Derek Warwick has promised fans a better experience at this year's British GP
Rain caused transport problems in 2012
By William Esler. Last Updated: 26/01/13 12:24pm
BRDC President Derek Warwick has promised fans a better experience at June's British GP after traffic congestion marred last year's event at Silverstone.
Heavy rain turned car parks into mud baths, causing tailbacks as stewards struggled to get fans parked safely ahead of Friday's practice sessions.
The British Racing Drivers' Club, owners of the Northamptonshire track, took the unprecedented decision to ask spectators not to attend qualifying in an attempt to preserve the car parks for race day and Warwick feels the organisation did all it could to make the event pass off successfully.
"We are not going to have another wet summer, so let's put that one right on the record," the BRDC figurehead told Sky Sports F1 Online.
Testing on Sky Sports F1
From dawn to dusk, Sky Sports Online will be providing live interactive commentary from trackside at both Jerez and Barcelona on every day of testing this winter, while Sky Sports News will be providing regular live updates from the tests, starting with Jerez on February 5-8.
"Did it catch us out? Not really, we obviously knew it was wet, we did our best, but what people need to realise is that a lot of our car parks are in fields. They have certain planning restrictions which don't allow us just to tarmac everything and we don't have the money of Abu Dhabi and Singapore and all those kinds of places.
"I think we handled it right and stopping people coming on the Saturday allowed us to have a capacity crowd on the Sunday - we had 120,000 people onsite on Sunday. We had a great race and very few complaints and the few complaints we have had, we settled straightaway, we were insured for that so we won't lose money from it.
"We have increased our parking facility, we have improved the camping facilities which let us down a bit last year and we have increased park-and-ride. So we are going to try and take a few more people off-site and bring them in by coaches and that will make a massive difference to the number of cars on-site.
"At the end of the day, there were sporting events all over the country that were cancelled, but we kept ours and still had a great grand prix on the Sunday. So instead of negativity towards us, I would like to see a little bit of positivity because I think we coped really well - we are in a damp area anyway, so we do suffer with the water table and we are going to do the best we can this year."
The BRDC are attempting to lease out Silverstone in an effort to bring new investment and help develop facilities, but Warwick admits it has been a difficult process.
F1 on Sky Sports in 2013
Sky Sports F1 is the only place to watch every grand prix live in 2013.
Our dedicated F1 channel will broadcast every race, qualifying and practice session live, along with highlights shows, analysis and even more coverage via the Red Button.
Find out more at Sky.com
"Slowly, it is very disappointing," he said when asked how talks were progressing.
"But if you want to find a third-party investor, the wrong time to be doing that is now. But now is now and this is what we have to work with. We spent a long time with one investor that we thought was 99 per cent sure and they let us down at the last minute which was disappointing.
"We have started with another one now and we are negotiating with that investor as we speak. We do need an investor, we do need support and we do want to develop Silverstone more. The Wing is a little bit disjointed from the rest of Silverstone and we need to find an investor that will link The Wing into the rest of the circuit, so we are working hard at that, it is not easy and it is a long process.
"But we are positive, we are out there and still working hard - I'm working hard, our board is working hard, our Chairman Stuart Rolt is doing a phenomenal job as are our executive staff."