British Grand Prix
Round nine of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship, the British Grand Prix, takes place at Silverstone this week. The historic Northamptonshire circuit has seen many great battles over the years – the circuit celebrates its 50th Formula 1 race in 2014 – but few have been more hotly anticipated than the one between Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg this coming weekend.
Hamilton – the home grown favourite among the expected 120,000 spectators for Sunday’s race – has it all to do if he is going to close a widening gap on Rosberg who leads the World Championship Drivers’ table by 29 points. Given the reliability of Rosberg’s car, winning races is Hamilton’s only option and he knows better than anyone what he has to do in front of the adoring home crowd.
Silverstone always produces the traditional fare associated with the British Grand Prix; massive crowds, the Red Arrows, Union Jacks and Union Jack-adorned clothing in many gaudy guises, fish & chips and “spud-u-like” potatoes, traffic jams and the ubiquitous car parking delays. All-in-all though it is what the British race-going public look forward to all year. With Austria re-joining the Championship, F1 now has two of the most traditional races back-to-back – a campers paradise!
Qualifying - The wrong rumble for Ali inspired Hamilton
Nico Rosberg quite literally stole the show in qualifying for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. With seconds to go, and as the track rapidly dried, Rosberg came out on top after first Lewis Hamilton, then Nico Hulkenberg and finally Sebastian Vettel were all expectantly poised to take pole.
As Rosberg celebrated his show-stopping lap in the dying seconds of qualifying,his team mate Lewis Hamilton was left to lament what could have been as what looked like his own best effort for pole position disappeared in a flash and he was left wallowing back in sixth. He abandoned his own final lap thinking he was safe in prime slot. With his championship attack requiring nothing less than wins, he will be kicking himself and no doubt looking carefully at who is calling the shots at Mercedes.
Sebastian Vettel was third, having been quickest with just a few secconds to go, and Jenson Button third. Hulkenberg was fourth and Button's team-mate Kevin Magnussen will start fifth, Hamilton sixth.
In a rain impacted session, both Ferrari and Williams drivers failed to get through quali three and start the race at the back of the grid. Bottas was 17th followed by Massa, Alonso and Raikkonen. Williams will be inconsolable given that they were looking for a strong performance on home soil. It's not worth considering how Ferrari will be feeling!
Making the most of the early conditions Marussia's Max Chilton was thirteenth and team-mate Bianchi was one place ahead in twelfth.