Canny Kev, baffled Bernie, nifty Nigel

Thursday: Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo entertains the media over dinner at Castle Ashby, and reveals that at the previous evening's black-tie FIA dinner in London, he successfully bid at a charity auction for a ride in McLaren's two-seater. "I have told Ron Dennis [McLaren's chief] that I want to have it at our Fiorano test track," he says.

Friday: The England football manager, Kevin Keegan, displays the skills of his playing days by finding his way past the defence and into Fort Jaguar, the Coventry marque's latest edifice, recognisable by the tasteful giant chromium cat on its roof. Kev is a guest of the former Jaguar team chairman, Jackie Stewart.

Things are so bad out on the track that when David Coulthard spins his McLaren, even the Land Rover dispatched to drag the silver arrow back on to the grey stuff becomes bogged down. That's one embarrassment that can't be blamed on BMW.

Quote of the day, which escapes the politically-correct police and makes it into Benetton's press release, comes from their technical director, Pat Symonds, who says: "It's been almost 2,000 years since a Good Friday this bad".

The inclement weather has created such chaos as it turns Silverstone's car parks into quagmires that the organisers are obliged to issue an edict banning private cars. Bernie Ecclestone, who was responsible for switching the date from its traditional July to April, raises derisive smiles in the paddock as he denies culpability and instead blames "internal politics". Sanity is likely to be restored next year.

Paul Stewart, who began the fight of his young life against colon cancer in the week after the San Marino Grand Prix, gives the moral tone of what is fast turning into a fiasco a much-needed boost as, against expectations, he arrives in the paddock with his wife, Victoria. As Paul speaks frankly of his hopes for the future the plight of the extended Stewart family, one of the most popular in the sport, touches hearts well beyond Formula One's Stalag fences.

Saturday: Local enterprise is alive and well, and celebrating in Silverstone village. The local school anticipates a welcome windfall to its budget, as a man dressed as the Easter Bunny advertises parking at a bargain £10 for the day. Meanwhile, local taxi drivers think it's Christmas, not Easter.

Amazingly, some fans have actually made it into the circuit. The plight of the modern-day racegoer is highlighted as they espy Michael Schumacher driving in by Alfa Romeo, and find the star's orbit coming within a few tantalising feet of them before he disappears into yet another luminaries-only area.

Whatever happened to the helicopter shuttle from Castle Ashby, Michael?

The King of Spain makes a visit to Silverstone, intending to drop in on the Williams, McLaren, Ferrari, Arrows and Minardi garages. Naturally, he avoids travelling by private car.

Security men in the Williams garage fail to stop a stranger who wanders in and insists on shaking hands with mechanics working frantically to repair Jenson Button's car. Red faces all round as the guard fails to identify the moustacheless cove as Nigel Mansell.

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