The F1 circus makes its way to our shores for the British Grand Prix. It could be a fantastic weekend for British sport couldn’t it? Hamilton wins the Grand Prix, Murray wins Wimbledon and the England football team enjoy watching them on telly.
The two practice session on Friday were successful for Lewis Hamilton, The defending champion could even climb above Nico Rosberg and head the table by the end of Sunday. He’s only 11 points behind his rival now in a championship fight that could go all the way to the last race. The first session saw Hamilton just 0.033 seconds quicker than his Mercedes team mate but at least they didn’t have any collisions.
The two drivers are on their “last warning” after the last lap incident in Austria last week. “Financial and sporting penalties” are on their way if there are any further incidents but just what would Mercedes do? Both drivers are wealthy enough to withstand any financial penalties and would they really consider suspending one of their drivers? It’s almost worth seeing Hamilton and Rosberg collide again just to see what would happen.
First practice proved to be another successful time for Nico Hulkenburg in his Force India, finishing third ahead of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. Who was testing the new ‘halo’ cockpit safety system. It wasn’t the halo that caused any problems though but the car’s gearbox. The Force India was 0.8 seconds behind Hamilton and Rosberg so it looks like another weekend that will be dominated by the Mercedes team. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest and while taking time off from celebrating his new contract, Kimi Raikkonen finished sixth in his Ferrari.
After the recent positive comments made by McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, the first practice session wasn’t that great a performance. Alonso finished 10th and Button 12th. Can the intake/induction upgrade from Honda see any significant improvement for McLaren this weekend?
Lewis Hamilton capped off a good Friday by finishing fastest in the second practice session too. It wasn’t such a happy time for Nico Rosberg though. He was unable to complete a single lap due to his car suffering a water leak. That left Daniel Ricciardo in second place, 0.391 seconds behind Hamilton. Max Verstappen finished third giving Red Bull hope of a successful weekend. That was evident during the second half of the practice session when with heavy fuel loads they weren’t too far behind Hamilton.
Vettel and Raikkonen followed in fourth and fifth but the big news was that the hopes of Fernando Alonso might just be fulfilled as his McLaren finished sixth in second practice. Not such good luck for Button who was back in ninth after a lack of grip with his car.
After the success in the first practice, Hulkenberg was back in 15th in second practice but didn’t do qualifying simulation runs. Expect a better performance on Saturday. It should be an interesting weekend but the way it’s going so far, one that could well see Hamilton win another British Grand Prix. I’ll be back tomorrow with news of qualifying, until then enjoy your racing.
By Steve Ashfield