Grand Prix 2013 British Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

So we arrive in Northamptonshire for the next installment of the 2013 season and back in Europe for the next few months following the early season trip over the pond to Canada, an event that saw Sebastian Vettel ominously stretch his championship lead over Fernando Alonso and Kim Räikkönen to 36 points after an utterly dominant victory in Montreal.

A track steeped in history, Silverstone has been in use since the very beginning of the Formula One. Indeed, the former airfield hosted it's first British Grand Prix in 1948. Recent years have seen this historic race track come under threat of being dropped from the calendar but problems at Donington and the renovations first used in 2010 helped to secure a 17 year deal between the BRDC and Ecclestone for Silverstone's future.

Vettel has himself won here in 2009 and will seek to further increase the pressure on his title rivals. However, it has been Red Bull team mate Mark Webber who has had the upper hand over the triple world champion in Britain, having taken four straight podiums, including two wins. Red Bull maestro Adrian Newey has himself had 12 wins here as a designer since 1991 (possibly 13 if you include 1997) but he should perhaps let his pilots do the driving here at Silverstone :)

Alonso, who has shared the podium with the Red Bulls in the last two years, has also traditionally ran well round Silverstone, with wins in 2006 and 2011 and three second places in 2005, 2007 and 2012. He will not want to ruin this record and, following his strong damage-limitation race in Canada, fall further behind Vettel in the championship. His Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa has, by contrast, never finished in the top 3 here and has often struggled, particularly his 5 spin nightmare in 2008.

Following the storm of controversy over 'Pirelli-gate'/'secret-tyre-test-gate', Mercedes followed up their victory in Monaco with a solid 3rd and 5th in Canada. Lewis Hamilton keeps picking up the points to stay distantly in touch with Vettel and will be hoping for another strong performance at his home Grand Prix. Perhaps his most dominant victory was here in 2008 with podiums in 2007 and 2010 but he has struggled in the last couple of years. Nico Rosberg has only finished on the podium once here in 2010. Silverstone will certainly test whether Mercedes have gained anything from Barcelona.

After a promising start to the season, Lotus have found themselves struggling of late. Worryingly, Räikkönen has only scored 3 points in the last two races, one due to a collision and the other due to poor strategy choice but he can break the points streak record here at Silverstone. Kimi won here in 2007 and has scored four other podiums so he also has a good record in Britain. His Lotus partner, Romain Grosjean has to start performing (and not mounting other cars!) or his race seat could be under threat. His only outing here was last year but he scored a solid 6th place despite an early front wing change following contact with Paul di Resta.

2013's surprise package Force India continue to rack up the points. Di Resta himself has been in cracking form and his one stop race to 7th in Canada suggests that there is no wane on the horizon. He has had little in the way of luck at home having had problems in 2011 and the aforementioned early clash last year that led to his retirement from the race. Speaking of luck, his team mate Adrian Sutil has yet to find much this year (isn't that right Brogan?) although his actions in Canada were stupid at best. He has only scored once at Silverstone.

As for the rest -

Mclaren's woes continued in Canada with their long points streak coming to an end. Jenson Button has surprisingly never scored a podium here and this doesn't look like changing. Perez had a collision last year but was 7th in 2011.

Toro Rosso have looked quite racy this season and JEV coasted to a comfortable sixth place in Canada whilst Ricciardo is also showing potential. Neither finished in the points last year but have performed well in junior races.

Sauber have yet to rediscover their 2012 form and only two points finishes all season - both for Hulkenberg - is a cause for concern. The Hulk was in the points in 2010. Gutierrez has won four races at Silverstone in junior formulae (twice in 2008 Formula BMW, 2010 GP3, 2012 GP2) to suggest he could be on for his first points of the season.

Williams have yet to score this season. Maldonado has not had a good season and his F1 form at Silverstone leaves much to be desired. Despite a stunning qualifying performance by Valtteri Bottas at Canada, he simply went backwards in the race. He won a Formula Renault race here in 2008 but the 2013 Williams is just too poor.

Marussia seem to have a slight advantage over Caterham, and in both teams the Frenchmen appear to have the measure over their teammates.

