alan frost photography

fine art photography in monochrome

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone – a belated report

Rosberg through Becketts

Rosberg through Becketts
Probably my favourite shot from the Grand Prix.
Nothing is sharp, but there is movement both in the car and also in the sweeping lines of the track at Becketts corner.

 

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.

 

Race preperation

Race preparation
On Thursday we were able to walk through the pits, and see the garage crews preparing the cars for the Grand Prix.
Race practice would start the next day.

 

Starting grid

Starting grid
The new Silverstone stand overlooking the starting grid.
This was as close as we would ever get to the track but sadly there were no cars to be seen.

 

Sky coverage

Sky coverage
TV cameras were everywhere at the British Grand Prix, recording the event so it could be broadcast around the globe.

 

Lewis Hamilton plays football.

Lewis Hamilton getting to grips with a different sport.
Late on Thursday afternoon Sky Sports put on a show for the public in the main grandstand, including interviews with the drivers, who entertained the audience by trying to score a goal. Martin Brundle oversees the fun and games.

 

Ferrari merchandise for sale

Ferrari merchandise for sale
These stalls or ‘cash converters’ were all round the circuit appealing to a fan base both young and old.

 

Porsche Power

Porsche power
Taken during one of the practice sessions for the Porsche Supercup.

 

Chasing group

Chasing group
More action from the Porsche Supercup, from Woodcote  corner looking down the track towards Copse.

 

Campers in the rain.

Campers in the rain.
Silverstone would not be the same without some rain falling on the camper vans, caravans and their occupants.

 

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The barbecue must go on.
If a barbecue has been planned then whatever the weather it must happen – an umbrella and glass of wine always help in these circumstances!

 

The sun did shine

But the sun did shine
….and when it did, it was just too much for one spectator. I can imagine his partner saying –
‘Wake up you are missing all the action……and it was you that wanted to come!’

 

The Red Arrrows

The Red Arrows.
The warm up act for the main event and they always arrive bang on time. A spectacular show as always.

 

Red Arrows

Red Arrows in their diamond formation.

 

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Rosberg’s retirement.
The moment when The Silver Arrow driven by Nico Rosberg came to halt on the grass as a result of gearbox problems.
A dsiconsolate Rosberg walks with his head held low away from the crowd, as the mobile crane moves in to lift the stricken car to a safer position.

 

Course marshall

Course marshall
or an alternative title –
‘Does my head look big in this ?!’

 

Celebrating the win

Celebrating the win.
The crowd applaud the victor – Lewis Hamilton

 

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”

  1. bananabatman

    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.

    Like

    Reply
    • alan frost

      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.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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