The British Grand Prix is one of Grand Prix racing’s oldest events, only the Italian Grand Prix is older. Henry Segrave invented the British Grand Prix, after his wins in the 1923 French and San Sebastian Grand Prix’. The first British Grand Prix was held in 1926 at Brooklands, a 2.75 mile road circuit. The Silverstone International Circuit first started to hold races for the British Grand Prix in 1950 (year of the first FIA Formula One World Championship). Then in 1955, Silverstone and Aintree alternated races until 1962. After that, Silverstone and Brands Hatch rotated races from 1963 to 1986. Starting in 1987, it was announced that Silverstone was the main circuit for the Grand Prix. The circuit at Silverstone has seen three re-designs since 1987. Jim Clark and Alain Prost have the most victories in the grand prix with 5. This weekend we have six former winners in the field.
The biggest news story this week is Bernie Ecclestone and the bribery charges he may face. Bernie Ecclestone paid German, Gerhard Gribkowsky to make him happy because of tax charges in Britain. This is a very complicated story.
Another big story is the London Grand Prix presented by Santander. World Championship drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button take you around the circuit that they designed in a four minute video narrated by David Croft and Martin Brundle. Quite interesting because Bernie Ecclestone said he would pay for it fully. This means that it may never happen because Bernie wants to get away from two races in a country (ex USA) but Silverstone is under contract until 2027, so we’ll see.
Watch out for Lewis Hamilton and his contract negotiations for next season, he is trying to negotiate with McLaren. I personally thought that he would go to Ferrari but we’ll have to watch to see what happens with that.
On Tuesday morning, Marussia test driver, Maria de Villota was seriously injured in a testing crash at an airfield in southern England. The MF1 team has said that her car hit a support truck at the end of her first run at Duxford Airfield. Today was the first time she ever tested a Formula One car. Her injuries are life threating.
Enough with news, let’s rewind a little bit to two weeks ago in Europe at the Valencia Street Circuit for the European Grand Prix. Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel just absolutely dominated until the halfway point, then a safety car came out for an accident involving Jean-Eric Vergne and Heikki Kovalainen. Then Vettel’s car failed with an alternator problem. A few laps later, the second place runner Romain Grosjean’s car failed with the same problem as Vettel’s. The Spaniard, Fernando Alonso didn’t look back from there to win the European Grand Prix and his second race of the season, lengthening his points lead to 21 over Mark Webber after Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel did not score points.
Switching gears a bit to this weekend’s race.
- Laps: 52
- Length: 3.667 miles
- Times Held: 66
The Drag Reduction System will be used at the Wellington straightaway. KERS will be an option for most teams this weekend. We are running with the Pirelli soft and medium tire compound.
Darkhorses: Raikkonen, Schumacher
Kimi Raikkonen- the Finnish driver is former winner of the Silverstone Grand Prix. I’m just waiting for his first win, in his return to Formula One. Kimi has ran great but he wants more, this is the perfect opportunity for him.
Michael Schumacher- the German driver is also a former winner of the race. After a podium in Europe, his confidence should be high and he should get a great result.
Contenders: Button, Rosberg, Grosjean:
After Jenson Button’s season opening win in Australia he has really faltered. He is just starting to pick up his momentum, this week he described winning the British Grand Prix as “emotional.” This is a really good race for him to catch his breath at.
Nico Rosberg got his first win of his career this year in China. He has ran really well this year and surprised me a lot, he’s sitting fifth in points and hopefully he can run just as well as he has been.
After not finishing in the first two races, Romain Grosjean seems to be picking it up a lot. He may of crashed out of Monaco and Europe but things are looking very bright for Frenchman.
Fighting for the Podium: Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Webber:
All of these drivers are former winners at Silverstone so there is no doubt in my mind that they couldn’t do that again. If anything, I see Alonso slip up a lot because his car isn’t as reliable as the Red Bull or McLaren.