At the 76 British GP I was between Druids and Graham Hill bend. The atmosphere was incredible although you could not really see what was happening on the start line and in the pits so felt a bit removed from the hysteria. Hunt pulled off just round from us on the first lap at the back of the pits.
It is interesting to read the other accounts of this memorable day. Thanks to those who submitted their stories.
In the early 2000's I had a big technology customer that used to take many guests to multiple bike events per year. Because of our connections we used to hire riders to spend time with the guests, typically Terry Rymer and Jamie Whitham. Both were heroes of mine growing up.
My customer had a hospitality suite for the Silverstone 2002 WSBK round, Whitham was running the Supersport race. He spoke to the guests before the race and if anyone remembers that days, it was horrendous conditions and in the WSBK race Bayliss fell multiple times and continued. In the WSS race Jamie fell off in heavy rain and then the red flag flew, he was credited with second (I think?!). After the fall Jamie did a debrief in his garage then came and talked about the race with guests, laughing about how awful and fun the race was.
Later in the year the same customer hired a suite for the Brands Hatch round, again Whitham was spending time with us. Spoke with the guests before the WSS race and then this happened...
...I vividly remember seeing the crash and watching his wife (who my company had got to know) running down the pitlane to Jamie. This accident effectively ended his career and he retired at the end of the season.
I was there when lewis Hamilton won his first f1 race for Mercedes at the Hungarian GP in 2013 and when the Ferrari strategics bet Mika Häkkinen & McLaren at the San Marino GP in 2000 (my mother was pregnant with me)
And I also visited a lot of smaller, mostly classic events.
"It´s not a matter of talent, it´s a matter of luck. Pure Luck:" - Jacky Ickx
I was there when Lorenzo Bandini had his fiery crash at Monaco in 1967 (from which he died of his burns three days later) but fortunately I don't remember much as I was only four years old, perhaps just being aware of the smoke and something being wrong. I was also at Rouen-les-Essarts for the 1968 French GP when Jo Schlesser was killed in another fiery crash on the fast swoops after the pits. I want to say that we were watching on the exit of Nouveau Monde hairpin (across the valley from where the crash happened) but I honestly can't remember now. And I was there at the 1971 Victory Race at Brands Hatch when Jo Siffert died in yet another fiery crash. I just remember the pall of smoke and the circuit going eerily quiet and I think we heard he had been killed on the radio on the way home. Fire was the real killer in those days and, although at the time he divided opinion, Jackie Stewart's crusade on safety ultimately meant that fewer Grand Prix drivers lost their lives as a result of burning to death and that has to be a good thing. I should point out that I attended a lot of other races where there were no nasty crashes but I suppose as a child it is the ones where something bad happens that stick in your mind.
I was there when Pedro Rodriguez won the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix in a BRM, beating Chris Amon in his March. To his dying day, Chris was convinced that the BRM had a bent (oversized) engine due to the speed advantage Rodriguez had over him but to be fair I don't think there is any evidence to support this and the V12-engined F1 cars were strong on the faster tracks like Hockenheim, the Osterreichring and Monza that year.
I was there when only 6 Formula One cars took the start of the 2005 USGP. Since we were 'camping' in an RV lot next to the track for the whole race weekend, and had no real TV coverage (or Internet, for that matter...mobile internet wasn't much of a thing then) we knew there was some tire controversy going on, but did not fully understand what was happening until shortly before the race was to start. It was certainly an interesting race. I made it to all of the Indy GPs, and a few up in Montreal.