After the festivities on the track it was time to head over to the ‘Grand Prix Party.’ Now I had seen this on the timetable of events and scornfully stated I wouldn’t be caught dead there after witnessing cringe-worthy karaoke and air guitar antics in the ‘copse e-zone’ areas (or corpse areas as one of the crew dubbed them), during the weekend as genuine fans humiliated themselves to win prizes, I assumed this ‘party’ would be more of the same. However I was wrong and so the story goes that due to the craziness of British Health and Safety we are not allowed on the track before or after the race as you are at other races and so, to make up for this at Silverstone a party is hosted by the guy that runs the track where drivers old and new come and talk to the crowd and bands play. And it was great to see drivers not being told what to say by their team’s PR people but just being honest and having a laugh and talking directly to the fans – what a great idea…
First treat was a talk by none other than Stirling Moss, he is a great old guy and I could happily spend hours listening to his stories, he told us about practice at Monaco one year when on spying a ‘pretty girl’ in the crowd he stopped by the side of the track to hand over his phone number as well as stories about strip clubs in the 60s and how he recovered from an accident where he broke both his legs by going dancing! Also up was Nico Rosberg who told us how much happier he is now his dad doesn’t come to every race and has backed off a bit (hmm perhaps sound advice for Lewis Hamilton?) and Nakajima who after a surprise 5th place in Qualifying failed to set the race alight, but seemed pleased with his performance all the same. Next up was Nelson Piquet, and why he was there is unclear, I mean Rosberg and Nakajima do drive for a British team at least, but I do genuinely think it might be to do with the British hatred of Alonso and with Piquet pushed aside by the Spaniard and Flavio I reckon Silverstone said hey Nelson the British public generally still hate Alonso, come along to the party you’ll get an awesome reception and he quite rightly did!
A definite quote of the day was when asked if it was fun working for Flavio and with Alonso Nelson coyly replied ‘I wont be honest, but no’ he then went on to point out he had actually beaten Fernando that afternoon to which the crowd erupted!
Lewis Hamilton, came out to an incredible crowd reaction looking happier than he has all season, he thanked the fans and said we had increased his confidence and that’s why he loved Silverstone and also added that he was fighting to keep the British Grand Prix on the calendar and there was no mention of the team at all! The compere also thanked him for the cheeky donut he did at the end of the race and he smiled gleefully saying he wasn’t allowed to do them because they ruined the gearbox or something and then he shrugged with a cheeky glint in his eye, whilst we looked on open mouthed in astonishment at this display of personality, he also agreed that the current McLaren car is a dog! Then after much persuasion Nicole Scherzinger joined Lewis on stage, after her appalling commentary back in Spain earlier this season where when accosted by Brundle she clammed up and looked genuinely shocked that someone had dared to speak to her I really wanted her to reflect the relaxed attitudes we were getting from the drivers and to be sweet and honest and real. Instead she walked out in front of a crowd that was probably in the region of 90% male and said the profound words……‘Don’t you wish your boyfriend was hot like mine?’ There were groans followed by an uncomfortable silence.
Also out on stage chatting freely was of course Jenson Button who admitted he was missing his girlfriend that weekend and in front of a sea of number 22 hats Barrichello pleaded for at least someone to get a number 23! Ross Brawn also made an appearance as did Webber, a very excited Vettel, the Red Bull team principal and the BBC commentary team prompting DC to make crude (unrepeatable) comments!
But most stunning, most hilarious and most confusing of all was Eddie Jordan. It seems not a Badgerometer can go by these days without this grey haired wrinkly getting a mention, and it became oh so clear the BBC wardrobe department must go into overdrive making him look presentable for the cameras. He strode on stage wearing skinny red jeans and a tight grey t’shirt with a tiger printed on it, he grabbed the microphone and with one hand aloft acting as though he was at Wembley he shouted ‘Hello Silverstone.’ Thinking it couldn’t get any worse, I suddenly spied drumsticks in his back pocket…that’s right people the musical entertainment was provided by Eddie wannabe Bono Jordan and his band. Who to be fair weren’t that bad, but it was hard to take them seriously when instead of ignoring the drummer like most other bands there was a bizarre choreographed looking standing round the drum kit walking formation thing going on. And as if that wasn’t bizarre enough halfway through EJ takes up the microphone again to tell us his daughter had met a bloke who claimed to sing, and asked the crowd if we wanted to find out if he could sing, ignoring our pleas of no a young man walked out on stage, was equally as cringe worthy as Eddie but perhaps more so because no-one knew or cared who he was and sang U2’s One Love. With our eardrums bleeding and the steady stream of helicopters landing just behind the stage slowing, the day came to and end and it was back to the Badger camp. We spent an enjoyable evening discussing which drivers we would put together in which teams, and I concluded putting Button and Hamilton in Brawns, and moving Barrichello to join Vettel at Red Bull, whilst relegating Alonso to Force India would be a fine idea!
And finally one for the fact fans, Stirling Moss reliably informed us that in today’s cars when they ease off the accelerator pedal the drivers get 40% more braking than he did in his car with the brakes full on……amazing!