Noise, fumes, squelching mud, no not a rally cross event, just Formula 1 at Silverstone, the home of British motor racing!
Having suffered downpours for days, spectators being turned away for practise days, we wasn’t sure what to expect setting out a 5.00a.m on a Sunday morning, arriving at the track at 6.30a.m the traffic was already building up and the mud caked sights in surrounding fields added to the trepidation; then we hit the main drag into the track and the buzz was clearly in the air.
No matter what the weather, the Brit crowd was gathering in exciting expectation, the clouds disappeared and the sun shone through. Racing started at 8.30a.m with GP 3, then GP 2 and followed by the Porsches, by which time the place is alive with people. Next up was a 20 odd minute display from the Red Arrows, followed by the drivers doing a track parade on the back of a trailer, waving to the fans; then the buzz really kicks in.
Cue the images the song “Cars” and the noise of F1 cars reving their engines up. There cannot be such an high pitched sound anywhere else in sport as 24 high powered, souped up speed machines take to the grid and scream past. We watched at Woodcote, as it had good views of the Brooklands section going into the Luffield curve, luckily we saw one of the main moves as Webber took Alonso to effectively win the Grand prix, as the teams drive past you also get the chance to watch them roar down a long straight into the international straight as the cars approach Copse at some 160 m.p.h (my guess). As for the rest well all round the track, there are big screens, so you miss very little of the main action.
Sadly the 3 Brits didn’t make the podium, but Lewis and Jenson acknowledged the fantastic support and at least the was a “home” victory of sorts, as Aussie Webber is an adopted local! Cue time to race round to the main straight and walk past the pits, see the the likes of Eddie Jordan, David Coulthard et al waxing lyrical about the days events. heading to the F1 village for the after race party the fun continues, sadly cue the great British weather and an hour later we headed for the bulging car parks.
F1 is a full days fun, with a unique atmosphere of it’s own, sure it’s not cheap but do it again? You betcha we’re hooked now and already thinking of where to watch next year.
Gary Palmer – Year of Get Up and Go blogging panel