Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Friday @ British GP, 2007 - Sidepodcast head to Silverstone for Free Practice day

Published by Christine

Ahead of the British GP, our fine friends at USP Content invited us to join them at the Honda Dreamfields campsite. Essentially, this is a special field for Honda guests, usually media types, where the amenities are a little nicer than those in the regular campsite. We actually hadn’t intended to camp at all, but it seemed a good way to really get into the spirit of things. Once we hit the road, as well, it was obvious we had made the right decision.

As ever, we set out rather late, and therefore hit some serious traffic. Who’s idea was it to put Silverstone in the middle of the country, with no major access roads, and a lot of roundabouts nearby? However, with the aid of a road map and some nifty driving through country lanes, we were soon at our destination. Boy was it muddy. We’d left Goodwood the previous week, hoping for a respite from the weather, but the mud had not receded from the Dreamfields campsite and wood chippings and MDF boards were the order of the day.

Enough about the logistics, though, we paused long enough to thank our hosts, and then headed to the track. We’d missed Free Practice 1, which was slightly disappointing, but not the end of the world. Instead, we got there just in time for FP2.

Free Practice 2 - Kimi Räikkönen

Now, this was my first time seeing an F1 car doing what it was made to do, and I loved it. They’re loud, they’re fast, they’re obnoxious, but I absolutely adored every minute. I didn’t invest in ear plugs though, which probably wasn’t the wisest decision I ever made. To fully appreciate the track and the cars, it was decided that a wander around the whole track would be best. The entire thing? I don’t think I had a hand in this decision. However, it was good to see all the different aspects of a circuit, and see how the viewing areas varied. At one point, we were taking some photos from a standing area, and another fan turned, looked at our camera, pointed at his own and said: "Snap." I think this may have been a pun.

Free Practice 2 - Adrian Sutil

The main problem was that we just couldn’t tell what was going on. There really weren’t enough big screens, and even where there were tannoys and visuals, it was only enough to cover the major events, like the end of a session.

Chequered flag on the big screen

Still, it was a brilliant afternoon, and got me anticipating the rest of the weekend with great relish. We went back to the campsite and got settled in there, and then went to see what the "media types" were up to.

Rubens Barrichello during BBC Radio 5 Live Interview

USP Content produce the 5live coverage for the BBC, so we got there just in time to watch them record an interview with Barrichello, and broadcast their Friday night show. It was amazing to watch these people, huddled up in jackets, in a tent, in the middle of a field, and think that they were on national radio. Technology is incredible, isn’t it?

Whilst we were eavesdropping on the show, we heard Maurice Hamilton mention that there might be an update on the whole Ferrari/McLaren espionage saga, and that Honda could also be involved. We were shocked. Having only been away from news feeds for a few hours, could things really have changed that quickly?

BBC Radio 5 Live's Maurice Hamilton

There was only one way to find out. As they wrapped up the show, and started leaving the tent, we grabbed Maurice Hamilton (almost literally) and grilled him for information (again, literally). He was very obliging though, told us all the gossip, and had the time to discuss it with us for a while. We also spoke to Holly Samos, and David Croft, and... okay, yes, now I’m just namedropping.

Having made the most of the free bar at the Honda marquee, we went back to our tent, where I passed out. Don’t drink, kids, it’s not smart, it’s not clever, and you’ll miss the late night fireworks.