Red Arrows will roar again at British GP after F1 reprieve


The Red Arrows are exempt from F1’s new ban on military aircraft displays at grands prix, Silverstone has confirmed

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 14: The Red Arrows perform an aerobatics display above the Red Bull Racing team on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 14, 2019 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The Red Arrows have the green light to fly over Silverstone at this year's British GP

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The Red Arrows are not subject to Formula 1’s ban on military flying displays and are due to return to the British Grand Prix this year, Silverstone has confirmed.

The RAF’s aerobatic display team’s pre-race performance was thought to be under threat from a new F1 policy that prevents military air shows at races.

But the squadron, which uses Hawk T1 training jets, has been cleared to continue flying by F1, which doesn’t class the Red Arrows as military aviation.

“The Red Arrows have played a significant part in entertaining motorsport fans since they first performed at the British Grand Prix in 1966 and I am pleased to say that Formula 1 has confirmed this much-loved tradition can continue at Silverstone in 2022,” said Silverstone in a statement.

“The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, are not classed as military aviation and, as such, do not fall into the category of those displays that will no longer be permitted at Formula 1 events. We look forward to welcoming them back to Silverstone on 3 July.”

Details of the new F1 policy were reported by earlier this week. An email circulated to race promoters is said to say that displays of military aviation are now banned to “support F1’s sustainability objectives”.

It will also prevent host nations from using grands prix to show off their military power. Displays by civilian and commercial aircraft using sustainable fuel will be permitted.

The Red Arrows appear to have secured a temporary exemption from the latter requirement. The team is examining how to make its smoke trails more environmentally-friendly and the RAF has committed to becoming carbon neutral with the use of sustainable and synthetic fuels by 2040.

It is not known whether other national aerobatic display teams using training aircraft, including the Patrouille de France and Spanish Patrulla Águila, will also be able to continue flying at grands prix.