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Are the Silverstone organizers incompetent?


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Poll: Are the Silverstone organizers incompetent? (112 member(s) have cast votes)

Are the Silverstone organizers incompetent?

  1. Yes (47 votes [41.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.96%

  2. No (65 votes [58.04%])

    Percentage of vote: 58.04%

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#1 Fergo

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:44

I personally believe the management of Silverstone are grossly incompetent. Every year fans encounter huge traffic delays, in 2008 we waited 2 hours to get out of the car park on Sunday, 2009 was 3 hours. In '09, '11, and '12 we waited an hour and a half to enter the track on a Friday morning but not a single thing has changed over the years. They fail to use the A43 as a one way system half the time and the stewards which are contracted out to Q4S are complete muppets and about as thick as two short planks and evidently have had little to no training with blinders such as being told repeatedly to display a parking pass on Friday when none is required and being told a grandstand is full when it quite clearly isn't.
It also makes very little sense to have the well-organized park and ride buses join the A43 traffic and not have a reserved lane or another route for them, but then again common sense is not a strong point within the management. I think it's hard to claim that this years event is a one off either as it's been a catastrophe brewing for a good few years now.

I think it's disgusting the way Silverstone treated the fans this year, but i'm interested to see what everyone else thinks whether they've attended or not.

Edited by Fergo, 09 July 2012 - 13:47.


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#2 JRizzle86

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:47

I personally believe the management of Silverstone are just blind/stupid. Every year fans encounter huge traffic delays, in 2008 we waited 2 hours to get out of the car park on Sunday, 2009 was 3 hours. In '09, '11, and '12 we waited an hour and a half to enter the track on a Friday morning. They fail to use the A43 as a one way system half the time and the stewards which are contracted out to Q4S are complete muppets and about as thick as two short planks and evidently have had little to no training with blinders such as being told repeatedly to display a parking pass on Friday when none is required and being told a grandstand is full when it quite clearly isn't.

I think it's disgusting the way Silverstone treated the fans this year, but i'm interested to see what everyone else thinks whether they've attended or haven't.


No, it rained, this is what happens when you try to drive 10,000 cars into a sodden field

Edited by JRizzle86, 09 July 2012 - 13:47.


#3 Fergo

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:49

No, it rained, this is what happens when you try to drive 10,000 cars into a sodden field

Which raises a point as to why they'd spend millions on the Silverstone wing (and a future expansion announced last year) but not on hard car parks. Who would even think parking cars in a field is a good idea? If you don't have the infrastructure to hold a Grand Prix then don't damn well hold it and let someone more competent and willing do it.

Also, why not make park and ride the only option by increasing the amount of locations (or at least limit car parking)? I'm sure there's another race somewhere where they do this.

Edited by Fergo, 09 July 2012 - 13:50.


#4 Jon83

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:49

I've never been and never had any interest in going (for a variety of reasons though some of the experiences you have highlighted have certainly been some of them)

I felt sorry for the fans who were either unable to get in or told not to attempt it. I hope they are compensated in some way but wouldn't hold my breath.

#5 gezmond

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:50

nitpick; its G4S - GROUP 4 SECURITY

anyways, i used park and ride and found it faultless, used it in 2008 also and never had any problems with getting in or out.

regarding wether this weekends problems could have been avoided - probably not even with contingency plans the weather made any attempt to park on fields futile - perhaps could to be addressed in future by creating more gravel car parks, probably less costly than tarmac.....

Edited by gezmond, 09 July 2012 - 13:51.


#6 Jon83

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:50

Which raises a point as to why they'd spend millions on the Silverstone wing (and a future expansion announced last year) but not on hard car parks. Who would even think parking cars in a field is a good idea? If you don't have the infrastructure to hold a Grand Prix then don't damn well hold it and let someone more competent and willing do it.


Was the concern not that the car parks would just end up flooding?

The problems though don't seem to be exclusive to when it rains (as you mention regarding previous years)

#7 Jejking

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:52

It's a good question but I'm not participating in the vote because I haven't been there. Bookmarked for interest.

#8 JRizzle86

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:54

Which raises a point as to why they'd spend millions on the Silverstone wing (and a future expansion announced last year) but not on hard car parks. Who would even think parking cars in a field is a good idea? If you don't have the infrastructure to hold a Grand Prix then don't damn well hold it and let someone more competent and willing do it.


