's predictions fall well short of the mark.

In recent days, Silverstone boss, Stuart Pringle blamed the failure to sell-out this year's event on Max Verstappen's domination of the sport.

"Historically we've always had to promote up until the end, but definitely there was a discernible bounce post-COVID," he said. "That wasn't unique to motorsport or Formula 1, it was seen in other sports and entertainment events.

"But if there is a strong likelihood of the same winner, and the jeopardy is taken out of sport, it does take the edge off it," he added. "Last year was very repetitive in terms of one team dominated and they set off this season in the same vein.

"Things may be changing now, and I do recognise that we had several years of a British driver dominating the championship, and we didn't mind that so much as a British promoter! But it's certainly been a lot harder with Red Bull dominating."

However, as opposed to Verstappen and Red Bull's domination, fans have been taking to social media to insist that it is the high cost of tickets that is putting them off.

Indeed, it is claimed that families can travel to the Austrian or Hungarian events, for example, and the cost of tickets, flights and hotels would still work out cheaper than the Silverstone weekend.

Added to their frustration is a new ticketing process that increases prices in live time depending on demand.

Lewis Hamilton, an eight-time winner of the Silverstone event, has hit out at organisers over the high prices being charged.

"It's an incredible event," the Mercedes driver told reporters in Barcelona. "If you take it from a bird's eye view, the whole event is... all the space is used up. So many fans come and have a great weekend.

"The only thing I would ever say is that we have to watch ticket prices," he added. "I think they're continuing to rise and the cost of living nowadays, I think it's too high.

"I'm just thinking from the perspective of a fan that would come with a family," he continued. "It's hugely expensive, so I think it's looking into ways where you can make better accessibility for people. The sport won't like that I'm saying that, but I'm thinking from the perspective of the fans and their families."

Asked about Pringle's comments, Max Verstappen said: "I don't think it's my fault. This current Formula 1 season is very exciting, lately several teams have been competing for victories.

"If a promoter cannot fill all the seats and blames someone else, it is better that they first look at themselves, what they are doing wrong," he added. "Because in other places, I think they manage to fill the stands quite easily."

"As a promoter, you have to get your ticket pricing strategy correct," insists Pringle. "You could make these things go quicker if you reduce price. But we have got expensive bills to pay, not least the promoter fee, so it's about hitting a strategy and making sure it works, which we're pretty comfortable with."

Tickets aside, now that Hamilton understands that fans do not have bottomless pits for pockets, perhaps he could call on his team to ease off with the limited edition caps, T-Shirts and whatever else, or at least reduce the prices.

Check out our Friday gallery from Barcelona here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by LiamIII, 21/06/2024 18:15

"I consider myself middle class American. The cost of travel, hotel, food, parking, a ticket to the event in a place far away from the action is just not worth the money. Especially with the hybrid no-action "racing".

With inflation where it is I can spend the $1,000 on something that will last much longer than the so called "experience" at ANY F1 race here in the states. I just can't justify it.

Maybe someday I will be able to travel to the homeland and visit the track at least. "

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Forza Minardi, 21/06/2024 13:22

"Not been to Silverstone since that soggy weekend in 2008 due to ticket prices. I could afford to, but it's just not worth it when going to Spa, the A1-Ring has proven to be much better value over the years. "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 21/06/2024 13:17

"What other races are on the race weekend schedule at Silverstone? F1 needs (in general) a better job promoting the whole race weekend. Have better supporting races and the like.

If potential spectators knew the Porsche Cup, Ferrari Challenge, Historic F1... were racing as well it better justify the price."

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4. Posted by Chester, 21/06/2024 12:48

"Welcome to 2024 live entertainment prices. Inflation, pent-up demand, and increased demand for F1 in particular show a market that is functioning as it should.

It is exactly why I am not thrilled about the Brad Pitt F1 movie. Continued demand.

I did a calculation on the price growth rate my Turn 12 COTA tickets. A 2024 Turn 12 ticket is $850, while the 2012 inaugural price was $400. Compound growth rate of 6.5%, which is more than double the 2.9% IMF inflation for the USA. "

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5. Posted by Mad Matt, 21/06/2024 10:55

"The promoter is being squeezed by FOM so they'll do whatever they can to get those costs back and make a profit... sometimes they get it wrong and the price kills off demand...

I gave up all hope of going to Silverstone a long time ago... I much prefer to see some classic races where there's lots of action and you can get close to the cars and drivers for very little money at all."

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