Okay, Salti goes to testing .
Met up with Liberalfan about 9.15am and spent the day watching the action (and chatting about life the universe etc) till about 3.15pm when I left ... Salti junior had a headache.. just as well really as I already look like Rudolph the reindeer and goodness knows how burnt I's be if we stayed till close at 5pm. Actually , it did surprise me that some of the women were prancing around in high heel shoes (silly plonkers) and designer gear, guess they weren't there to see the action on the track though . Liberalfan and I went for sensible though, so no unsuitable attire and flat shoes... definitely not very diva of us!
All the grandstands from Luffield anticlockwise round to Club B were open so we sat a various parts of the circuit to watch the action. Bridge was good, as was Farm. There was a fairly large crowd there (maybe 5000, difficult to judge) but I expected it to be very busy as they had said testing was sold out. So there was plenty of room to move around and plenty of seating. There were a few merchandise stalls selling the latest gear, race simulators, the kind you see at fun fairs but these were advertising the Renault F1 car and there were a quite a few food stalls selling the usual rubbish .. oh yes and there were beer stalls also... so big improvement in terms of facilities open compared to when I was last at testing 2 years ago. At the time we arrived there was no problem with parking and/or queues to enter the circuit.
As for the teams who were there, Massa was testing for Ferrari, Kovi for McLaren, Kubica for BMW, Webber for RedBull Button for Honda, Rosberg for Williams, Vettel for Torro Rosso (though he only drove 2 laps because of engine troubles) and Piquet was there for Renault. The Renault was much prettier colour-wise than it looks on the telly and Piquet looked to be pushing hard. I can't honestly remember who was driving for Force India and Toyota, they were test drivers but nobody whom I recognised.
In the morning, the lap times were quite slow .. about 1 m 25 secs and I think they were testing tyres .. though its difficult to tell because the commentary, such as it was was drowned out by the sound of the cars ... which sounded fantastic. The BMW and the Honda were particularly loud, the beemer seemed to backfire at times .. or that was my impression .. though there were no breakdowns at all.
As for the tyres .. they were going so blooming fast and from where we were sitting at Bridge in the morning I couldn't see a white stripe on any of the tyres so I guess it was just the harder compound they were on.
In the afternoon, the commentator said to expect faster times but I couldn't make out the reason why .. maybe on slicks? .. sure enough, the speeds came down to around the 1m 20 secs mark, with Massa being the quickest 0.3 secs off Lewis Pole time from last year. In the afternoon we were sitting at Farm .. which was very enjoyable, quite close to the track and at the bend, you got to see the cars have a little back end shimmy before they put the foot down and accelerated away.
Don't really know how anyone else judges speed but I have noticed that the faster guys have to take a wider line out of corners and use part of the rumble strip (sound brilliant!).. maybe just because of the extra speed they are carrying? .. anyway I would put Massa, Webber, Kovi and Kubica into that camp... Button sometimes, as was Rosberg and Piquet.
Don't know what else I can tell you except I had fun.. was a great day out, the company was fab and for £12 I'd recommend it to anyone. Next year anyone? ... I hope so