'Nightmare' British GP in store for organisers

© Rob Harris, AP, 6 July 2012
© AP Photo/Tom Hevezi

Silverstone's management described Friday’s conditions as a "nightmare" as fields used for parking and camping were flooded, leaving thousands unable to make it to the circuit in the worst chaos at the British Grand Prix for 12 years.

F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone was told by organisers not to attempt to travel to Silverstone on Friday.

"This is the first year we've had such bad problems, which is largely down to all the fields giving out," Silverstone communications head Katie Tyler said.

There was a tailback of five miles along the main road leading to Silverstone by Friday lunchtime and the situation could be exacerbated at the weekend with further rain anticipated.

"If we get more rain, we have to be honest about it -- it will be slow and there will be problems," Tyler said. "We've loaded all the hard-standing car parks today, but we have used some of the other car parks that aren't hard-standing. They may well be in a bad state tomorrow."

Organisers, who had anticipated 100,000 watching Saturday's qualifying session, have told up to 20,000 ticketholders who planned to park at the circuit not to come.

Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips said the need to refund so many people could cost £1 million ($1.5 million) and turn the event from profit into loss.

"I'm a bit sick today," Phillips said.


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