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Support for Silverstone at every turn.

Even without Bernie Ecclestone adding fuel to the fire by suggesting, on Saturday, that the British Grand Prix would return to Silverstone should Donington Park fail to pull off what many F1 insiders are already considering to be a miracle, support for the current venue was never in short supply over the weekend.

Almost every driver on the F1 grid - plus notable past masters such as Nigel Mansell and Sir Stirling Moss - managed to fit a positive plug for the Northamptonshire airfield into an interview somewhere, while the majority of those attending the event hoping to see Jenson Button send Silverstone out on a high were of a similar opinion - preferring to see the home of the BRDC retained over the switch to Simon Gillett's revamped Donington Park.

Addressing the crowd at the now traditional post-race 'party', Button insisted that the capacity crowd had 'spoken without saying a word' particularly after the sparse turnouts in Turkey and Spain.

"The last couple of races have not had many people, so to come here and see all these spectators… we don't need to say anything," the championship leader claimed, "This grand prix is the most spectacular in F1 - Monaco is special, but it is nothing like this. There has to be a GP here next year.”

The Brawn GP driver joined reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton in opening the British GP weekend with praise for the circuit which kick-started the F1 world championship 59 years ago.

"It is a very special race," Button insisted, "I think, for both of us, when we were learning how to drive in single-seaters, this was a place we enjoyed very much. This is a circuit that I love. It is a fantastic, fast flowing circuit like Spa and Suzuka. It is one of the true greats and it has been for the last few decades. It is a pity it won't be on the calendar next year. I think a lot of drivers will agree with me and a lot of fans will agree also.

"It is your home grand prix, so it is always going to be very special, but the British fans are fantastic. There are so many fans in Britain for motorsport and for Formula One. Last year was a sell out crowd and I am guessing it will be the same this year - you don't get that in many circuits around the world, especially the way the economy is at the moment."

Hamilton, who has won at Silverstone in spectacular fashion in both GP2 and F1, echoed almost every word, reserving his greatest respect for the fans that line the circuit whatever the weather, and whatever the chances for the British drivers.

"It is a fantastic circuit and it is great to come here and try, in some way, to emulate the winners and the world champions that have been here in the past, to do same thing they did and bring the win back home for the Brits," he noted.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn BGP001, British F1, Silverstone, 19th-21st, June, 2009
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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Twatter - Unregistered

June 23, 2009 1:04 PM

Apart from the virtues of Silverstone as a race track etc, the off site facilities for the real fans who cannot arrive by helicopter, or stay at 5* hotels are first class the tempory camping area opposite the track has 1st class facilities, the local farmer should be applauded for his efforts in helping to make Silverstone races a success. Bernie and his cronies should take a walk through the campsite to see the happy campers and ask their views on Silverstone as a great venue for the British Grand Prix...........

Kenneth Ramsey

June 23, 2009 3:02 PM

Silverstone over a period of time has forgotten the real fans at the expense of VIP's. They had long enough to make changes but kept dragging their heels. Only when faced with losing F1, the gentlemans club starts to make changes. If Donington can be ready, it deserves a chance. It's the great UK fnas that make it the event it is despite the BRDC, facilities etc. Alternatively have 2 races in Britain and ditch one of the Spanish races :)



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