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Rosberg wins as rivals (and fans) are left deflated

NEWS STORY
30/06/2013

Having enjoyed home wins in both GP2 races, courtesy of Sam Bird and Jon Lancaster, an expectant, largely partisan, crowd is hoping that Lewis Hamilton can do the same this afternoon.

British hopes have already taken a knock with Paul di Resta’s exclusion from the qualifying results. Despite taking fifth on the grid, his best result since Monza 2012, the Scot was excluded as a result of his car being 1.5kg underweight.

In fact that’s not entirely true, it was the combined weight of car and driver that was underweight. His team claim that the discrepancy is due to the driver losing weight over the course of the weekend… a less kind observer might suggest that somebody has knocked the (growing) chip from his shoulder.

With Friday’s deluge a distant memory, the bright sunshine and increasing temperatures will be putting a smile on the faces of those in the Lotus and Ferrari garages, warmer temperatures suiting both teams.

Looking at the grid, and most of the practice session, this seems to be a straight fight between Mercedes and Red Bull, however, as we know from experience, for the most part the Silver Arrows are only really good over one lap. Consequently it’s looking very good for Sebastian and Mark this weekend.

Totally unhappy with his car on Friday, Lewis Hamilton has become more at one with it as the weekend wore on, his qualifying lap testament to that fact, for it was a sublime, faultless bit of driving.

How sad therefore, that he will have his work cut out today to make it to the podium, far less the top step.

While Sebastian Vettel looks to further increase his tally, the romantic in us believes that Mark Webber will prove victorious on a track he clearly loves and on which he has enjoyed great success.

Di Resta’s penalty – he has been relegated to the back of the grid – is a bitter blow to Force India. However, another strong drive should see Adrian Sutil pick up a decent points haul, while a good strategic call could also see di Resta take something away from today.

The Scot’s exclusion is good news for Daniel Ricciardo, who, like his Toro Rosso teammate Jean-Eric Vergne, has appeared just a little bit more motivated than usual this weekend. We wonder why.

Of course, a good result for either of them could play a big part in their quest for the second seat at Red Bull in 2014, on the other hand we know from experience that loyalty rarely comes into it when it comes to making such decisions in Milton Keynes, or should we say Salzburg.

Despite having The Device at his disposal for the first time, Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t really appear to have benefitted from it, qualifying behind his teammate, who doesn’t have it, albeit by just 0.007s.

Then again, as we said, the warmer temperatures will suit the Lotus, so perhaps we may see The Iceman make up for the disappointment of Monaco and Canada. An opportunity for Grosjean to get back some of his credibility also.

The despondency in the Ferrari garage is of operatic proportions, the Maranello outfit losing out totally in the unseasonably cool conditions yesterday. Like Lotus, Fernando and Felipe will be banking on a bit of localised global warming this afternoon.

For McLaren it’s business as usual, the Woking outfit going through the motions as it looks ahead to 2014… or is that 2015. Unlike Lotus and Ferrari, Jenson and Sergio would appreciate a good old fashioned downpour this afternoon.

If the McLaren boys are wishing their lives away, so too, no doubt, are their counterparts at Sauber and Williams.

On Friday afternoon, Nico Hulkenberg was despondent at being unable to pass a Marussia, even with the benefit of DRS and KERS, while, as Williams celebrates its 600th Grand Prix, Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas will be wishing they were there during the good times rather than the present when the Grove outfit is but a shadow of its former self.

As ever, tyres are the big talking point, and in view of today’s improved weather Paul Hembery believes most teams will opt for three stops while some, most notably Lotus, may opt for 2. It is virtually impossible that di Resta will repeat his Montreal one-stop feat.

The tyres Available today are hard (prime) and medium (option). Meanwhile, the DRS zones are on the Hangar Straight (between Turns 14 and 15), and on the Wellington Straight (between Turns 5 and 6. The Detection Zones are at Maggots (Turn 10) and just before Village (Turn 3).

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