If they hadn't spent Millions on the wing there wouldn't have been a Grand Prix to complain about. It was part of the requirement to keep the Grand Prix at Silverstone. They know they have further improvements to make to the facilities including spectator stands and car parking facilities. But it will take time and investment. We are lucky Bernie didn't just turn around and give it to some Middle Eastern oil baron.

#9 Fergo

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:56

If they hadn't spent Millions on the wing there wouldn't have been a Grand Prix to complain about. It was part of the requirement to keep the Grand Prix at Silverstone. They know they have further improvements to make to the facilities including spectator stands and car parking facilities. But it will take time and investment. We are lucky Bernie didn't just turn around and give it to some Middle Eastern oil baron.

I agree to an extent, but I don't think it needs to be as quite as lavish as it is. I'm sure even some of the media have even commented on how over the top it is. They certainly don't need to go and do some of the things mentioned here.

#10 Clatter

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:57

I've been going every year for a long time and this year was the longest I've queued to get in on a Friday. The traffic that could not access the flooded fields meant there were more cars around, but the thing that caused the biggest issues was the selfishness of the majority of drivers. Even though their way ahead was blocked they would insist on blocking the exits at the roundabouts and entrances of the various sites along the way. This meant cars were backed up waiting for a gap to go through. All of this was out of Silverstones control

As for getting out, well I've never had an issue. Normally we would give it an hour or two before leaving as any event is chaos to leave at the start, but this year we left as soon as the race was over and we were out the gate and on the A43 within 10 minutes.

#11 JRizzle86

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:58

I agree to an extent, but I don't think it needs to be as quite as lavish as it is. I'm sure even some of the media have even commented on how over the top it is. They certainly don't need to go and do some of the things mentioned here.


So now you are criticising them for doing too good a job in one area. Lets face facts Silverstone is not the only GP to have grass surface car parking. The UK has had unprecedented rain recently causing flooding in many areas. Silverstone like many circuits cannot not just from cost but sheer land requirement implement solid car parking areas for all cars. Therefore they need to use surrounding grass fields rented from farmers. Continuous rain + grass field + thousands of cars = Mud.

Edited by JRizzle86, 09 July 2012 - 14:01.


#12 Clatter

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:58

If they hadn't spent Millions on the wing there wouldn't have been a Grand Prix to complain about. It was part of the requirement to keep the Grand Prix at Silverstone. They know they have further improvements to make to the facilities including spectator stands and car parking facilities. But it will take time and investment. We are lucky Bernie didn't just turn around and give it to some Middle Eastern oil baron.


Getting in and out of Donington would have been far far worse than Silverstone has ever been.

#13 Fergo

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 13:59

So know you are criticising them for doing too good a job in one area.

No, i'm criticizing them for unnecessarily pissing money up the wall.

#14 race addicted

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:03

To get more hard car parks, I believe they would have to buy land? I assume the fields used for parking are grazing land Silverstone circuit only rents for the two major events in the summer?

#15 pinkypants

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:03

Silverstone just presume the fans are going to turn up no matter how badly they treat the fans. The fan facilities are poor, the park and ride needs to be bigger...

I would say they can't do much about the camping aspect as it's an integral part of the GP weekend for a significant number of people.

#16 JRizzle86

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:03

No, i'm criticizing them for unnecessarily pissing money up the wall.


The investment level in the wing was key to ensuring Bernie remains happy with the circuit facilities for the teams and his minions. It is shallow and meaningless to the general public but key to keep him happy to retain the GP.

#17 pinkypants

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:05

The investment level in the wing was key to ensuring Bernie remains happy with the circuit facilities for the teams and his minions. It is shallow and meaningless to the general public but key to keep him happy to retain the GP.


But it didn't need to be that lavish to satisfy Bernie. Silverstone makes a lot of money off the GP weekend. How about spending that money on upgrading the fan experience?

#18 JRizzle86

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:05

But it didn't need to be that lavish to satisfy Bernie. Silverstone makes a lot of money off the GP weekend. How about spending that money on upgrading the fan experience?


You underestimate Bernie, his requirements for circuit agreements and his lack of care for the fans.

