Muddy Silverstone: Apology
9 July 2012, 11:09
Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips has issued an "unreserved apology" to fans in light of the traffic mayhem that almost reduced him to tears.
Heavy rain over the weekend of Friday 6 to Sunday 8 July 2012 flooded many of the fields at Silverstone used for car parking.
Thousands of fans were left stranded in traffic jams outside the Northamptonshire track as the first two practice sessions ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix unfolded under constant rain and reduced car parks to quagmires.
In a bid to accommodate furious fans, Silverstone were forced to open grassed parking areas that were being preserved for the weekend.
Instead, it resulted in Silverstone losing 50% of parking space due to the damage caused, and fans with tickets for public car parks on Saturday were subsequently asked not to not turn up.
Speaking to Heart on Saturday 7 July, Richard Phillips conceded the financial hit will likely run into seven figures, which for this season will potentially turn a profit into a loss.
"We've been in emergency meetings every two hours today with the police, highways agencies, county council, emergency planning to try and resolve the issues," he said.
Mr Phillips added: "It's going to cost us a lot of money. I honestly don't know the figure, but it could be a lot more than hundreds of thousands. For people who did not get in (on Friday and Saturday) we're offering refunds. But I unreservedly apologise to people. I feel very responsible for it, this is something I've been very proud of over the years and I almost could cry now."
Phillips was visibly choking with that last remark, highlighting the toll the day had taken on him, with a year's worth of hard work undone by the forces of nature.
The Towcestrians Rugby club launched a Facebook page to help people who had tickets for the 2012 British Grand Prix get to the race. "Help get the fans to Silverstone" aimed to connect racegoers with local people who had space on their drives and in their gardens.