The home Grand Prix for many of the Formula One grid, the British GP at Silverstone is one of the highlights of the season for Fans, Teams, drivers and sponsors alike. It is also the traditional track for some major upgrades for many teams as they are so close to their factories that shipping and testing the parts during practice is easier than at any other time throughout the season. Expect some teams to leap ahead of their main rivals here and the season began to take rall shape.
As it stands after qualifying, Rosberg is set to stretch his lead in the drivers championship taking yet another poll while Sebastian Vettel made the most of the wet qualifying conditions to come in second and a surprise for the home fans of McLaren as British driver Jenson Button will start his Grand Prix in third.
Through the front of the grid seems to have had a slight shake up I would not expect it to last as Lewis Hamilton, who starts down in 6th after making an error in his qualifying lap, comes back fighting as he did in Austria just weeks ago.
Williams have a lot to prove this weekend too as both cars suffered during practice, effecting their qualifying and starting them down in 17th and 18th. Meanwhile the true challenge to the top of the pack will come from Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg who starts between the two McLarens in 5th and Sergio Perez who sits behind Hamilton in 7th.
Any way you look at it, Silverstone looks to be a great Grand Prix, with rain forecast for the race and the unpredictability of qualifying I think it’s fair to say that anything could happen.
Like so many of England’s racing circuits, Silverstone started life as an aerodrome. When the Second World War ended in 1945, England’s other two circuits, Donington Park and the legendary Brooklands, had fallen into disrepair. And so it was that the outer taxiways and interconnecting runways of Silverstone became adopted by the Royal Automobile Club as the home for the British Grand Prix in 1948. The circuit was fast and challenging and in 1949 the shape was formed that remains the basis of the track to this day.
In 2010 came some major changes to the circuit’s Formula One layout, designed to further improve the venue for spectators and provide an even greater driver challenge. The new infield layout juts right at the reworked Abbey bend before heading into the new Arena complex of turns. This takes drivers on to the main straight of Silverstone’s National circuit, before rejoining the previous Grand Prix layout at Brooklands.
1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 35.766s
2. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 37.386s
3. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 38.200s
4. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 38.329s
5. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes 1m 38.417s
6. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 39.232s
7. Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes 1m 40.457s
8. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 40.606s
9. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 40.707s
10. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 40.855s
11. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 38.496s
12. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Ferrari 1m 38.709s
13. Max Chilton Briton Marussia-Ferrari 1m 39.800s*
14. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 40.912s**
15. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault 1m 44.018s
16. Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari No time
17. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes 1m 45.318s
18. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes 1m 45.695s
19. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 45.935s
20. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 46.684s
21. Marcus Ericsson Sweden Caterham-Renault 1m 49.421s
22. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Caterham-Renault 1m 49.625s
107% time: 1min 47.406secs
all times unofficial
* denotes five-place grid penalty (gearbox change)
** denotes ten-place grid penalty (unsafe release in Austria)
Roger Baillie (@Rojn8r)