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Hamilton wins battle of Britain

NEWS STORY
06/07/2014

If we're honest, everyone enjoys the occasional fairy tale ending, even the battle hardened cynics of the media.

Of course, in the world of Formula One, where only this week one dream - that of tony Fernandes - came to its obvious sad conclusion - fairy tales are rare, but not impossible.

For us, a fairy tale conclusion to today's British Grand Prix would be for Jenson Button to be standing atop the podium proudly wearing his 'Pink for Papa' T-shirt, a fitting result for the sport's elder statesman and his Dad.

Whether that will really happen or not is very much I the hands of the gods - the weather gods - for in normal conditions the MP4-29 doesn't have a hope today, not compared to the Mercedes and Rec Bull.

Yesterday's mixed conditions have given way to bright sunshine however, there is still a twenty percent chance of rain. And it is that 20 percent that Jenson and a few others will have to rely on.

Almost twenty-four hours after yesterday's crazy qualifying session we are still recovering, still trying to figure out what went so right for some and so wrong for others.

Yes, Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he misread the situation and didn't realise there was room for (so much) improvement, but what about Williams and Ferrari. To foul up to such a massive degree is totally unforgivable.

Of course, their loss is our gain, as we are left with a grid that in some ways appears as though it was decided by lottery, the order further mixed up courtesy of the Stewards here and in Austria.

Consequently, starting from 11th, Jules Bianchi will be another of those praying for some typical British weather today... and lots of it.

Rather than a dry race or wet race, mixed conditions would be ideal for Button, while Sebastian Vettel would probably be grateful for a little bit of both.

Not only do Hamilton have to make a great start today, as he did in Austria, he is going to have to be mighty careful in Turns 3 and 4 on the first lap, for he simply cannot afford to give any more points away to teammate Nico Rosberg. Indeed, those first few corners should witness some real fun and games what with the Ferraris and Williams charging from the back.

All in all this appears to be Rosberg's to lose, however, first lap silliness and reliability issues aside only a fool would write off Hamilton.

Today is a day when Raikkonen can really prove himself though we cannot help but feel that the sparkle has gone, a feeling compounded by his comments about retirement on Thursday. On the other hand expect another bravura performance from Fernando.

Of course, the Williams duo will also be chomping at the bit following yesterday's shenanigans but somehow Felipe - starting his 200th Grand Prix today - and Valtteri (sorry) don't inspire in the saw way as Fernando and the Iceman.

If it had a Mercedes engine in the back - and assuming Adrian Newey could package it - the RB10 would be the class of the field, the Austrian car enjoying a massive aero advantage over its rivals. Therefore assume decent points hauls from Sebastian and Daniel.

Other than Jenson, McLaren can rely on Kevin Magnussen, and the Woking team needs a good result not only in terms of keeping rivals at bay and remaining at the right end of the pitlane next season but to keep the team from switching attention to 2015 and Honda.

We feel the ones to watch today will be Force India and Toro Rosso, Kvyat looking as strong as ever - still hard to believe he's in his rookie year- whilst Hulkenberg had pole for a tantalising few seconds yesterday.

And then there's Marussia... should the planets align Bianchi could add a couple more points to the team's tally, maybe even Max could score a couple.

A two-stop strategy is theoretically fastest, although some drivers might even try a one-stopper, if they want to do something different from lower down the grid.

The quickest strategy is medium-medium-hard, stopping on laps 23 and 45. A three-stop sprint strategy could also work (medium-medium-medium-hard) with stops on laps 18, 34 and 51. This however would leave drivers vulnerable of feeding into traffic during the closing stages of the race.

The pitlane opens and the drivers begin making their way to the grid.

As a reminder, following the various penalties, including Maldonado's exclusion, they line up as follows: Rosberg, Vettel, Button, Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Hamilton, Perez, Ricciardo, Kvyat, Vergne, Grosjean, Bianchi, Sutil, Bottas, Massa, Alonso, Chilton, Raikkonen, Gutierrez, Maldonado, Ericsson and Kobayashi.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by francis-n, 06/07/2014 19:07

"I git back from Silverstone a couple of hours ago. What a fantastic weekend. Extraordinary quali. Amazing races, plus great GP2 and GP3 races.

Lewis was obviously the popular winner and I cheered him on, despite being a Ferrari fan. He certainly seemed to be quicker than Nico but who knows whether that was because Nico already had a problem or not. But don't take away from a great and very popular win. And well done Jenson particularly on the Papapink weekend>

But my drive of the day goes to Fernando who demonstrated why he is THE top driver on the grid. I was sitting between Woodcote and Luffield in line with Wellington and watched Fernando early on taking lines to enable him overtake on the inside of Woodcote, then defending against Vettel who was getting frustrated. But Fernando was a master even though Vettel eventually got past him on newer tyres.

I was privileged to watch a master at work.

Great race."

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2. Posted by Podge, 06/07/2014 17:31

"Sometimes, you would call this sport far-fetched if it was a book or a film. Truly unbelievable. The Alonso/Vettel fight was epic too. Not seen Fernancy drive and battle and fight like that for years."

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