British GP Silverstone 2010

British GP Silverstone 2010
Hamilton gets pushed to the second row ready to start the British GP

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Like a child before Christmas

I started counting down the weeks to the British Grand Prix as soon as I ordered my tickets in January, for the last couple of weeks I have changed it to counting down days, and now that my tickets have arrived I started on hours (207 and a quarter until we leave at 9am Thursday, in case you’re interested – which I’m sure you’re not). Why am I so excited? It’s the first Grand Prix I have been to since 1999, when I did Silverstone and Spa with my Dad. I stopped going originally because I was deemed grown up enough to pay for myself by then, and then as the years passed I bought a house, had some children, that sort of thing, but now I’m back.
Although this will be my first F1 race in 11 years, it will be my eighteenth in total - I started going when I was six, and I never remember being this excited before. This is in part due to the fact that I am taking my son, Christian (7), to his first one, and also because we are going with a great bunch of people. We are camping in the grounds of Whittlebury Hall and anyone who is familiar with camping at Grands Prix will know that it is the only way to do it, the atmosphere is fantastic.
Christian, too, is beside himself with excitement, although this is mostly attributable to the fact that he is convinced he is going to meet Lewis Hamilton, my girlfriend, on the other hand, thinks it is crazy to spend all of this money to go and watch “sport” (it’s a good job she doesn’t know how much it’s really cost). In comparison to the prices from 20 years ago, I suppose it has marginally outstripped RPI (and the rest!!), but it’s worth it, we have got pit straight grandstand tickets, which were worth paying a little bit extra for so that Christian doesn’t spend two hours on the Sunday trying to battle his way through the crowds to catch a glimpse of the top of someone’s crash helmet, like I had to on my first trip to Silverstone.
I started getting really excited when the race finished at Valencia on Sunday, and I said to Christian that the next time a Formula One car turns a wheel it will do it right in front of us.
Regular updates to follow on the build up and then on the weekend itself, both here, and at @daimccann and @ifitsgot4wheels.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Not what it's about

First post for a while, I've not long started a new job and it's taken its toll on my ability to post I'm afraid. Thankfully though I am now past the stage where I am trying to make an impression, so with my head removed from between the new boss' rectum, I thought I would throw a quick thought out there about something which has really got my goat over the last couple of weeks. Here goes.

Those of you who follow me will know that I use Twitter (albeit quite infrequently at present), now Twitter is a great platform for like minded people to engage in smalltalk on their favourite subject. For me of course, this is F1, and I follow various people involved in the business as well as many fans of the sport. Recently I have noticed a considerable number of these fans have very strong, almost partisan ties to certain teams, in many cases taking it to a level where they want rival teams to do badly, commenting that they hope "driver x" breaks down, or that they "hate driver y". Now I have enough faith in human nature to be aware that these people wish no harm to the subjects of their derision, but it's the principle that riles me.

Formula 1 is not a members club and I'm glad, similarly it isn't my place to decide who can and can't follow, and comment, on the sport; but I do feel I have an obligation to explain to these fans, most of whom I guess are relatively new to following F1, that this is not how it is meant to be done. Yes, by all means support the drivers that you enjoy watching, whether for patriotic reasons, or any other reason you see fit, nominate a villain of the piece if they upset you, but leave this childish, tribalistic, "I'm a Ferrari/McLaren/Red Bull/HRT fan" rubbish at the gate. Formula 1 is a showcase of the finest minds and athletes competing at the absolute pinnacle of their field, and all of them should be admired for what they do.

It is a new phenomenon which is probably a by-product of our cynical, adversarial society, but I find it particularly annoying, bordering on pathetic. It's a gentleman's sport, and if you can't get your head around this concept then maybe you'd be better off going to watch the football.

Whinge over, probably won't make the slightest difference, but I feel better. If you like listening to me moan, I do a lot of it on Twitter: @ifitsgot4wheels or @daimccann.