The British Grand Prix at Silverstone – a belated report
I have to admit it feels rather bizarre writing this entry at the end of December, when this great sporting event took place back in early July. Perhaps it just sums up how busy the year has been.
Despite being a keen follower of F1 for many years, I had never been to a Grand Prix, so when my good friend suggested we might go, it was an opportunity too good to miss. It was a special occasion as it was also the 50th Anniversary of the British Grand Prix.
We attended all four days and to avoid the worst of the traffic (it can be notoriously bad) we arrived on Wednesday evening, pitched the caravan and didn’t leave until Monday morning. Whilst I took a fair number of photographs, this was never going to be an outing with my camera, as I wanted to enjoy the racing, the atmosphere, the people and the whole experience, which is what we both did.
The rain came and went, as it always seems to do during the British Summer of sport, but this did nothing to spoil the racing in fact it only added to the drama. For anyone who follows F1 you will know that Lewis Hamilton misjudged how quickly the track would dry out in qualifying, and others, including his own team mate Nico Rosberg posted quicker lap times, leaving Hamilton in 6th place on the grid, and Rosberg on pole. The tight duel between them was nicely set up for a thrilling race, which Hamilton won, much to the delight of the home crowd. He was of course helped by Rosberg breaking down with a gearbox problem which happened right in front of us. The partisan crowd around us rather unsportingly cheered loudly as Rosberg, with head looking towards the ground, walked away.
The tide had started to turn in Hamilton’s favour and the rest of the season is now history. Hamilton won his second Formula One Championship and joined an elite number of British drivers who had won the title more than once. The others being Graham Hill, Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart. Only time will tell if Lewis Hamilton will go on to win more titles.
The photographs included in this entry hopefully capture some of the flavour and atmosphere of being at a Formula One race. Even with a 200mm (400mm equivalent) telephoto lens on the Olympus EM1, it is not easy getting close to the action, and even when you can, a wire fence will be between you and the track.
It was wonderful to witness such a great sporting event. Of course you don’t get to see all the action despite the huge TV screens, but there is nothing like being part of the event and not just sitting in your armchair at home. The crowds, the noise, the smells, the tangible excitement, in fact everything that you would hope for from a Grand Prix attended by tens of thousands of appreciate and well behaved fans.
2 Responses to “The British Grand Prix at Silverstone – a belated report”
A great flavour of the event Alan. I’ve been to Silverstone, but only for a Touring Car event. I would love to get to a Grand Prix though. When I went, I found it very difficult to get to good shooting positions. This was aggravated by the time it takes to move around the circuit. Your B&W images are very inspiring, so I suspect that I may find myself revisiting some of my shots. Thanks for that inspiration.
Thank you Dave. We didn’t have grandstand seats for the weekend but on the Friday, which was practice day, we could access most of the grandstands which allowed some of these shots to be taken. I took a lot from our trackside position but I wasn’t particularly happy with the results. It’s a great event though and well worth going to, camera or not, but be prepared for a lot of walking! Happy New Year to you.
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