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Hitting The Big 4-0 In Style

Williams F1 know how to throw a party. Heroes and racing gems from the past drew a huge crowd to a lively (and loud) anniversary shindig at Silverstone.

Anticipation hangs in the air. The grandstand opposite Silverstone’s dramatic ‘Wing’ pit complex is every bit as packed as it will be over the weekend of the British Grand Prix weekend (14-16 July, if that date isn’t already inscribed in your diary), and each person within it is fixing their gaze firmly on the line of garages on the other side of the track. Anyone with a phone is pointing its camera in this direction rather than idly scrolling through Facebook.

Within the Wing, four decades of Formula 1 and sportscar historic machinery is barking into life in turn. The familiar growl of Ford’s venerable DFV V8 gives way to the angry squall of a BMW V12, which, in turn, hands over to the high-strung blare of a Renault V10.

To paraphrase Louis Armstrong’s famous quote about jazz music, if you have to ask what makes Williams such a vital part of the past, present and future of Formula 1, you’re never going to know. Such has been the demand for access to this event that Silverstone has made provisions for 50,000 spectators. After all, it’s not every day that an F1 team reaches its 40th birthday, let alone celebrates it by running cars spanning those decades.

WORDS Stuart Codling


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