Skip to content

British GP Paddock Notebook – Friday

Jul 4, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Britain F1 GP Auto Racing AP

In many of the team previews and media sessions this week, the drivers have been saying how wonderful the British fans are and how they make Silverstone such a great race.

Frankly, it is very true. Even on Thursday, the grandstands were packed, and Friday saw even more fill the seats to see the practice sessions and support races. After a cloudy start, things soon warmed up at Silverstone to produce a lovely English summer day. Romanticism aside, here’s the latest news and analysis from the F1 paddock.

SESSION REPORTS

  • Once again, the Mercedes drivers shared the practice sessions on Friday. First blood went to Nico Rosberg at Silverstone, although the session was disrupted by a number of incidents and red flags.
  • Hamilton bounced back in FP2 to finish first, but he suffered an engine failure that meant he lost some track time.

NEWS FROM THE PADDOCK

  • Susie Wolff’s practice run-out ended after just four laps thanks to an engine problem.
  • She admitted that she was disappointed, but has now turned her attention to the German GP at Hockenheim.
  • Susie also made some very interesting comments about women in motorsport, saying that she does not feel she has been treated differently because she is a woman.
  • Monisha Kaltenborn said that the fight for the two seats at Sauber next season is wide open, with Sergey Sirotkin and Simona de Silvestro both in the running.
  • She also questioned the support for standing restarts despite Charlie Whiting saying that the teams were very enthusiastic.
  • Kimi Raikkonen revealed that he is likely to quit F1 upon the expiration of his Ferrari contract.
  • Will Buxton brings you the latest behind-the-scenes news from the British GP paddock in Paddock Pass.
  • Many of the drivers gave their views on standing restarts; some were happy, some felt that the sport should stay as it is.
  • Lewis Hamilton was upbeat despite his engine problem during FP2.
  • Pirelli will test an 18-inch tire at Silverstone next week to try and make the sport more road relevant.

THOUGHTS FROM THE TRACK

Great news for those of you not interested in the political side of the sport! This Friday, we didn’t have a team principal press conference, so no great fall-out or extended analysis of how the F1 Strategy Group works as per Austria.

That said, we did have a great chat with Monisha Kaltenborn this morning. She spoke about Sauber’s current position, its driver selection for 2015, and also about the introduction of the standing restarts for next season. The difference between her opinion and that of FIA race director Charlie Whiting is very interesting indeed. Once again, the Strategy Group is the driving force behind this idea.

Looking at the long-run pace, Mercedes is once again the dominant team, but that’s far from surprising. We look set for a great battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton this weekend at Silverstone, and in front of his home fans, Lewis will be keen to impress.

It also wasn’t a bad day for his compatriot, Jenson Button. The 2009 world champion has never finished any higher than fourth at Silverstone, and although he may not better that this weekend, he does look set for some points.

Ferrari and Red Bull should be the teams battling for the final podium position. Fernando Alonso finished third in both sessions, but Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were never far behind. Kimi Raikkonen did well in FP1, but was less impressive in the second session.

The word at Williams heading into this weekend was “momentum”. After securing its best team result in nine years at the Austrian Grand Prix, many were expecting them to continue to impress. Said momentum lasted just 25 minutes as both Susie Wolff and Felipe Massa hit trouble during FP1. Wolff’s engine failure robbed her of a chance to show what she can really do behind the wheel of an F1 car, but she made history nevertheless. Massa, on the other hand, simply overcooked it and binned his car in a flurry of déjà vu from last year. The team managed to fix the car back up for FP2, though.

All in all, it was a pretty usual Friday – usual in the sense that Mercedes dominated proceedings. It will take something out of the ordinary to stop the Silver Arrows sweeping to a one-two tomorrow in qualifying.

You can watch qualifying for the British Grand Prix live on CNBC from 8am ET tomorrow morning.

Latest Posts
  1. Kanaan leads Ganassi 1-2 to end 2014 on a high note (VIDEO)

    Aug 31, 2014, 1:59 AM EDT

    TKFontanaWin Getty Images

    Tony Kanaan gets on the board to cap off a second half of the 2014 season where he came close to winning several times, and finally broke through.

  2. Still searching: Castroneves finishes 14th, falls short of IndyCar title (VIDEO)

    Aug 31, 2014, 1:21 AM EDT

    MAVTV 500 Ð Day 1 Getty Images

    The three-time Indy 500 champion contends at Fontana, but a pit entry violation going into his final stop ends his bid for a championship.

  3. Will Power claims 2014 IndyCar title as Tony Kanaan ties season win record in Fontana

    Aug 31, 2014, 12:54 AM EDT

    PowerChamp1 Getty Images

    Will Power has, at long last, become a Verizon IndyCar Series champion. Meanwhile Tony Kanaan takes the win in Auto Club Speedway finale.