Edited by JRizzle86, 09 July 2012 - 14:06.


#19 Fergo

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:06

The investment level in the wing was key to ensuring Bernie remains happy with the circuit facilities for the teams and his minions. It is shallow and meaningless to the general public but key to keep him happy to retain the GP.

I don't disagree but they certainly need to spend money on spectator facilities as well, and if that meant cutting into that budget then it would have been an uncharacteristically wise decision.
Surely you agree though that better planning is required by the management given this is a yearly debacle and not an unpredictable event?

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#20 JRizzle86

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:09

I don't disagree but they certainly need to spend money on spectator facilities as well, and if that meant cutting into that budget then it would have been an uncharacteristically wise decision.
Surely you agree though that better planning is required by the management given this is a yearly debacle and not an unpredictable event?


The only solutions would be to invest in Park and Ride facilities, one of the major fan criticisms of the Donington plan. They cannot pave over grass fields. The saving made from spending slightly less on the wing isn't going to provide that. Yes it was bad for some of the spectators but unless more are willing to travel by other means the scenario will appear year after year when it rains heavily.

#21 spacekid

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:09

I was there for the Sunday only. I think it was a very tough choice to ask the fans to stay away on Saturday, but the right one given the rain fall and the fact it allowed the car parks to be allowed to be used on Sunday, and they just about coped.

Given the conditions our journey in and out was reasonable and I have no cause for complaints. I don't think its feasible to concrete the required amount of farm land necessary just for one event a year, and think the organisers did the best they could given the location of Silverstone and the weather we've been having not just for a few days, but over the past few months.

Edited by spacekid, 09 July 2012 - 14:53.


#22 Fastcake

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:10

I agree to an extent, but I don't think it needs to be as quite as lavish as it is. I'm sure even some of the media have even commented on how over the top it is. They certainly don't need to go and do some of the things mentioned here.


You are aware that Silverstone has much more than just one Grand Prix a year right? They are spending money to develop the circuit and surrounding land so that they can afford to run expensive and loss making events like an F1 race, which means they will actually have money to spend directly on improving facilities for motorsport events. It's hardly a waste of money, the circuit needs to survive financially.

As for car parks what can you expect? It's only one weekend a year they need so much space, grass fields are the cheapest and easiest option that unfortunately suffer badly with very heavy rain.

#23 Coops3

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:12

The reason they had to turn people away on the Saturday was they didn't want the car park to turn into a quagmire for the race on Sunday. I can understand them not wanting to tarmac the whole thing, but they also said that laying down plastic sheeting wouldn't be practical. Why not? I mean I know it would be a big job, but surely it would be cheaper than having to refund 20,000 tickets?

#24 Fergo

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:13

The only solutions would be to invest in Park and Ride facilities, one of the major fan criticisms of the Donington plan. They cannot pave over grass fields. The saving made from spending slightly less on the wing isn't going to provide that. Yes it was bad for some of the spectators but unless more are willing to travel by other means the scenario will appear year after year when it rains heavily.

Silverstone would do well to remember that without a sell out crowd a Grand Prix wouldn't be sustainable. If they continue to shaft the fans year in year out like this year then people aren't going to keep coming back. I personally wouldn't be surprised if crowd number drop next year.
I'm sure they can lay some gravel down as well, which is much more sensible then tarmacking fields.

#25 smitten

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:14

Why not? I mean I know it would be a big job, but surely it would be cheaper than having to refund 20,000 tickets?


Cheaper to refund 20,000 tickets once every decade than provide temporary hardstanding every year for 10 years.


#26 JRizzle86

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:16

Silverstone would do well to remember that without a sell out crowd a Grand Prix wouldn't be sustainable. If they continue to shaft the fans year in year out like this year then people aren't going to keep coming back. I personally wouldn't be surprised if crowd number drop next year.
I'm sure they can lay some gravel down as well, which is much more sensible then tarmacking fields.


Honestly i wouldn't not be suprised if numbers stayed as they were. Demand generally outstrips supply for then GP and even if someone chose to stay away the die hard fans or those interested in the title fight would replace them.

#27 Burtros

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:28

Simple thing being missed here. If you go to any event that happens once annually, you know the traffic is going to be choas. Its a siple fact of life on our small, grossly over populated little island.

