British Grand Prix 2013: Silverstone armchair live blog

british-grand-prix-live-blogThe British Grand Prix at Silverstone is here at last – and it’s sunny, and the grandstands look full, and there’s a man sitting on pole position to make it a race full of anticipation.

On Friday, I toured Motorsport Valley. Earlier in the year, I raced at Silverstone (at slightly slower speed; with slightly less talent). Now, it’s raceday for the circuit’s most important event of the year.

Cue a live blog, so I can record some of my excitement and share some of yours too.

The national anthem chimes and we’re underway…


The really silly thing is, the team that suffered the most from tyre failures today is the one excluded from the test at this very circuit, with a full set of representative data (and, despite protestations, surely a whole welter of information from Barcelona too)… time for a bit of common sense, F1. Pirelli taking the brunt of the flack today but it’s not wholly at fault – it’s doing what you told it to…


Lewis quite laying into Pirelli there – they tested to stop this, it’s dangerous, nothing’s happened since the test, ‘it’s a waste of time taking to any of them at the moment’. Said all that while his boss watched on live TV…


Pikes Peak is now live, by the way…





Fernando Alonso is doing that F1 world champion trick of popping up relatively out of nowhere and bagging good results where it matters. After Friday, it’s an immense score for Ferrari.


As Nico said, the factory really is very close. Just a couple of roundabouts south on the A43…


Excellent – it’s Damon! Like the reminder for no swearing too…


Please let the podium interviewer not be Eddie.


Doesn’t the podium green room look nice. We Brits should be proud of those solid wood doors and nice walls. Proper banter in it, too.


The perfect Twitter race results ticker from @sniffpetrol.


The perfect Twitter race summary from @keithwrjones.


Nico wins, staggering stuff from Webber and Lewis – but why didn’t we see the battle for the lead develop? Grr. Anyhoo, it’s a Mercedes victory in Britain and the guys just down the road where the car is built will be raising the roof. Rightly so.


1.1secs between Webber and Nico – could he be in DRS zone where it matters?


Webber eating into Nico – shame we’re not seeing it.


Quite simply, COME ON WEBBER. Of anyone out there, you know he’s wringing that car’s neck totally.


The love for Webber’s moves, and the flood of respect for Kimi, was nicely topped up there.


ANOTHER tyre gone. Partner and daughter both jump at my exclamation…


How do they remove F1 cars from race circuits? @cardealered caught it in a corking Vine…




Yup, safety car. Here comes the mix-up.


Were we snoozing there? Vettel wakes us up – car breakdown! And the crowd cheers… parked on the International Pit Straight too – safety car?


Corking racing between Lewis and Di Resta there. Nice to see proper racers with talent in spades battling one another with respect flowing. Contrast that with Sutil and Ricciardo just…


Lewis Hamilton going backwards there – Raikkonen and Alonso zapped past. Tyre-related but still a surprising, unusual sight.


Hamilton and Di Resta – incredibly, incredibly close stuff going through Brooklands. Look forward to the replay of that.


McLaren’s Jonathan Neale really didn’t sound impressed by the Pirelli tyre situation when interviewed:



They put boards out at indoor karting when you’re pressing the brake and the accelerator at the same time. Wonder if they’ll do the same for Lewis.


Love watching cars through Maggotts and Becketts: don’t often see such visual energy through an F1 car, rarely see such roll and on-edge lean. Amazing spectacle.


Challenge for you: count how many times ‘tyre failure’ is mentioned. Gary Anderson advises teams to up the tyre pressures; says high-speed corners and high aero loads at Silverstone mean the tyre ‘doesn’t have time for a rest’.


‘Pirelli are in the news too often for this to be a comfortable situation’, says DC. The slo-mo replays are not pretty. Opinion from the teams is to keep off the kerbs at turn 4 – that’s  onto the Wellington Straight. And Jonathan Neale from McLaren reveals Pirelli hasn’t said anything yet – how can that be?


Judging the mood of Twitter right now: people are blaming Pirelli. Quite vociferously. As I watch an army of marshalls clearing the debris – that was quite an explosion. Time for props to the marshalls: 1000 of them there today, and this is a great showcase of their professionalism, says DC.


Mindful of the 2005 US Grand Prix right now… as Car And Driver said at the time, ‘World-Class Formula 1 Fiasco at Indianapolis’.


The in-car camera for Kimi makes ugly viewing. Flying bits of Pirelli at 200mph: not good.


NO, NO, NO: Jean Eric-Vergne puncture. Shocking. Teams surely considering action – pulling their cars? Stopping the race?


Rosberg pit stop: surprised at how squidgy and lacking in grip it was. With Raikkonen’s struggles in the Lotus after his pit stop, it shows just how sensitive to temperatures some of these cars are. When it’s chilly, some teams’ speed is exaggeratedly slow.



Suddenly, I’m feeling very uneasy watching this race…


Goodness – now Massa? Are they going to stop this race?


Lewis’ drama unfolded right past the BRDC Clubhouse. The tyre just exploded – it’s an absolute mess. Has to be the worst possible advert for Pirelli. This is going to be the F1 story of the next few days, surely…


LEWIS PUNCTURE: the warnings in today’s newspapers have come true? Delamination? Mercedes’ edgy tyre wear stats eating the rubber? Unbelievable. Cue questions for Pirelli – and the rest of the grid?


Jenson’s front tyres look very worn, already. Webber’s hobbled Red Bull is quickly lining him up. Things not looking at all good for McLaren. Be interesting to see when Jenson pits first.


Love the helmet cam. All drivers should have helmet cams, and we should have the option of watching the entire race from helmet cam. Lewis’ race engineer reckons Sutil is a second a lap slower and will start backing the others up. Best not tell Adrian he could unwittingly be helping out his ex-mate, aye.


Sutil’s fast – makes you wonder where Di Resta would have been. Right now, he’s 18th. Alonso’s looking racy too – some bold stuff, particularly given how wibbly that Ferrari looks. Is he out of position and, now temperatures have risen, the Ferrari has switched on?


Poor for Rosberg, great for Hamilton, Vettel’s up there, a prang for someone and some mega shuffling on the old pit straight. Brilliant.


Silverstone looks amazing. The gleaming wing is resplendent in this unusual British summer sun. It’s a world-class race that really is a match for anything else on the calendar. The BRDC should rightly be proud. We all should be. Now for the race…


Good to see Murray Walker – great to see so many fans signing the get well soon card for him. Track temperature 31 degrees. Sales of Fosters probably skyrocketing.


One-stop strategy is the way ahead, says BBC’s Gary Anderson. Two stops adds an extra five seconds; three stops costs you 13 seconds.


On the grid chat insights in the background as I got the blog set up: Mark Webber first drive Silverstone in Formula Ford – back in 1995. Top man. Nigel Mansell is wearing his FIA bodywarmer. Eddie Jordan has a dreadful jacket (but seems to be mates with Goldie). Chris Evans sums it up perfectly by saying if Hamilton wins, well be happy: if Webber wins, we’ll be happy: if Ferrari wins, he’ll be happy.