Silverstone's 50th Grand Prix
Four-times British Grand Prix winner Nigel Mansell and two-times British Grand Prix winner Emerson Fittipaldi are the latest Formula 1® greats confirmed to take part in Silverstone’s 50th Grand Prix parades. The two former World Champions complete the list of motor sport legends celebrating the circuit’s historic milestone at this year’s 2014 FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX (04-06 July).
Nigel Mansell has won the British Grand Prix four times (1986, 1987, 1991, 1992) – three times at Silverstone, making him the most successful British F1® driver to ever race at the circuit. Evoking memories of ‘Mansell mania’, he will lap Silverstone’s Grand Prix Circuit as part of the celebration parades.
Mansell, Formula 1® World Champion in 1992 and winner of 31 Grands Prix, commented: “Silverstone is the spiritual home of Formula 1® and we should all feel proud of the circuit hosting its 50th Grand Prix. It has a special place in my heart and a rich heritage that cannot be replicated by other circuits. It’s still one of the most exhilarating circuits in the world, but it’s the fans and their passion that make the British Grand Prix so special.
“I have a stand out memory from each of my three Silverstone wins – in 1987 it was the overtake on my teammate Nelson Piquet down Hangar Straight, dummying to go around the outside before taking him on the inside going into Stowe. That was a really satisfying win. 1991 was another great win, but is probably best remembered for me stopping to give my rival Ayrton Senna a lift back to the pits after he ran out of fuel on the last lap. However, the most special memory for me is probably 1992, when all the fans invaded the track at the end of the race. It’s not something I’d recommend nowadays, but the euphoria took over as a sea of people surged onto the track. It was absolutely amazing and something I’ll never forget.
“I am one of the Stewards at this year’s British Grand Prix so am delighted that I shall be there to celebrate this momentous occasion and take part in the parades.”
The final high-profile name completing the line-up for the ‘Silverstone50’ parades is Emerson Fittipaldi. A double F1® World Champion (1972 and 1974), Fittipaldi took part in 144 Grands Prix between 1970 and 1980, driving for Lotus and McLaren before setting up his own marque, Fittipaldi Automotive.
‘Emmo’ won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1975, and will take to the wheel of his 1974 McLaren M23 in the Silverstone50 parades - the very car that secured wins in Brazil, Belgium and Canada, before clinching his second Formula 1 title, and the first ever World Constructors’ Championship for McLaren.
Fittipaldi commented: “It is an honour to be able to celebrate this 50th running of the Grand Prix at Silverstone, as well as the 40th anniversary of winning the first ever World Championship for the iconic McLaren F1 Team. More than that, it will be with great emotion that I will be able to do that in front of the British fans, because England is the place where I started my international career, a second home for me. I have many friends here and shared a lot of success with the Brits in racing.
“Silverstone carries a lot of tradition in F1®, but most importantly, it has evolved with F1® while retaining its character as a circuit. I really enjoy seeing the modern F1® cars racing at tracks that I can relate to my own races. McLaren means a lot to me. I came to McLaren from Lotus at a time when I was leaving a proven Champion for an up-and-coming team. We won the Championship on the first attempt. The M23 won a lot of races over a few seasons in its many evolutions.
“I have very vivid memories of winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in the M23. It was the first time the start of a Grand Prix used a lights system, and we had the new chicane at Woodcote after the multi-car accident there in 1973. As always, opinions were divided about these novelty items. But after all the anticipation for the start and the first corner, it was at the end of a hard fought race that a typical English summer rain helped me to win the race. I saw the clouds and used my local knowledge to go for wet tyres early. It started raining only on one side of the circuit, and not many cars could make it on slicks. The records actually show that I won by a lap! This was my last F1® race win, at the same circuit where I drove an F1® car for the first time, so Silverstone is very special for me.”
Celebrating Silverstone’s 50th Grand Prix in style, the parades will take place on all three days of the British Grand Prix at the following times: Friday 04 July - 12:50-13:05; Saturday 05 July - 12:05-12:20; and Sunday 06 July - 11:10-11:25. Timings are provisional and subject to change.
Mansell and Fittipaldi join a host of Formula 1® World Champions, British Grand Prix winners and motor racing legends confirmed for the Silverstone50 parades. The full list of drivers and cars is as follows:
- Nigel Mansell CBE – four-times British Grand Prix winner (three at Silverstone: 1987, 1991, 1992) and 1992 F1® World Champion (car t.b.c.)
- Emerson Fittipaldi – two-times British Grand Prix winner (1972, 1975) and two-times F1® World Champion (1972, 1974), driving the McLaren M23, his 1974 World Championship winning car
- Sir Jackie Stewart OBE - two-times British Grand Prix winner (1969, 1971) and three-times F1® World Champion (1969, 1971, 1973), driving his 1969 British Grand Prix winning Matra MS80
- Alain Prost OBE - five-times British Grand Prix winner (1983, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1993) and four-times F1® World Champion (1985, 1986, 1989, 1993), driving Mark Webber’s 2012 British Grand Prix winning Red Bull RB8
- Damon Hill OBE - 1994 British Grand Prix winner and 1996 F1® World Champion, driving his father Graham Hill’s 1968 Lotus 49B
- Johnny Herbert - 1995 British Grand Prix winner, driving Sir Jackie Stewart’s 1973 World Championship winning Tyrrell 006
- David Coulthard MBE - 1999 and 2000 British Grand Prix winner, driving Mark Webber’s 2012 British Grand Prix winning Red Bull RB8
- Rubens Barrichello - 2003 British Grand Prix winner and 11-times F1® Grand Prix winner, driving the Williams FW07B, a tribute to Clay Regazzoni’s 1979 British Grand Prix winning Williams FW07
- Jackie Oliver - Former Lotus F1 driver with 50 F1® starts, 1969 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, driving Jim Clark’s 1965 British Grand Prix winning Lotus 33
- Derek Warwick - 147 F1® starts and President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), driving a McLaren M29C (as driven by Alain Prost and John Watson at the 1980 British Grand Prix)
- Martin Brundle - 158 F1® starts, including nine podiums, and 1990 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, driving James Hunt’s 1977 British Grand Prix winning McLaren M26 (also being driven by 2014 Monaco Historic GP winner, Michael Lyons)
- David Brabham - 24 F1® starts, 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, driving his late father Sir Jack Brabham’s 1960 British Grand Prix winning Cooper Climax T53
- Dario Franchitti MBE - three-times Indy500 winner and four-times IndyCar Champion driving Jim Clark’s 1963 British Grand Prix winning Lotus 25
- Adrian Newey OBE - designer of ten F1® World Constructors’ Championship winning cars, driving the iconic March 711 that Ronnie Peterson drove to 2nd place at the 1971 British Grand Prix
- Paul Stewart - owner of Stewart Grand Prix team (1997-1999), driving his father Sir Jackie Stewart’s 1973 World Championship winning Tyrrell 006
The 2014 FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX will be the 50th Grand Prix to be held at Silverstone since Luigi Villoresi won the first ever event on 02 October 1948, two years before the inauguration of the FIA Formula One World Championship in 1950.comments powered by Disqus