An event that happens annually for over 100k people cant justify hard standing parking for so many reasons, expense, environment for a start. I find it hilarious that supposedly intelligent people can stand there and call for hard standing carparks around silverstone. Lets cover miles of countryside with tar and stones, so that 3 days a year parking is easy. Its totally unrealistic in every way. Field parking is a fact of life in Britain. Learn to live with it, or stop going to events.

Every large event I go to there is chaos when it comes to parking, the British GP is NO exception and it certainly isnt alone.

Ive queued 5 hours to get out of the wet Moto GP race at Donnington in 2005.

In 2007 I spent 12 hours in my car at Glastonbury Festival waiting to get out. Atmosohere was damp but amazing... everyone in it together.

It happens when it rains. You cant organise your way out with it, you just have to hope the punters are reasonable.




#28 Fergo

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:34

Simple thing being missed here. If you go to any event that happens once annually, you know the traffic is going to be choas. Its a siple fact of life on our small, grossly over populated little island.

An event that happens annually for over 100k people cant justify hard standing parking for so many reasons, expense, environment for a start. I find it hilarious that supposedly intelligent people can stand there and call for hard standing carparks around silverstone. Lets cover miles of countryside with tar and stones, so that 3 days a year parking is easy. Its totally unrealistic in every way. Field parking is a fact of life in Britain. Learn to live with it, or stop going to events.

Every large event I go to there is chaos when it comes to parking, the British GP is NO exception and it certainly isnt alone.

Ive queued 5 hours to get out of the wet Moto GP race at Donnington in 2005.

In 2007 I spent 12 hours in my car at Glastonbury Festival waiting to get out. Atmosohere was damp but amazing... everyone in it together.

It happens when it rains. You cant organise your way out with it, you just have to hope the punters are reasonable.

I went to Spa in 2010 and it rained that day but they coped with it no problem.
If waiting in a queue is your thing then good for you, but not everyone should have to put up with poor planning and organisation. Like i've said it wasn't unforeseeable that this would eventually happen.

I'd like to hear from people who attended what they thought of the G4S (thank you to the person who felt the need to correct me) staff as well. I thought they were extremely rude and very poorly trained (if trained at all) myself.

#29 NotSoSilentBob

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:35

What WAS incompetent was letting that pollie stand where he did on the podium :rolleyes: :down:

#30 Bloggsworth

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:37

Absolutely - Overnight they should have erected a huge tent over the several square miles of that part of Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire - It would have done wonders for the local canvas trade... Alternatively, they could have disinterred King Canute, sat him on a throne and asked him to hold back the waters.

#31 Fergo

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:41

Absolutely - Overnight they should have erected a huge tent over the several square miles of that part of Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire - It would have done wonders for the local canvas trade... Alternatively, they could have disinterred King Canute, sat him on a throne and asked him to hold back the waters.

Obviously you have illustrated just how hard it is to hold a sensible discussion on these forums.

#32 Peat

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:44

Impotent. Rage. Must. Make. Voice. Heard. On. Internet. Forum.

#33 flyer121

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:45

Judging by the popularity and the prices of the event ... They should make a Mega Grandstand and drop the prices at the same time.

Get everyone who is not camping OR has special requirements to use prebooked park n ride locations 2-3 miles from the circuit ....

#34 ensign14

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:49

I blame the BMW X5. Its drivers think it's an off-road car.

#35 Peat

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:49

Seriously, like has been pointed out, it is a massive event. You can't expect 200k people, who all want to leave at once, to not cause a bother to the local infrastructure.

As regards to the parking. You repeatidly overlook the point that Silverstone do not own the land. They are rented 2 or 3 times a year from local landowners. The rest of the year, they are grazing for livestock. Last time i checked, cows and sheep don't eat gravel.

This years rainfall was unprecedented, they did the right thing keeping people away Friday/Saturday to ensure people could get in on Sunday - The main event.

People i have spoken to who used the Park & Ride system seemed very happy with it. Perhaps this is something that could be utilized more in the future? There are dozens of small ex-military airfields around the county, running services from there where people can park on hard-standing is surely worth a punt?

#36 Peat

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:49

I blame the BMW X5. Its drivers think it's an off-road car.


