• Keith Collantine posted an update 10 years, 6 months ago

    @aka_robyn @th13teen @captainbiscuit @daniel74 @joetoml1n @crazyeagle88 @PaxJes @wames @Chelseano161997 @jfox85 @planetf1 @daveybuck @bullfrog @snaffs @bleeps_and_tweaks @rwalton9 @oldearl @bradonr @coco @markb @jonathanproc

    Hi everyone. I’m looking to hear from fans who were at the British Grand Prix about their experiences at the race.

    How were you affected by the weather and traffic problems? Did you stay away on Saturday?

    Did you enjoy the race? Who were you supporting – and did you take a banner?

    Also do let me know if you’ve posted any videos or images from the race online anywhere.

    Either reply to me here or drop me a line via the contact form. Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Contact form link:

      Contact F1 Fanatic

    • This was my third time to Silverstone.
      As always i went alone and camped at the woodlands camp site.
      I took the train from London to Northampton and then the bus to Silverstone followed by a walk to the camp site. I had a 3 day ticket for Stowe C with Roving access on Friday and Saturday.

      Arrived on Thursday afternoon, with the sun shinning and the grounds muddy. It wasn’t to bad and soon enough i was having some pints of the local beer at the petrol head pub in the campsite.
      I woke up at 4 am with the heavy rain and went back to sleep hoping it would stop. At 7 am, as i was leaving the tent, it was still raining. The grounds were much more muddier. I headed to the Club Corner grandstand to see the first practice session and the GP3 practice. I must say this grandstand is excellent as you can see all the Stowe-Vale-Club-Straight part of the circuit, including the pits and the podium.
      Nothing much happened during 1st practice, got to see some cars spinning.
      I then headed around the circuit and positioned myself at Copse Grandstand for the historic F1 cars qualifying and the 2nd Practice. One of the highlights of the weekend for me was the historic F1 cars. I was in awe of the roar those cars make, the shear power of the engine is brutal. I can only imagine what a 24 grid of those cars would sound like. Then practice 2 basically did not happen so i decided to walk to complete the circuit lap. When i was around Stowe the cars decided to come out and i went to Stowe C to have a look, in the rain and wind.
      As soon as the day at the circuit was over, the rain stopped and i once again headed to the Petrol Head pub and had a few pints and had a listen to the DJ and band playing. As a side note i think the DJ should have been thrown to the deepest puddle of mud in the campsite for ”scratching” over the Jimi Hendrix solo on ”All along the watchtower”.
      The quantity of mud had risen a lot during the day. There was a lot of people having to carry their stuff from their cars to the tents. Didn’t see anyone complaining though. The tractors were helping people get around.

      On Saturday the picture was ”brownier”. Clearly a lot of people had moved around and even some cars had managed to get inside the camp site and park next to their tents, which i though was not allowed. i went straight to Club Corner Grandstand again and stayed from 7am until 5pm without leaving. as i was alone i could not afford to lose the place. I enjoyed every minute of it. I had great views for that area of the circuit. 3rd practice was entertaining with a lot of running. The high point of the day was the interaction between the public and the pits when the session was stopped. it was amazing to see and be part of it. Then the sun came out. The GP3 race had a Portuguese winner which made a difference for the usual sub standard pilots we get. Felix da Costa definitely shows some potential with some gutsy overtakes.
      Back at the camp site it was the same deal, some beers a lot of mud but people appeared happy to be there.
      On Sunday, no rain… but a of of mud still. The carpark near gate 15 was completely dug out by the cars, huge puddles of mud all around. It was a messy affair walking through that part of the way. I went straight to Stowe C grandstand to see the GP3 and GP2 races. quite fun stuff to see. got to see some good overtakes at Stowe and some nasty driving moves at Vale ( i think it was Gutierres causing what could have been a very nasty crash). The Red Arrows are always a highlight and they always impress.
      Then for the big one, the F1 race. nice race, not a classic, but entertaining. Gutted for McLaren dropping down and for Sauber as well. Got to see some good moves at Stowe.The best was Massa on Schumacher. It’s a good place to seer the race although they managed to put the big TV screen so it blocked the view of the Hangar Straight until halfway through it.
      Race finished i headed to the big stage at Luffield via the International Pit straight where i saw Damon Hill talking to the crowd. A lot of people there and a lot of rubber on the track.
      Now, the party was usually a high point but this year i was disappointed, firstly the mud… it was everywhere. i couldn’t see any attempt to minimise the effect, like wood chips or straw. And then there was the BBC forum… right, i am a big fan of the BBC coverage and i don;t miss the forum when i’m at home. But, was it just me, or was it the worst kind of blabber you ever heard? Starting with DC and Lee on the pits talking absolute crap. Then Jack and Eddie got to the stage and there was sound problems and everything seemed so forced. Then Murray Walker was brought on stage. When they made him repeat his ”go, go, go” like a puppet on a show i decided to leave. Might as well, as it started to rain. went back to the campsite, on the way saw what looked like a junior rugby team pushing cars out of the car park, which was entertaining. Mud everywhere, people leaving, the usual for the post race scenario.

