Derek Warwick has outlined Silverstone's widespread infrastructural improvements
BRDC boss also confirms BRDC remains in talks with would-be investor
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 01/05/13 5:51pm
Last summer the Northamptonshire track endured its biggest operational headache since the infamous events of 2000, when the race was controversially moved to April, as persistent heavy rain in the weeks before the showpiece F1 event, and during the opening two days of the race weekend, caused campsites and grass car parks to become waterlogged, triggering miles of tailbacks on the circuit's main access roads.
This led to the unprecedented step of advising ticket holders with passes for the car parks to stay away from Saturday's qualifying session so organisers could repair the ground in preparation for arrivals on race day.
But having previously announced a raft of infrastructural improvements for this June's race - included an expanded Park and Ride scheme along with improvements to campsites and non-tarmaced carparks - Warwick has insisted Silverstone have done everything to improve travel arrangements.
"Obviously if we have the kind of rain we had last year it's difficult for all venues but we've put in kilometres of drainage, we've improved the facilities of all the campsites," the former Renault and Arrows driver told Sky Sports News.
"We've probably got the best road system of all grands prix. You've got to remember the last ten years we've had no problems at all.
"[Last year] it was a one-off. It did catch us out. We looked after all the people who struggled on the Saturday, we compensated them, but more importantly we have upgraded everything in terms of parking and the campsites.
"There's more drainage, more facilities so we've listened to the people that complained and made it better."
Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft, attending Silverstone for a media day on Wednesday to hear about the circuit's full plans for 2013's GP, underlined how much effort organisers have made to improve the venue's infrastructure.
"This year things are going to be a lot better," he said. "They've improved the drainage and the car parks; they've put plastic matting down on the campsites so that people can actually come, set their tents up and enjoy a festival of motorsport.
"The BRDC, the owners of Silverstone, have improved the facilities; there are more roofs on the temporary grandstands, there are raised banking areas for the general admission tickets.
"The organsiers want the fans to come and enjoy the spectacle and get as many people into the circuit to have a great time."
Last July's problems aside, Silverstone has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years on the back of securing a 17-year contract to continue hosting the British GP and the opening of its new 'Wing' pit and paddock complex in 2011.
However, with the circuit keen to make further enhancements to the site and increase revenue streams, BRDC officials have spent several years chasing external investment.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Warwick confirmed the circuit was currently in talks with a would-be investor.
"The only problem we've got at the moment is it [the Wing]'s not very well linked to the rest of the circuit," he admitted.
"So we do need an investor, we're looking for an investor at the moment, talking to an investor at the moment and that will help us build hotels and bigger infrastructure etcetera.
"But our relationship with Bernie is fantastic. He complimented us last year for running one of the best grands prix of the year and you don't very often get compliments from Mr Ecclestone!"
You will be able to hear more about Silverstone's 2013 plans during Friday's edition of The F1 Show. Click here to find more about this week's line-up.