My 22 Grand Prix Experiences

F1 action on the streets of Singapore

F1 action on the streets of Singapore

Having been born on the day of the Monaco Grand Prix (and apparently nearly called Ayrton!) I was always going to be an F1 nut. Since then I’ve been to 22 Grands Prix, starting when I was just three years old with my Dad. Here are my memories of these awesome experiences.

British GP 1992

I don’t remember much from this one, but I remember my hero Nigel Mansell winning for Williams and the crowd invading the track. A pretty good one to start with. This was also Damon Hill’s first race.

European GP 1993, Donington

Ayrton Senna’s finest race, perhaps. It was also very, very wet. I remember Andretti and Wendlinger crashing out in front of us at Coppice Corner.

British GP 1993

Alain Prost took victory after home favourite Damon Hill’s engine blew. Again, I don’t remember much about this one (I was four).

British GP 1994

I remember Damon Hill winning and again, the crowd going crazy. This is the last one that I struggle to remember – for instance I don’t remember Schumacher’s stop/go penalty fiasco.

British GP 1995

We sat at Becketts for this one when Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill famously crashed out. It left their teammates Johnny Herbert and David Coulthard battling for the lead. I started cheering Coulthard as he was Scottish until I realised Herbert was English so cheered him, and he won. (Give me a break, I was still only six). I had now seen three British winners from four British Grands Prix!

View from the grid, Silverstone 2009

View from the grid, Silverstone 2009

British GP 1996

My mate from school and his Dad came to this one and we sat at Club. Jacques Villeneuve won this one, the first of two British GP victories for the French-Canadian…

British GP 1997

Villeneuve won again on an unlikely strategy after retirements for Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen. We sat at Stowe and thanks to Heinz-Harald Frentzen stalling on the grid and the race subsequently restarting, my brother fell asleep before the start proper. It was his first Grand Prix and he was only three years old!

British GP 1998

Boy, this was a wet one. Schumacher won despite starting from the pits and we sat at Copse. I was ill throughout the day which sadly meant we missed Eddie Jordan’s post race concert.

British GP 1999

Schumacher famously crashed and broke his leg at Stowe this year. For the first time, David Coulthard won at Silverstone; we sat at Abbey.

British GP 2000

For stupid political reasons, the British Grand Prix was held on Easter Sunday this year (23rd April). The only good thing to come of this was the awesome marketing tagline from Silverstone: ‘Good Friday, Great Saturday, Grand Prix Sunday‘. There was rain, of course, by the bucketload and many cars had to be towed out the mud, including our BMW. We were back at Abbey and David Coulthard won again, the fifth British winner I had seen at Silverstone in nine races.

View from the Bay Grandstand, Singapore 2013

View from the Bay Grandstand, Singapore 2013

British GP 2001

Mika Hakkinen won at Silverstone for the first time. By now he was a double world champion.

British GP 2002

Michael Schumacher won a dry/wet race for Ferrari in a season he dominated. We were at Luffield for this one.

British GP 2003

Ah, the one with the crazy priest running down the Hangar Straight. It was also the race where Coulthard’s headrest fell off at Copse corner. A great race which was exciting enough and didn’t need the lunatic disrupting it – apparently he has since disrupted the Olympic men’s marathon and has been on Britain’s Got Talent. Good grief… Anyway, Barrichello won after Hakkinen’s lead was eradicated by captain cuckoo.

British GP 2004

Michael Schumacher was the winner in another dominant year for the German, whilst Jarno Trulli’s Renault crashed spectacularly opposite us at Luffield. This was the first year we went up for qualifying and slept over in the car, a tradition that would continue for years and allowed us to join in the famous party atmosphere on Saturday night in the campsites.

British GP 2005

Juan Pablo Montoya took a great win in the eighth consecutive British Grand Prix to be won by either McLaren or Ferrari.

British GP 2006

Fernando Alonso took his first British Grand Prix victory for Renault on a hot day at Silverstone. My main memory is seeing future champion Lewis Hamilton win his GP2 race impressively and noting him as a star of the future.

2013 Australia Grand Prix, Melbourne

2013 Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne

My first Grand Prix outside of Silverstone since Donington ’93. A couple of mates from college accompanied me to the Grand Prix on a budget coach trip through France to the spectacular principality.  Alonso won ahead of Hamilton in a McLaren 1-2.

British GP 2007

The same guys that went to Monaco with me came to Silverstone with us also in 2007. Hamilton got pole and the crowd went nuts. Unfortunately he didn’t win on Sunday and Raikkonen won his first British Grand Prix.

British GP 2008

Like ten years previously, we sat at Copse and also like ten years previously, it poured it down. There were similarities with the ’93 European Grand Prix, too. Senna won the GP2 race (Bruno, this time), and Donington was announced as the home of the British GP from 2010 (of course, this never happened). Hamilton won brilliantly in the wet and it was worth the sogginess.

British GP 2009

This was the first time I experienced the impressive future multiple world champion Sebastien Vettel win a race and I liked what I saw. I recently wrote about how he had improved even more by the time of the 2013 Singapore GP. We sat on the startline and got an awesome view of the new 2009-spec cars. This was my eighteenth British Grand Prix and I have not returned since, sadly.

Australian GP 2013

What a weekend. You can read about my first Melbourne race experience here and below is the awesome video from the weekend.

Singapore GP 2013

This was a race weekend like no other. Here are my thoughts and below is the epic video of our weekend including our stay at the stunning Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

signature

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “My 22 Grand Prix Experiences

  1. Pingback: The top ten travel months… EVER | Whaddup JP

  2. Pingback: How to do a European Grand Prix on a budget | Whaddup JP

  3. Pingback: Six reasons I can’t wait to go to Monza this weekend | Whaddup JP

  4. Pingback: My First Spanish Grand Prix | Whaddup JP

  5. Pingback: How to Queue for Wimbledon | Whaddup JP

  6. Pingback: My 19th British GP: How Silverstone has changed this decade | Whaddup JP

  7. Pingback: British Grand Prix Ultimate Travel Guide | Whaddup JP

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Why not leave a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s