      Overall i enjoyed it, the weather clearly added a strain but i just ”got on with it” which is the British way of dealing with situations and one of the most important things i learned since i moved to the UK.

    • I had a great weekend. 4th time seeing the british gp & my first time camping (what a year to start!! lol) I went by myself. (So if anyone saw a young woman in a JB hap & high-vis yellow coat walking around by herself… well that was meee :)
      I didn’t have many issues over the weekend but that might be as I went via public transport (so didn’t have any parking issues) Got the train to Northampton station early on friday morning where the first coach of the day to silverstone was late & then we got stuck in traffic but there was a passenger who knew a short cut so told the coach driver & we ended up taking the back routes through the country side in a double-decker bus (which was an experience in itself lol) It was quick a walk carrying my stuff (a heavy rucksack, sleeping bag & a popup tent) from silverstone village down to Woodlands campsite. Once I found my way to Woodlands it was pouring down with rain still & already v.muddy but I only had a small tent so found myself a space quite easily. For people walking to the campsite it wasn’t obvious where to go, but I asked a few people and the helped.
      Ended up missing most of practice 1 though due to the delay with the traffic. But since it was raining I didn’t think I’d be missing too much.
      I’d read that lively at woodlands could be v.noisy & it was, the concerts in the bigtent was expected but I seemed to be near a load of people drinking into the night & shouting names all the time, so I may try for family next year instead. I’m not complaining about them, I’m glad they were having a nice time but that’s not my scene so, yes, family next year lol
      Yes it was v.muddy at the campsite but it was expected & as long as you had your boots & waterproofs on you were fine (thou I forgot my waterproof trousers but my jeans coped i just looked a bit dirty from the knees down everyday lol
      Was in the Becketts grandstand for the race, have never sat there before & I have to say the view was great as you can see quite a bit of the track.

      Here’s my video of the opening lap of the race.

      My only advice for anyone sitting at Becketts iin the future is if you want to see the Red Arrows then leave the grandstand as you won’t see them if you stay there!! (Was disappointed but I should’ve know better as I was a Farm last year & remember thinking about the people at Becketts not being able to see the planes, so should’ve listened to myself).
      I used a fanvision (have done for the last 3 years, the reception was a bit jumpy at times but 90% ok & it was nice to have a choice between bbc or sky commentary! And the Fanvison guys changed the batteries throughout the weekend as I was camping so couldn’t recharge which I thought was good. £69 is a little hefty to pay, & it seems to go up every year.

