British Grand Prix – My experience

Sun stroke, dehydration and fatigue weren’t the things I was expecting to come back from the British Grand Prix with, especially the first two. I was expecting cool weather with clouds, but instead we got blue skies and hot sun, not something I’d expect to say! Not that I’m complaining though.. But my weekend, was absolutely brilliant.

It started off quite badly if I’m honest. We set off at around lunch time on Friday and got to our campsite at roughly 3 o’clock. We were going to be putting up the awning for our caravan, then setting off to the track to have a walk around and to familiarise ourselves with the place. But instead, it took us a further 1 and a half hours to put up the awning, because the pitch we were on was practically a gravel pit. For £25 for the weekend, I expected an area of grass with the electric hook up, not stones with a bit of mud in there. However, my dad found some heavy duty pegs, rather than those pathetic thin metal pegs that tents always supply you with, and we had the awning up in no time. It was about 5.30pm when we had set everything up, so it was too late to head to the track, and decided to just have tea and a chilled night in. Including a game of Trivial Pursuit, which by the way, I’m not very good at -insert unhappy face-.

On the Saturday me and my friend Leanne, woke up quite cold but excited. We must have woken up at about 4am because we could hear the birds tweeting, and it was pretty light from inside our inner tent in the awning, but we thought we’d go back to sleep anyway (because our alarms hadn’t gone off). When the alarms did go off, we woke up at 6.50am and made our way to the Park and Ride service for half past 8, though we were late getting ready because we wanted to go an hour earlier than we did (oopsie). I highly recommend using the Park and Ride service, It’s so much easier than driving in because you miss all the traffic and you go straight into Silverstone. You park your car at the designated site, for us it was Turkweston Aerodrome, and then the double decker bus takes you to the track, and it also brings you back to your car.

We arrived at Silverstone, the place I’d been dreaming of going for a number of years, and I was finally here. The vast amount of people did scare me at first (I suffer from Anxiety) but I soon moved past it. We got to the track in time for Free Practice 3, and Leanne and I left my parents to walk around on our own. As we were making our way up to Copse, we heard the sound of something incomparable. We turned to our right and a Caterham F1 car whizzed past us. We walked over to the fence just before the National Pits Straight grandstand, and our smiles stretched across our faces.

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SILVO

Just hearing the noise from those cars was exciting, even though it was just a free practice session. We did then carry on over to Copse, so we could sit down and take everything in, this was our view:

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(the Red Bull car is actually so stunning to look at)

We loved sitting here, however it was very difficult to read the screen, and we couldn’t hear the loud speaker because of the noise, so we didn’t have a clue on who was fastest until the session ended when the commentators summed it up. That was the reason why we decided to carry on moving around until we reached Becketts. Which in my opinion as well as Stowe, are the best places for people with General Admission tickets to sit. The Porsche supercar then came on for their qualifying, and they are beautiful cars, but I just wanted the Formula 1 qualifying to start. I wanted to hear those engines; once you hear them, you just can’t get enough of it.

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After a 20 minute break or so, F1 qualifying finally came on. Like I said before, we didn’t really know what was going on, because the screens were so small, but we could see who went first because when a driver goes 1st, the 1 is red on the screen. As for the people who dropped out of a session, that was a guess from the cars we didn’t see in the session after.

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The roar from the crowd when Lewis got pole position gives me goose-bumps. Every body who was near me, was standing, and the grand stand behind me was applauding and cheering. There was a tense moment for Lewis fans, when Sebastian Vettel was on his last flying lap, but when he went 3rd the clapping and cheers started again. When Lewis drove round on his slow out lap, a lot of people were stood up waving and clapping for him, it was an incredible atmosphere.

The GP2 race then came on, and we stayed at Becketts because we felt it was a great place, including the people around us. As Brits, both Leanne and I were cheering for them; James Calado, Sam Bird, Jolyon Palmer, Jon Lancaster and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs. Again, the support for Sam Bird on his last lap, to win the first race was outstanding; there were lots of people stood up cheering.

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GP2

For the GP3 race, we took a long walk up to Stowe. There was a horrific crash during that race, and annoyingly it was at Becketts, the place where Leanne and I had just moved from! However, the view from Stowe was fantastic, I thoroughly recommend it. Though be careful, when you’re sat on a chair and you lean forwards there’s a chance you may fall off because you’re on a hill facing downwards. It was a brilliant day for Britain – Lewis Hamilton on pole, Sam Bird winning the GP2 race and Jack Harvey winning the GP3 race!

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On the Sunday, we again woke up a bit late, so missed both the GP2 and GP3 race, and as we were walking to Becketts the Porsche supercar race was on. Though we weren’t too fussed, because we were eager to see the Formula 1 – we were gutted about the GP2 & 3 race though! 😦

For the F1 race, we sat just passed the Becketts grand stand. It was the best view we had all weekend. I also forgot my camera on Saturday, so if the pictures look better now, it’s because they weren’t taken on my iPod like the previous pictures. Before the race, there was a fantastic air display from the Red Arrows [I have seen the Red Arrows several times before; as a kid I went to Air Shows with my dad, like Duxford, Cosford and Mildenhall].

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Red Arrows

Then came the drivers parade, and again my iPod took useless photo’s as the zoom control isn’t very good. But my trusty Kodak zoomed in, and shot this:

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(don’t ask me which driver is which, because I honestly don’t have a clue)

The formation lap came, and I shot this photo of Lewis and Nico in their Mercedes:

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So here are a few snaps of the race, they aren’t in an order because they are from both my iPod and my camera (there aren’t many because I was enjoying myself too much to bother with picture taking!) :

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I had a brilliant time – the support for Lewis and Jenson was just incredible. As Lewis crept back through the order, several people around me were on their feet cheering him on. The same goes to Paul Di Resta as well. If you have the money, I do recommend going to the British Grand Prix. Next on my list – Singapore or Monza, maybe I’ll see you there 😉

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