This time a week ago we were packing all our camping gubbins and several picnics in the car and high tailing it off up to Northamptonshire for a weekend of fast cars and festival, and what a flipping brilliant weekend it was! The weekend was a birthday present for my brother’s 40th – he’s a Motorsport fan and has been to lots of car events including Le Mans, but never an F1 race. It’s the first time I’ve been to Silverstone and we’d booked our tickets back in February. Hubby and I were lucky enough to go to the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai a couple of years ago when we were travelling and that was my first experience of a GP (and the one that hooked me into Formula 1). Great though it was, there was actually nothing going on at the circuit apart from the race and the Chinese weren’t hugely welcoming.
Silverstone was a completely different story: our campsite had a pub and a steak house (!) as well as a couple of big stages for live bands and comedians, and different food stalls. The atmosphere was brilliant – everyone was busy having a marvellous time and the circuit was the same, with more food stands, restaurants and another huge stage with entertainment and jolly times to be had almost constantly (Saturday night on the big stage was the legend that is Billy Ocean. I know. It was brilliant!)
I’ve never been to an actual festival (was probably not actually cool enough) but this was pretty much what I imagined a festival would be like, complete with putting up a tent in the rain (good ol’ Blighty) and getting covered in mud (hurrah for the wellies!) and getting sunburnt when the weather took a turn for the best (not me this time but there were an awful lot of very pink people).
Before the race on Sunday, we were treated to the Red Arrows and I was once again reminded why I love being British – there are some things we do really rather well and these guys are incredible.
The race itself was brilliant and even though you see less of it when you’re there than you do watching it from your sofa, it was so much more exciting. Afterwards, they opened up the track and we all piled onto it to get up close to the winners’ podium (something else we weren’t allowed to do in Shanghai), and then we spent the rest of the evening kicking back in the sunshine in front of the stage with a beer to a few more bands and the drivers coming out to say hello. We had a fab time (so did my brother) and we’re already planning to go back again next year – better start saving the pennies!