On Thursday, Silverstone confirmed it has received the green light to welcome up to 140,000 spectators at next’s month British Grand Prix. It will be the largest crowd that has attended an event in the UK since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

The UK government has added Silverstone to its Events Research Programme, along with Euro 2020 matches held at Wembley, Wimbledon and golf’s Open Championship.

The pilot scheme is paving the way for crowds to return to events in a safe manner as the country continues to move out of lockdown restrictions.

While seven-time world champion Hamilton welcomed the return of fans, he is also left feeling uneasy about the prospect of a sell-out event taking place at a time when COVID-19 case rates are rising in the UK.

“I’m kind of split,” the seven-time British GP winner said.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to see people, and to see the British crowd, as it is the best crowd of the whole year.

“Last year we didn’t have them, so to be able to see them and feel the energy they bring into the weekend.

“On the second, of course I watch the news so I hear about the cases going up massively in the UK. So on that side I worry for people, naturally.

“I don’t want to turn into a negative,” he stressed. “Like I said, I am excited to see so many people and the selfish part of me, I want to see all the people there.

“But I turned on the news this morning, and have been watching it these past days, and know UK rates have increased, since people are loosening up a bit and not everyone is vaccinated, so I do worry about people.

“I read the vaccinations are good, there’s less people being in hospital, but I don’t know, it feels a bit premature to me.

“If people go there, I hope we learn something from it and everyone stays safe, keeps their mask on. That’s what I’d encourage everyone, continue to wash their hands, continue to wear your masks, particularly when you’re in those big crowds."

Asked if he felt the right decisions are being made for the right decisions at Silverstone, Hamilton replied: “Look, I’m not in politics, I’m not in government.

“There’s been lots of confusing things coming from government over time and I don’t understand it all, so I can’t really comment on it.”

It has been confirmed that British GP ticket holders must provide proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of arrival, or proof of full vaccination before being allowed entry.

Hamilton insisted his feelings remained the same despite being informed about the safety precautions.

"I think as I said, it's been great that we've had people, even in the last race, and I've not heard any negative things come from the last race," Hamilton said.

"I like to err on the side of caution and slowly build up, rather than full pelt and using our British fans as a test pen.”

McLaren’s Lando Norris said he was “delighted” to have fans returning to Silverstone.

“I look forward to it,” he said. “We missed a lot last year, especially doing two races there.

“It has been nice slowly having more and more fans through this season, here and there, so to go back to my home race, the first sprint race weekend as well, so we have that to look forward to, and the fans have that to look forward to.

“But just to have them all back and feeling more normal again is something I’m very excited for.”

Fellow Briton George Russell also welcomed the news.

“I’m really excited," he added. "I think it’s great that we are moving towards this and doing it safely as well. Everyone has to be tested or show proof of vaccination.

“I’ve been told you can fit 50 Wembley stadiums inside of Silverstone, so big space, open-air, lots of room to move around so I think it’s great that Silverstone have worked together with the government and we’ll have a good show on our hands for everyone.”