• British Grand Prix

Ecclestone defends Silverstone organisers

ESPN Staff
July 7, 2012 « Hamilton struggles with tyre temperatures | Rosberg perplexed by lack of wet pace »
Fans avoid the mud in a closed car park at Silverstone on Saturday morning © Press Association

Bernie Ecclestone has defended the under-fire organisers of Silverstone saying that the traffic chaos which marred the first day and led to requests for some Saturday ticket holders to stay away was beyond their control.

Torrential and sustained downpours left the area saturated and rendered grass car parks and camp areas, usually perfectly useable at this time of year, quagmires, and many had to be shut.

In 2000 Ecclestone lambasted the circuit after being stuck in traffic jams and then refused entry by a steward. But this time he was more sympathetic even though he too was advised by organisers not to try to attend on Saturday.

"I'm upset for the fans, but in reality if it was you running the race what would you do?" Ecclestone told the BBC. "For the people of Silverstone, what could they have done? They probably couldn't predict the rain.

"Honestly I don't think anyone expected the amount of rain we had. You might as well say why didn't the council in all these different places throughout England do something, because I looked on the TV and saw the places flooded, the houses flooded, shops flooded, people abandoning cars. I didn't expect to see that either."

Ecclestone was critical of some locals who had tried to cash in by allowing camping on their land "There are a lot of camping sites everywhere that shouldn't be there that let people park. Because they were under water, the people arrived that had paid to park, drove around and that's what caused all the trouble with the traffic jams."