:up:


#37 race addicted

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:50

I blame the BMW X5. Its drivers think it's an off-road car.



:lol:
Hey, I saw old, real Land Rovers stuck too!

#38 Fergo

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:51

Seriously, like has been pointed out, it is a massive event. You can't expect 200k people, who all want to leave at once, to not cause a bother to the local infrastructure.

As regards to the parking. You repeatidly overlook the point that Silverstone do not own the land. They are rented 2 or 3 times a year from local landowners. The rest of the year, they are grazing for livestock. Last time i checked, cows and sheep don't eat gravel.

This years rainfall was unprecedented, they did the right thing keeping people away Friday/Saturday to ensure people could get in on Sunday - The main event.

People i have spoken to who used the Park & Ride system seemed very happy with it. Perhaps this is something that could be utilized more in the future? There are dozens of small ex-military airfields around the county, running services from there where people can park on hard-standing is surely worth a punt?

Your last point hits the nail on the head, the park and ride is the best thing Silverstone has to offer in terms of facilities for fans to use. Efficiently organised and a good operation.

Perhaps you can overlook this years event in terms of car parking issues, but supporters of Silverstone are ignoring the other issues I pointed out in my first post.

Edited by Fergo, 09 July 2012 - 14:54.


#39 GhostR

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:52

The answer is no. The weather we've had in the lead up to the weekend, and during the weekend, put them in an impossible position. And no, just replacing the fields with tarmac isn't a valid solution. Apart from anything else the environmental folks / council would never grant approval to pave over so much field. And paving causes its own problems in weather like what we've had.

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#40 JRizzle86

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:52

Last time i checked, cows and sheep don't eat gravel.


This i applaud :rotfl:

#41 JRizzle86

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 14:54

:lol:
Hey, I saw old, real Land Rovers stuck too!


Obviously driven by people who don't understand low range or what those red and yellow knobs on the floor do.

Edited by JRizzle86, 09 July 2012 - 14:58.


#42 spacekid

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:01

I think there is a good point to be made about looking to the future to improve the transport. I don't know what rail services are like around there, but if I were to go again I would much prefer a park and ride service from the nearest train station, or an operator could even do special coach journeys from a couple of major cities. There is always a huge demand for services like these from Glastonbury.

I paid £60 for my parking ticket, and another £40 in petrol. I would gladly pay for a coach from London instead. There would be a huge demand for coaches from say Exeter, London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow etc... major cities that form good transport hubs.

Really the problem is too many cars. I think there is definately room to provide more car free alternatives using coaches and busses, and better advertising and expansions of the current park and ride facilities.

#43 grandmastashi

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:03

Personally this weekend has left a bad taste in the mouth from my point of view. Having been a British GP visitor every year since 1997 (including 2000...), this will go down as the one that may have pushed me and my family to foreign races in future.

Whilst whomever said the new pits and paddock complex was essential as there wouldn't have been a GP to complain about was absolutely correct, the lack of investment for the fan experience over the last couple of years has been poor. I bought two three day tickets and as usual my dad and I spent the weekend around Club.

Now firstly think back to where the former F1 and now 'national' pits and paddock area is, there's land behind it by the bucketload for supporters to walk around with ease, look at the shops, use the many toilets, eat, drink, have a little siesta on the grass if they want to... compare that to the new pits and paddock area down by Club.

It's a single pathway with two toilet blocks, a couple of burger vans and two merchandise stalls pointing towards the pathways. Because of the inevitable increase in people wanting to base themselves down by the pits and paddock area it means there a queues everywhere, people squeezing past in both directions, not to mention people trying to leave the grandstands... add to that the muddy brown river that was flowing behind them on both days and it made access tricky to say the least.

To me it seems ridiculous that they did all this work to the pits and paddock complex but didn't foresee the increased footfall in the areas around it. Last year was the first year of the new setup so I could cut them some slack on it, this year the rain didn't obviously help, but to arrive on Friday and see they'd done nothing to improve the public area around Club was quite shocking.

The fact is, after the last few summers a July date is no guarantee of good weather, so if you're not lucky enough to get into the covered grandstand you're going to get wet. Silverstone need to thinking about ways to provide covered 'pagoda' type areas around the circuit to give people somewhere to shelter because spending the best part of £500-£600 quid means the public should be given some better facilities.

