THE streets were lined five deep as people came from all over the country descended on Milton Keynes for a glimpse of the Formula 1 world champions in action.
The Red Bull Home Run attracted an audience of around 60,000 people who stood along Midsummer Boulevard as the Tilbrook team sent out both drivers to perform in front of a home crowd for the first time ever.
Click here for a gallery of pictures from the Red Bull Home Run, taken by Colin Bridges.
Fans were at the barriers for the free event as early as 2am to stake out the best viewing spots to watch Brazilian Grand Prix winner Mark Webber and double-world champion Sebastian Vettel lighting up their rear-wheels, performing doughnuts and revving their engines to the excitement of the crowds.
Joining them was Red Bull stunt rider Chris Pfiffer, who went out on his BMW motorbike to show off his impressive skills on two wheels.
Veteran racing driver and BBC commentator David Coulthard also joined in the fun on Saturday, taking a lucky passenger out on the streets in a Red Bull sponsored Nascar.
World champion Vettel said he was delighted to be performing in the team’s home town.
“It’s great to be here in Milton Keynes which is where the cars are built and everyone from the factory works,” Vettel said. “It’s nice to say thank you and to see all the fans from the area. It was good fun; we did some doughnuts and enjoyed ourselves out there.
“Thanks to all the fans that came today, we wanted to put on a great show, so I hope they enjoyed it. It’s a great way to finish the season.”
And his team-mate Webber echoed his sentiments, and admitted that driving on Saturday was a bit different to the last time he visited the town centre.
He said: “It was something special to drive the car in Milton Keynes today in front of all the fans.
“The location was close to the factory and I live pretty locally too, so it was nice to give something back to the community.
“I know some of the roundabouts on the course from driving my road car, so it was something different to drive them in an F1 car! It was a nice atmosphere, the sun was shining and it was good for everyone to get close to the cars. It’s a great thing that Red Bull has done to say thank-you to the fans.”
Team boss Christian Horner paid tribute to the council for its hard work in putting on the event.
In his interview with the Citizen last week, Horner admitted that they had tried to organise the event 12 months previously, but the two couldn’t agree on a date.
Horner said: “To run an F1 car through the middle of Milton Keynes was fantastic, so many of our workforce are local and it’s great to see so many fans here.
“It’s flattering to have so many people turn out to celebrate what we have achieved. Without the fans, there’s no Formula One and no Red Bull, so it’s good to give something back and celebrate our double World Championship like this.
“I would like to say a huge thank-you to Milton Keynes Council for what they have done for us. Closing the middle of the city on one of their busiest shopping days is highly appreciated, so a huge thank you to them for all their efforts.
“A lot of our workforce is from in and around the area, so it was an opportunity for our staff and their families to see the cars in action. It was also a chance to give back to the community, the fans and supporters who have given us so much.
“Milton Keynes is a great place to be based, it’s very central. It’s just up the road from Silverstone where so many motorsport suppliers are based too and for us, our workforce is close by.
“There has never been any discussion about moving the team. Being in Milton Keynes works very well for us.
“The council made this happen for us, and without them, it wouldn’t have been possible. It’s great to give something back.”
Each driver treated the fans to two runs during the afternoon. Webber was first out of the paddock just after midday, with the fans eager to get their first sight of an F1 car in the city.
Pfiffer and Coulthard then both showed off in front of the delighted crowds and Sebastian Vettel took a spin in the Red Bull before the pair took to the street for a dual run.
A video will be uploaded shortly.