BRITISH GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE
First Practice Session: 1:32.773, Position: 5, Laps: 30
Second Practice Session: 1:32.051, Position: 2, Laps: 30
“Generally today was really good. It’s always hard to know where the others are but I think we’re pretty happy and the longer runs seemed to be a bit more competitive so we’re getting there. Not a bad Friday. We look fairly good compared to Lewis at the moment but I feel they’ll have a bit more at their disposal tomorrow. I especially wanted to get on top of the race runs today and understand it a bit better, as that was a weakness last week in Austria. I think we’re doing alright. Sunday could be a really good fight with Ferrari for a podium. Hopefully we can make those tyres last a bit longer and get up there.”
First Practice Session: 1:33.202, Position: 7, Laps: 22
Second Practice Session: 1:32.286, Position: 3, Laps: 36
“A very good day. I enjoy driving here and we are competitive, although it was a bit tricky in the second session with the wind but that’s the same for everyone. Long run and short run pace was good so we are hoping to be close to the front. You never know what Ferrari or other teams will do but for the moment we are very happy with where we are, it’s a bit of a power track but there are still some corners which suit us. We are not too far off the Mercedes which is always good. There were one or two balance issues so we will make some changes overnight because you always want to be going forward and remain up front. I’m pretty happy but I want to go even faster tomorrow. I think if we can be the second team on the grid that would be very good. Definitely a positive start to the weekend.”
With Silverstone expecting a massive crowd of over 135,000 people for race day, this year’s British Grand Prix is set to deliver one of the biggest F1 live audiences seen for a long time. In honour of that we sought out a bunch of other similarly impressive gatherings.
Defining the largest ever flash mob is pretty impossible as real numbers are always sketchy but one record that is documented is that of the largest ever Michael Jackson ’Thriller’ ‘zombie dance’. It took place at Monumento a la Revolucion, Mexico City, Mexico, on 29 Aug 2009, just weeks after the singer’s death. 13,597 people took part in the event, with log books used for counting.
Now some would say that say the world’s largest gathering of snakes takes place every other week in the F1 paddock but those people are just mean. The actual largest gathering takes place annually in the Narcisse Snake Dens of Manitoba, Canada. Each spring, up to 75,000 red-sided garter snakes congregate inside limestone caves to form mating balls, in which up to a hundred male snakes vie for a single female. The only positive thing? They’re not venomous. So not like the paddock at all then.
Brazil’s Maracana stadium in Brazil holds the record for biggest attendance at a football match. On the 16th of July 1950 a whopping 199,854 turned up for the World Cup Final between Brazil vs. Uruguay. Brazil took the lead shortly after half-time on a goal by Friaça, but Juan Alberto Schiaffino equalised for Uruguay mid-way through the half. Alcides Ghiggia scored the winning goal for Uruguay with 11 minutes remaining in the match.
We leap up right up the order to the world’s largest concert crowd. According to the Guinness Book of Records the honour goes to everyone’s favourite leopardskin-clad crooner – Mr Rod Stewart. In 1994 Rod the Mod played a free New Year’s concert on Copacabana beach in front of a staggering 4.2m people (according to BBC figures – others put the crowd at a paltry 3.5m). The concert was so large that on the day Stewart’s production manager Lars Brogaard had to use a taxi to travel between the dozens of speaker towers stretching along the beach. Recalling the event, Stewart said that as he got into the vehicle having left the stage at the end of the gig, the crowd at the far end of the beach were just hearing the final notes of crowd-pleasing set-closer Do Ya Think I’m Sexy!
It’s not the largest crowd of creatures to regularly gather on the planet (that would likely go to 10-billion strong swarms of locusts), but each year up to 120m red crabs leave the interior of Christmas Island and go to the beach to mate. Not unlike summer at European airports then.