The typical British weather could see some spanners thrown in but the safe money appears to be on another Red Bull victory. Hopefully we have race to make both championships a bit exciting. So what do you guys think? And whoever is going - have a great weekend!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Lewis Hamilton keeps picking up the points to stay distantly in touch with Vettel and will be hoping for another strong performance at his home Grand Prix.
...
Silverstone will certainly test whether Mercedes have gained anything from Barcelona.
If they're still in the championship...the tribunal date has been set for June 20 :D :whistle:

On a more serious note, I expect it will be business as usual with Vettel and Alonso out front.
Mercedes will have another Bahrain/Spain.
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
I had an email from Silverstone circuit yesterday. Basically they would like me to buy some tickets for the F1 GP. Maybe last year has put some people off (but not my son-in-law, although he won't be camping this year).
 

Hamberg

FOTA VIP, I've got the avatar to prove it :)
Contributor
I imagine that plus maybe people thinking Hamilton isn't going to be competitive... I'm not going as I'm saving for an oversees race next year but it feels so wrong that I'm not going. This one's Vettel's,
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
There would have to be torrential rain for the next ten days to produce the quagmire that was last year.

I'm surprised that there are so many tickets left: http://www.silverstone.co.uk/events...nd-Prix/?tab=Book-now&ticketType=49680#ticket and that is for the full three days.

Fridays used to be free entry, perhaps they should bring that back! But I'm sure many will buy tickets before Sunday kick off - maybe, they will reduce prices like travel companies do!!
 

Hamberg

FOTA VIP, I've got the avatar to prove it :)
Contributor
The Sunday ticket price is nearly as much as the 3 day ticket. I think you're right Jen they will have to drop it this year to get the turnout. I wonder why it's so poor this year especially given last season was pretty good. I have to say sitting in the stand freezing my arse off waiting for quali's to get going was worse than the 3 hours I spent trying to get out of the car park.

The entertainment etc was also far worse than previous years because of the rain.
 

mjo

Procrastinating
Contributor
I wonder why it's so poor this year especially given last season was pretty good.
In descending order of importance, probably due to the lack of British success, the rain, the economic climate and the fact that less people in the UK are watching F1.
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
I'm not that keen on Silverstone as a track and I have to admit my few visits to GPs there haven't really floated my boat. It's one race I prefer on TV personally though most others will disagree I'm sure. However being there & watching the cars going round Copse is a pretty special experience - the speed they carry round there is something else.

I used to go to the tyre testing days all the teams used to attend about 10-15 years ago and much preferred that as you had the whole run of the circuit and could get pretty close to the garages and even meet the drivers. Hardly anyone else used to turn up - it was brilliant! These were all corporate beanos but I'm pretty sure they sold on-the-door tickets for about a fiver.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
Tyre testing was free about twenty years ago, then they upped the ante to a couple of quid. It was worth every penny and, as you say, one had free reign of the circuit and access to the drivers.

Obviously, Bernie saw a loophole!
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
Last summer was pretty exceptional in terms of rainfall. The last 10 days has hardly seen a drop of rain where I am and it doesn't seem like the weather will affect the off track stuff as much as last year.Of course, it wouldn't be the British GP if there wasn't at least some rain but I highly doubt this year will be as bad as last year.
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
I just think that it points to dwindling interest in F1. It becomes less and less like a sport and more like a corporate circus with each passing year.
Mostly the fans consist of people who remember how good it used to be, and we're all hoping it's miraculously going to return to past glory.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
Would you have felt any better if you had been told that you could not camp as it was a long hike over extremely quaggy terrain and the campsite was in just the same state!
 

Greenlantern101

Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Contributor
Jen I would of felt better if they had put down temporary roads in the fields so you could drive into the campsites and have your car next to your tent. They were aware of the sodden state of the fields for weeks before hand and their brilliant idea was to use a previously unused field with temporary roads as a car park miles from the camp sites. Why not use the temporary roads in the actual campsite, for that matter why not have permanent roads in all the camp sites it doesn't take much just some hardcore. You pay a fortune for the weekend and the least you should expect is to be able to actually drive to campsite you booked and not have to drag all your equipment over a muddy field for 7 miles. But of course temporary roads cost money and would of needed someone in charge thats isn't totally incompetent. And of course shafting the campers was free. No brainer.
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
I've never liked this track, although I was warming to it until they made those changes in 2010, which in my opinion, has ruined the track.
 

mjo

Procrastinating
Contributor
Really? I I think the track's much better now that they've removed bridge (which was flat-out anyway), quickened the fiddly bit at Luffield, created a monster corner in the name of Abbey, and created two new overtaking points.
 
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