It has been revealed that during Prince Harry’s visit to Silverstone this week the cheeky royal made “tongue in cheek” comments about his experiences competing against 1995 British Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert.
Joking with Silverstone staff members Stephanie Sykes-Dugmore and Sophie Meeks, Prince Harry said that he had raced against Herbert and won, claiming the former race car driver had “got too fat” after his retirement.
The comments were clearly meant to be taken in jest, however, with Ms Sykes-Dugmore saying that: “He said it tongue in cheek – I think! – but it is true, he did win against him.”
Prince Harry’s was visiting ‘The Home of British Motor Racing’ in his capacity as patron of the Silverstone Experience which will be opening next spring.
During the visit, Prince Harry met with female students at the Silverstone University Technical College and gave a speech calling Great Britain a “world leader in high-performance engineering and motor racing engineering in particular”.
He said that GB also has “great drivers” but “it is no exaggeration to say that, unless we encourage more young people to study science, technology, engineering, and maths it will be impossible for us to continue to lead in this field.
“I am really encouraged to have seen the state of the art facilities and equipment in the Silverstone University Technical College, but more significantly, to have met the enthusiastic young people currently studying there, as well as those who have gone on to start their careers with leading employers in the motorsport industry.”
Speaking to the female students Prince Harry stressed the importance of moving away from the idea that engineering is “all men in overalls and oily rags”. In a conversation with 15-year-old students Tara Vooght and Lauren Bull, he asked: “”Do you think that girls want to be in engineering and there aren’t opportunities or it is not really considered by them?”
Tara replied: “There are a lot of stereotypes…but it’s not like that” She added: “There was a bit of adjustment at first from being at school but we are loving it.”
During his visit Prince Harry also advised young racers: “Don’t be brave, be sensible…To drive well is more important than driving fast” and pressed the green light on the start of the construction of the Silverstone Experience.