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Max Verstappen

Verstappen fires back at Silverstone boss over British GP jibe

Max Verstappen has enjoyed a highly dominant 12 months in Formula 1, but has denied suggestions he is behind dwindling ticket sales ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Verstappen Spain
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Max Verstappen has hit back at the suggestion he is responsible for dwindling ticket sales for the British Grand Prix.

Last year, the Silverstone circuit saw a record 480,000 people attend the event across the weekend. That number is set to fall this year for the July 5-7 event.

In part, this is due to cutting back on the amount of tickets up for sale to enhance the customer experience through a less-crowded venue.

However, a fast sell-out that Silverstone has enjoyed in recent years has not been seen this season, with tickets still up for grabs two weeks away from the event.

Managing director of Silverstone Stuart Pringle recently suggested that Max Verstappen and Red Bull's dominance has fuelled the ticket concern. 

“Historically we’ve always had to promote up until the end, but definitely there was a discernible bounce post-Covid,” he said.

“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. Last year was very repetitive in terms of one team dominating 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.”

Verstappen responds

Verstappen dominated the 2023 campaign, winning 19 of the 23 races hosted en route to his third drivers' title.

The three-time F1 champion's strong form has continued this year, with the Dutchman taking the chequered flag six times in nine races.

Ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, Verstappen has responded to Pringle's comments, refuting he is to blame for the decline in ticket sales.

“I don’t think it’s my fault,” Verstappen said. “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 they first look at themselves and what they are doing wrong.

“Because in other places, they manage to fill the stands quite easily.”

Also interesting:

Join Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding in the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, looking ahead to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. 

The trio discuss how significant this weekend is in the title fight, whether Red Bull's advantage will return and if Andrea Kimi Antonelli will now make his F1 debut at just 17 years old. Much, much more is also discussed! 

Rather watch then listen to our podcast? Click here.

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