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Record Silverstone attendance for ‘challenging’ British GP
A record 127,000 people turned out to watch Mark Webber storm to victory at the 2012 British Grand Prix on Sunday, according to Silverstone Circuits.
Despite the ever-present threat of further deluges hanging over the event, Sunday afternoon stayed uncharacteristically dry and finally gave the long-suffering crowds a chance to put their brollies away and enjoy some uninterrupted on-track action.
With a typically British stiff upper lip, the organisers freely admit it’s been a challenging weekend with lessons to be learned, though:
“Given the extreme weather conditions and position we found ourselves in on Friday, I don’t think Sunday could have gone much better,” said Richard Phillips, MD of Silverstone Circuits Ltd.
“The sun shone, we had a great race, a popular winner and I’m delighted that we were able to get all the fans in and out of the circuit. There were some unavoidable delays but, on the whole, we managed to keep everyone moving safely.”
The situation portrayed by the media has been one of muddy chaos though. As many as 30,000 ticket-holders told to keep away from the circuit on Saturday due to water-logged car parks and local roads were left groaning under the weight of traffic trying to access the Northamptonshire circuit.
Silverstone Circuits has now promised a thorough review of the weather-related issues which hampered this year’s event, and has indicated it will be issuing communications on the ‘next steps’ for fans who lost out due to the conditions over the weekend.
According to Silverstone, total attendance for the three day event stood at 297,000 – with 80,000 turning out for Friday’s free practice and 90,000 braving the monsoon-like conditions on Saturday for qualifying.
Silverstone boss Phillips also thanked Britain’s stalwart F1 fans for staying calm in the midst of the weather and traffic chaos: “we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s patience and people listening to the information being giving out.
“By working with us we were able to overcome some serious challenges to deliver a great British Grand Prix for the fantastic British fans”.
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