VF1blog: British GP Preview
The British GP is one of the two races to have contested every year since the dawn of Formula One in 1950.
Such illustrious history it carries along with it every time when F1 visit there. Silverstone circuit held the F1 race as many as 45 times, an F1 regular since 1985 and along with it Aintree and Brands Hatch took the honours in the late '50s till early '80s. Giuseppe Farina has won here in the inaugural race and the greatest British driver of them all Jim Clark has established himself as quintet winner, on the trot four times since 1962. At Silverstone an unprecedented moment in 1965 as Clark along with four other Britons completing the top 5.
'The Professor' also succeeded five times - everything at Silverstone but Clark is the only driver to see chequered flag in all three venues. Nigel Mansell, who is part of the Stewards' panel, has had enormous support behind him while taking four Grand Prix successes at the British GP. Home-grown heroes of 21 in number have chased and conquered their top step of podium dream, highest for any home race.
In the current crop of drivers only Schumacher and Alonso have multiple victories - Vettel, Webber, Hamilton and Raikkonen have a victory apiece. Ferrari's success in F1 has begun with Jose Froilan Gonzalez driving Ferrari 325 taking the top honours in 1954 and with Fernando Alonso having won there in 2011, Ferrari now leads Mclaren at British GP with 15 wins . Alonso's victory marked 60 years since Ferrari started winning and in the build up to the race he drove the same 325 to delight the packed crowd.
Sunday's race could be vital for so many reasons as lots of questions in our mind will hopefully be sorted out. Redbull have a car that is in a whole new level comparing to day one and when Vettel took the lead off the line it was like he was all on his own bringing back the lonely ride from 2011. Taking a second off from the remaining cluster of cars was a testament to their back to form RB8. With proficient driving from Vettel, qualifying clearly slipped off from Mclaren but keeping in mind they reserved all updates for their home race, the gap could even get a bit closer, if not the closest.
Forecast for race weekend will be cooler weather with rain showers expected utmost and speaking of showers Jenson Button will be under watchful eyes when he tries to break his podium duck. In the torrid conditions of Valencia his car really did perform quite well to bring home some salvaging points. Despite taking win in the opener he struggles to get his rhythm right with only six points from the last five races.
Lewis Hamilton will be on course for adding yet another home win before having to run holding the Olympic torch on Monday. He would've learnt a lot from his clash with Maldonado which his team have already been doing by practising with new jack - working out hard to get impeccable pit stops. They are reported to have done 800 pit stops this past Monday.
Webber holds a decent record here and being a former winner he could be expected to fight with his team-mate who had a dreary afternoon last time. Mark certainly knows to tussle his way up the order and in Silverstone where the pole-sitter has won in only few times the odds are in his favour.
Overall, good haul of points for Mercedes duo considering the way they descended down the order at first in Valencia where surprisingly their car not suited to. Second home race for the Mercedes side who are on profile good at damp conditions. Michael should've got all his confidence back after his first comeback podium and double DRS system works efficiently well on high speed corners which Silverstone possess.
As home for eight different formula one teams, competition gets even more tighter as teams are scheduling to slice in raft of new changes to their existing configuration. Force India factory is just down the road and having showed leaps and bounds in the last few races Paul di Resta finally has seen his team-mate getting better of him in both Qualy and the race. Home advantage could be a big plus for the Scotsman as he will do his best to push his team towards achieving their goal of securing fifth on the constructors' race.
Heikki Kovaleinen is catching Toro Rosso in a blink and the team putting aside their dismays in the past as they were thought to fight with mid-field which never really happened will stack in new upgrades which they have already been excited about. An worrying week already for Marussia after Maria de Villota getting crashed in private testing but hopefully wishing them a good race weekend ahead.
Counting out Lotus is foolish as they are building up stronger and stronger as the season goes. Nevertheless, no wins under their belt and if anybody deserving to be there at the top it must be Raikkonen and Grosjean. Sauber and Williams will look to mix things up a bit and doing so the conundrum will remain intact. Next three races will follow in quick succession and this Grand Prix will monitor the prevailing gap and will try to end the open streak of F1 just like Alonso ending the run of seven different winners by becoming the first double winner of the season.
Author: Suren F1
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