Welcome to the 2013 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix, held at the Silverstone Circuit. It’s been three weeks since the Canadian round of the championship and for many teams this eighth round of the season will be their ‘home’ race. After cruising to victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Sebastian Vettel extended his championship lead to 36 points over his closest rival, Fernando Alonso. Third-placed Kimi Raikkonen is a further eight points behind the Spaniard.
Previous winners of the British Grand Prix include Mark Webber (2012, 2010), Fernando Alonso (2011, 2006), Sebastian Vettel (2009), Lewis Hamilton (2008) and Kimi Raikkonen (2007). Red Bull Racing haven’t finished with a driver off the podium in its past two appearances at the British Grand Prix and after their supremacy at the Canadian Grand Prix, they’ll be looking to continue that trend this Sunday.
Canadian Grand Prix Recap
Sebastian Vettel took his third victory of 2013 with ease, leading from lights to flag and only missing the fastest less than half a second; Mark Webber stole his team-mate’s thunder with a lap to spare, setting a lap .4 of a second faster than Sebastian could manage.
After a poor qualifying result, Fernando Alonso recovered to overtake Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton in the second-half of the race and finished second. Despite his performance, the Spaniard still lost 7 points to the championship leader.
Lewis Hamilton gave Mercedes hope of their tyre degradation issues disappearing after finishing the race in third after recording the second-fastest time on Saturday. It was an important step for the German team who were expected to struggle on the abrasive surface that characterises the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Nico Rosberg finished two places behind with Mark Webber separating the pair of Silver Arrows after mid-race contact with Giedo van der Garde put him at a disadvantage for the rest of the event.
Jean-Eric Vergne made it two impressive races on the bounce and finished sixth after placing seventh on Saturday. It was an impressively strong result for the Frenchman and his team-mate has failed to match him for two races in a row. With the prospect of a Red Bull seat for 2014, Vergne has placed himself in a better position than ever before to be promoted.
Paul di Resta recovered to finish seventh after a disappointing Saturday qualifying left him a distant 17th.
Felipe Massa struggled in qualifying and then in the race, eventually finishing seven places behind his team-mate.
After a troubled Canadian Grand Prix, 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen took the flag in ninth. His gap to Sebastian Vettel extended by 23 points.
Adrian Sutil placed himself confidently high in qualifying, but struggled to perform in the race and a spin early on put him on the back foot. Another disappointing race for the German returnee.
“Last year we saw two-stop strategies in dry conditions after two wet days,” Hembery told Formula1.com.
“But this year the compounds are softer, so if it stays dry we could have between three and four stops.”
Jean Alesi, former-Grand-Prix-driver-cum-Pirelli-ambassador, was quick to defend the supplier’s choice in tyres for the British Grand Prix.
“[Silverstone is] a demanding circuit on the tyres, not so much because of traction and braking, but more because of the high levels of down-force,” the one-time Grand Prix winner said to Pirelli.com.
“The hard and medium tyres are a good choice.”
Silverstone will be the fourth time the medium and hard-compound tyre combination has been supplied in 2013.
The pairing has been previously provided for this year’s Spanish, Bahrain and Malaysian Grands Prix.
Drag Reduction System
The Drag Reduction System will be available to drivers throughout qualifying and at select moments in the race between corners five and six and turns 14 and 15. As with previous seasons, there will be two individual detection points.
Despite rain expected to interfere with Friday’s proceedings, sunshine is expected for the rest of the weekend.