Formula One’s annual trip to Great Britain is this weekend. Read on for my preview to the British Grand Prix.
Formula One comes home for one week only as the championship battle rolls into Silverstone for the 2015 British Grand Prix. The home of not only British motorsport, but the country that held the very first Formula One World Championship event back in 1950. Now, 65 years on, who will battle for the win around the 5.891 kilometre circuit. Will it be home-boy Hamilton battling for the win with his team-mate and championship rival, Nico Rosberg or will a Ferrari get in the mix?
In recent races the battle has come down to the Mercedes men as Rosberg picks away at Hamilton’s early championship lead. Now heading into Silverstone, Rosberg sits with 159 points, 10 fewer than Hamilton. But it is Nico who carries form into Britain having won last time out in Austria to follow on from success in Monaco and Spain. While Hamilton has just the two wins out of the last five races with success in Canada and Bahrain.
But regardless of form, Hamilton will have the home fans behind him who have got behind the boy from Stevenage every year since his F1 emergence. And they were visibly delighted last time F1 came home as Lewis snatched the win away from Rosberg after the German suffered a cruel failure while leading the race.
Ferrari also have a strong string of form at the British Grand Prix, although their last victory at Silverstone was back in 2011 with Fernando Alonso. This year however they have proven to be best of the rest behind the Silver Arrows and will be aiming to get their second win of the year to match Arrivabene’s aim for the season. The only issue being, Mercedes. The Silver Arrows should, without any issues, pick up another victory to add to their ever growing collection but should an issue arise, Ferrari should be close enough to pounce.
Fernando Alonso meanwhile will have to watch the battle for the win rather than be in the scrap as McLaren are still far from the front and just finishing the race could be all they can manage. But in order to finish, they must have moved on and improved from Austria which saw Button retire through reliability issues even after both he and Fernando took 25-place grid penalties for engine and gearbox changes.
The current track layout remains the same following the 2010 redevelopment that saw changes made to the track such as the addition of the village complex leading onto the Wellington straight.
The Maggotts, Becketts complex at Silverstone is one of the most demanding parts of any circuit on the current Formula One calendar and it is joined by other demanding corners at Silverstone such as turn one and nine.
Turn one (or Abbey) tends to be a great spectacle at the start of the race as the drivers attack the right hander before sweeping into the newest parts of the track. As for turn nine (or Copse), drivers try to carry as much speed through the old turn one as possible, breaking late and sweeping in as close to the barrier as possible. In fact it was here at Copse last year where one of the overtakes of the season was completed during a fierce battle between Alonso and Vettel.
For Formula One fans in Britain unable to attend their home grand prix in person, they can watch all the action at home on Sky Sports F1 or BBC, with both channels providing bumper covering of the race, qualifying, practice and Sky’s usual coverage of the GP2 and GP3 championships.
Wednesday July 1 (Sky Sports F1)
21:00 – Classic F1 – Britain 1995
Thursday July 2 (Sky Sports F1)
15:00 – Drivers’ Press Conference – Live
18:00 – The F1 Show – Live from the Grid
19:00 – Tales from the Vault – Champions
21:00 – Paddock Uncut
21:15 – Classic F1 – Britain 1993
Friday July 3
09:45 – British GP Practice One – Live (Sky Sports F1)
09:55 – British GP Practice One – Live (BBC Red Button)
09:55 – British GP Practice One – Live (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
12:00 – GP2 Practice – Live (Sky Sports F1)
13:45 – British GP Practice Two – Live (Sky Sports F1)
13:55 – British GP Practice Two – Live (BBC Red Button)
15:50 – GP2 Qualifying – Live (Sky Sports F1)
17:00 – Team Principals’ Press Conference (Sky Sports F1)
18:00 – The F1 Show – Live (Sky Sports F1)
Saturday July 4
08:45 – GP3 Qualifying – Live (Sky Sports F1)
09:45 – British GP Practice Three – Live (Sky Sports F1)
09:55 – British GP Practice Three – Live (BBC Two)
09:55 – British GP Practice Three – Live (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
12:00 – British GP Qualifying – Live (Sky Sports F1)
12:10 – British GP Qualifying – Live (BBC Two)
12:55 – British GP Qualifying – Live (BBC Radio 5 Live)
14:35 – GP2 Feature Race – Live (Sky Sports F1)
16:15 – GP3 Race One – Live (Sky Sports F1)
20:05 – Ted’s Qualifying Notebook (Sky Sports F1)
Sunday July 5
08:05 – GP3 Race Two – Live (Sky Sports F1)
09:15 – GP2 Sprint Race – Live (Sky Sports F1)
11:30 – The 2015 British GP – Track Parade – Live (Sky Sports F1)
12:00 – The 2015 British GP – Pit lane – Live (Sky Sports F1)
12:00 – The 2015 British GP – Race – Live (BBC Radio 5 Live)
12:15 – The 2015 British GP – Race – Live (BBC One)
12:30 – The 2015 British GP – Race – Live (Sky Sports F1)
15:30 – The 2015 British GP – Paddock Live (Sky Sports F1)
15:30 – The 2015 British GP – Forum (BBC Red Button)
18:15 – British GP highlights (Sky Sports F1)
19:15 – Ted’s Race Notebook (Sky Sports F1)