Oh and FOM, do me a favour, when I'm sitting in the p1ss1ng rain, I don't want to see shots of smiling corporate guests enjoying a nice free lunch thanks.

#44 Peat

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:11

Oh and FOM, do me a favour, when I'm sitting in the p1ss1ng rain, I don't want to see shots of smiling corporate guests enjoying a nice free lunch thanks.


Sadly, that's the product they are selling and what is, frankly, worth more to them.

I was having a chat with a friend's dad who has been in formula one for 30+ years and was trying to express that although Bernie at al don't care for the spectators, they do NEED to have full grandstands and spectator banks so that the corporates feel that it is an important event. He didn't agree and said that if there weren't enough spectators, FOM would simply use narrower fielded camera angles as it was only TV that mattered.

Short sighted i'd say.


#45 cooper

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:15

I personally believe the management of Silverstone are grossly incompetent. Every year fans encounter huge traffic delays, in 2008 we waited 2 hours to get out of the car park on Sunday, 2009 was 3 hours. In '09, '11, and '12 we waited an hour and a half to enter the track on a Friday morning but not a single thing has changed over the years. They fail to use the A43 as a one way system half the time and the stewards which are contracted out to Q4S are complete muppets and about as thick as two short planks and evidently have had little to no training with blinders such as being told repeatedly to display a parking pass on Friday when none is required and being told a grandstand is full when it quite clearly isn't.
It also makes very little sense to have the well-organized park and ride buses join the A43 traffic and not have a reserved lane or another route for them, but then again common sense is not a strong point within the management. I think it's hard to claim that this years event is a one off either as it's been a catastrophe brewing for a good few years now.

I think it's disgusting the way Silverstone treated the fans this year, but i'm interested to see what everyone else thinks whether they've attended or not.

A tip as to getting in earlier, just get up earlier.. I got to the circuit at 6am and I didn't hit any traffic, parked on circuit at gate 5 no problem! In regard to getting out you do the math, the amount of cars leaving at once just isn't going to be a great experience.. They are not going to turn the farmland into tarmac carparks, and if everyone went via park and ride the roads will be full of buses instead of cars.. If you are a fan of F1 you do what needs to be done!

People moaning about getting rained on, take water proofs and umbrellas.. Again it is the UK, it is summer which means that it will usually rain.. Or perhaps next year buy a covered grandstand ticket! Look at the thousands of people getting rained on yesterday watching the Wimbledon final.. If you love the sport you do not mind getting a little muddy/wet!

It does not sound like Silverstone being incompetent, it just sounds like moaning to me! You try and arrange an event which will see a hundred thousand people coming to over the weekend before trying to question the operations and logistics behind it.. I would argue that it isn't a walk in the park!

#46 spacekid

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:24

I definately agree that away from the track (where the action and our seats were very good), the facilities were very dissapointing. There were nowhere near enough toilets, and the general entertainment was rubbish. We went to the 'Entertainment zone' to be greated with a scalextric sort of thing, and a face painting tent. Oh, and a hula-hoop-ing competition. It was like the worlds worst village fair.

I thought I'd be seeing classic racing cars in exhibition halls, be able to see some of the inner workings of a grand prix weekend, maybe see stalls and stands put up by the teams with display items... instead it was the usual range of overpriced takeaway vans, a very repetitive selection of merchandise stalls selling McLaren caps and... not a lot else. If any of that stuff was going on I couldn't find it, and access around the track was needlessly cramped, with little information posted about what was going on where.

I'm not asking for much. I don't want a luxury experience, and am happy to deal with the elements. But the whole thing just smacked of not really caring about putting on a fun weekend for F1 fans.

#47 F1Squishy

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 15:29

Large events in the UK and weather always creates problems but making permanent car parks for one even a year really doesn't sound like a good idea, i'm not sure what could be done. I know one thing though, the Government needs to invest in Silverstone and stop sitting back and reaping the rewards off it. A few million pound to help the spectator side of it would do wonders.

#48 PEW

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 16:01

Getting in and out of Donington would have been far far worse than Silverstone has ever been.


