Friday, 28 June 2013

SILVERSTONE, DAY 1

Well anyone dropping in with the hope of seeing some images from Friday practise, well sorry I don't take my camera to F1 events, just two reasons 1)I'm always carrying a beer bag/cooler and another bag for food/sun block/water etc 2) I think modern F1 cars aren't a thing of beauty, to functional in their designs come the Silverstone Classic a few weeks later that's a different matter, Porsche 967, Lola's and Chevrons and Ford GT40's to name just a few...yummy, yummy.
My seat for the weekend is the very first grandstand at the entrance to Stowe corner (where Scumacher crashed and broke his leg whilst at Ferrari), the talk in the media was the lack of ticket sales! And the grandstand was near empty with the exception of a large group of Scots who the previous weekend had been at Le Mans and are on a massive excursion LeMans/Silverstone and home to Dumfries...after much looking of photo's from their French trip (mostly half naked pissed up blokes and the odd interesting images of cars at night with glowing brake discs...very arty) I started to wonder why the organiser never put a grandstand from Maggotts down to Chapel and the start of Hangar straight, it's a truly amazing site watching an F1 car attacking the series of left/rights at speed, the change of direction is amazing....the lack of crowd gave plenty of chances of viewing from "standing only" spots around the circuit and it seemed those that were there today had the same idea as me and also headed for the banking at the Maggotts section come Saturday/Sunday it's a proper scrum to get good views so shall not bother woth that.
I'm for one aren't surprised at the lack of people today (though I would estimate 80,000 were there) Friday practise has normally been like that, only when either a definite Brit winner is on the card or the campsites are completely flooded that the crowds flock for Friday. Obviously tickets for race day is still down and available on the door so either the "bandwagoners" have jumped off and subscribed to SKY. Talking of which I was gald to hear so many fans moaning about SKY and refusing to sign up for it's coverage and stating "If the Beeb looses out we'll stop watching F1 on TV and just catch up via Autosport and attend the British GP" being the general "ill-feeling" comments.
Actually I did see a Buzzard come and circle the in-field before flying towards Towcester, after the on track activity a Rook sat on the safety barriers on the far side of the track, the Scots behind me "Duncan look a Raven", "nah it's a crow", me "it's a Rook mate", "No way" came the response, "I bet you it is" a can of Stella against a can of Tennents Super Strength was the wager....the track inspection vehicle (Porsche 4x4) came round and the Rook "croaked" as it took off....Tennents sucks!
Not knowing who's sat next to me at the Grand Prix is a worry but at least the Scots are near enough for a bit of joke etc and as long as I don't get the bloke I had a couple of years ago who thought a Torro Rosso was Seb Vettel it shouldn't be too bad. I had my predictions for the race results with Trevor ( I think you might be right about a Force India as an outside bet) however it seems my predictions have been a bit of a curse, for the record I'm going 1st:Alonso 2nd:Webber 3rd:Vettel or Massa. From what I seen today (not much to be fair) the Merc's of Hamilton and Roseberg haven't got race pace but expect to see them in the top five for qualifying. So my curse first Webber announces he's leaving, though I'm excited by the news he's joining Porsche for endurance racing next year, obviously wishing to exercise that horrific crash/take off on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans for Mercedes....remember that one!! Then in second practise Massa stuffs into the barriers not far from view, to me it looked like at the last minute he opted to pit, got on the white lines and lost it, no replays on the big screen opposite today to verify that..grrrrr. And Alonso was 10th though some say he was heavy with fuel if that's the case, IF he qualifies first he won't be caught! The Fez was rapid at times...from the Stowe section anyway.
So now was the chance to get some freebies, plenty normally on Saturday/Sunday not so much for Friday, having a dedicated seat this year means I won't worry about loosing "my spot" and shall see what's on offer on Sat/Sun and another look at the trade stands. I got one lurid bright orange baseball hat from a certain roadside recovery firm...my greyhound Jim is now using it as chew toy, Pirelli were offering out hats that look like those the winners get on the podium minus the 1st,2nd and 3rd on the side as it was placed on my head by a rather tasty looking lady in body hugging Lycra (the real reason for the look around lol) the hat should've been placed elsewhere. I asked the bloke on the stand whether the hat will last the whole weekend or will it just fall off after a few minutes which brought some laughter from those that heard it and some well dubious looks from the Pirrelli staff, though not from the woman..no surprise...to late I got the poster I wanted lads....a really dodgy "material" silver baseball hat (like nylon) from Mercedes, when Jim finishes with the orange one he can have that too, but not many freebies, hopefully Sat/Sun will produce some lovely tacky free gifts....too childish?, moi,NON!
I didn't object paying the £15 for the privilege of a Park and Ride service for the three days, firstly the buses start early, 6am early, secondly parking in Northampton for three hours alone can cost upwards of £2.40 so seems good value to me and lastly if I took the car a)it would cost £60 for parking at the circuit for three days b)If you go by car to the circuit you'll end up in start/stop traffic both arriving and leaving so you'd easily use up a fivers worth of petrol, plus it means I can get sloshed and have the other half meet up with me at the carpark and drive me home...romantic?moi!NON.
But when I saw a horrid looking cheese burger was £3.50!!! and a 500ml bottle of pop costing £2 compared to £1 at the shops I knew I made the right choice to leave the camera behind and stock up on my own food.
Lastly the last and most valuable freebie came at the entrance when the obligatory cheap and cheerful little radio was handed out to enable people to listen to the circuit commentary and to protect your ears to a degree from the evocative loud F1 cars, like an idiot I forgot by little yellow foam earplugs, for the last couple hours it sounds like I got a mosquito in my ear lugs, school boy error.
I hope you enjoyed the images from the last week, no connections with the blog post, other then to mention I got another shitty comment from an "Annon" saying why post grey sky shots, two reasons 1) Because when I started this blog it would be random topics, not much knowledge parted as not much to offer! and both "decent"/dodgy and record images will be published 2) BECAUSE I CAN..EASY AS THAT.
HAVE A GOOD 'UN WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING

