GOODBYE SILVERSTONE GRAND PRIX To commemorate the last Silverstone GP, we asked: What's your favourite memory? ADRIAN NEWEY: The 1973 Silverstone GP was my first F1 race. I went with my parents and we had tickets for the Woodcote stand. I ...
GOODBYE SILVERSTONE GRAND PRIX
To commemorate the last Silverstone GP, we asked: What's your favourite memory?
The 1973 Silverstone GP was my first F1 race. I went with my parents and we had tickets for the Woodcote stand. I remember my father went to get us a burger each; I dropped mine through the grandstands so I ran down to recover it from the dirt below. The race started and when Jackie Stewart came round he was miles in the lead at the end of the first lap. But then, Jody Scheckter lost it right in front of us and caused a pile up of around 12 cars. I was only a young lad and it looked horrendous, I thought people must have been killed but miraculously there was only a broken leg and everyone climbed out of their cars. It was a very dramatic way to be introduced to the sport and it definitely gave me a bug for racing. They red flagged the race and it was re-started; amazingly Jackie didn't win despite his dominant lead, I think he spun off, although that's stretching my memory! I was about 13 or 14 at the time.
It's sad that this might be the last Silverstone GP; it has a lot of memories for me. We had some good outings there during my time with Leyton House and then with Williams. In 1991, Nigel Mansell won in Silverstone with my first Williams it was right in the middle of `Mansell Fever', so you had all the Sun readers turning up to cheer Nigel on. We've had a few good races since and lots of happy memories. Silverstone is the circuit where the British Grand Prix should be held, it seems a great shame that politics have conspired that it won't be the case in the near future.
A great memory from Silverstone was being on the front row of the grid for Red Bull last year. The race didn't turn out as planned, but qualifying on Saturday was very rewarding. The Red Bull Racing factory is very close to Silverstone and there were so many people there supporting us that to start the race on the front row was great, it was a very special day. I don't think this will be the last Silverstone GP. Donington is a beautiful bike track and Silverstone is a fantastic car track, so I think they should leave them as they are I think we'll be back.
Before I started racing in 1990, I remember standing at Stowe corner listening to a V12 Ferrari coming out of the morning mist through Maggotts on to Hangar Straight. You could hear it before you could see it and, in those days, the engines all sounded very different: a V12 against a V8, so, of course, you knew it was a Ferrari coming and it was a shiver-down-your-spine moment that I have never forgotten. In terms of my own racing career, winning at Silverstone back-to-back and in 2000 was pretty special also it'll be another 992 years before someone can win it in two millennia, so that's one record that should stay for a while! I think that Silverstone is a high-speed, get stuck in, challenging race track and given the free choice I'd rather race at Silverstone than Donington.
One of the best memories I have of Silverstone came soon after I'd passed my driving test. I took my Volkswagen Beetle up to the Silverstone F1 tyre testing that they used to do there. It was June, 1991. I managed to sneak under the fence and got into the pit lane, so I was really close to the cars and drivers. It was the first time I'd ever seen Ayrton Senna in the flesh I remember he'd just had an accident on a jet ski and had several stitches in the back of his head. I instigated a conversation with him, which he probably thought was completely irrelevant, but I was keen to talk with him. I also spent a considerable amount of time admiring the Williams which must have been one of Adrian's first cars I was an aspiring go-karter at the time. I've enjoyed many good races there as a driver and also, as a team owner, we won the support race there (Formula 3000) three years in succession. We've had some good fun on Sunday evenings there too, so a lot of good memories. Hopefully it won't be too long before it comes back.
This will only be my second Silverstone GP so not as many memories for me as some of the other guys. I think it's a shame that Silverstone will no longer be on the calendar. It's a circuit with a great tradition and a lot of fast turns, which makes it really interesting for the fans attending the race as well as the drivers. Silverstone is only a short drive from our factory in Milton Keynes and nearly the entire Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Technology workforce will be at the track cheering for me and Mark so the atmosphere will be very special.
I will never forget standing in the Woodcote grandstand with my dad at Silverstone in 1985. We were watching qualifying and Keke Rosberg was driving for Williams. What I saw was the most amazing thing. When Keke came round the old chicane at Woodcote on his first run he was completely sideways, the whole crowd just went silent. He got pole, but had it taken off him so he went out for his next run and got it back again. He was just so much quicker than anyone else; the way that the whole crowd went silent as he approached us was something I'd never experienced before. It was incredible and definitely cemented my decision to get into this business.
I grew up in this area and my first grand prix visit was in 1973, so I've been to Silverstone many, many times and have a lot of memories. It's sad to lose what is clearly the home of British motor racing, but whether it will actually be the last ever remains to be seen. I think we'll be back.
-credit: red bull