A weekend of records at the British Formula 1 Grand Prix saw over 350,000 fans head to Silverstone in Northamptonshire as Lewis Hamilton claimed a sixth win at the famous circuit.

Luke Dick, BA (Hons) Stadium & Events Management student at UCFB Wembley, was working with events company Pro-Excel over both days of the Grand Prix with UCFB colleagues Miah Kirton, Liam Fuller, Daniel Foster and Fabian Rakowski. We spoke with Luke about the highlights of working at such an iconic sporting event and what makes Formula 1 a unique industry to work in...

Tell us about your role at this year's Silverstone GP. How did the role come about?

We worked with Pro-Excel over the weekend, a mass movement dance and entertainment organisation that put on dynamic entertainment shows at major events around the world. Our roles over the weekend started as being escorts for around 2,000 performers who were arriving at Silverstone on Saturday for a dance performance on the main stage. The safety of the performers was of paramount importance at all times when we were escorting them through the general public area to reach the backstage of Silverstone.

As well as this, we had to distribute performance t-shirts and flags to each performer once everyone had arrived. Race day on Sunday was very similar in terms of the roles we had. However, the performance was on the starting grid at Silverstone and there were only 300 performers performing in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Luke (pictured second from the left) was joined by UCFB colleagues Liam, Dan, Fabian and Miah (not pictured)

What were the highlights of working on the GP? What do you learn from working on an event like that?

The highlights of the weekend at Silverstone was the opportunity to be on the starting grid while the performers were performing their routine. This was an experience I will never forget as we were stood there in front of a sold-out grandstand.

Another highlight was having access to the paddock after the performance on Sunday. We were able to walk through the pits and into the paddock area where all of the drivers and their teams were able to relax and prepare for the race. It was a good insight into the layout of this exclusive area, and being able to see some famous faces while we walked through.

The main things I learnt from the weekend was that the working environment at major events is extremely pressured and requires concentration and patience at all times. The best results will always shine through if the preparation for the main event and all of the other activities surrounding the event is done well.

As a BA (Hons) Stadium & Events Management student, tell us how the Silverstone GP is unique and what makes it a special event on the sporting calendar.

The Silverstone Grand Prix is so special in many different ways. It is now seen as a festival with many things going on alongside just the racing on the Sunday. There is live music across the weekend, with Craig David and Razorlight being the headliners for the 2019 event. There are many different food cuisines on offer for all different types of people, and there is entertainment on all day including a Ferris wheel and dance performances throughout the weekend. With all of this going on at Silverstone, it makes the weekend so diverse and attracts people from all different backgrounds to enjoy a weekend of thrilling entertainment.

Luke was working with Pro-Excel over the GP weekend that saw over 2,000 performers take to the stage to entertain fans

A record 353,000 fans attended the GP over the course of the weekend – how does an event cope with that number of fans to ensure a safe and successful weekend?

Similar to the 2012 London Olympics when they had 'games makers', who were volunteers to help make the games run smoothly, the F1 weekend has hundreds of ‘race makers’ all around Silverstone to ensure the safety of the public and to deliver a successful major event. All of the race makers were friendly and able to help any of the public with directions of where to go.

As well as this, Silverstone was well signposted all the way around the site in order to inform the public of where to go and that meant that the large crowds were constantly flowing rather than many people being stood still not knowing where to go. Silverstone as a site is massive so the ability to control all of the fans is a huge task. However, the site was well staffed and the crowds at GP are all very friendly so there didn’t seem to ever be any major issues in relation to the fans.

Tell us about your highlights from your time at UCFB so far. What have you taken from the first two years that will benefit you in the workplace?

My main highlight from UCFB so far has got to be the trip to Doha, Qatar in January 2019. During the trip, we visited the Khalifa Stadium, which will be one of the stadiums in use for the 2022 World Cup. We also met the supreme Legacy Committee who are in charge of the planning and preparation for the World Cup. They were able to give us a deep insight into how Doha is getting itself prepared for this global footballing event.

Also, being able to work on The National League playoff final at Wembley between Salford and AFC Fylde was a highlight for me. Being able to work closely with The National League during the build-up to matchday and on the day has given me an idea into how major events are planned and how so many different aspects need to be considered and covered in order to make the day a success.