      Got to go the the F1party for the first time (usually I’m in a traffic jam leaving the circuit at this point lol). Shame for the bbc forum to have so many sound issues, & the loud guy complaining/screaming about needing more toilets & giving the Silverstone guys on stage quite a lot of verbal abuse (I’m all for more toliets as the queues in some places were huge but the things he was shouting was just plain rude!) & when the rain came down all the umbrellas went up & no one could see a thing. Blondied were good but those RedBull guys kept us waiting a loong time & then were only on stage for minutes. & dammit but my camera battery died just as Button showed up so I didn’t get any photos of any of the drivers on stage! :(
      Spent the three days eating from the food vans & yes they were completely overpriced but most of the food I had was extremely nice so can’t complain that much as I knew it would’ve be a cheap way to feed myself but it was easier than having to carry cooking equipment etc since I was going via trains/bus.
      Came back this morning. Looked like quite a few of the campers were leaving today as well. Had no issues leaving the circuit, coach from silverstone village to northampton station was on time but no signs to say where to pick it up from but turned out I was in the right place.

      My feet hurt & I’m really tired but I had a great time & will defiantly be camping every year from now on but maybe at ‘family’ lol
      and that’s about it for my weekend.

    • This is my first Grand Prix, I was enthusiastic even with the weather looking bad from the start!
      We arrived at Campingf1 on Thursday, and soon took our bikes to have a cycle round Silverstone, to firstly be amazed and rather scared upon the size of the circuit, it had to big, but I did not expect it to be that big! Thursday was a beautiful day, and the camping spirit was with everyone and the atmosphere could be felt from the circuit, through to our campsite, 2 miles away! I didn’t sleep much from excitement and the camping experience!
      Friday; got up early and cycled to the circuit (a vital aspect for Silverstone) We went straight into the Luffield Grandstand, and tried to dry off whilst watching GP3’s which sounded like Go karts, then came the F1 cars!!!! I never expected such a sound from these scream machines! It sounds like what you hear on TV, up until the rear exhaust faces you, then the loudest roar and explosion is exerted, I have never actually opened my eyes wider!
      Saturday, Dry…then comes the rain!! However the British spirit carries through, whether its a GP or a New Years Eve Party! Although the result was awful for a Brit persepective, the action from Becketts and Maggots, was incredible, the speed and change of direction is amazing (plus we saw Bruno hit the wall!)
      Sunday, Dry, very dry, t-shirt weather! Everything was busy, more so than I expected, I did not expect to see everything packed by 6:10! It was loud with fans, the smells of hot dogs, and the smell of the circuit all added to the atmosphere…then 5 minutes before the red lights were to go out, the crowd went silent, completely silent, as we waited for 5 red lights from the Luffield section! Then the lights went out, the race began, the noise was electrifying…and it was all over, bad result, awesome experience…But never will I wish to repeat it!
      The experience I am happy with, and it reached my expectations, but I now have no need to repeat the experience, maybe in a few years when the regulations are changed, but I am deaf enough for now!

    • Wow their are some very eloquent responses above!
      I was only able to attend for the ill fated Friday practice sessions. The journey down was a doddle, but once I reached the A43 it was obvious there were serious problems at the circuit or car parks judging by the sheer volume of traffic waiting to enter. Unfortunately this meant I missed all of FP1, which judging by the Radio Silverstone commentary included some entertaining moment from a certain K.Kobayashi! The traffic and general confusion was as bad as everyone has reported it to be unfortunately. I along with most people, was waiting patiently in line for car parks only for a side car park to open up 15m behind me at one point, which meant those behind swept straight in and filled the spaces, and I was almost last in the que I was now part of. There were other examples of very poor traffic management throughout the Saturday morning, interspersed with lengthy stationary delays.
      However, once I reached an available car park the staff at the venue were excellent. The ticket office were efficient and the gate staff very accommodating when I had to pass a friends ticket back through the fence. I really enjoyed watching the historic cars , as mentioned above the spectacle and above all else the noise some of these classic F1 cars produced was incredible.
      I watched all of FP2 in the Abbey grandstand and enjoyed most drivers struggling to get the power down through the final sector. The atmosphere within the crowd was incredible, despite all of the bad weather and traffic problems the reaction once the field came out to do some (limited) running was superb.
      Overall the Friday was a mixture of agony waiting to get in, and great fun and a good spectacle once the action eventually started. I hope planning on Saturday and Sunday next year…surely it can’t be wet again right?!

