Silverstone report

downforce

Race Winner
I'm back............did anyone miss me?!?!

Well on the drive in to the place on Thursday all is looking good, nice and sunny. That would be the last time I would see the sun that weekend.

It was a very good atmosphere driving while it was though, there is a great big queue of cars of course and there is a sea of people wearing McLaren hats, with me being one of them. There is a sort of air display of world war 2 transport planes doing fly pasts. I was staying on the adjacent golf course to Becketts and it was all looking very smart indeed.

Then we got to the part where we drive on to the pitch, at that point there is a queue of motorhomes and they are taking an age to move, turnes out they could not make it through the mud, and the more that do the more the mud is churned. Each motorhome and car is being pulled by a quad bike into position......slowly.

Our turn came, we got about 10 metres in and the wheels just sunk, we had a 4 wheel drive towing us but it couldn't move us, the guys put gravel under his wheels and gets a spade and digs mud out from under us, its all very entertaining, but to no avail. He dissapears and returns with a 4.5 ton 4 wheel drive and a winch. That struggles to move the van and it leaves great big gouge marks in the earth behind us over half a foot deep.

It rained overnight, and it just kinda kept going.

Going into the track of Friday, head up to becketts to see P1. Becketts looks different than it does on TV, on TV it looks more twisty and longer, I suspect clever use of camera angles. From the stand it looked more like a normal turn in the road.

Massive excitement as I see the first F1 car on the other side of the track leave for installation lap. They all came flooding out in the rain to do their laps. The sound of it was fantastic, not enogh for the ear plugs but very impressive.

After a while though it struck me that they weren't going any faster and somehow I had always imagined F1 cars to look a lot faster and to be honest they didn't seem all that they are made out to be capable of like everyone says. The only person who ever said (typed) to me they were probably faster in my imagination than real life was Silverfan (muzz606) and she was right.

The first time Button came around everyone started clapping which was kinda cool but the cheering was twice as loud for someone else.

I saw a couple of drivers going off in front of me, 2 of them went through a great big puddle in front of me one of them was Grosjean, can't remember who the other was.

For P2 we sat at woodcote. It was poring down and freezing. There wasn't much to choose between the cars, the caterhams looked every bit as fast as the Red-Bull. The only noticable difference was coming out of the Luffield loop the Marussia and the williams had much poorer traction than everyone else, the back end would step out to one side, then the other and they couldn't get the power down.

As predicted the cars then stayed in the garage for absolutely ages, It felt like 45 minutes but I don't really know, it was pouring down and it was freezing and the commentators struggled to find things to talk about (going onto gnomes (!) crows and standing water Vs puddles). After an age of nothing Kobayashi came tearing down Wellington straight and got the loudest cheer of the weekend so far. Vuvuzela's blasting like mad - something was happening.


For P3 I went to Stowe and low and behold it was dry and the cars were out. The hangar straight looks much longer on TV and the maps than real life, it was quite short in real life. It was good seiing all the cars out and going at it in the dry. I had the binoculars and one thing I noticed Red-Bull was the only cars that could keep the DRS through stowe and vale into club. Every other car had to shut it before stowe and keep it shut.

Probably wasn't shown on the internet but as soon as P3 was over Perez went off into the gravel trap right in front of me.

For qually I was at club, I saw the porsche supercup qually, that wasn't all that great. Then the F1 qually began and that was much more fun. Button went out of course and got a big cheer as he went back in.

Q2.........that took a while.

The rain of course came and it seemed to just be red flagged forever in the rain and it was freezing, the rain was getting in under the grandstand roof as well. I remembered with dread how they just left the Canadian grand prix last year going on and on.

Then all of a sudden the adjacent grandstand begins a mexican wave, and it carried on to our grandstand. This happened about 5 times and then the people on the grass banks off the edge of our grandstand carried it on with their umbrellas - AN UMBRELLA MEXICAN WAVE. Crowd was going crazy at this point entertaining ourselves. THEN THE PITCREW JOINED IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew it was coming and I was right OGGY OGGY OGGY........OI OI OI

then the marshals started sweeping the track (!) and they would form a line and start in tandem sweeping in a line to the edge of the track and I was suddenly in this bizzare scenario where I was in a grandstand with thousands of other people and we would start up a sound as the marshalls lined up

woooAAAAAAOOOOOOHHHHHHH SWEEP SWEEP SWEEP SWEEP SWEEP WAAAAAAAAY *vuvuzela blast*

Its surreal being in a grandstand with thousands and chanting "sweep" and people sweeping a road and then cheering when they get to the edge.

What was even stranger when the red flags came in the marshalls took a sweep of honour and bowed. They got the loudest cheer of the whole weekend. Than Grosjean span of in front of me as Q2 ended.

It rained in the night again of course and all my clothes are covered in mud by this point, I have never known so much mud.

I also saw some of the GP2 and didn't notice any speed difference to F1.

The race - I wass at Luffield B

I didn't realise they did so many laps to the grid, I though they did 1 lol.

I don't know If they showed it on TV yet but there was a 3 wide double overtake going on halfway round the loop at Luffield on lap 1. It was so cool having the grid go tearing past, and the noise of all of them really pressed in you ears. Then Di Resta limped round half a minute later on his own and got a massive cheer. So much happened in front of me there was a fair amount of overtaking there that wasn't show on the screen for some reason,

Crashta Maldonado stuck again in front of me, and Perez got appause as he walked away in front of us. The excitement when Hamilton was leading was instense, as it was when he and Alonso were re-passing each other in front of us.

But suddenly when it looked like Webber would have Alonso all of us were fully behind him and every time he came past us we were all cheering him on, he had the full support of Silverstone and when he got passed and kept the place (again in front of me) the cheering was infectous.

The race sempt a lot faster in real life, seemed to be over in a flash.

Him Hamilton and Button got the loudest cheers on the lap of honour and Hamilton and Button slowed in front of our stand and waved at us, pretty cool moment.

There is noticably more Hamilton support.


5 minutes after the race.............................................. ............................it rains..................a lot.

Leaving the golf course we actually had a tractor pull us out, the quad bikes and everything else was useless at this point. Even the tractor had a slide where the mud was at its deepest.

As we approached home there was a signpost that said "caution mud on road" Hah not compared to silverstone.

Overall, a brilliant weekend
 

Dizzi

Podium Finisher
Excellent write up, you're very lyrical & it's made me smile.
I too didn't know the freezing cold rain swept into the grandstands either - until I sat in Abbey on Friday...brrr....
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Great report downforce, makes me wish I'd been there (normally at Woodlands campsite / Vale or Stowe B for the race, but couldn't afford it this year). The crowd atmosphere is really awesome and helps make the event special, whatever the weather.

I looked on the Silverstone website this morning to see that tickets are now on sale for next year. Started saving already!
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
There is a Pirelli competition to win tickets for 2013 on Facebook. Winner announced 20th of this month.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
Well done downforce. You'll be pleased to know that the hearty British race fans were repeatedly lauded for their dedication and enthusiasm on every TV channel all weekend long. Your experience reinforces why!
 

downforce

Race Winner
Excellent write up, you're very lyrical & it's made me smile.
I too didn't know the freezing cold rain swept into the grandstands either - until I sat in Abbey on Friday...brrr....
Did you hear the massive uproar when Kobayashi finally broke the silence? That was quite the moment. Certainly worth the wait.
 
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