We went to the British Grand Prix this weekend and had the best weekend! We’d been to Spa last year where qualifying was a real highlight as Lewis snatched pole on the last lap and euphoria swept through the forest, but the race was a disappointment with Sebastian Vettel once more dominating in an uneventful race.
Above: Making the most of Friday’s unrestricted access watching practice on the pit straight!
Friday is a great opportunity for fans to go from grandstand to grandstand as there are no restrictions. There was a sour note though as Susie Wolff’s car failed her and she was unable to put in a good practice stint for Williams. I really hope next season Susie is given a shot in a Williams seat or elsewhere on the grid.
This year at Silverstone it was a mixed bag of emotions and a race full of wheel to wheel action. Saturday saw the rain pour down on and off making for unpredictable qualifying conditions, and cheers rang out as Hamilton had pole position until the final few seconds as a flurry of cars took a chance and recorded the best times. Cheers erupted as Jenson Button clinched 3rd, we watched the cars rip past Stowe but then Hamilton followed and it appeared he had eased off, surely not?
Championship leader Nico Rosberg had pole with Sebastian Vettel behind him and Jenson Button in 3rd. A bemused Silverstone crowd struggled to understand why Lewis had pulled out of the lap, and it soon transpired he thought he wasn’t on a great lap and didn’t realise how quickly sector 3 of the track had dried out. A huge mistake which cost him dearly meaning he would start 6th on the grid on Sunday.
Recriminations started through the bustling crowds, I felt so let down and disappointed. Why would he not push to the end? It made no sense and I felt let down by my favourite driver who we’d come to see win.
Sunday bought fresh hope. A fantastic atmosphere sizzled around sunny Silverstone. Lewis had the fastest car along with Rosberg on the grid, he had climbed before and he could do it again. Conditions were cool and windy and the Red Arrows put on a stunning display before the race. Hamilton got a great start leaping up to 4th going wheel to wheel with Vettel before the race was stopped after Kimi Raikkonen had a nasty crash. Confusion arose after the red flag, would they start on the grid or behind a safety car. Would they revert back to their original positions? Surely not, that seemed very unfair?
An hour later after the Grand Prix restarted behind the safety car and Button in 2nd was caught unaware as Rosberg stormed off. We needn’t have worried, straight away Lewis picked off Magnussen and Button to climb to 2nd. Rosberg had a fantastic 2.7 second pit stop but Hamilton’s was 2 seconds slower, it felt at that moment Mercedes always took longer on Lewis’ stops! But Hamilton showed a positive attitude relaying the message “not to worry about the pit stop guys.” On his new tyres though he soon was gaining masses of time on Rosberg, it would only have been another 4 or 5 laps before he was racing wheel to wheel with his team mate when Rosberg suffered a gear box problem and pulled over. Cue huge jubilation around the track as fans watched Hamilton take the lead and pull away. It was a shame to be denied a fantastic battle which was coming, but you just felt Lewis had the momentum and would have taken it. Plus this meant if Lewis won Rosberg’s championship lead was down to 4 points…
With just under half the race remaining Bottas drove superbly to take 2nd and Button fought valiantly but couldn’t keep 3rd from the faster Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. A fascinating battle played out for 5th between bitter rivals Vettel and Fernando Alonso with Vettel ultimately claiming 5th. Button fought back and eventually only finished 0.8 seconds behind Ricciardo. How wonderful it would have been to see Hamilton and Button on the podium.
Hamilton cruised home to the ecstatic crowd, and we witnessed him doughnut directly in front of Stowe where we were stood waving our Lewis flag! What a race! The last British winner at Silverstone was Hamilton in 2008, 6 years later to the day he repeated the feat much to the delight of the fans who streamed onto the track.
My only disappointment was not being able to get closer to the drivers. They have so many commitments there seems little time to meet the fans and interact.
Many fans wore pink on Sunday including myself to celebrate Jenson Button’s late father John who passed away suddenly in January. I may have looked a bit strange in my Mclaren top alongside Lewis flag but that is what is great about F1, you can have lots of favourites and after all Lewis used to race for my favourite team which is Mclaren.
Wearing Pink for Papa
As you can probably tell Lewis Hamilton is my favourite driver but we wanted every Brit to do well and cheers filled the grandstands as Max Chilton passed a Caterham.
Above: Wearing my Hamilton t-shirt on Saturday after watching Qualifying
We are already looking into tickets for next year at Silverstone, it is just a shame they start at such extortionate prices. When we parked you could truly see it is quite an elitist sport, the car park lined with Audi’s, BMW’s and other shiny cars. Of course this was just one field but it would be nice to see more affordable tickets for everyone.
From here I truly believe with a slice of luck Lewis can take the 2014 championship. I am biased but he deserved it. He has had more problems than Nico yet is 4 points behind!
On stage after the race Lewis asked where the traditional gold trophy was. He was so set on bringing it out to the fans he went back in and made sure he could bring it out to the stage despite the pressures of time commitments to get to sponsors and interviews. This is why he is my favourite driver. He wears his heart on his sleeve, he can be incredibly frustrating and also moody but in the end he comes good. We love you Lewis!