To view images from the event click here
Sunday 14 July proved to be a spectacular day for sport as Wimbledon, the Cricket World Cup final and the British Grand Prix all vied for viewers’ attention. For many Club members and guests, the British Grand Prix took precedence and for the third year running the Club’s Motor House showed a special screening of the Silverstone race. The day delivered excellent racing and a superb lunch, all of which was enjoyed inside the home of the Club’s heritage fleet.
For members and guests, their British Grand Prix experience began with a glass of champagne or Pimms on arrival, before a welcome by Club host Jeremy Vaughan, the Head of Motoring.
After the welcome guests were surprised with a special message from former motorsport commentator Murray Walker OBE who opened the Club’s new television room in the week leading up to the event. After this it was time to fill up on some lunch from the buffet before settling down to watch the race build-up.
Club Links to the Grand Prix
The first British Grand Prix to be held at Silverstone was the 1948 Royal Automobile Club International Grand Prix, with an eclectic group of participants including a Thai prince, a British Lord, a former RAF pilot and an ex-World War Two prisoner-of-war. The Club’s British Grand Prix held at Silverstone two years later then came to mark the very first race of what is today’s FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Recognising the Club’s contribution to the sport in the UK, the winner of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix hoists the Club’s spectacular gold trophy to the sky each year.
As the start time approached the atmosphere began to build. The race came just a few days after Silverstone announced its new five-year contract extension with the FIA, and there was clearly a celebratory atmosphere around the circuit.
The race began and after the first few corners the leaders had kept their positions, with Bottas in first, Hamilton in second and Leclerc and Verstappen making up third and fourth. Despite Hamilton threatening, and at one time passing Bottas, the man on pole held on to the lead for the first part of the race. However, everything changed after a safety car was deployed following a crash by Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi. Lewis’s waiting game had paid off and he went in for a ‘free’ pitstop which allowed him to take the lead. Hamilton and Bottas remained a distance ahead of Ferrari and Red Bull, with the final podium spot being taken by Charles Leclerc who achieved his third podium in a row this season.
A final highlight for the watching members and guests was seeing the Club’s British Grand Prix trophy being hoisted in the sky by Lewis, before being thrown in the air and, thankfully, caught!
Before the race began members and guests were invited to guess the winning time of the eventual winner. It was Club member Kathy Fisher who came closest, guessing 1 hour 23 minutes and 15 seconds. Lewis would eventually finish with a time of 1:21:08, making it the fastest ever British Grand Prix to be held at Silverstone, with the blistering time the result of its recently resurfaced track.