London and F1, July, 2004


We spent 2 weeks in the UK in July, 2004. About 8 days in London, followed by a trip to Stratford on Avon for the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain.

 

These are the highlights of London. We were staying quite near Royal Albert Hall and the Victoria and Albert Museum. We visited all of the major sites: Westminster Abbey, Parliament, the British Museum, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and Charing Cross. We went up in the London Eye (a giant ferris wheel) and got some great pictures of greater London. We spent a day at Windsor Castle, and the Queen was there for part of the day. A visit to Kew Gardens yielded some great flower shots.

In the Formula 1 theme, there was a "parade" on Regent Street, and we went, along with 250,000 others. We went to Harrod's, and St. Paul's Cathedral (in the midst of a major reconstruction, but magnificent nonetheless). We ate at Blackfriar's Pub and spent hours on the Tube starting at our local station, South Kensington.

London is a great city and we will surely return. Nunc est Bibendum!

Royal Albert Hall... Albert Memorial... Big Ben... Westminster Abbey... Westminster Abbey... Westminster Abbey... Westminster Abbey... British Museum... British Museum... British Museum... Tower Bridge... Tower Bridge... Tower of London... Tower of London... Tower of London... Tower of London... Tower of London... Tower of London... Tower of London... Tower of London... Buckingham Palace... Buckingham Palace... St James Park... Horse Guards... Buckingham Palace... Trafalgar Square... Charing Cross... London Eye... Parliament... London Eye... London Eye... London Eye... Parliament... Windsor Castle - the Queen is in!... Windsor Castle... Windsor Castle... Windsor Castle - Changing of the guard... Windsor Castle... Windsor Castle... Windsor Castle... Windsor Castle... Windsor Castle - The Queen has left the... Windsor Castle... Windsor Castle... Windsor Castle... Windsor Castle... Kew Gardens... Kew Gardens... Kew Gardens... Kew Gardens... Kew Gardens... Kew Gardens... Kew Gardens... Kew Gardens... Kew Gardens... F1 Parade on Regent Steet - A Jordan... The parade was quite a mob scene... A piece of a Toyota goes by... Millenium Footbridge... St Paul's Cathedral... St Paul's Cathedral... We run into Jensen Button's car near... More of Jensen's car... More of Jensen's car... More of Jensen's car... Victoria and Albert Museum... Natural History Museum... Blackfriars Pub... Blackfriars Pub... Blackfriars Pub... Blackfriars Pub... Blackfriars Pub... Harrods... Covent Garden... South Kensington station...
   
British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone. We travelled from London to Heathrow to meet our F1 tour. We bussed up to Stratford on Avon, which is about an hour from Silverstone. Weather was typical - it threatened rain the entire weekend, and did rain quite a bit before and after practice, qualifying, and the race, but it never rained while F1 cars were on the track. Practice was on the 10th. On the evening of the 10th, we took in Hamlet back at Stratford-on-Avon. It was a long day, as we had been on the bus at 8 to get to the track, and Hamlet did not let out until 11PM.

On the 11th, our anniversary, we bussed back to the track for the main event. But an F1 race is only about an hour and 15 minutes, so the promoters fill the day with support races, air shows, and so on. There are pictures here from the Maserati support race and the post-F1 Historic Sports car race. The Red Arrows (the British equivalent of the Blue Angels) performed just prior to the race. From the race itself, look for full-size pictures of a few close-ups: one of Jarno Trulli, one of Kimi chasing Michael, and the one of Michael after the win.

The day after the race we were supposed to go tour the Jaguar F1 factory. But due to some misunderstanding, that did not happen. Our tour guide, Trevor, always on his toes, redirected us to the Donington Park Museum which has the biggest collection of F1 cars in the world. Amazing. After a very short rest at the hotel, we spent the afternoon and evening at the Williams F1 Conference Center/Factory. This is a very slick presentation center, likely designed to attact sponsors. There's a 10 minute movie, an interactive display area with engine and transmission cutaways. Then, we moved into the trophey room where dinner was served. During and after dinner, we had a panel discussion with Matt Bishop (editor of F1 racing magazine), Jim Wright (head of marketing of Williams), and Williams chief engineer Frank Durney.

What an excellent way to spend our anniversary, and to end the vacation!

Welcome to Silverstone... Our race seats will be at Luffield B.... The Williams/BMW takes the turn at Copse... BMW at Copse 2... BMW at Copse 5... BMW at Copse 4... There are a few people here... The Michael Schumacher souvenir stand... Beth picks up some souvenirs.... Choices for lunch.  Mmmmmmm.  Bacon. ... Maserati support race.... The Red Arrows perform before the F1... Loop the loop...... A little upside down...... Luffield B were really great seats for... The drivers on parade just prior to the... Much pomp and circumstance... And of course, the flag girls.... The track... David Coulthard chases Jarno Trulli... Jensen Button in the BAR Honda... Michael setting up..... and thru Luffield... The short-lived walrus-nose williams (it... Jarno Trulli is chased by a Sauber. In... Kimi Raikkonen chases Micheal out of... ... and closes in at Luffield. They... A crash! Jarno wipes out after Bridge.... And the car is taken away... ... The safety car.... And Michael wins the race!... After F1, they line up for the historic ... Lots of cars, much closer on track.... Number 9 is a Jag of some sort...... Number 46 is a Ferrari... What a sound.... Some seriously historic cars.... The next day, we went to Donington. Now... Early 90's Jordan.... 1966 Brabham BT20... Early 1960's Lotus - I had (and still... Jackie Stewart's Tyrrell... The 6-wheel Tyrrell/ELF (1970's)... An entire Williams 80's and 90's... Nose view of one of the collection.... Senna's McLaren... Recent (2003?) McLaren/Mercedes ... Another collection - McLaren/Marlboro... More McLaren... A great paint job...... The front of Williams conference center.... We all gawk at the 2003 car in the lobby... A 90's car suspended from the ceiling... The Michelin-man prominently displayed.... Williams has their own small museum.... A 6-wheel experiment that never raced.... More...... It's a multi-media presentation...... We liked the nose-logo. This is a... More recent cars... Up in the display room, the BMW... and the tranny cutaway... Steering wheel and driver control center... Panel discussion during dinner.... After dinner (and souvenir purchase)....