Silverstone mud: 'It was worth it – but I am worried about getting home... '
Hardy Silverstone fans endure muddy chaos but organisers steer clear of responsibility
Monday 09 July 2012
Silverstone 2012 will be remembered for mud and rain. So it might seem strange that the crowd was doing raindances towards the end of the race, praying that Lewis Hamilton might leap seven places and put mud in Mark Webber's eye.
Mud was everywhere, sliding up the legs of sinking chairs, slipping underfoot, sending fans staggering on the banks, seeping through blankets to create muddy tartan puddles.
With the mire came a long weekend of chaos that has brought down heavy criticism upon race organisers, despite protestations from Formula One rights holder Bernie Ecclestone that it wasn't their fault.
F1 fans disagreed. Ever fond of giving technical advice they talked of simple solutions, such as heavy-duty plastic mats that "should have been put down along the campsite paths".
Others proposed concrete aprons at campsite entrances so that vehicles trying to get in didn't get stuck, causing queues that blocked the road.
"They don't have to pave the whole bloody field," said camper Peter Hall, 51, from Leeds. Cyndy Harrington, 41, from Plymouth, was worried. "Our car is still totally stuck. And people are abandoning four-wheel drives; just leaving them in the fields."
Zara, 25, and Helen, 26, both from Surrey, complained "half the marshals had no idea what to do! Traffic direction was beyond them."
But the Met Office's predicted downpour yesterday never came, and that simple fact lifted spirits around the circuit.
Sally Wade-Stevens, a Red Bull fan from Kent, spoke for many. "It was definitely worth it. But I'm worried about getting out – I sat in traffic for so long on Friday, I've nearly run out of petrol."
"But this is England," she added. "What do you expect?"
Cyndy Harrington was equally philosophical. "The weather just added to the adventure. I've got a hole in my Wellington but it doesn't matter, it has been brilliant. It could have been worse."
For most fans, then, dry humour saved a wet weekend.
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