Silverstone improving but more investment is needed
British Racing Drivers’ Club president Derek Warwick has said that there will be no repeat of the 2012 British Grand Prix chaos that was caused by heavy rain, however he admits that bigger development plans at the Silverstone track will only take place with more investment.
Since last years flooded camp sites and car parks, long queues and even the asking of spectators to avoid the circuit for the biggest motor sport event of the year in Britain, improvements have been made at the circuit in an attempt to avoid the disasters caused previously. Warwick is hopeful that the changes will halt any further problems come June for this years Grand Prix.
The Former F1 Driver told Sky Sports News for a press event at Silverstone “It was a one-off, but it did catch us out, We looked after all the people who 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 who 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 infrastructure improvements, Silverstone has also launched an upgraded ‘Park and Ride’ scheme to allow spectators to bus into the circuit for the Grand Prix. The car parks for those are some way from the circuit and will lift the strain on the circuit’s car parks. This will also help to stop the congestion seen last year on the roads. The chaos almost let to several GP2 drivers missing the Friday practice session.
Spectator facilities have also been improved but Warwick admits the circuit needs more investment to progress further with bigger plans. “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.”
Previously the circuit had released plans for a hotel complex amongst other on track facilities. One plan was the Silverstone University Technical College which will open in September 2013.
The improvements to the infrastructure will hopefully give fans and spectators a less damp experience this year.
Image courtesy of Sky Sports F1
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.