Inside the star-studded British Grand Prix with VIP access and Ferrari champagne

A record crowd of 142,000 fans headed to Silverstone for an incident-filled British Grand Prix on Sunday.

The showpiece event boasted sell out crowds across the three days as Carlos Sainz took the chequered flag at the iconic Northamptonshire track to hand Ferrari victory.

Interest in Formula One has sky rocketed over the last couple of years. Netflix ’s Drive to Survive series, which follows the teams and drivers throughout the season, has attracted a new audience to the sport.

Last season’s dramatic finale that saw Max Verstappen pip Lewis Hamilton to the title provided one of the most controversial moments in sporting history as millions of viewers tuned in across the globe.

Mirror Sport were invited along by one of F1’s Global Partners Emirates to soak up the atmosphere from the prestigious Paddock Club.

The British Grand Prix attracted a plethora of famous faces, with the likes of Hollywood superstars Tom Cruise, Michael Douglas and Keanu Reeves in attendance across the weekend.

Liverpool duo Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold were among the Premier League footballers in the hospitality areas, while Gordon Ramsey and rapper Stormzy also made the trip to the venue located 65 miles north of London.

Many of the A-list celebrities arrived in the middle of the track in helicopters, rather than battle the heavy traffic on the final stretch to Silverstone.

Tom Cruise celebrated his 60th birthday at the British Grand Prix

Tom Cruise celebrated his 60th birthday at the British Grand Prix

Once inside, racegoers were offered five-star hospitality, with fillet steak and lobster on the menu, along with aptly-named Ferrari champagne to wash it down.

VIPs then had the opportunity to explore the pit lane and get up close to the cars as mechanics put the finishing touches to their preparations ahead of the 76th installment of this famous race.

For the lucky few, they were able to take part in the Pirelli Hot Laps where a professional driver takes invited guests around the track in a supercar.

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk was invited by Red Bull, along with fellow Dutch defender Nathan Ake

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk was invited by Red Bull, along with fellow Dutch defender Nathan Ake
Getty Images)

Mirror Sport had the opportunity to ride around in a Mercedes as we got the chance to experience what the likes of Lewis Hamilton goes through on the 3.6mile-circuit.

Once we got motoring the road car reached speeds of more than 150mph as it made its way around the legendary track.

I clung on for dear life as my body got thrown around like a rag doll as we navigated the 18 chicanes before finishing up on the Hamilton Straight.

The Red Arrows flew overhead before the race

The Red Arrows flew overhead before the race
XPB Images/PA Images)

After the Red Arrows display overhead, it was now time for the main event.

Fans jostled for position to get a glimpse of the grid as Sainz took pole after a wet and wild qualifying session 24 hours earlier.

However, they watched on in horror as disaster struck on the 160mph opening Abbey corner. George Russell tagged Chinese rookie Zhou Guanyu, whose car flipped upside down and was lodged between the tyre barrier and fencing.

Lewis Hamilton (R) sprays winner Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr with champagne on the winners' podium

Lewis Hamilton (R) sprays winner Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr with champagne on the winners’ podium
AFP via Getty Images)

Zhou was eventually removed from his Alfa Romeo and taken by ambulance for medical checks. Fortunately, he was discharged, while Alex Albon, who was also caught up in the melee, was helicoptered to hospital to be assessed as a precaution.

When the action eventually restarted following a long delay, Sainz held on for victory, with Sergio Perez in second and Hamilton third to the home crowd’s delight after he overtook Charles Leclerc with four laps to go.

Emirates has been a Global Partner of F1® since 2013. The iconic Fly Emirates branding was featured prominently on the track at a majority of races across Europe, Asia, Australasia, North America and South America. In 2019, Emirates renewed its branding with the new Fly Better promise.

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