Young Drivers’ Test experience

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    Been a day since I came home from the first day of the Young driver’s test, so I’ve had time to recover. But I had to share my experience with everyone else. First and foremost, it was a fantastic day. Woke up at half 4 in the morning and got to the circuit at 8am, before entering the circuit at half 8. It was great to be back, as I hadn’t been there since I was 10, so a good ten years!

    There weren’t many people about, nor security either, which meant that myself, my dad, one of my friends and my girlfriend headed over to Copse, where we were just at the exit of the pit lane (They were using the old pit complex for the test). Little did we know at the time that we weren’t allowed there, but it was amazing to see the cars come out, especially those doing standing starts at the exit.

    About an hour or so later, we took a walk down to maggots and becketts. Seeing the cars go through there was unreal. The Force India in the hands of Calado was really attacking it, more so than most other drivers. The McLaren wasn’t too shabby either, and of course the Red Bull looked pretty steady the whole time. Sauber on the other hand, didn’t look that great.

    We carried on walking, and eventually we were told that we weren’t allowed in this part of the circuit, and had to make our way back to the other side. We sat watching the cars drive through Brooklands and Luffield, before heading over to the stands in Woodcote, to get some shade. It was so damn hot.

    Around about this point, I met up with fellow F1 Fanatic, and F1F PS3 team mate, @Bradley13. Hadn’t known he was coming, but it was good to finally meet up with him, on his birthday too!

    The hours passed until 5pm came around, and we queued up for the pit walk. We were very close to the front (Bar those whom were trying to push in). We were a little late in, thanks to a car (Probably the Marussia) breaking down on the entry to the pit lane.

    Most of the teams had their cars out (Most of which were old spec cars, bar the Red Bull, which looked like the 2013 car, with its diffuser covered up). I got some great pictures, and as we made our way down to the end of the pit lane, we found Max Chilton out there. We managed to get a picture with him, before waiting outside of the Force India garage, as rumours speculated that di Resta and Calado could make an appearance. Turned out that we wasted our time there, as no-one came out.

    We were ushered back down as the pit walk came to a close, but I did get a picture with the Lotus. The guy there was awesome, as only kids were really supposed to be allowed, but he couldn’t help but make an exception for Bradley and I ;) Something Red Bull could have learned from, as she didn’t allow it.

    To be honest, I think a lot of the teams could have learned from Marussia and Lotus, whom seemed to make much more of an effort to interact with the fans and give something back.

    To finish things off, I collected a few bits of tyre rubber as a souvenir, not that I’d forget this day anyway. Thoroughly enjoyable and for that price, I would advise anyone who has the opportunity to go along!


    Man, I’m so jealous. You can probably tell from my earlier post!
    Don’t suppose you took any video of the crucial corners?!

    James Muscat

    The Caterham guys were also excellent in the pit walk yesterday – they were doing practice pit stops in front of all the fans.

    Towards the end of the walk, a family who had been waiting for a photo with the Lotus were being told to move on by security, but one of the team went and got them back and gave them their photo opportunity, which was really great to see.

    Some teams were definitely more paranoid than others about having their garages open for all to see – but who can blame them, with F1 fans being enterprising enough to take advantage of any gaps in their screens? ;)

    A little bit jealous that you got to see the cars through Maggots and Becketts – sad that Silverstone couldn’t open up that section of the track for spectators. But watching cars go through Copse was pretty cool!

    Definitely worth going – £35 for 24 hours of track activity over three days is awesome value.


    Couldn’t agree more with the comments here; having been for the wednesday and thursday and doing the pitwalk on the thursday it was a great couple of days.
    It was great to be at Silverstone seeing constant F1 running without the massive crowds of a Grand Prix – a very chilled out atmosphere really.

    Also agree with the comments about Caterham putting on a good show with their pitstop practise – grabbed a video of that which is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijJaKgegobU
    We didn’t manage to meet any drivers but did have a chat with the Marussia team principle who was really happy to answer questions. (http://flic.kr/p/fcFKsm)
    Caterham were also happy to let people into the pitbox at the end of the pitwalk to have their photo taken with the car and Ferrari were doing the same for children (I have a very cool photo of my 7year/old with last year’s Ferrari!)

    If anyone is interested some photos are here of day 1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/_chrisuk/sets/72157634679142547/), day 2 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/_chrisuk/sets/72157634691837323/) and the pitwalk itself (http://www.flickr.com/photos/_chrisuk/sets/72157634699690317/).

    I have one other video here but might try uploading some more:


    I think I’ll definitely upload the pictures I took when I get the chance. My fiance took a few good videos and pictures of the cars doing practice starts, so I’ll see if I can get those too!

    Happy to hear about Caterham and Lotus doing that. I think it’s great to see teams really get involved with the fans, and I’m surprised that more teams don’t do it, as it’s a great way to increase support. Just from that one day, Caterham, Marussia and Lotus all have more support from me now because it seems like they genuinely care.

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