Formula 1 Insight

Garcia in Britain

As promised, there follows Garcia's report from Silverstone. Readers will be happy to know that he did actually make it to the circuit this time, although I'm not sure they will appreciate his unusual take on events there. But that is Garcia for you - I have said many times before that I take no responsibility for the reliability of his articles and post them only in response to public demand.

A Garcia photo
"Get that bum outa here..."

Silverstone Report

Well, I managed it, Boss - talked a drunken fisherman into giving me a ride from that Greek island to the mainland, hitched my way though Europe and stowed away on a Channel ferry. In London, I made contact with my extensive expatriate connections and talked my friend Carlos into coming to Silverstone with me for the weekend. I picked Carlos because he has an old VW Combi minibus - very useful if you need to sleep rough for a few nights.

Anyway, the traffic was terrible on the roads to the circuit and we decided to turn off and find another route. It was part of my plan anyway, seeing that I'm a bit broke at the moment, apart from the beer money I'd saved for British pubs, and I was going to sneak in through a back entrance somewhere. Well over the fence, you know what I mean.

We got lost, Boss. I know it sounds ridiculous but those little country roads never seem to go where you're expecting them to. Carlos stopped the van several times so we could hear the sounds of racing in the distance but whenever we set off in that direction, the road twisted around until we ended up somewhere else. We were getting a bit desperate and called in at a pub to ask for help, had a little drink and then got into an argument over the correct pronunciation of the name, Johnny Herbert.

Now, you know my English is pretty good, Boss, and I explained to Carlos that it's all in the letters J and H - so what looks to us like Johnny Herbert is actually pronounced Honny Jerbert. It took me ages to persuade him and I'm afraid we had a few more beers in the meantime. So neither of us was in the mood for another long search for the circuit when we left.

Maybe that was why we found it so quickly afterwards - just turned a corner and there was the fence right in front of us. It took a few goes but we fell over it eventually and then got caught by this guy in a uniform. I don't think he was a cop - no gun in a holster at his belt - but he grabs us by our collars and says, "Ullo, ullo, ullo, what's goin on ere then?"

Well, I tried to explain about the Js and Hs but he didn't seem to care until I mentioned that Bernie Ecclestone is a friend of mine. "Is ee indeed?" says the copper or whatever he was and he marches us off all the way to the paddock, right up to this big trailer with FOM written on the side. Those graffiti artists get everywhere but I thought it was in pretty bad taste, writing that well known Twitter slogan over anything connected with F1. We all know that it stands for F*** Off Mosley, after all.

Anyway, the copper knocks on the door and some guy opens it and wants to know what we want. "This geezer ere says ee knows Mister Hecklestone," says the cop and then we have a little discussion about there being no J in Ecclestone. Sometimes I think your countrymen don't even know their own language, Boss.

But the guy lets us in and there's Bernie sitting at a table, locked in deep discussion with Max. He notices us and asks the copper what he wants, he explains and then Bernie pretends he's never seen me in his life before. Absolutely no memory of a certain little bar in Barcelona, he claims.

Of course, the upshot was me and Carlos got thrown out and the copper or whatever he was hands us over to the real cops and I never got to see the GP at all. Spent a few days "at Her Majesty's Pleasure", whatever that means - looked like a cell to me, if I'm honest - and hence the lateness of this report. Sorry and all that but hardly my fault, I think you'll agree. And I have three weeks to get to Germany for the next one so I reckon that will be easy.

I did manage to sneak a photo of Bernie on my cell phone though, Boss, and am including it so you have something to make the article a bit prettier. Much more of this and you'll have to think about photographer's fees too...


Uuuummmm...prettier? Poor Garcia. If we ever do get a GP back on N American shores I'm going to have to make sure that case of sangria is waiting for him in the arrivals lounge...or the dockside at midnight when he sneaks out of the cargo hold...whichever applies.
Date Added: 28/06/2009

Vera: Knowing Garcia, it'll probably be a cheap flight to Mexico followed by a quick swim across the Rio Grande. Why do it the easy way?
Date Added: 28/06/2009

The Tru7h
Clive, what do you make of this?

Date Added: 29/06/2009

Another great article by Garcia! Far better than reading more articles about how the FIA are asking Mosely to stand for re-election....

I like the fact that he does not think a policeman is real unless they have a gun on them.... Are we the only country in the world now where they are not armed as standard?

He really needs to start getting tickets for these races.
Date Added: 29/06/2009

The Tru7h: I might be writing about Mosley's latest statement this morning (if I can bear writing about politics yet again!) so I don't want to say too much here. But I think it's Mosley backing away from his threat to stand for re-election without losing face.
Date Added: 29/06/2009

Lee: Thanks for the appreciation - Garcia loves reading praise of his writing. And I agree that anything is better than more of Max's nonsense!

I think Garcia's reference to guns and policemen is a reflection of his experience of the Spanish variety. Years ago I had cause to spend a few hours in Madrid airport and the place was crawling with Spanish coppers - and every one of them had a pistol in a holster at his belt. As far as I know, The Brit cop is still the only policeman that does not normally carry a gun.

The matter of tickets to races is a sore point between Garcia and myself. He has an expense account and the cost of tickets is supposed to come out of that - but invariably the money gets assigned elsewhere or disappears. I have my theories of where it ends up and most of them involve the copious consumption of alcohol in one form or another...
Date Added: 29/06/2009

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