British Grand Prix - June 19th, 20th and 21st 2009
As usual we went for all 3 days. On the Friday morning we dropped the kids off at my mums at 06:30 and set off for Silverstone. As soon as we had left the kids we enjoyed 10 minutes of unfettered swearing which we like to do when no kids are around. When you have to mind your language all the time doing this is a great release. :-)
Victoria drove as on the 19th June the new iPhone was being released. I could not go to an O2 shop to get one so I rang them up and ordered it on the way there. I got my phone ordered and I didn't have to drive. I was winning already!
We arrived at about 10am, just in time to watch the first practice. We had a walk around the entire track as usual and after doing this for the past 3 years we now really know where to watch a Grand Prix from at Silverstone. Pity it is probably moving to Donnington. :-)
We had some lunch, watched second practice and then headed to our hotel. We were staying at the Northampton Hilton. Very convenient but it is a standard Hilton hotel which has no soul, catering for corporates in the week and charging as though we were on expenses (£13 for a burger, £15 for a Lasagna - I don't mind paying for food but it has to be good!). It was a good job it was convenient! We also had wild rabbits outside our room all the time. In fact there were hundreds of rabbits all over the area. They were very cute, especially the babies, which made it hard to see them splattered all over the road!
Friday evening we went into Brackley for a curry with Tracy and Chris. This meant a 50 minute round trip as the A43 was closed to anything but Grand Prix traffic but it was a good curry and it's always good to see Tracy and Chris. They were heading to the GP on Sunday in a corporate box the gits. They would not get the full atmosphere of course but they do get to go into the pit lane. Again, Gits!!
Saturday was qualifying. We got up at 05:30 and headed for Silverstone. This means you get there very early but we would rather be at Silverstone early than leave later and spend hours in traffic.
We watched practice 3 from Luffield and then moved to Pit Straight A to watch qualifying. We moved for qualifying so we could see the drivers getting out of their cars after. Good choice by me. :-)
After qualifying it was back to the hotel and we hit the bar for a few hours before going to bed at 21:30!! Rock and Roll!!
Sunday was race day and we got up at 05:30 again to avoid traffic. Once again a good idea as the traffic would be even worse today. We had some breakfast and sat in the stand to watch the Formula BMW, GP2 and finally the F1. Before the race we soured the grid for celebs and managed to see Kasabian, Richard Branson and Fergie amoung others. We also had the great pleasure of seeing Max Mosley. If only I had brought a high powered rifle.......
Even though it was not a good race for Button and and even worse day for Hamilton, the atmosphere was amazing. As Button is doing so well this season I thought that all the applause would be for him but no, it was still mostly for Hamilton. Maybe the British F1 fans are not as fickle as I thought they might be.
I took 920 photographs this year but managed to whittle them down to 279. A new record I think. :-) You have to remember that as a car drives past I will take 5 or 6 shots and 4 of then will be rubbish as the cars go by so fast so it's not as bad as it sounds.
After the race we even managed to get out of the car park quickly which was a miracle.
So, now it is all over. The event we have been so excited about for the past 10 months as been and gone. I have to say I was feeling a little down for a few days after but I think that shows what a great experience going to a GP really is. I highly recommend it.
So, on to next year. We would have booked tickets already if we knew a) when the race was, b)where the race was and c)that it was not at Donnington as it will be a disaster.
Let's hope it is at Silverstone again and for years to come.
Pictures of all three days are available here.