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Paddock Postcard from Silverstone 08 Jul 2007

Nigel Mansell (GBR) in the BMW pit lane park.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 6 July 2007 The podium (L to R): Mike Conway (GBR) Super Nova International, second; Andreas Zuber (AUT) iSport International, race winner; Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Dams, third. GP2 Series, Rd 5, Race 1, Silverstone, England, Saturday 7 July 2007. World © Bumstead/Sutton David Beckham (GBR) and Victoria Beckham (GBR).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Race Day, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 8 July 2007

The British Grand Prix is always packed with familiar faces from racing and showbiz. Among the former this weekend were one-time Renault turbo pioneer racer Jean-Pierre Jabouille, who was celebrating the 30th anniversary of Renault’s return to Formula One, former Matra chief Claude le Guezec and Tiga Racing Cars partners Howden Ganley and Tim Schenken.

On Friday Nigel Mansell entertained visitors to the BMW Pit Lane Park near Becketts corner with a series of tyre-smoking ‘doughnuts’ in a BMW Sauber, before fellow British Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert took over the duties.

“Absolutely awesome!” Mansell said. “That took me back. The car drives in a similar way to the F1 cars of my era, but the technology advances that have been made since are phenomenal. I lost count how many doughnuts I did, but I had a fantastic time. It’s the first time I have driven a Formula One car and not had any problems with it!”

John Surtees and Formula BMW racing son Henry were also in attendance.

On the celebrity front, British Cabinet Minister Peter Hain was in evidence, while footballer Patrick Vieira was a guest at Ferrari and ‘face’ of the British Grand Prix, actress Gemma Atkinson, was around and about. Singer Dannii Minogue was a guest at Honda, as was former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and her footballing husband David.

Silverstone always has a strong musical theme, and this year was no exception. Spectators on Friday could enjoy live music from Blondie tribute band Blonded, and on Saturday the organisers arranged for Wembley’s Live Earth concert to be shown ‘live’ on the giant screen at the outside of Copse corner.

The free post-race Grand Prix Party tonight will include live music from ex-Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan and his band V10, and rock tribute band Killer Queen. A number of Formula One drivers will also be on stage.

In Saturday’s GP2 ace, iSport’s Andreas Zuber won from local hero Mike Conway, who had his best performance thus far in his debut season, and Kazuki Nakajima was third. Britain’s Adam Carroll won Sunday’s sprint race.