    • I was sitting in Club A on sunday and had a good view, I could see 2 big screens and the podium at a distance. It was my first GP and I really hope not my last as I think I caught the bug!

      I got to the track at 8.15am after leaving home at 6.30am (I live around hour and a bit away) I got parked in a muddy field with no problems. I was worried about getting out after the race if it rained but luckily it didn’t! (well not much anyway) I left around 5pm after heading to the F1 Village and not being able to get anywhere near the stage. I got home around 8.15pm we tried the Dadford road first which wasn’t moving and then went back round all the ring roads to the M40 and turned off towards Aylesbury where we lost all the traffic and had a quick run after that.

      I was really excited to be able to walk the track, I never thought that would happen. I even picked up some tyre rubber but when I got home I wasn’t really sure why! It seemed cool at the time.

      I was wearing a Red Bull top and once I saw the sea of Mclaren caps I had to join in and bought a Red Bull cap. I do have a soft spot for Vettel but was happy that Mark won. Out of the English drivers I support Jenson and Paul. There were a lot of Vettel fans walking around. I would have loved to have seen a driver up close but was never in a position to get that close.

      When I walked the pit straight I did get up close to the gap in the wall at the scrutineer bay and had my photo taken with the podium behind me. I was keen to see the Red Bull up close as my photo was on it. I did manage to get some good photo’s of the cars going through Club and I also took some videos. I haven’t uploaded them yet.

      All in all it was a long day (4.50am alarm call!). I spent the day wearing waterproofs and wellies which is never a good look! I walked miles. I got hot, cold, wet, dry, muddy, caught a bit of a suntan and ended up with a car that looks like I drove a rally stage inside and out but I would do it all again. Except maybe next time no mud/ rain. I think it would be cool to see it from the VIP side just to see if it really is better. If I went again I would try a different stand, whilst the view from Club was good we didn’t see much of the racing action as cars only overtook back markers. It would have been nice to have seen some wheel to wheel action.

      We did have a Porsche go off in front of us which was exciting, although not for the driver involved!

    • This was my first Grand Prix and despite all the mud, the rain and everything else the weather threw at us I absolutely loved it. We (my gf, her dad, a neighbour and myself) all travelled down from Scotland on the Thursday and were all set up at the main camp-site by early evening and while the weather was good but the ground was already very wet under foot from the rain earlier in the week but getting parked in the main car park wasn’t a problem for us in a 4×4 we saw a few 2-wheel drive cars sliding a bit on the wet grass. On Friday we could hear the rain in the night from the early hours and by time we woke up at around 6:30 and headed for the shelter of the covered grandstand at Club. We stayed there for FP1 then started moving around the circuit, watching the historic cars at Luffield and then arriving at Beckets for FP2. We were fairly late there so we only got a seat at the corner of the stand and so the cover was pretty useless and we got very wet. The lack of running in FP2 was incredibly frustrating and was probably the low point of the weekend and it was largely because teams didn’t want to use up their limited wet tyre allocation, as important as cost saving is when you’re sat in the stands getting drenched you really want to see some action. When there were cars out I managed to miss Senna’s accident also as I was watching Schumacher having a big moment at exactly the same time through an earlier bit of Becketts, and turned my head left to see a Williams in the wall!

