Silverstone is braced for a soaking wet British grand prix, as torrential rain greeted the sunrise on the opening day of 2012 action.
Paul di Resta on Thursday had already advised his fans to pack their “rain jackets”, because “it looks like they’re going to get wet.” Perhaps he had read about race organisers spreading 1000 tonnes of hardcore across vulnerable roads and carparks around the Northamptonshire venue. Or maybe he has seen the severe storm warning, or the forecast of a month’s worth of rain in the space of two days.
Jenson Button is worried sodden fans will suffer through the rain during practice only to find the drivers are huddled under the cover of the pits.
“We are so limited on our tyre allocation that we are not going to run much,” he told reporters on Thursday. “We will do our best but there will not be much going on.”
Sebastian Vettel agreed: “We need to find a balance between practicing enough to set up the car and evaluate the new parts but saving tyres as much as we can for qualifying and the race.”
As for the spectators, the signs are not good — already this weekend, Button has had to dig his personal motorhome out of the Silverstone mud.
“There is a hole in the field but it is ok,” the McLaren driver grinned, then sparing a thought for ardent race-goers who are pitching tents in the “metre of mud”.