  4. IndyCar Fontana update: Ryan Hunter-Reay leads; title battle for Power, Helio continues

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:33 PM EDT

    Hunter-Reay Getty Images

    The Indy 500 champ is threatening to win another 500-miler in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Tony Stewart’s return to racing: ‘I’m sure that’s where he wants to be’

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    (Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images for NASCAR) Getty Images

    HAMPTON, Ga. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined the chorus of voices welcoming Tony Stewart back to racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

  6. Kevin Harvick in a class of his own, dominates Atlanta NNS race

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/David Tulis) AP

    HAMPTON, Ga. – Kevin Harvick made it look more than easy en route to victory in Saturday’s Great Clips 300 to Benefit Feed The Children at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Harvick dominated the event, leading 159 of the event’s 195 laps in his third career NNS win at the high-speed 1.5-mile track.

  7. WATCH LIVE: IndyCar crowns its champion tonight at Fontana

    Aug 30, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    MAVTV 500 Ð Day 1 Getty Images

    It all comes down to this. Get your NBC Sports Live Extra stream links for tonight’s MAVTV 500 – the 2014 season finale for the Verizon IndyCar Series!

  8. Aleshin upgraded to stable condition, per IndyCar

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:48 PM EDT

    AleshinFontana2 Getty Images

    Mikhail Aleshin still in hospital but in stable condition after accident Friday night at Auto Club Speedway.

  9. NASCAR: Alex Tagliani breaks track record, wins Truck Series pole at CTMP

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - Day 2 Getty Images

    The open-wheel veteran turns in a final-round lap of 109.889 mph around Canadian Tire Motorsports Park to claim pole for Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250.

  10. Kenseth, Logano top final Sprint Cup practice; Tony Stewart 18th-fastest

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT

    (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

    HAMPTON, Ga. – Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano put the Happy in Happy Hour Saturday evening at Atlanta Motor Speedway, setting the top speeds in the final tuneup for Sunday’s Oral-B USA 500.

  11. No place like home: Chase Elliott earns first career NNS pole at Atlanta

    Aug 30, 2014, 5:56 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

    HAMPTON, Ga. – Chase Elliott has won three races thus far in his rookie season on the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit. But the son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott has never won a pole position in the NNS – until Saturday.

  12. West Virginia football coaches use picture of Dale Earnhardt’s car to call plays

    Aug 30, 2014, 5:24 PM EDT

    Credit: Jason Gould (@confirmed104) Credit: Jason Gould (@confirmed104)

    This may be the strangest place we’ve seen Earnhardt’s iconic No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet in a long time.

  13. Bass Pro Shops chief glad to see close friend Tony Stewart racing again

    Aug 30, 2014, 4:40 PM EDT

    Tony Stewart, left, and close friend Johnny Morris in happier times. (Photo courtesy Stewart-Haas Racing) Tony Stewart, left, and close friend Johnny Morris in happier times. (Photo courtesy Stewart-Haas Racing)

    HAMPTON, Ga. — Johnny Morris, president of Bass Pro Shops and one of the primary sponsors of Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet, released a statement of support for his close friend on Saturday.

  14. After Bristol problems, Kyle Busch needs good recovery at Atlanta

    Aug 30, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Oral-B USA 500 - Practice Getty Images

    Out of all the Chase-bound drivers, “Rowdy” may be the one in most need of a good performance at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.

  15. Hotlanta brings out the heat in first of two final Sprint Cup practices

    Aug 30, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT

    (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

    HAMPTON, Ga. — When you’re hot, you’re hot: Bristol winner Joey Logano and pole sitter Kevin Harvick were the fastest drivers in Saturday’s final Sprint Cup practice in preparation for Sunday’s Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

  16. Lessons learned from Dale Earnhardt death readily seen in way NASCAR has dealt with Tony Stewart tragedy

    Aug 30, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT

    (Illustration: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images) Getty Images

    While the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy occurred outside of its jurisdiction, it wasn’t the first time NASCAR has had to deal with tragedy and subsequent changes to the sport. One need look back no further than the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001 for the resulting lessons that NASCAR learned from.

  17. NASCAR: Ty Dillon ready to make Sprint Cup debut on Sunday

    Aug 30, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Oral-B USA 500 - Practice Getty Images

    However, Dillon isn’t neglecting his push for the championship in the Nationwide Series, which competes tonight at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

  18. Moto GP: Marquez claims 10th pole of 2014 at Silverstone

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Britain MOTOGP AP

    Spanish rider bounces back from a fall in practice to secure pole ahead of Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.

  19. NASCAR: Quiroga, Ranger fastest in Truck Series practices at CTMP

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    NCWTSLogo

    German Quiroga and Andrew Ranger lead the way in a pair of practice sessions for the Camping World Truck Series at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

  20. Auto Club Speedway track surface set to factor into MAVTV 500

    Aug 30, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    AutoClubIndyCar AP

    Expect the track to play a key role in Saturday’s MAVTV 500, more than most oval tracks.

Video from NASCAR America

Inside Tony Stewart's return to racing
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (2179)
  2. K. Harvick (1817)
  3. K. Busch (1579)
  4. J. Logano (1445)
  5. T. Stewart (1435)