Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Sidepodcast @ Silverstone - Viewing the testing in the UK from up close

Published by Mr. C

Luca Badoer testing at Silverstone

F1 cars returned to Silverstone today and Sidepodcast was there to catch the action.

9 teams arrived in the paddock this morning, to begin a 3 day test at the Northamptonshire track, and the weather could not have been more perfect. It was a bright and sunny day in the English countryside, ideal weather to go testing. The only absentees were Honda and Super Aguri who have opted to test at the Jerez circuit in Spain.

This was the first F1 track day I've ever been too, and as days out go, I can't recommend it enough. Today Silverstone opened it's doors to all comers, and fans were given free reign of almost the entire track. Cars ran the majority of the day, stopping only for an hours lunch break and for a couple of minutes while Nakajima's stricken Williams was carted back to the pits (he dropped it at Brooklands).

Half of the field was made up of testers, while five current F1 drivers turned up too. Ralf drove his Toyota and ended the day fastest, The Yeti for BMW, Webber in a Red Bull, Liuzzi for Toro Rosso and Kovi for Renault.

Pedro de la Rosa testing at Silverstone

When it comes to getting up close and personal with a living Formula 1 car, you can't beat a test like this. I did think maybe the teams could've worked a bit harder - often there was just a single team on track, and given the testing limits in force this season that seemed odd. I think if it were me I'd want to be out there continuously.

Also I was intrigued that teams appear to have spotters out at various points on the track. Sometimes they're equipped with video cameras and sometimes they just watch. On occasions (if they work for Renault), they try to run me over too!

The test continues tomorrow and Thursday, and if you're in the area please do make time to pop in. Supposedly that man Hamilton will be behind the wheel at some point.

Pedro de la Rosa testing at Silverstone

For the record the test drivers were Pedro de la Rosa, Luca Badoer, Kazuki Nakajima, Giedo van de Garde and Adrian Valles. The last two were splitting duties for the Spyker team.