British Grand Prix 2007
I wasn't originally planning on going to the British GP at all until John suggested it. John thought it would be a nice weekend out for the boys. We decided would get a ticket for Paul for his birthday (he's very greatful to all his contributors). Unfortunately, it wasn't the surprise I hoped it would be... and it was all my fault. I had totally lost track of who I could and could not tell, and I made the smooth move telling the birthday boy!
Me (to Paul): "...I was talking to Rich's friend yesterday, turns out he's a F1 fan too and I asked him if he wanted to come to the Grand Prix with us."
Paul: "Huh? What do you mean [going to the Grand Prix]?"
John and Paul went on Friday, to scout the best locations whilst watching Free Practice. We all stayed at Rich's house in Milton Keynes which meant we were very close to the circuit. We set ourselves down at Copse, a corner that I like a lot in a Stockholm syndrome way - it tried to kill me once before. We had contemplated getting a Kangaroo TV, but I thought the big TV right next to us would do just fine. Battling with the wire fence (and the back of people's heads) all weekend, I struggled to get decent pictures. One thing that always strikes you when you've not seen F1 cars in real life for a while is the noise! I'm sure the V10's used to be so powerful it felt like it was changing your heartbeat just from the sound waves.
Qualifying was quite good. I could make out what was going on quite well. Kimi's lap was good and I was surprised he came top despite his wiggle out of Luffield. That was bettered only by Hamilton who had smashed it with a 1min 19.997. The crowd just errupted in jubilation.
We tried to watch the GP2 qualifying after that but we just got bored. Thankfully there were many other things we could do. Like retail therapy: John got himself a nice orange Spyker cap. (Unfortunately, Christijan Albers doesn't drive for them anymore) and Rich got himself a McLaren cap but purposely made sure it wasn't Hamilton version (he thinks he's overhyped).
We popped down the the BMW Sauber Pit Lane Park, which was full of fun activities. Unfortunately we missed the donut making. John and Paul were lucky enough to see Mansell down there on Friday.
We did not want to get out of bed, but we made it there at 6.15am. There were a lot of people around, even the ice-cream vendors were open for business. Down at Copse we'd only managed to get the last row to set up our chairs. Then we all peeled off on walkabouts before the circus show started. As always there was the Red Arrows performance - spectacular aerobatics as usual.
The F1 race was good. Naturally we all expected (as opposed to 'hoped') Hamilton to win. Which unfortunately didn't happen. Kimi Raikkonen won, and once again I felt indifferent - only 12 months ago I would have loved it if he had won, but I dislike red cars more than I like Raikkonen.
I have never ever seen so many people walk around in the same F1 T-shirt in the same way that football fans do. 100,000 people turned up on Sunday, and I'm sure you could say 50% of them were wearing Vodafone McLaren T-shirts. Amazing. But not as amazing as being able to leave the circuit directly after the race and not hit any traffic! Well done to the organisers. Hopefully Hamilton will win it next year.