SILVERSTONE CELEBRATES ‘FANTASTIC’ GRAND PRIX ON NEW CIRCUIT LAYOUT
- 305,000-strong crowd over three days - 20,000 fans at the post-race Grand Prix Party British drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton joined a host of British motor sport legends and current F1 drivers on Sunday evening at Silverstone’s post-race Grand Prix Party, the circuit’s traditional finale to the FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX.
20,000 fans stayed behind after the race to continue the post-race celebrations, hear from the drivers and watch the World Cup Final at the Grand Prix Party, which was free to all ticket holders.
All of the drivers were greeted on stage to rapturous applause, but the biggest cheers of the day were saved for the two McLaren drivers, following a British Grand Prix that saw plenty of close racing and overtaking on the circuit’s new 3.66 mile layout.
Speaking about Silverstone and the support from the British crowd, Hamilton said, “It’s been a phenomenal weekend – and this result is a near perfect way to finish it. It’s been the biggest turn out I’ve ever seen here, and the support from all the fans has been incredible. I couldn’t ask for more. You can’t hear them cheering their support in the car, but you can feel it. They give me a huge boost of confidence on every lap.”
Button said, “The first lap was great as I got past six cars. That was a real rush for me in front of the home crowd. You shouldn’t really look at the crowd, but I could see them out of the corner of my eye and they were willing me on.” Speaking about the circuit, he added, “Silverstone really is like no other circuit on the calendar - the fans are not only so passionate, but also incredibly dedicated and knowledgeable. There's always a unique atmosphere here.”
Fellow F1 drivers Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Karun Chandhok, Sakon Yamamoto and Lucas Di Grassi also made appearances on the Grand Prix Party stage, along with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, 1996 World Champion Damon Hill OBE, David Coulthard, Martin Brundle, Derek Warwick, Eddie Jordan and BBC presenter Jake Humphrey.
Silverstone Managing Director Richard Phillips has hailed this year’s event as one of best British Grand Prix in years, attracting near-capacity crowds of 115,000 on Sunday and record-equalling attendances of 85,000 and 105,000 for Practice on Friday and Qualifying on Saturday respectively.
Speaking after the event Richard Phillips said, “This time last year we didn’t have a Formula 1 contract; 12 months on and we’ve just enjoyed a fantastic British Grand Prix and a great race on the new circuit layout. Early feedback from the fans has been very positive and the drivers have loved the new circuit layout that provided good overtaking opportunities. It’s been a fantastic three days and I have to pay tribute to the fans. We had more fans at Silverstone for Practice on Friday than most circuits get on race day. They really are fantastic and we have to make sure we continue improving their experience.
“This time next year we’ll have a new Pit and Paddock Complex, a new start / finish straight and further improvements to spectator facilities. It’s an exciting time for Silverstone. Tickets for next year’s British Grand Prix went on sale over the weekend and a large number of fans have already booked for 2011.”
A number of VIPs and high profile guests were at Silverstone for this year’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix, including HRH The Duke of York, HRH The Duke of Kent, Minister for Sport and Olympics Hugh Robertson, actors Sir Patrick Stewart and Rowan Atkinson, cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, Olympic diver Tom Daley, bob skeleton gold winner Amy Williams, athlete Michael Johnson, boxer Amir Khan, golfer Nick Faldo, jockey Frankie Dettori, footballer Michael Essien, tennis player Boris Becker, musicians Eric Clapton, Goldie, Jason Orange and JLS, DJs Chris Moyles and Vernon Kay, socialite Tamara Beckwith and 500 representatives of Britain’s armed forces, attending as guests of Silverstone.