Grand Prix 2014 British Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

As Mark Webber kindly pointed out on the podium interviews Nico Rosberg won last years British GP. On the back of a win in Austria I'm sure Nico will be hoping for the same again and to have the chance to further extend his lead in the drivers title race. But this is the British Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton is bound to be pumped up to put on a good show for his home crowd.

I have a vague recollection of problems with tyres at this race last year. Somehow I don't think there will be a repeat even with the "sharp kerbs" which Pirelli tried to lay the blame on still in place.

Behind the Mercs Williams are clearly the best of the rest or did Austria flatter to deceive? Force India are also there or there abouts and both of the FI drivers seem to be enjoying having the most powerful engine on the grid as they stack others cars up behind them, wearing their tyres down to the canvas.

Red Bull must be getting close to some grid penalties for Vettel with another technical failure in Austria so it looks, once again, like it will be down to Ricciardo to up hold Red Bull and Renault honours in Northamptonshire. Unless they are pushed close again by their junior team, who have shown great pace compared to the Newey cars.

In the middle of all these will be Fernando Alonso who doesn't seem to realise that the Ferrari is crap. Perhaps he should have a chat with Kimi who is making every effort to show just how bad the car is.

There will be some other teams there and of them McLaren might score some points but that's about it. So, after a rousing chorus of God Save the Queen this little island will give us a couple of hours of intense excitement or teeth grinding tedium. I'm sure most that will be there will be hoping for a Lewis win, after all there aren't any other British drivers with a hope in hell of getting in the top 6.
I'm starting to think the championship will go to who ever has the least DNF's

a couple of banana skin races - Hungary - its so difficult to pass at that circuit

- SIngapore - is extremely demanding and again very difficult to pass

So you don't think Williams might be able to race with Mercedes then?
I would love it if they could catch up with the Mercs, Williams are my favorite team, but the gap 1st to 3rd today after 17 laps was around 30 seconds. I just think that is impossible to close down for Williams, a much smaller team with less money than Mercedes.
Il_leone Williams might be able to race Mercedes, but they are unlikely to beat them consistently in a straight fight, therefore they won't challenge for either the driver's or constructor's title. If Rosberg's car had not failed it would have been the usual Merc 1-2. At times the silver arrows were about 2.5 seconds per lap quicker than the next quickest, and even while coasting for the last 20 laps or so, Hamilton finished half a minute ahead of Bottas.
Nevertheless, it's still very pleasing to see Williams do so well. Just a shame about Felipe.
There was a lot of talk about how the other teams were catching Mercedes after the Austrian GP. But the facts are that Mercedes still has substantially more than a second in hand over Red Bull and Williams. It took two laps for Nico to pull out a 4 second lead over Jenson, Mercedes still hasn't broken a sweat this season and there is little chance that they will.
The most damning statistic for the other teams trying to catch Mercedes after this race was the fact that Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race on lap 26, whilst Sebastian Vettel set the 2nd fastest lap of the race on the 52nd lap.

Which shows he had stopped racing after Rosberg had retired. Instead Hamilton maintained the gap to Bottas. He made a late precautionary pitstop for new hards, the unwanted slow tyre, and even then he was half a minute ahead of Bottas.

See if you can find a decent video of the 1968 GP at Brands. It was one of the best GPs I have ever seen. An epic battle between Amon and Siffert that only abated when Amon's tires started to wear out. At that, the winning margin was only 4-5 seconds.

An added plus of viewing videos of that era is that they highlight how truly beautiful F1 cars used to be. Not like the monstrosities that we have today.
a track like Hungary is an equaliser as top speed is not important so Ferrari and Red Bull should be a lot closer

Power circuits like Spa and Monza is where Mercedes will really annihiliate everyone
Although Williams were fastest through the speed traps at Silverstone, at least according to Sky.
Given the superiority of the Mercedes, I would guess that they have at least a 50hp advantage, with 75 being a more likely number.

I wonder what the FIA would do if they discovered something illegal in the Merc engines late in the season. Would they have the b***s to disqualify them retroactively? I doubt it. Anyway, I believe that Merc got their advantage thru doing their homework better than anyone else, but it is interesting to ponder the "what ifs" anyhow.

I must admit, however, that I hope Honda comes in and mops the floor with the Merc, just to give them a taste of their own medicine.
Just saw an interesting little tidbit about the 2014 British GP.

It was the first time since the 1999 European GP that a Podium consisted entirely of drivers who qualified outside the top 5. Johnny Herbert famously won at the Nurburgring that day while Jarno Trulli came from 10th to P2 with Barrichello in the other Stewart starting 15th to finish 3rd.
Silverstone seems to get bumpier by the year. Did anyone see a replay of Kimi's accident that showed why his car was launched?
Kimi's crash was investigated by the FIA and in a article (originally from Autosport) there were a couple of gems. As snowy points out in another thread, the FIA is happy to contradict itself when absolving persons of responsibility or applying rules and sanctions. So it is interesting when they say on the one hand "Just because everybody cheats that does not make it right." In Kimi's case we get this:

Quote: "Although the FIA accepted that Raikkonen would not have crashed if he had slowed down dramatically, it is understood the governing body believed that any other driver would have rejoined the track in the same manner." End quote.

Well, over the course of the weekend we saw many of the drivers running wide at Copse, Becketts and elsewhere exercising the kind of caution one would expect from an experienced driver like Kimi. Let me be clear, I like Kimi and if I believed in having favourites he would be right up there at the top of my list. However, as I've posted earlier, IMHO that was a massive brainfade on his part. Not only was there a bloody great bridge a couple of yards away from where he chose to rejoin, but there are no less than three different surfaces that he drove across - the run off, gravel filled gully (I think, or maybe grass filled) and the track - at an angle. Anyone who has pushed a baby in a pram, shopping in a trolley or a person in a wheelchair will tell you, that if you chose to do that then you do it carefully.

Then we hear from Charlie:

Quote: When asked about his views on Lauda's view of adopting a quick fix, F1 race director Charlie Whiting said: "Absolutely not. Niki has clearly demonstrated that he knows nothing about circuit safety, and his comments were not very helpful." End quote.

Now, I know that there are many folk's who don't much like Niki Lauda (I'm not one of them) but it seems rather disrespectful and dismissive of Charlie to speak in those terms about a driver who survived one of the most horrifying crashes in motor sport history. As far as I'm aware, Niki is as knowledgeable about racing and safety as any top driver and ex-champion in the sport.

Maybe, Kimi trashing his car and ending up in hospital is more than a fair penalty but his accident trashed Massa's car and screwed the races of others. A caution to him, and a directive to remind drivers of their responsibilities in such circumstances, would surely have been a good idea.

Edit: Oh, and one of Kimi's tyres came within a whisker of taking Max Chilton's head off. If that's not reason enough for a ticking off, I don't know what is.
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