The Alternative Review: Great Britain
After a two-week break, Formula 1 returned at Silverstone last weekend for the 50th British Grand Prix to be held at the circuit. Lewis Hamilton made the most of Nico Rosberg’s retirement to move within four points of his teammate at the top of the drivers’ standings, and his victory sent the baying crowd into raptures – even if the trophy was a bit of a sham.
Further back, Seb threw his dummy out of the pram, Marussia pulled another shock in qualy, Williams and Ferrari screwed up on Saturday before making up for it on Sunday, and Guiterrez Maldonado-ed Maldonado. All in a day’s work for The Alternative Review…
Lewis serves up a home-cooked victory
After qualifying on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton slipped back into his mono-syllabic post-Monaco mode. He had lost out to Nico Rosberg yet again, but this time it was in front of a baying home crowd that so desperately wanted him to score pole. On Sunday though, he more than made up for it, claiming a dominant victory after Rosberg’s gearbox failure. Even without his teammate’s demise, a victory for the Briton was still looking possible considering the rate that he was reeling Nico in. Although we were denied a classic battle between the Silver Arrows at Silverstone, the home fans weren’t too bothered – their man had done it again.
The Poundland Trophy
When Lewis did take to the top step of the podium, he was disappointed not to receive the usual gold trophy that traditionally is awarded at the British GP. Instead, he received one from the race’s sponsor, Santander, that began to fall apart in his hands. “The bottom fell off the one we just had,” he explained. “It’s plastic, it must cost ten pounds! It’s so bad. I might just get the plaque, which is probably the most expensive part of the trophy I think.”
However, he did manage to get a hold of the real trophy, walking into the post-race press conference room with it in his hands, grinning from ear to ear. “Back in the day they really, really made the trophies. And this is the special thing about being on the podium and winning. These trophies mean – for me, I don’t know how it is for the other drivers – but this is what we have to show for our lifetime achievements. I hope we can get some better ones moving forwards.”
Bottas shows his star quality
Valtteri Bottas once again showed his star quality at Silverstone, storming from 14th on the grid to finish second. He scythed his way past the other drivers, teaching the likes of Vettel and Hulkenberg a lesson in overtaking; it was great to watch. The Finn is continuing to prove himself as one of the best young drivers in the sport, and Williams will undoubtedly be trying to mould its future around him. The form of the British team in 2014 is very encouraging, and you’d have to think that if Mercedes were to have another meltdown as we saw in Canada, Valtteri should be the man to pick up the pieces and claim his first GP victory.
Kimi, Massa and Chilton all fortunate to avoid serious injury
The race was red flagged after just one lap at Silverstone following a serious shunt for Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn ran wide at Aintree, but instead of lifting off the throttle when he went onto the grass, he tried to ride it out and put his foot down, causing the F14 T to spear into the wall at an impact of 47g. His car then careered back across the circuit and into the path of the oncoming traffic, leaving Felipe Massa – who had bogged down at the start – with nowhere to go. Both of their races ended on the spot, with Kimi limping away but suffering nothing more than some bruising. He will miss today’s test at Silverstone to recover.
Kamui Kobayashi rallycrossed his way around the crash, taking some damage to the underside of his Caterham, but even more lucky not to get his was Max Chilton. As shown in this tweet, he came just a few inches away from disaster.
Alonso and Seb serve up a thrilling battle
Seeing two drivers go head-to-head on track is what Formula 1 is all about, but it can often end in tears (thanks to Pastor and Esteban for proving our point twice already this season). However, on Sunday, we saw two of the very best go head-to-head as Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso fought over P5, and even though both are not at the peak of their powers in 2014, they’re still able to put on a show for the fans. Despite being on older tyres and having a brick of a car to drive, Alonso somehow managed to defend for a long, long time from Seb, who felt that the Ferrari driver was being too aggressive. His whining over the radio came to no avail as Charlie told the drivers to get on with it and man up – and that was for the better. Some classy racing from two classy drivers.
I must go, my planet needs me
Once again, Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez played airplanes, with the Sauber driver the man at fault this time. Unsurprisingly, the FIA didn’t see the bright side of it, slapping Gutierrez with yet another grid penalty for the next race – three places this time. Are honours even? Badger GP certainly think so!
Princes, Scots and Lemar
Of course, Silverstone being Silverstone, a smattering of celebs made an appearance in Paddock Club over the weekend – that is if you can consider a Prince to be a ‘celeb’? Prince Harry was around, and was shown around by Jackie Stewart across the course of the weekend. Paul di Resta was also in the house, saying hello to many of his ex-colleagues and friends within the paddock. Other sightings included Jude Law, Tom Hiddleston, Michael Fassbender, Naomi Campbell and – the biggest two – Carol Vorderman and Lemar. Oh. Em. Gee.
Another fun weekend in F1 though. Same again at Hockenheim?
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic.
Luke Smith is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Richland F1. Having started the website in March 2012, he has gone on to become one of the youngest members of the Formula 1 paddock after joining American broadcaster NBC Sports at the beginning of the 2013 season. Luke now works as the network's lead F1 writer, supporting the TV coverage on nbcsports.com. Luke's work has also been featured on NBC News, Yahoo! Sports, The Times, The Independent and Forbes, and he has also appeared on CNBC's TV series "One Second in F1 Racing".