Whitehall was packed out again on Wednesday, although the number of attendees was not to that extent. Still, the atmosphere was one of enthusiasm, just not one particularly electric in its variety.
The promise of a demonstration run from all bar one of the current Formula 1 teams (Haas was present, but does not have a car old enough to run given F1's complex testing restrictions) brought out dedicated F1 fans, petrolheads and tourists, all yearning for the smell of petrol and burnt Pirelli and the sound of 15,000rpm.
Whitehall was lined with barriers, with fans three or four deep along its length. At one end was a wide circle in which cars could turn, and at the other a loop around Trafalgar Square. In the Square itself was a large fan area, which contained cars on display, merchandise, Scalextric racing and the like in the shadow of a large stage. Drivers were interviewed, Grand Prix videos were played on two large screens, and after the cars had finished their runs, pop musicians played to the crowds.
It seemed, therefore, a poor show from world champion and fan favourite Lewis Hamilton to decide now was the perfect time for a holiday, especially in light of the situation surrounding Silverstone, leaving a sea of silver star, AMG and Petronas-clad onlookers feeling pretty miffed. A Dutch family stood nearby me stood testament to the appeal of a home hero with their huge excitement at the appearance of Max Verstappen.
Nevertheless, the crowds lit up when nearly all of F1's current drivers, including stars such as Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo, plus now-retired British favourite Jenson Button, strolled up Whitehall. Even more so when they got behind the wheel.
The event kicked off with the surprise appearance of René Arnoux driving the gorgeous turbocharged V6-powered 1979 Renault RS01, followed by Stoffel Vandoorne in a 1991 McLaren MP4/6.