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Silverstone improved, but needs investment to do more
1 May 2013
British Racing Drivers' Club president Derek Warwick has vowed that there will be no repeat of last year's British Grand Prix chaos, but admits that there is still work to do to realise the full extent of Silverstone's makeover ambitions.
Since the embarrassment of long queues, flooded car parks and requests for fans to stay away from the biggest event on the UK motorsport calendar, the BRDC has made improvements to ensure that this year's grand prix weekend goes without a hitch, but Warwick insists that it still needs to carry on with the overhaul.
"It was a one-off, but it did catch us out,” the former F1 driver told
Sky Sports News
as the motorsport media gathered for a press event at Silverstone, “We looked after all the people that struggled on the Saturday, we compensated them, but more importantly we have upgraded everything in terms of parking and the campsites [with] more drainage and more facilities. We've listened to the people that complained and made it better.
"Obviously, if we have the kind of rain we had last year, it's difficult for all venues, but we've put in kilometres of drainage, [and] we've improved the facilities of all the campsites. Plus, we've probably got the best road system of all grands prix. You've got to remember that, [over] the last ten years, we've had no problems at all.”
As well as improvements to the infrastructure at the circuit, Silverstone has already launched an expanded 'park-and-ride' scheme to allow spectators to be bussed to the venue from remote car parks, easing the sort of congestion seen on local roads that saw some of the GP2 Series drivers come close to missing their morning practice on Friday.
Improvements have also been made to both campsites and grass car parks, with plastic matting installed in a effort to keep the ground in serviceable condition. Inside the circuit, spectator facilities have also been upgraded, with improved trackside banking and move covered grandstands, but Warwick admits that progress on the venue's bigger plans won't happen until outside investment can be sourced.
“We do need an investor, [and] we're talking to an investor at the moment - that will help us build hotels and bigger infrastructure, etc.”
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