Film ID:
NEFA 21663



Visitor Tabs


An amateur film by Betty Cook from the Cleveland Cine Club of the British Grand Prix taking place at the Silverstone Motor Racing Circuit in Northamptonshire on the 18th July 1981. As well as the main Formula 1 race which was won by John Watson who features, the film includes a practice session taking place before the main race as well as views of the crowds enjoying the day. A large part of the film is shot from the pit lanes showing the cars and drivers preparing for racing.

The film begins in the pit lane at the Silverstone circuit with a Formula 1 car speeding away and two young women walking past. A man-wearing earphones writes something down on a clipboard. He stands over another car which does not have any wheels. The driver, believed to be Ken Tyrell, sits in the car wearing a helmet. Around them members of the media photograph and film the scene with their cameras.

A marshal wearing a fire retardant suit cuts to show another driver without his helmet sitting in his car. He holds an umbrella in the air. General views of other cars on the racetrack being made ready for racing including Slim Borgudd in his black and yellow ATS-Ford. He puts on his helmet, which is wiped by one of the pit team, and drives away. Keke Rosberg in his Fittipaldi-Ford waits as his tyres are checked.

A man and woman walk along the pit lane cutting to another driver sitting in his car waiting. A second driver, possibly Alan Jones, climbs out of his car, removes his helmet and takes out his earplugs.

General views of a Formula 1 engine and engineers working on it. Sitting on chair a man listens to a tape recording.

On the track, a number of signs and flags are held in the air as spectators in a stands watch on. A man in a red jumpsuit and wearing headphones looks out on the track. The word ‘Doctor’ is stitched onto the back of the suit.

A television camera looks out onto the circuit and a man walks past on the far side of the track waving a yellow flag. The film cuts to another man waving a checkered racing flag.

On a small platform, a driver wearing a laurel is presented with a ceremonial box and sprays a bottle of Champagne. They come of the platform as the crowd applaud. A man with a film camera records the events.

A group of men walk past carrying a series of numbered signs all embossed with the Marlboro logo. A number of men in suits stand chatting on the track. Team members look over the Formula 1 cars, which then move off.

The film cuts to the start line where the cars are lined up before suddenly speeding off. From a number of locations around the track the cars speed past.

Underneath the camera on the other side of a barrier are two smashed cars. A marshal with a fire extinguisher comes over and sprays one of them before it is dragged out of the way by number of other men.

Crowds in the spectator stands watch the race intently. The film cuts to a man holds up a green flag followed by a view of another smashed car.

General views show the spectators and those working at the circuit watching the race. A patch on the back of one man suit reads ‘Incident Team. Silverstone’.

At the finish line the checkered flag is waved as the cars speed across the line. Views of the smashed car seen previously been taken away cuts to the winners of the race being driven past. The race winner, John Watson of McLaren-Ford, holds a large golden trophy in the air. He drinks from a can of 7-Up and is filmed giving an interview to the media. He then sprays the crowd with Champagne.

After the race a wire fence in repaired as Marc Surer in a yellow jumpsuit is interviewed.

A man holds up a number of large signs that count down from 3 minutes to 30 seconds after which a second man waves a green flag. The starting lights change from red to green and another race gets underway. A man with a red t-shirt on which is written ‘Follow the Winner. Jonathan Palmer’ poses for the camera.

Another checkered flag is waved cutting to John Watson giving autographs. General views show crowds wandering around the circuit in particular a woman wearing a golden jacket. Betty Cook walks around past a large lorry covered in Marlboro logo’s. The film ends with a white model racing car passing speeding past the camera several times.