Sunday, 5 July 2015

Formula One's multi-millionaire camp site


Silverstone (CNN)How would you feel if your neighbor unexpectedly pitched his tent next to you on a weekend away?

That is the scenario Formula One title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg faced at the British Grand Prix.


The Mercedes teammates parked their swish motor homes next to each other at the exclusive drivers' campsite inside the Silverstone circuit.

Close rivals
"I'm staying next door to him," revealed Hamilton, who held a narrow lead over Rosberg at the top of the World Championship before the British GP.

When his German rival was told how he'd accidentally pitched up next to Hamilton, he joked: "I've organized to put up a big fence in between."

Read: Hamilton and Rosberg's rivalry boils over

The expectant father added: "I hope he doesn't party too loud."

Hamilton and Rosberg, who were friends in their teenage years, also live in the same apartment block in Monte Carlo.

Exclusive campsite
In fact, there's a bit of a reunion of Monaco residents in the private British Racing Drivers' Club campsite.

Also towing their luxury motor homes to the green, green grass of home are McLaren driver Jenson Button and former British GP winner David Coulthard, who both live in Monte Carlo.

German Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg has also bagged himself a pitch, with the team's headquarters handily a stone's throw away.

Read: Hamilton 'can challenge Schumacher's record'

"We had a barbeque on Thursday night and there was [1992 world champion] Nigel Mansell, Coulthard, Jenson and Hulkenberg," explained former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan.

"We were in a little huddle there and DC was burning the sausages."

F1 glamping
It may seem bizarre that the world-class drivers would want to ring round a campfire instead of bed down in a plush hotel ahead of a race weekend.

But camping -- or "glamping" given the size of the 40-foot motor homes and facilities such as flat-screen TVs, sliding walls and separate bedrooms -- has become a bit of a tradition at the British race.

"It all started because the traffic to Silverstone was horrific and to avoid all that it became fashionable to stay in tents," explained Jordan to CNN.

"Tents became caravans and caravans became motor homes and this little area is for the drivers. A lot of the drivers are staying here. It just takes the stress out of it altogether."

Jordan said he was already plotting plans to camp at the Belgian Grand Prix too.

After their spectacular 2014 Belgian bust-up -- when Rosberg clipped the rear of Hamilton's car and effectively ended his race -- the two Mercedes drivers might not fancy camping quite so closely in Spa.

Read: Rosberg dominates Austrian GP

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