Record breaking attendance for British GP Silverstone Managing Director, Richard Phillips, has heralded this year’s British Grand Prix as one of the best and most successful events he has ever worked on. A three day crowd of 207,000 fans enjoyed this year’s Grand Prix, including a capacity crowd of 85,000 on the Sunday, and record breaking attendances on both the Friday (42,000) and Saturday (80,000) of this year’s spectacular event.
“I am absolutely delighted with how the last three days have gone,” he said. “Considering what we had to put up with in the weeks leading up to the event, including the torrential weather, flooded car parks and terrorist activities in London and Glasgow, I think the team and our contractors have done an amazing job and put on a fantastic event for the fans. We had to implement a number of contingency plans leading up to the event and, thanks to the team’s experience, hard work and commitment, we have managed to succeed where others might have failed. The fans also played a huge part. The bigger crowds, security procedures and revised traffic systems caused minor delays, and I’d like to thank the fans once again for their co-operation and understanding.”
“We have the best and most passionate fans in the world – they are amazing. To get record crowds on Friday and Saturday, and a capacity crowd on Sunday is fantastic. We had a great race on Sunday, but the atmosphere after qualifying on Saturday was phenomenal. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was electric - we had more fans at Silverstone on Saturday than we had on race day last year. The noise and atmosphere when Lewis qualified on pole is something that will stay with me for a very long time.”
The atmosphere in the Paddock was equally electric, with a number of high profile guests and VIPs making the most of the glamorous occasion. David and Victoria Beckham, guests of the Honda Racing F1 Team, caused the biggest stir of Sunday morning, stopping off to meet Bernie Ecclestone, before a tour of the team’s garage with F1 drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. Other celebrity guests included Dannii Minogue, Jonathan Ross, Girls Aloud, Frankie Dettori, Simon and Jasmin Le Bon, England one day cricket captain Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen, celebrity chef James Martin, Pat Dempsey, Mike Tindall and this year’s Female Face of the British Grand Prix, Gemma Atkinson.
After the big race on Sunday , a record-equalling 20,000 fans stayed behind at Silverstone to continue the post-race celebrations as Brits Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, David Coulthard and Anthony Davidson joined a number of other F1 drivers and VIP guests at the Grand Prix Party. Established as a traditional finale to the British Grand Prix, the Party, free to all ticket holders, took place after the last race of the day on a purpose built giant stage in the centre of the circuit.
Tony Jardine hosted the evening’s entertainment and was joined on stage by a number of F1 drivers, personalities and celebrity VIP guests. All of the drivers received a heroes welcome, but the biggest cheer of the day was saved for Lewis Hamilton, who had earlier finished third, maintaining his lead at the top of the World Championship. In addition to the British drivers, Jardine was also joined on stage by F1 drivers Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Alex Wurz, Scott Speed, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Takuma Sato and Adrian Sutil.
There were also appearances from former British Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert, as well as British GP2 drivers Mike Conway and Adam Carroll, the latter securing a win in his earlier GP2 race. Former Hollyoaks star Gemma Atkinson - this year’s Female Face of the British Grand Prix - also joined Jardine on a sun drenched stage at the Grand Prix Party, organized to thank the fans for their continued support for the British Grand Prix.
Speaking to fans at the post race Grand Prix Party, Richard Phillips commented…
“It has been an amazing event. I have never experienced anything like this at Silverstone before and I am sure there is more to come in future years. The BRDC (the circuit’s owners) has a Master Plan for the redevelopment of the site, and we’ll hopefully be able to start work on that in the not too distant future. We want to give you (the fans) a circuit that will compete with other F1 circuits around the world. If we can combine one of the best circuit’s in the world with the best fans in the world, we’ll have a pretty spectacular combination. I have one of the best teams in the world working for me here at Silverstone. They have done a fantastic job and I’m extremely proud of them.”
Speaking on the Monday morning after the event, Phillips also announced that tickets for the 2008 British Grand Prix had already gone on sale…
“Tickets for next year’s British Grand Prix have already gone on sale. They went on sale over the Grand Prix weekend and we’ve already sold more than 2,000 tickets. We have already started work for 2008 and hope to see as many fans back as possible."