Guest Author - Christine Blachford
The British Grand Prix was all about Lewis Hamilton, and rightly so. The pressure on his shoulders was enormous – the event sold out due to his popularity and success. I heard that more people showed up for qualifying than did for the actual race last year. That’s a lot of pressure on young shoulders.
The qualifying session for Lewis went very well. He got through the first two sessions, although was satisfied with being fourth fastest for the majority of it. The last session saw him wait until the very last session, he crossed the line with seconds to spare, and he was the last car out there. Raikkonen had made a mistake but still beaten Alonso to the top spot, and it was assumed that pole was set. Everyone held their breath and the last man on track crossed the line to get pole position at his home Grand Prix.
Even Lewis was surprised, because deep down he knew that he was on the back foot this weekend.
Race day dawned, and Massa stalled on the grid. They had to do two formation laps and the red car dived in to start from the pits. He was joined by Sato who was having some work done to his chassis. During the race, it was an absolute joy to watch Massa working his way through the field. He would be overtaking at least a car a lap and he was demonstrating just how good a car he has, and how good a driver he is.
There were no accidents on the first corner, and there was only one crash for the entire race. At one point Scott Speed was being lapped by Alonso and his concentration being on the champion, missed the fact that Alex Wurz was diving up the inside. They collided, and it knocked Speed out, whilst Wurz managed to continue to the end.
Aside from Massa, most of the overtaking occurred in the pit lane. During the first round of pit stops, Alonso managed to jump his team mate. Hamilton lost his advantage and effectively lost his home race. He made a small mistake in his pit stop, jumped the gun a bit too early, and had to slam on the brakes whilst the mechanics finished their jobs. Alonso put pay to any chance of a British driver winning the British race.
However, in the second round of pit stops, Kimi Raikkonen, who had been super fast and had been lucky to avoid traffic, jumped Alonso, making the podium a Ferrari on the top step, followed by both McLaren drivers.
It makes the championship much more interesting, with Hamilton still leading but Alonso, Massa and Raikkonen all within the 50-60 points range and catching each other up.