Experiencing The Race First Hand
Firstly, the traffic was awful. I didn’t think that there would be too much traffic on the Friday because it’s only Free Practice. I think I underestimated the effect that Lewis Hamilton has had on the British public. Silverstone is in the middle of the countryside and access roads are typically small. It’s not easy to get to and the cars were queuing for absolutely miles.
Thankfully, I was camping near the circuit, so I wasn’t going to have to sit in the traffic all the time. I’m not a fan of camping but it was completely worth it to be able to just get up and head to the track whenever you wanted.
Security was a bit of a problem. Apparently there was some kind of mix-up with the tickets. For qualifying, we had tickets that meant we could sit anywhere, but all the grandstands were full up. It turns out that the security on the grandstand gates had let through all the wrong people, people who didn’t have access to the seats, because the tickets looked somewhat similar. Not very impressive from Silverstone, but thankfully I managed to find a spare seat in the end.
When Lewis Hamilton got pole, the entire crowd went wild. They absolutely roared. I’ve never been to a football match but I imagine that it was like your home team winning. People were cheering and clapping, pumping their fists and blowing the air horns (oh god, the air horns!), and when he did his final lap to head into the pit lane, there was a standing ovation.
Unfortunately he couldn’t make it stick through the race and you could feel the air of disappointment as soon as he lost out to Alonso in the first round of pit stops. After the race, all the Lewis fans headed home straight away and hit the traffic immediately. Again there were too many queues.
I decided to wait around and found out that after the race the marshals let you onto the track. So there are plenty of pictures of me standing on the track. It’s weird because it’s just tarmac but there’s something so special about standing where the cars have just raced.
It was an incredible experience and I recommend it to everyone, but one word of warning. You have to give up on the idea of knowing what happens in the race. It’s almost impossible to keep track of who’s who, especially after the pit stops. It’s enjoyable, but make sure to record the race and watch it when you get home.
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