This weekend's British grand prix debacle could cost Silverstone millions, track boss Richard Phillips has admitted.

Organisers have vowed full refunds for thousands of spectators who heeded the circuit's plea to stay away from the mud and traffic chaos on Saturday.

"It's going to cost us a lot of money," he told the Guardian.

"I honestly don't know the figure, but it could be a lot more than hundreds of thousands (of pounds)."

Phillips did, however, hail the patience and perseverance of the Silverstone crowd, after an ordeal that was recognised even from within the F1 paddock.

"I saw fathers with their sons and daughters, old ladies with backpacks and teenagers, all covered in mud and wearing their coats and hats," said O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent Livio Oricchio.

"I have never seen anything like this country. They are the best fans," said the Brazilian correspondent.

Mercedes' Norbert Haug agreed.

"They are the best fans in the world," said the German. "They have taken everything - the rain, the cold - and they still came in their thousands."

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