British Grand Prix 2013: Silverstone armchair live blog

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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…

15.04h

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…

15.00h

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…

14.58h

Pikes Peak is now live, by the way…

 

14.54h

Ugh…

14.52h

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.

14.49h

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

14.48h

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

14.46h

Please let the podium interviewer not be Eddie.

14.42h

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.

14.40h

The perfect Twitter race results ticker from @sniffpetrol.

14.39h

The perfect Twitter race summary from @keithwrjones.

14.36h

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.

14.35h

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

14.34h

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

14.32h

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

14.30h

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

14.27h

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

14.25h

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

14.23h
Blimey…

14.21h

14.16h

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

14.16h

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

14.11h

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…

14.02h

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

14.01h

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

13.53h

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

 

13.52h

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.

13.47h

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.

13.40h

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’.

13.38h

‘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?

13.34h

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.

13.31h

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

13.28h

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

13.27h

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

13.24h

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.

13.22h

13.20h

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

13.19h

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

13.17h

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…

13.16h

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?

13.13h

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.

13.10h

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.

13.05h

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?

13.03h

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

13.00h

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…

12.54h

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.

12.48h

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.

12.46h

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.

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