      Saturday was a pretty incredible day which I watched all of at Club, seeing much of the pitlane and the straight from Stowe to Vale. FP3 was entertaining and it was great to finally see F1 cars running in the dry, and many of the cars were making mistakes on the wet astro-turf including Alonso which most of the grandstand other than myself found very amusing. Qualifyng was absolutely brilliant, it was dramatic from start to finish and there was loads of action at club with several drivers heading across the gravel trap and the drivers struggling to get on the power out of club onto the pit straight. The interval was surprisingly entertaining with a really good atmosphere in the grandstands and the interaction with the pits keeping us all entertained, and once the rain had eased off the sweeping efforts of the marshals got lots of encouragement. The scramble at the end of Q2 great to watch at club as they all started fighting for position and we manged to get a fantastic photo of Alonso and Hamilton side by side through Club as Hamilton tried to pass Alonso as they were all queueing. My heart sank when we saw Grosjean spin and the yellows come out while Alonso still needed another lap, but somehow he made it through much to my relief. The climax of Q3 was the highlight of the weekend for me with Alonso snatching pole much to my delight, although after my cheers drew some interesting looks from the rocket red hats all around me and I felt rather isolated!

      On race-day I was sat away from the others in the group at Vale grandstand and since it was uncovered I was praying it would stay dry and thankfully it did. The morning’s GP2 and GP3 were absolutely fantastic and in purely racing terms the best part of the day, although the I didn’t find the Porsche race as exciting. I got a great view of the red arrows pre-race and saw Petrov’s demise before the race began as he stopped right in front of us on the way to the grid. The race itself was thoroughly entertaining even if it wasn’t a classic having having seeing the cars in the flesh is just so much better than on TV. Fan vision was a must for me during the race as I’ve turned into such an F1 nerd I struggle to watch races without live timing so I had Fan vision for live timing and Sky commentary, the race in front of me and the big screen for everything else. The race was slightly bitter sweet with Alonso losing the lead with only a few laps to go, but it made for a dramatic finish and seeing Webber gradually catching Alonso and seeing how much he was faster through Stowe made for quite a gripping few laps.

      Post race I was really frustrated that they started the podium ceremony before they allowed fans onto the track, by the time I’d gotten on to the track and ran to the near the podium it’d finished. If they put the podium off for a few minutes they could have had a Monza style atmosphere for the podium. After that I walked along the pit lane and saw Jenson Button come out to sign autographs much to the delight of the hordes of fans in rocket red outside the McLaren garage. Me and my gf met up and made it to the BBC forum which was pretty good fun even if there was some heavy showers. It was great to see Murray Walker and the atmosphere was really good, although the Jake’s “who’s the biggest pantomime villain?” question baiting the crowd into booing for Schumacher and Maldonado was a bit harsh, and not terribly pleasant for any of their fans in the audience. After the forum finished we left to see the end of the tennis and missed another deluge of rain during the concert.

      The camp-site was muddy all weekend and pretty loud tbh so ear plugs were pretty essentially at night. The mud was really bad in a lot of areas but as long as you had the right boots or wellies and some water proof trousers you could get by without getting too much mud. The toilets were actually very well maintained considering the numbers of people using them and although the queues were long at the track short of doubling the number of toilets there’s little way of avoiding that. The food vans were all pretty good actually, a bit pricey as you’d expect but the food was decent. Getting out on Monday was surprisingly easy for us, again having a 4×4 helped a lot in reaching the wooden planks that passed for roads along much of the field. These were pretty effective and it seems that combined with the presence of local rugby players people were getting out relatively quickly given the circumstances. Overall it was a fantastic weekend and well worth going despite the horrible conditions and has made me really want to go again next year.

      Also we should have some pictures soon, I’ll post any good ones on twitter.

    • This was my first Grand Prix like a few others here. I went with my dad, staying in Northampton, and taking a bus at 7 every morning. Someone told the bus driver to take a different route on Friday morning, turns out we had missed the infamous 6-hour traffic jam! By the sounds of it @f1vick was on the same bus as me!
      Friday was spent at Woodcote and Luffield. Watching the cars exiting Luffield was excellent, we could see the cars twitching and drivers struggling to control the rear under acceleration. Ear plugs weren’t absolutely necessary, as the cars were quite slow in the wet conditions. Photos were hard to take though, with so much cloud and not as much light as I’d hoped, but the spray from the cars was a great addition to the shots. Kamui Kobayashi was the most entertaining during FP1 and FP2, he was constantly pushing the Sauber to the limit, and there was plenty of sliding to excite the fans! Historic F1 was good as well, the sounds are completely different to modern F1 cars, as well as the smell of burning oil from one of the cars!

