The F1 2011 British Grand Prix attracted a record 315,000-strong crowd over the three days of the event, with a sell-out 122,000 turning up at Silverstone for the race itself, it has been confirmed.
Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips has hailed it as one of 'biggest' and 'best' British GP's in recent years. The circuit has also revealed that 105,000 people turned up for qualifying on Saturday, while 88,000 showed up for practice the day before.
The event, which was won by Ferrari star Fernando Alonso [click here for the full race report
], attracted a number of VIPs and special guests, including Prince Harry, HRH The Duke of Kent, actors Hugh Grant and Sir Patrick Stewart, as well as England cricketers Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad, Graham Swann, Jimmy Anderson and Andrew Flintoff, golfer Ian Poulter, England rugby players Chris Ashton and Dylan Hartley and footballer Wes Brown.
“Record crowds, a great race, a fantastic atmosphere and significant praise for the Silverstone Wing, all contributed to one of the best British Grand Prix in recent memory,” said Silverstone managing director, Richard Phillips. “Early feedback from the fans has been exceptional and the drivers and teams have been full of praise for the new pit and paddock complex. It's been a fantastic three days and I have to pay tribute to the fans.
“We had more spectators at Silverstone for practice on Friday than most circuits get on race day. They really are fantastic. At the end of the race we opened the gates and let fans onto the circuit to enjoy the podium celebrations. The atmosphere was amazing.
“A huge amount of hard work has gone into getting The Wing ready for this event. It's been a phenomenal effort from the team here at Silverstone. We've had one or two teething problems, and we'll continue to look at areas that can be improved, however, we are all extremely proud of what has been achieved and the fact that we have delivered another fantastic British Grand Prix.”
Following the event meanwhile more than 22,000 fans stayed behind to continue the post-race celebrations and hear from the drivers at the Grand Prix Party, the circuit's traditional finale to the weekend. All of the drivers were greeted on stage to rapturous applause, but the biggest cheers of the day were saved for the three British drivers - Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta.
Fellow F1 drivers Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Vitaly Petrov, Kamui Kobayashi, Sergio Perez, Jaime Alguesuari, Sebastien Buemi, Jerome D'Ambrosio and Karun Chandhok also made appearances on the Grand Prix Party stage, along with Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner, former F1 World Champions Sir Jackie Stewart and Damon Hill OBE, as well as David Coulthard, Martin Brundle, Eddie Jordan and BBC
F1 presenter Jake Humphrey.
Tickets for next year's British Grand Prix, which will take place on July 15, are now on sale.