Silverstone 2012: washout

We’re pretty certain the story at Silverstone today didn’t happen on the track. Frankly not much did. The action was in the car parks, or the roads to the car parks where unconfirmed reports had many fans still in the queues while the second Formula One practice session was taking place this afternoon. Or rather wasn’t: for 30 mins or more there was nothing to watch but the rain.

So let’s get that straight. If reports are correct — and please tell us if that is or isn’t the case — a significant number of the fans who paid anywhere from £60 to much as a claimed £1000 (@DaisyCroweJewel) for today never even made it to the circuit. We tweeted our own fans this afternoon just after FP2 had ended at 15.30pm and heard stories of four-to-six hour waits (@djjarrett, @AutoworxUK) in stationary traffic. And it’s been the same all day. The Sauber team put out a tweet this morning asking anyone in the queues to let its drivers through.

Silverstone has, of recent, got on top of the traffic problems that used to take the fun out of any visit to the Grand Prix in the 1980s and 1990s. It has claimed another £1m has been spent on hardcore and hard standing and drainage this year. It has had a year to prepare and surely imagined it was just possible it might rain this weekend. Yet even without the torrential rainfall forecast for the UK today it’s sounding like some kind of Armageddon. And that’s before venturing in to the campsites themselves.

Some have tweeted that the campsites are the problems and that, because Silverstone has banned cars from entering them, so the roads have been blocked with men and women carrying tents and chilly bins and those cheap BBQs from the petrol station that don’t really work. Is that really the case? Over to you.

On the track Lewis Hamilton looked very in command in the afternoon, but went really no quicker than Romain Grosjean managed in the morning. It’s impossible to tell anything about the relative speeds of the cars however and that’s a shame as there’s been a lot of development since Valencia, especially at McLaren. Of note only were the two Saubers. Remember Malaysia. Sergio Perez has been saying he can win on Sunday.

Gallery: Formula One heads to Silverstone

We think every single car left the circuit at some stage in one of the sessions but the only drivers to come away anything other than a bit wet were Bruno Senna who knocked both ends of his Williams and, in the dying moments of FP2 Fernando Alonso. But it really was extraordinary when anything was happening on the track; expeditions on to the grass looking a bit like that water splash they used to have on the first day of the RAC Rally, when it was the RAC Rally.

There’s no forecasted let up in the rain, in fact it will get heavier. It should make for an astonishingly tense qualifying session but, we fear, even more carnage on the roads and in the car parks.

Anyhow, let us know your experiences below or via twitter to @BBC_TopGear. Use the hashtag #tgBritGP and we can enjoy some group therapy.

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