      For Saturday, we moved between Woodcote, Club, International Pit Straight and Stowe. It was great to see the cars in the dry for 3rd practice, and the session was busy from start to finish. We started watching qualifying in an uncovered Stowe grandstand, which quickly turned out to be disastrous. Luckily, we were able to hide under the scaffolding under the stand (no umbrellas!) for the hour-long delay. Eventually, we moved on to Club corner, and somehow managed to find the last 2 seats in the grandstand for Q3. The atmosphere was brilliant, with drivers slipping all over the place, and I managed to get a few pics of Romain Grosjean spinning into the gravel. GP2 went off to a slow start – way too many laps behind the safety car. Still, I was very impressed by their driving skill, particularly Luiz Razia, who pulled off a few moves at Club corner. Fabio Lemer was incredibly unfortunate not to win, but that’s racing for you. We moved on to Abbey for the GP3 race. It wasn’t a bad grandstand, but you only get a view of the Village corner, and can’t really see down the pit straight – not particularly reccommended for watching the race on Sunday I’d say.

      For Sunday, we had seats in Becketts, which I heavily reccommend. The views are unbeatable – you can see all of Becketts, the Village sequence, the Wellington straight, and a tiny bit of Stowe. We had a screen right in front of us, and listening to Radio Silverstone keeps you in the loop throughout. GP2 nearly saw a horrible accident. When a Marussia Carlin car got beached on one of the kerbs, the stewards ran out to push the car away – but the safety car wasn’t deployed for some ridiculous reason. There were double-waved yellows, but one car lost control slowing down, and nearly wiped out everyone involved. There was a few metres in it, but it’s completely unacceptable to see such a close shave in modern motorsport.

      For the race, there was unbelievable support for Hamilton and Button throughout. They got the biggest cheers at the driver’s parade, compared to Kimi Raikkonen, who put up a hoodie and hid in a corner! Kamui Kobayashi wasn’t too enthusiastic either, he was clearly shivering and hiding from the wind behind everyone else! The first half of the race was a complete blur, there were some great battles through the Becketts corners, particularly the Massa-Vettel tussle, which earned Felipe quite a few cheers up in the stands. The second half was a lot more settled, but not boring for an instant. The gaps between the top 3 were changing marginally every lap, and it was great to see all of them pushing to the max to catch each other. Personally I would have preferred an Alonso win, but I wouldn’t put down Webber for a minute – he was visibly faster in the final few laps, and fully deserved to take the win, even if DRS took some fun out of it. We walked part of the track afterwards, and picked up a few tyre marbles as souvenirs!

      Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and one that I won’t forget for a long time. Even with the awful weather, the fans were upbeat and cheery throughout, and you can’t fault them for lack of enthusiasm. Like I said, it’s my first Grand Prix experience, but I can still say with confidence that Silverstone is one of the best motorsport venues in the world.

      Here’s some photos from qualifying: I took about 2500 across the weekend, and I’ll be putting plenty more up in the next few days if anyone’s interested. Also I’ll put higher quality photos up on later on. That’s enough spamming for now!

    • hi
      Arrived at woodlands campsite at 7am wed morning and had a 3 hour wait to get in but hey it was dry!!!!watched practice 1 from the beckets grandstand and practice 2 from the pit lane grandstand which was awesome,also watched the Senna movie from the same grandstand giving us a good view of the teams doing thier practice pit stops….
      watched sat from the 1oo metre mark at the bottom of the hanger straight,got drenched and thought fia(ferrari international action) took over!!!!!!shame
      watched the race watched from the 1oo metre mark at the bottom of the hanger straight and really enjoyed it,glad webber won,have posted pics on facebook