British Grand Prix: Weekend Preview

Formula One returns to the UK this weekend, in an event which always captivates fans across the world. Being my home race, it is always a special event and one which British fans value very highly. Silverstone first hosted a Grand Prix in 1948 and the 3.6 mile circuit is known for its high speed nature. In 2012, Mark Webber snatched victory away from Fernando Alonso with just four laps to go, pulling off a spectacular overtake at Brooklands. The Aussie will be hoping to reinvigorate his championship fight this weekend.

Williams Reach Timely Milestone

After a tricky start to their 2013 campaign, Williams will be hoping for better fortunes this weekend. Not only is this the team’s home Grand Prix, but Sunday marks their 600th Grand Prix appearance. While their recent performances have not reflected their past success, Williams have experienced a fantastically fruitful time in the sport. The team were founded by Patrick Head and Sir Frank Williams himself in 1977 and it was just four years before the team achieved their first Drivers Title, with Alan Jones behind the wheel. Since then, legends of the sport such as Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve have all won Championship’s with Williams. Of their 599 race starts, the team have converted 114 into race wins. 
Both Williams cars will feature unique liveries this weekend, which feature the names of all 691 workers behind the Williams operation. “For an independent team like Williams to reach 600 races at the pinnacle of motorsport is a remarkable achievement,” said a thrilled Sir Frank Williams. “78 teams have come and gone or changed ownership since our foundation and our longevity is a testament to the thousands of people who have sacrificed so much to keep us here. It seems only right to mark this milestone at the home of British motorsport alongside our loyal British fans.”

Chilton Content At Marussia

Max Chilton has announced his plans for the future, suggesting that he would be happy to remain at Marussia for a second season, in the hope that more opportunities would become available after that campaign. Gaining experience has been highlighted as the 22-year-old’s main priority at this early stage of his career.
“I love the team and obviously I’d love to stay for another year and to keep learning,” said Chilton. “It’s a good place to be. It’s what a lot of drivers do, it’s where you learn and become the driver you are. You work your way up. I’d love to stay with Marussia and work my way up with them because they have the right package and attitude.” Heading into his home Grand Prix, it is understandable that Chilton will be looking to outshine his teammate Jules Bianchi. With the machinery not being capable of points scoring finishes, Chilton’s best chance to impress would be to triumph over his French counterpart. While Bianchi has so far stolen the headlines in the race for 10th in the constructors, Chilton believes that his form this season has been acceptable.
“I don’t think I’ve underperformed,” he said. “The team were over the moon with my race in Monaco, and ecstatic when I made the overtakes, so I know the whole team are behind me.” Hence, it is unsurprising that the Brit is looking to remain at Marussia beyond 2013. He will hope that the current commercial difficulties that the team are facing will be resolved quickly.

Di Resta Looks To Cure Qualifying Bugs

Paul Di Resta has recently experienced two Saturday afternoon that he will want to forget. The Brit has struggled in both Monaco and Canada by being wrong footed strategically. However, performances on Sunday have lifted his spirits and Paul realizes that three successful days will equate to an even better result on Sunday afternoon.    
In yesterday’s press conference, Paul stated; “We’re normally on the healthier side of tyre wear and really the focus should be on qualifying because that’s the big result of the weekend, and then transfer that into the race where we know we’ve got a strong package to gain some positions from. But it’s a long way away and a lot of work to do in front of hopefully some great British support.”

Hamilton Looking To Maintain Belief

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes career has been full of inconsistencies. The Brit currently sits fourth in the Drivers Championship on 77 points. While he has claimed three podiums, Mercedes have struggled with tyre degradation. Now that they appear to understand the rubber Hamilton is predicting a close battle with Red Bull and Ferrari. He stated; “We’re going to keep pushing and we’ll just push as hard as we can until the last race and the last opportunity we have. But I feel positive, we’re there or thereabouts and we’re trying to make improvements. Those guys are extremely quick, Ferrari and Red Bull but it’s not impossible to catch them, at least that’s what we believe so we are going to keep pushing.”

Final Thoughts

Silverstone is a downforce circuit, which inevitably hands Red Bull the advantage. With Mark Webber historically outperforming his teammate Vettel, the Aussie has a right to be confident heading into the weekend. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso has experienced two stunning performances at Silverstone in 2011 and 2012. Fernando will hope to build on his P2 in Canada, while closing the sizable gap to Vettel in the championship. Another Mercedes Pole Position is not out of the question, yet both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are likely to fall behind Red Bull and Ferrari on Sunday due to the nature of the circuit. As for Lotus… Who knows what to think anymore! 
Be sure to keep track of this British Grand Prix weekend, with in depth analysis of each and every session right here. You can expect each article to be posted soon after the checkered flag falls on Friday, Saturday and the all important race on Sunday. It is going to be a captivating weekend, so be sure not to miss a moment. 
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