Wednesday, July 13, 2005

2005 british f1grandprix at silverstone part 1(art 27)

Ive been 3 times before to see the formula1 motor race at silvertone circuit in northampton in 1995 i first went and it cost £63 to attend the race on sunday, iwatched form chapel which leads onto the hanger straight, johnny herbert won in a benetton car from david coulthard who came second in a williams. damon hill crashed into michael schumacher at priory in this year. The second f1 race i saw was in 1997 the sunday ticket cost £75 with a center transfer costing another £20, i watched from priory corner, having slept overnight in a car parked in one of the surrounding grass car parks, a 6am dash to get a good place to view from meant we got right to the front of the viewing area, if you turn up later youll end up viewing from behing a 7-10 deep row of people and you just wont see very much even though the race doesnt start till 1pm!, jaques villenerve won in a williams renault that year, schumacher went out with a wheel baring failure. 1998 was the 3rd f1 race i saw the ticket cost £80 and a center pass was £22 extra, again i arrived about 1030pm on the saturday and tried to sleep in a car followed by a dash to a good viewing spot at 6am, i watched from maggots which leads onto the amazingly fast and tricky beckets complex of turns, the cars aproached me at 180mph defening me with their ludicrously loud engines, you definatley need earplugs if you stand as close to the track as i did that day. Unfortunatly it poored most of the day so we all got drenched, mika hakkinen lead in the rain but spun at maggots which i spotted as it happened then again at bridge so scumacher took the lead and won in very difficult conditions. This year 2005 was therfore the 4th time ive gone to see a british formula1 race ,my friend i went with this time had never been so was very eager to go, i got the tickets by winning an auction for 2 3day tickets which saved us alot of money, i got them for £117 when they were worth £270. we quickly bought an autosport magazine which covers all the different types of car racing each week so id get a guide to the race from them and some food for us camping on the friday. as we got close to silverstone we saw new signposts for stowe corner and a new aproach road to the track but as we wanted copse we went by and ended up having to drive a few miles around to get to roughly the right place...silverstone needs to impprove their signposts so before you get to the track you see a few signposts saying which corner of the track your close to. We got to the campsite which was very poorly signposted in the silverstone village area and paid £15 a night for 2 nights so we could put up our tent in a grass field near to copse corner the corner of the race track i thought we would watch the racing from. the campsite was pretty packed by 6pm when we arrived, it advertised as having toilets and showers but we found out on saturday night there was just 1 shower for men and 1 for women between a ste of 1000+ people id guess so we didnt have a shower as ques were big. the loos were basically portable cabin loos adaquate but nothing special. We had a barbeque of sausages and bacon in rolls with onion and ketchup which was lovely, we were constantly seeing kids on mini motorbikes screeming around the campsite+ a few quad bikes, when we wanted to sleep in our tiny 2 man tent the pissed up f1 fans decided to let off loads of fireworks! we also had endless sterios blaring out music, so as wellas uneven ground i found uncomfortable we had chavs partying into the early hours, id say the campsite wasnt quiet till 2am at least , and we were planning to be up at 7am as you need to get to the track as early as possible to get a good place if you havent bought a grandstand ticket giving you a fixed seating position. iI got no sleep at all then got up at 7am into a freezing field of wet grass to get dressed. We packed all our cameras and walkmans to listen to silverstone radio commentating all day on the races wed see as well as everything else wed need into our rucksacs and walked the 10 minutes up the campsite to the gates of silverstone circuit. we got there about 745am and set up our fold up seats at the outside of copse corner opposite the last 2 pit garages the minardi and jordan formula1 teams were using, we coulds see the cars as the rounded woodcote corner coming up the pit straight towards us at 180mph before going down just 1 gear and flying around the 90 degree right hand corner called copse at about 160mph a quite amazing sight id guess a road car would struggle to go round this corner at 80mph.Ill brifly try to explain the silverstone race track layout for you and the speeds the cars do at different parts of the track.. the start finish line is on the pit straight the cars go up towards copse corner at 180mph before going down 1 gear and going around cthe 90 degree corner at about 160mph, they then go straight up to 180mph before turning left at maggotts down to 165mph then right in beckets at 125mph and left again at 115mph before going straight out of chapel along the hanger straight where they get to 190mph before going 90 degrees right around stowe corner at high speed, they then go to 170mph to vale and take this left right corner at just 55mph, coming around club corner at 125 mph towards farm at 175mph then slowing for the abbey chicane taken at 65mph then fast to bridge where they go under a bridge that takes traffic to the center of the circuit, they pop out going right at 150 mph and enter priory corner a slow tricky section a left left right right curve to luffield then the cars accelerate as hard as they can out of luffield around woodcote corner and go over the start finish line at about 155mph by the time there at copse theyre doing 180-190mph and thats 1 lap of silverstone. We paid £2 each for a cup of watery coffee was the start of our being ripped off for the weekend from the catering units around silverstone but it woke us up a bit. 8-845 am f1 paddock club members walked around the pit lane to see the f1 cars in the pit garages being prepared..this is for sponsors of the f1 teams and vips so we just sat about smoking and reading. at 9am-945 the f1 cars came out to practice the poorer teams came out early as they need all the laps they can get to tune there cars ready for qualifying later in the day and the race on sunday, about 20-25 minutes into this session most of the cars came out for a few laps, a great sight to see them again, 1 car spun exiting copse corner it was a renault so fernando alonso or giancarlo fisichella all the crowd went hurray as we all love spins and crashes. 