Improvements for Silverstone after 2012 problems

By on Thursday, May 2, 2013

BRDC Chairman Derek Warwick has reassured fans that Silverstone has upgraded their facilities as they seek to avoid a repeat of the chaos that affected the event in 2012.

A period of torrential weather in the build up to the event in 2012 left car parks and campsites waterlogged and caused traffic chaos as surrounding roads became jammed.

Some fans were unable to reach the circuit on Friday and others were urged to stay away on Saturday.

"Obviously if we have the kind of rain we had last year it's difficult for all venues but we've put in kilometres of drainage, we've improved the facilities of all the campsites," Warwick told Sky Sports News.

"We've probably got the best road system of all grands prix. You've got to remember the last ten years we've had no problems at all."

"[2012] was a one-off. It did catch us out. We looked after all the people who struggled on the Saturday, we compensated them, but more importantly we have upgraded everything in terms of parking and the campsites. There's more drainage, more facilities so we've listened to the people that complained and made it better."

Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips admits last year was a wake-up call.

"What happened to us last year was a wake-up call and we have had to put a lot of measures in place to ensure that people have a good time in 2013."

"We learned last year that we have got to go the extra mile," he added "Those sorts of conditions, you cannot tell these days can you? So it could happen again. What we had in place did not cope with it, so we have spent a lot of time and effort on it." says...

As Britain basks in a period of warm and dry weather, it seems impossible to cast your mind back and remember the conditions affecting the country 10 months ago.

Last year, Britain was lashed by wet weather for several weeks building up to the event, leaving the ground saturated. Although it was dry on Thursday, a band of torrential rain battered areas of the country - including Silverstone - for around 12 hours on Friday, causing flash floods in some regions.

One of Silverstone's problems is its rural location, albeit with improved access roads courtesy of the A43. This naturally means that, unlike some other events, the majority of fans drive to the circuit rather than use public transport. Warwick has said that improved Park and Ride scheme has been implemented ahead of this year's race - that will undoubtedly help their cause.

The main issue, however, was the communication. Not every campsite is operated by the circuit and a couple had to turn people away on Friday due to the torrential rain. Almost every other campsite operated under their 'red' policy, meaning driving around the campsite was prohibited. This caused gridlock as stewards were reluctant to direct campers to car parks. The weather has to take some of the blame, but the situation was not handled as well as it could have been.

Getting to The Wing is also a problem, with the only access via the Hangar Straight bridge or via the road behind The Loop. This meant that last year, traffic trying to get into and out of the circuit gates was also affected by the traffic chaos.

Silverstone's infrastructure has been improved enormously over the last decade, but they were caught out in 2012. It is impossible for Silverstone to compete with the likes of Yas Marina in terms of facilities, but improvements can always be made, especially with the race's contract running until at least 2026. The changes being made should mean that we won't see a repeat of 2012.


Tickets are still available for the 2013 British Grand Prix, which takes place from 28th to 30th June

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