This weekend, it’s the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in race 9 of the 2014 season. The circuit is celebrating its 50th Grand Prix race this year, and is a favourite with drivers, known for its high speed corners and plenty of overtaking opportunities.
As with every Grand Prix this year, you can enter our FVL F1 Podium Winners Competition to win £50 of vouchers if you correctly guess the podium. Click here to enter by adding your prediction – full terms and conditions here.
Wolff’s debut marred by engine problem
In first practice, Susie Wolff made history as the first woman to drive in a qualifying session for a Grand Prix in 22 years, but the appreciation she received from the crowds was short-lived as her Williams developed an oil pressure fault which shut her engine down after only one timed lap. After their strong P3/P4 finish in Austria after locking out the front row in qualifying, their woes were compounded when Felipe Massa lost traction at Stowe corner on the kerbs, and spun into the barriers, causing heavy damage and wiping off his left front and rear suspension.
The Williams mechanics did a sterling job to rebuild Massa’s car in time for Practice 2, but team-mate Bottas had an unexpected problem when his engine cover behind the cockpit became loose and then ripped itself off at speed. No damage was apparent, and a replacement cover is all that’s likely to be needed, but it was very unusual to see.
Ferrari were looking relatively quick, as were Red Bull, whose slick aerodynamics are more suited to this type of circuit, but the Mercedes cars were again in a class of their own in terms of speed, and if reliable, are likely to be at the front in qualifying, which may be affected by rain. Lewis Hamilton had an unexpected hike back to the pits when his car lost power entirely as he started a lap. As with Wolff’s Williams earlier, the cause was down to a drop in oil pressure. The performance of the McLarens in FP2 was also encouraging, if not spectacular, but the cars seemed to handle more predictably and get power down reliably.
Results from Practice 2 at British Grand Prix
Qualifying Results for British Grand Prix
Two Ferraris and both Williams went out in the first part of qualifying – and two Marussias went through to the second part! The reason – rain. Very changeable conditions saw cars move from intermediates to slick tyres on a drying track in the first part of Q1, but a burst of rain just as the session was reaching its end saw a number of spins and slow times.
In Q2 conditions were similarly variable, with swaps between intermediates and slick tyres again necessary. A late spin by Gutierrez spoiled a very real chance for Marussia to reach Q3, with every driver having to lift off in the accident area – but the MArussia managed a very respectable P12 and P13.
The third part of qualifying started under dryer conditions, but then the rain came back once again across Stowe corner, so early runners had the advantage in setting lap times under the dryest conditions. All of the cars retreated to the pits to wait for any change in conditions to make a last dash on slick tyres, and then poured out for a final flying lap with the exceptions of Ricciardo Kvyat and Vergne, who at the time lay respectively 4th 5th and 6th. Hamilton and Rosberg just made it past the start-finish before the clock ran down, but Sergio Perez missed the cut.
However, Hamilton bailed out of his final lap, and let Rosberg pass him, going on to set pole, with Lewis ending up in 6th position. The later runners found new grip from a drying last part of the track. The Silverstone crowd were naturally delighted with Jenson Button’s 3rd position behind Vettel, with a great performance from Hulkenberg in the Force India to gain 4th.
An interesting setup for the race tomorrow – and much will hinge of what the weather throws at it. There may be some penalties to come to shake up the order, with a number of drivers under investigation. See you Sunday!
Enter our free FVL F1 Podium Winners Competition to win a £50 Voucher
- Add your prediction with a comment below… good luck!
As with every Formula 1 race this year, we are holding the FVL F1 Podium Winners Competition – just guess the correct 1-2-3 on the podium by entering your prediction at least an hour before the race starts, to win.
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by Jane Flower, Ullapool
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