I didn't go this year but I have been to Silverstone many times including 2000. Always had something to gripe about, usually the toilets. But where is better? Certainly the idea of holding a modern GP at Donington was laughable from the off, I love the track but camping there is hell. Hockenheim & Nurburgring have been well organised from the traffic point of view but even then Nurburgring
went into gridlock a couple of years ago. And both a fairly remote. Monaco is fine as long as the trains aren't on strike and Spa has the worst free toilets anywhere.



#49 Joe Tanto

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 16:05

Doubtless just like Silverstone twitter / facebook this thread is going to have emotion bonded F1 fans supporting Silverstone, many of whom didn't actually go, but just post that anybody complaining is moaning.
Well OK, but the majority of posts I have seen are from fans that want to see some things improved because they have every intention of going next year, and following years too.
Yes we get it.....it rained.
However.........Silverstone didn't communicate clearly, and often contradicted themselves with opposite advice.


On the Friday night fans were told they were being discouraged from going Saturday, but would not be turned away, by Saturday morning the message was fans would be turned away.
In fact plenty went anyway and were allowed in, but I can see the reason they did it, it probably dissuaded most of the 20k to stay away. No mention of refunding hotel stays, petrol etc for those that missed out on Friday or Saturday.
One of the reasons 80k attend on Friday, even more on Saturday, isn't just because of 3 day tickets, its because they can't afford to go Sunday, so by missing Friday and being asked not to attend Saturday, that was the end of it.
Yes, its easy to feel unwanted looking across from a sodden mud bog over to Blenheim Palace with Paddock Club and Hospitality attendees being looked after, with their hard standing parking and suchlike, but setting that aside.
On the Friday, many fans tried to get into covered stands and were turned away, even though it was raining really hard, the stands were nearly empty, and they t&cs on the ticket referred to roaming access to open stands.
At Abbey for example, this year fans couldn't view from in front of the stand ( like last year ), and they couldn't get into the first three blocks of seating, because one was reserved for Santander, the other two for Vodafone, so I suppose the key wording would be "open " stand. When buying the ticket, few will have assumed the seating at Abbey would be "closed " except for Santander / Vodafone, no mention of that.
Yes the other blocks of Abbey were open, and full, but really, the other seating should have been available too, and yes, I'm talking about the Friday, when the stands were nearly empty, and many fans were being turned away soaking into the rain to huddle around the grass at the side of the grandstand where they could see next to nothing.
That said, before anybody says get up earlier, or buy a more expensive ticket, I did, but it didn't stop me seeing it happening to others.
The spectator marshall I saw in Abbey that tried to seat everybody inside for F1 P2 worked her arse off by the way.

You get the feeling Silverstone is going the way of Montreal, and is deliberately squeezing out GA ticketholders.

Plenty has been said about the car parks, but just to add, on the Friday and Saturday, there was no traffic marshall helping people exit the West car parks by either gate. It was just relying on the goodwill of drivers letting people filter in to their queue.
Hence exiting the fields to much longer than it should have.
There were plenty of marshalls milling about the fields, but nobody told some of them to go by the exit gates and help people filter out.

You get the feeling, Silverstone were trying something new, compared to previous years, there wasn't any separating of traffic lanes by cones, hardly any traffic marshalling, and bugger all police. Cutting costs that backfired ?

Lastly, on toilets, some of the same toilet blocks near the International Pit Straight from last year had broken door locks, were blocked again this year, by 7am Friday, they must have been hired and turned up like that ?
Doesn't anybody check ?

So, I don't want anybody to resign, just learn from some mistakes, and make it better next year please.

#50 squiresm

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 16:05

Which raises a point as to why they'd spend millions on the Silverstone wing (and a future expansion announced last year) but not on hard car parks.

Probably because the cost would be enormous and they would only be remotely close to capacity once per year. Meanwhile The Wing provides income all year round and enhances the quality of experience for teams and sponsors at every event, as will the facilities being proposed.

It's just common sense - in an ideal world with unlimited funds ala Abu Dhabi they would have hard car parking for everyone, and I'm sure Silverstone would love to provide such a facility, but considering the cost, the practical difficulties of doing it (they don't even own all of the land used for parking), the limited funds available to the BRDC and the fact the weather seen this weekend is extremely rare for July, it simply isn't worth doing it.