Marc Gene, the official test and reserve driver for the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix team, regards the British Grand Prix at Silverstone as one of the premier motorsport events in the world.
The former Buckingham University student will be at Silverstone this week in his capacity as a representative for Ferrari and also as a television reporter for the Italian Sky Sports F1 channel.
Gene said: “I was lucky to race in three British Grand Prix races at Silverstone for the Minardi and Williams teams. There is no doubt that the British crowds make the atmosphere very special.
“Every year Silverstone looks great for the Grand Prix. I know how much work goes into making a track look its best before the Grand Prix circus moves into town, and every year the staff at Silverstone do a great job in making the track look very good.”
Ferrari and Silverstone have a strong association, with the Italian manufacturer winning 12 times at the Home of British Motor Racing – the most recent victory coming in 2011 when Fernando Alonso was victorious.
Gene added: “Ferrari always enjoy strong support at Silverstone as the British fans have always had a soft spot for the red cars. Ferrari enjoy coming to Britain to race and I’m certain this year will see another great race at a track I really enjoy visiting.
“I have been very lucky to race Formula Ford, F3, F3000, F1 and Le Mans prototypes at Silverstone – it really is one of my favourite tracks.
“This weekend will be the first time that the British public have been able to witness the new 2014 F1 cars.
“They sound different, but they are still very fast and F1 is very much the pinnacle of motorsport. I do not think anyone will be disappointed and I really believe that this weekend we will see another great British Grand Prix.”
Also arriving at Silverstone this weekend will be Jolyon Palmer, who currently leads the 2014 GP2 Series – the category that is the final stepping-stone for many drivers aspiring to reach F1.
Palmer drives for the French DAMS team and has been the man to beat in the opening four events of the GP2 season. He is the son of former Grand Prix racer, Jonathan Palmer – boss of the Brands Hatch circuit –and the Motorsport Vision Racing (MSV) supported racer is keen to extend his advantage at the head of the table with 12 races remaining in the championship.
The British racer is in his third season of GP2 having graduated from FIA Formula 2 and Formula Palmer Audi.
Palmer said this week: “I can’t wait for Silverstone. I have been strong there in the past and it’s great going into my home race as the championship leader. I am confident that I will be able to fight at the front again this week.”
Palmer’s closest rival is Felipe Nasr, the a test driver for the Williams F1 team. The Brazilian trails by 33 points.
The Sahara Force India branded Hilmer Motorsport cars of Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt have struggled this season, but the team are hoping for some home luck in the two GP2 events that will take place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
Facu Regalia, runner-up to Daniil Kvyat in the GP3 Series last year, said: “This year has been difficult for us and we need our luck to change. I hope Silverstone will be good to us and that we will be in a position to score points. That must be our aim this week.”
Conor Daly, the 2008 Walter Hayes Trophy winner, will also line-up on the GP2 grid, driving for the Venezuela GP Lazarus team.
He added: “Silverstone has great memories for me. I scored the biggest win of my career at the track in 2008 and I hope the it will be good to me again this weekend.”