1015-11am was the 4th f1 practice session ( the first ans second practice sessions for the f1 cars were on friday) this time all the cars used this time fully to practice how to go as fast as possible around silverstone, the crowd were photogaphing the cars and blowing their air horns too often for my liking but the enthusiasm of the crowd is great. 1125am -1210pm porsche supercup cars practiced, its amazing how quite these cars are compared to f1 cars though theyre still fairly quick cars..all identical machines with differnent sponsors on them they look just like the lovely road cars you see rich people driving around in. 1215-1245 was another paddock club pit walk. 1230-1245 the blue eagle helicopter display team entertained us doing loop the a helicopter!!!!! and flying close in formations, flying backwards and more it was very good to see. 1pm-2pm the f1 cars do their 1 qualifying lap each they each come out of their garage up the pit lane and come onto the circuit were copse corners exit is so from where i was sitting i could see each car as it came out onto the circuit, they warm up there tyres and brakes as much as possible as there brakes need 4-500 degrees centigrade to work well as theyre made of carbon fibre. When they get out of luffield corner they start going flat out to cross the start/finish line at full speed and do 1 lap as fast as possible whoever is the fasted car gets pole position so they start the race from the grid with there car parked at the front of all the other cars, whoevers slowest starts at the back. alonso got pole. 225pm gp2 cars start coming out to warm up there cars ready for there race starting at 245pm-345 these cars look similar to f1 cars and sound similar thet rev to 10,000 rpm and have 600bhp compared to the 8-900 bhp f1 cars have(brake horse power) the average road car has about 70bhp, the people driving these are trying to get into f1 or other top car racing series so theyre all tring very hard and the racing is close but like f1 there not much overtaking as the cars arnt designed to handle well enough when they get close to the back of another car so overtakings very hard..something the fia motor racings governing organisation must change to bring excitement back to the racing. This race was followed by the crowd well as the fans were here to see these single seaters( racing cars with just a single seat!) 415-455 there was a maserati race of lots of identical maserati coupe gransport cars, they dont look anything special really just like a nice shaped road car exept they have 420bhp,Included in the drivers line up was jodie kidd the model and johnny herbert the ex f1 driver, me and my mate went off to look at the merchadice stalls behind the pit straight so we missed all but the last couple of laps of this race but i didnt mind id sat and stood in the same place since 745am till 415pm so we needed to move to see the other stuff at silverstone as by sunday we wouldnt have time to go see the merchadice stands, theres a huge amount of merchandice you can buy for the different f1 teams from tshirts & shirts, caps, model cars, airhorns that blow compressed gas making a loud noise lots of kids seem to like doing when there favorite driver goes past them, there is cigarette booths.. seeing as f1 is about the last main way tobacco is advertised theyre always heavily involved at race circuits. ferrari had a life size f1 car on display so i got real close up photos of it, mclaren also had 1 and 1 of there mclaren mercadez slr sports cars that cost about £600,000.. lovely machine if you win the lottery this is 1 car to consider getting as it has near f1 car capabilities! if your filthy rich and want to buy me 1 just email me( yeah right but let me dream!), toyota had one of their f1 cars displayed too and were giving away ther magazine on there racing activities as well as postcards of there f1 drivers and posters but they had run out of posters when we got ther late in the day unfortunatly. after a nice look around at all the merchandice we went and watched the end of the maserati sports car race from luffield corner a slow part of the circuit at the start of the pit straight we can see the cars exit the bridge area then turn right then left then right in a tight slow section of the track before accelerating hard around woodcote curve onto the start/ finish straight. 530-6pm historic sports cars came out to qualify.. mostly cars from the 1950s and 60s..very old looking shapes..old jaguarts/ferraris/lotuses etc i cant believe howe many of the spun at the luffield section it was amazing they simple couldnt help themselves form spinning, i must have seen a doxzen + spins in this 30 minutes quite entertaining and to see cars four wheel drifting through woodcote was great, modern cars have so much downforce on them from the wings on them you dont see them slide anymore which is another thing the fia need to sort out. After this we walked back and bought a pasty for £4 youd get in a supermarket for about £1 but it was hot an filled me up back at the camp site. we unloded all our bags to sort out our belongings and sat outside and relaxed in the lovely summer evening as the sun was slowly going down.It was more peaceful than friday night i spotted a hot air balloon coming towards silverstone and it must have landed in a field right near our camp site before blasting its gas to take off again a lovely sight to see on a summer night but the fireworks and loud music began as we wanted to sleep around 10pm as again wed need to be up even earlier on sunday morning to get a good place for race day. thats the end of part 1 of my silverstone weekend review so now read article 28 my second and last article on the british grand prix 2005.


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