Guest Author - Christine Blachford
The British Grand Prix took place this weekend, and I was there to soak up all the action… and the rain. Unfortunately for those attending the race, it was a very wet and windy affair, but this, of course, made for a fantastic race. Bernie Ecclestone did rather put a downer on things with the announcement that the British GP would be moving to Donington rather than Silverstone from 2010, but from where I was sitting (which was at various points around the track) everyone seemed to be determined to enjoy themselves, despite everything.
All the Free Practice sessions and qualifying leading up to Sunday looked as though it was going to be a completely mixed up race. Heikki Kovalainen outqualified Hamilton to take his first ever pole position, and Mark Webber lined up next to him on the front row.
However, when the race started, Hamilton shot forward several places to slip into second, whilst Webber fell back, and then spun to the back of the grid. Hamilton was only behind his team mate for a couple of laps before taking the lead, much to the crowds delight.
Both Ferraris were struggling this weekend, in the wet and with their tyres. Felipe Massa spun five times during the race, and although Raikkonen kept his car on the tarmac, he fell back through the field due to an incorrect decision regarding his tyres.
It rained on and off throughout Sunday, so although it wasn’t raining when the race started, there was a heavy shower midway through, which stirred the pack a lot. Several drivers ended up spinning, some ended up in the gravel, some kept it on the racing line.
In the end, it was only those who kept their heads down and their cars pointing forwards who made it to the end. Hamilton took a dominant win by over a minute, whilst Heidfeld was second and Barrichello in the Honda stood on the third step of the podium. It’s thought that Barrichello could have even made second, but he had a problem with a pit stop that delayed him. Button ended his race in the gravel, as did Kubica. Piquet, Fisichella, Sutil, Vettel and Coulthard also ended their races early after losing control in the damp.
This now leaves the championship in a brilliant position ahead of the German Grand Prix in a couple of weeks. The top three drivers are all on 48 points – Hamilton, Massa and Raikkonen – with Kubica still in the running on 46.