Gary Webb from South Africa tells us about his trip to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2011.
Why did you decide to go?
My Dad phoned me out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to go to England with him to the British Grand Prix. I had never been overseas, so imagine the excitement! I bought the tickets over the internet and we flew to London a week before the race. The two of us spent a day at Donington F1 museum and took in the sights of London for a week – but the highlight was Silverstone.
Tell us about your experience at Silverstone
Getting to Silverstone was easy as we hired a car and drove from our race base in Luton. The track is beautiful and so green and clean – we sat at Woodcote on Day 1. Watching the cars flying down Wellington Straight and then screaming past us was stunning.
On Day 2, we sat at Stowe and also at Club, where we watched qualifying, which was the best as the cars accelerate away from you and you get to look down the pit lane. Race day we sat at Farm and watched Fernando Alonso do two laps in the 1951 Ferrari, the Red Arrows airshow and of course the race.
The stalls around the circuit provided the two of us the opportunity to buy caps and shirts and memorabilia which we cant get in South Africa and the buzz around the circuit is simply amazing. The support races were good, but once the scream of an F1 is in your blood that is all you want to hear (all the time). Our evenings were spent in the many small quaint pubs over bangers n mash and a pint or two discussing our day before crashing to sleep.
How long was your trip? Did you go anywhere else?
We spent 2 weeks in London and the UK visiting the HMS Victory in Portsmouth, the F1 museum in Donington and in London we walked around taking in the London Eye, museums, churches, Madam Tussauds, Windsor Castle, the Tower of London, and changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. We even saw a Ferrari 512 in a showroom and Ayrton Senna’s F1 in the McLaren showroom.
How much did the trip cost you?
Total cost of the trip for the both of us was about £6000 GBP. This breaks down as £2500 for the flights, £700 for the 3-day race ticket, £700 for accommodation and £2100 spending money including car hire.
Would you recommend attending the British Grand Prix?
I would recommend this race to everyone – the track is beautiful and spectator friendly despite the logjam when leaving the circuit but that is part of the fun – as is the weather. I would do it again in a flash. The only thing I would do differently would be to sit at Woodcote or Club for the race itself! Would have loved to have spent the last night at the track partying to but we were heading back to South Africa soon afterwards so time was limited.