When people have been asking me how the weekend went I have two answers. ‘Excellent’ and ‘Hot’.
Here are some lessons we learned and some things we found useful:
The noise of the F1 cars was insanely loud! For GP2, GP3…it was loud but you could talk over it and we didn’t need ear defenders. For the F1 cars we really did need ear defenders, especially by the third day. One issue is you can’t hear the trackside speakers and race commentary when there are cars on the track. Silverstone radio broadcasts the commentary on 87.7 FM. So we tuned in with a small FM radio (£4 Tesco), popped in some earbud headphones, and then put ear defenders over the top (£5 Clas Ohlson). To speak to each other we mostly used sign language with different homemade signals for the drivers which worked surprisingly well. Radio Silverstone runs all weekend and I recommend tuning in during the evenings too for the ambiance and some good laughs.
Having the free official iPhone live timing app was a terrific help in addition to the radio. With both the radio commentary and the app I was able to follow quali and the race to the point where I actually knew exactly what was going on. (This might sound odd but one thing everyone says about going to a GP is that you have to go home and watch it on the telly afterwards so you know what happened. I’ve watched the highlights on the BBC iplayer and I honestly don’t think I missed anything.) Only downside is that phone reception at the circuit is iffy and dependent on where you’re standing.
As Geoff Thomas (@enginesman) accurately advised beforehand, ‘Food expensive and not bad’. There are loads of little food stalls selling burgers, fish and chips, etc. It’s all tasty but pricey. Lots of places to get a pint or a coffee or an ice cream too. We even sat next to a pick n mix stand on Sunday so I had a bag of sweets for breakfast. Beer guy made me smile a lot when I saw him going round dispensing lager to people trackside.
Honestly, compared to Reading/London prices we didn’t find it that expensive but I think that says more about where we live. We made the decision to save up our pennies beforehand rather than worry about taking food with us and we didn’t once regret that decision. A lot of people at the campsite were struggling keeping food cool.
Cheese Burger £4
Fish and Chips £7
Fresh Coffee £2.40
Pint of Lager £3.80
We did take bottled water with us as the forecast was for such hot weather. We drank and refilled 5 bottles of water a day so that was definitely worth it. The snacks and sweets we took as emergency fare were relatively untouched by the time we got home. The coke and beer we took was cooked inside the tent. One thing we did really appreciate were the peppermint tea bags we packed at the last minute, totally refreshing.
More coming soon…