Silverstone rocks as celebrities flock to British Grand Prix 22 Jun 2009
Their third album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, was released on June 5 and immediately gave Kasabian their second UK number-one album. And to give themselves a treat after those months of hard work in the studio, the British rock band showed up in the Silverstone paddock - causing a media frenzy.
Probably thats what you get if you are the best rock band in the UK - probably even in the US and in the world. Thats all, said vocalist Tom Meighan with a wink. And, boy, this here looks great! A friend of mine who is very much into Formula One tried since last year to persuade me to come to a race and now seeing all this I wonder what took me so long. Weve just had a look into the McLaren garage. Boy, Ive seen many garages in my life, but this seems to be out of this world. It is clinical - like walking into a dentists, but with a fantastic smell of rubber; cars built together in a sort of operating room, and then driven out to fight like hell. And oh boy, the grid, seeing all the cars together waiting for the big showdown and all these helping hands swirling around them - phenomenal!
Guitarist Sergio Pizzorno added: I have the greatest respect for the drivers. They put their life on the line - that is what they want to do in life and you really have to respect that! Our favourite driver? We are home boys so of course Lewis (Hamilton) and Jenson (Button). Jenson is doing a fantastic job this year. Hes a real comeback kid. He never gave up. Thats true British spirit. But today the best man shall win - whoever it is!
A special treat awaited Jade Jagger, a guest of Red Bull Racing. When Bernie Ecclestone spotted Mick Jaggers daughter he immediately put her into some race overalls and sent her off for a lap in the Santander two-seater. I came here for an exciting afternoon, but had no idea how exciting it really would turn out to be! Im no coward, but believe me that put all my senses to the test. Thanks Bernie for that unbelievable experience.
A new kid on the Formula One block was Chelsea FC football player and captain of the German national team, Michael Ballack, who was a guest of Ferrari. Finally Ive made it to a Formula One race. It was so long on my agenda, but for some strange reasons it never worked out. For a sportsman of another global sport it is very interesting to see how the others do their magic. And my two older boys who came along with me will now be dreaming of racing glory.
Former soccer star turned actor Eric Cantona, a guest of Renaults Flavio Briatore, saw the beauty of the show: There is only a handful of sports that appeal equally to the fans at the venue and in front of the television. Ive been part of one, and Formula One is another one of those few. To achieve that sort of fan loyalty you have to have the right ingredients - to speak in movie terms: a perfect format, good actors and a skilled director. Formula One has all of this. It is always a pleasure to attend a race.
Another repeat visitor - albeit after quite a break - was Fabio Capello. The manager of the English national football team saw his first race when still an active player at Italian club Juventus. But that was quite some time ago. And when I thought then that Formula One could not get any better I have to admit I was wrong. The degree of professionalism took me aback. This is a mobile global industry. I am sure the break to my next race visit will not be as long. I would like to see more - have a chance to look a bit behind the scenes. That is what Ive promised myself.
A freshly knighted Sir in the Silverstone paddock was Chris Hoy, who came to fame on two wheels. The multiple track cycling champion - the only Briton since Henry Taylor, in 1908, to win three gold medals in a single Olympic games - was a very interested observer of the guys who do it on four wheels. I love Formula One. The technical aspect, the glamour, the precision, the fighting spirit - and of course the noise! An afternoon at the races is always a fantastic experience - time and again!