Forget International Tribunals, illegal tyre usage and who’s driving for who in 2014 – the British Grand Prix is here!
Of course, we can’t ignore all the aforementioned issues, as they run through the on-track action just like any plot to a good thriller. Silverstone is akin to Barcelona in terms of fast corners with high aero-loads, so understanding the Pirellis – more so than usual – will be key to success.
Looking back at Barcelona this season, the podium was led by Fernando Alonso with Kimi Raikkonen just behind. Both will need repeat results, and hope Sebastian Vettel has an off day, to get their Championship challenges back on track. Vettel was completely and utterly dominant in Canada three weeks ago, despite a few trips onto the grass in the latter stages. Another repeat and we might just see Seb in a very powerful position indeed.
Speaking of Red Bull, we’d be fools not to mention the fact that this will be Mark Webber’s last F1 race at Silverstone. Two wins in the last three years means he’s a favourite – he loves the track and can be incredibly fast on his day – and hasn’t been off the podium since 2009. A another appearance would be a suitable send-off for the much-loved Aussie.
The other Brits might be hard-pushed to join him though. Lewis Hamilton is still wrestling with a Mercedes that looks nimbler in the hands of Nico Rosberg. With all the “tyre-gate” verdicts done and dusted, the team will be looking to push on from the 62 points they’ve earned since those fateful 3 days in Barcelona and try to get Lewis back in the title hunt. One or two more races though, and that might just be all over.
Jenson Button is attempting to get on to the Silverstone podium for the 14th time. Look back at the records and there have been faster cars he’s been sat in than this season’s McLaren, but you just never know in this sport. We’d love it to happen, just because we’d love to see Jenson with a smile on this face after getting out of an F1 car in 2013. It just doesn’t happen any more, does it?
Local outfit Force India are probably better placed to get that podium than Jenson and McLaren. Despite the fact they’re toning down their expectations for this season – “McLaren will catch us up” is a Force India stape answer these days – you’d be hard to ignore that fact that they have improved greatly over 2012. If everything goes their way, you never know. We could see a smile from Paul Di Resta. That never happens.
Lastly, let’s spare a though for Max Chilton, who will be racing on his home circuit in an F1 car for the first time. Seeing as the only other Chilton name to race there has been in a Touring Car, Max will savour every moment of th experience. And good on him for getting there in the first place.
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Badger’s Magic Moment
Our Nige wins his final British Grand Prix in his World Championship winning year of 1992, complete with track invasion!