Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

One Friday morning near Silverstone // Some snapshots of the drivers making their way to the track

Published by Mr. C

For the second year in a row, Sidepodcast managed to avoid the temptation of Silverstone's extortionate ticket prices. Instead the two of us opted to spend our money on an Audience with Joe event, that not only offered significantly better value for money, but also better food. We couldn't however pass up an opportunity to meet F1 drivers for free.

Heidfeld is happy to sign for anyone right now.
Credit: Sidepodcast

Last year, you may recall we spent Free Practice Friday at the circuit, courtesy of the nice people at Shell. The meeting point for that day was Whittlebury Park Golf Club, and whilst we were getting a little lost seeking out the exact meetup location, we accidentally wandered into the hotel foyer where a certain Mr Timo Glock and other F1 drivers could be found hanging around waiting for a car to the circuit. Getting lost had never been so much fun.

Given the entire area around the hotel is open to the camping public during the race weekend, this year we figured an early morning trip to repeat the wandering experience was in order.

We rolled up to the golf club gates in plenty of time, but a jobsworthy security official, who looked like he should've stayed retired along with Schumacher, saw fit to make life unnecessarily difficult, demanding we check in with camp officials to collect our regulation camping loo roll. The bemused lady behind the desk denied us any free consumables, instead sending us directly to the hotel.

All of that time wasting meant we pulled up at the hotel's front entrance just in time to spot Lucas di Grassi jumping into a car that I'd swear was being driven by Timo Glock. The situation was not lost though, as no sooner had those two disappeared off into the sunrise, than Jarno Trulli wandered on out to meet the half dozen fans hanging over the security barrier.

The lesser-spotted happy Trulli.
Credit: Sidepodcast

Despite complaints from Goodwood attendees a week earlier that the Trulli wasn't a merry bunny, refusing to sign autographs, he appeared happy enough to mingle for a few minutes before heading to the track. The same was true of Tonio Liuzzi, albeit in a less cheerful manner. Renault drivers Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov used the cover of an emerging Felipe Massa to make good their escape. Kubica signed a few choice items of paraphernalia before jumping behind the wheel, while Petrov failed to be recognised by those present.

Massa was the biggest name driver to make an appearance and spent over five minutes signing and chatting before heading on his way.

Massa spending some quality time with his fans.
Credit: Sidepodcast

Notably all drivers aside from di Grassi opted to drive themselves the short distance to circuit, Massa having the pick of the bunch in the shape of a grey Maserati cabriolet.

Nick Heidfeld was the last star to make an appearance. When questioned, he said he was certain he'd be back driving in F1 next season, but refused to say how that might come about. Having said that, if you're a test driver and get to stay in a place as nice as Whittlebury Park who can blame the man for sticking with Mercedes?

We had a superb morning stalking F1 drivers for free and highly recommend anybody stops by the hotel next year if you have time on your hands or, like us, are boycotting F1's prices. We would've gone back again on Saturday, had a very late night listening to Joe on Friday not rendered an early start out of the question. More pictures can be see in our Flickr Group, do let us know if you were stalking drivers there this year too.

Liuzzi heads off for a day of F1 practice.
Credit: Sidepodcast