8 comments:

  1. Aha, cars.
    Cracking set of bird shots Doug, especially the flying Sedge.

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    1. Thanks Keith, yeah I apologise to the blog readers who don't like sport it's only for the weekend:)Back to some sort of normality Monday...perhaps...

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  2. Shame about the weather today Douglas it looks like it curtailed the running somewhat!...all that multi million pounds of technology and they're scared to come out in the rain!...what happened to 'we must put on the show for the fans'?

    The Classic weekend used to be of more interest to me as I've worked on, rebuilt or repaired quite a few of the cars!

    I bet Jim's looking forward to lots more freebees over the next couple of days?

    Weber certainly gave them a surprise there! I'll stand by my prediction...but it would be good if Weber got out in front of Vettel and then cocked a deaf'un to the team orders!!

    Have a good day tomorrow...[;o)

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    1. Problem was every car as it came up the slight uphill section of Stowe and turned in was loosing the back end, I think the rain last year probably put off alot of the fans from attending today but those who came out to play in practise 1 in the morning IF it rains on Sunday have some useful data the other won't, it would be good for Webber to win, living down the road in Milton Keynes when he was in the junior formulas so it would be a fitting end to his career.
      I love the classic if you haven't been you should go, full access to the pit area, loads of old car parts for sale, good car stands and really good race
      action, I asked Stirling Moss one question and he was talking to me for about 45 minutes, really,really good atmosphere.
      As for Jim, forget him I want one of them Pirreli girls:)

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  3. Have a great weekend. Lets hope the sun shines for you.
    Can you get a Pirreli girl for me?

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    1. Thanks Adrian, I'll try my best for two Pirreli girls:)

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  4. Funny account, and great pictures to accompany as ever Doug

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    1. Cheers Ben, it was a very good weekend

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