Viewing entries tagged



By Alan Henry

Published by: Haynes Publishing

ISBN: 978 1 84425 974 8

Price: $25.00

// Review

The British Grand Prix has become a hotbed of political and commercial intrigue over the past dozen years of its history. Although fingers have been pointed at Bernie Ecclestone, the consummate ‘puppet-master’ of the Formula One scene, for allowing the situation to proliferate, this 232 page hardback may help to redress the balance.

As an event, the importance of the British round of the premier series cannot be ignored. After all, it was the very first round of the FIA World Championship, when it was inaugurated in May 1950, and its past has certainly been exceptionally colourful, welcoming the great and the glorious of Formula One‘s past to its county venue, some 60 miles north of the City of London.

However, as a reliable and much-lauded journalist, the author’s inside track of knowledge and his innate ability to get directly in front of the sport’s main protagonists are what make this book so engagingly readable. Alan Henry’s background research is unimpeachable and you will be amazed at the various implications discussed in its content. Trust me, when I tell you that it is a fantastic read.

With any good fortune (and a following breeze), Silverstone’s future as ‘The Home of British Motor Sport’ does look somewhat more assured in recent times, a factor that lies clearly at the door of its present management structure, even though the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) remains the stoical owner and overseer of all things related to Silverstone Circuits.

Race Review: British Grand Prix

I had high hopes for the British Grand Prix. I even brewed some good tea for the occasion, and practiced my British accents. I wanted rain on race day, plenty of overtaking, dark horse race car that comes from behind. I think I may have set the bar too high since we've been treated with so many unbelievably thrilling races so far. The British Grand Prix seemed to have paled by a lightest of shade. 

That's not to say the race was not exciting. The Silverstone race certainly had its great moments - great defensive start by Alonso who was on pole, massive duel between Alonso and Hamilton on Lap 19 with Alonso making a pass on Hamilton only to have Hamilton come back in the next corner and then Alonso taking one more pass on Hamilton, and then of course, the winning pass that Webber did over Alonso at Lap 46 of the 52-Lap race to clench the very sweet victory.

Webber is the silent and stealthy driver of the season. He's been quietly scoring good points (currently 2nd in Championship standing), out qualifying more than his double-World Champion team mate Vettel, winning the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix and now taking home the trophy for another iconic Grand Prix. Webber also managed to be a double winner of the Silverstone track as well as the 2nd double winner of this season. Tyres strategy played a key role in Webber's win over Alonso near the end of the race, but that should not take away from the beautiful yet aggressive way that Webber has driven in this race. Immense respect for Webber!

None of the British drivers were able to fulfill the home crowds' dream of a British driver on the top of the podium - Hamilton had no pace overall, Button was stuck way behind after qualifying 16th, and di Resta was taken out in Lap 1 since he made contact and received a puncture.

One thing to note is that McLaren's pit stops have FINALLY improved for this race. Their pit stop times have been quick and, more importantly, error-free. Hope they keep this up, every action counts in a tight race like this season.

There was also a bit of track drama that was caused by the incident between Maldonado and Perez in Lap 12 after they came out from the pit. Maldonado claimed another victim by nudging Perez off, causing both cars to spin around and ultimately an early retire for Perez. Perez had some harsh words to say to Maldonado, including juicy bits about all the drivers think Maldonado is reckless and have no respect for other drivers and for the sport. It's definitely easy to be on Perez's side when this is not the first time Maldonado brought troubles to another driver.

During the race broadcast, I spotted the Grid girl outfit. I had to do a double take because at first I thought flight attendance in red uniforms were hanging about in the grid, then I realize they are Grid girls instead. Can we get some more sass into those Grid girls outfits? I'm not looking for couture fashion, just more interesting and/or more stylish will do. What about the Best Post-race hair? This race was a tough one to call, all the podium winners' hair were pretty decent but no one stands out. I suppose if I really had to pick, Webber would be the Best post-race hair winner. I know, seems unfair for one person to win both the Grand Prix AND Best Post-race hair, but I had to keep the award as unpredictable as the race itself, it's tough work and someone has to do it!

Catch you in 2 weeks' time for the German Grand Prix 7/20 - 7/22!

Race Preview: British Grand Prix

Our well wishes are with Maria de Villota of Marussia F1 Team (photo courtesy of and anticipation to the British Grand Prix was mounting this week until a freak accident on Tuesday with Marussia F1 test driver Maria de Villota which brought everything to an abrupt halt.

Nobody knows what exactly happened yet, but Maria's car evidently malfunctioned and ran into the Marussia support truck. Maria has since reported to have suffered serious head and facial injuries, including tragically losing her right eye. The F1 community, drivers and crew and fans are sending well wishes to Maria and her family.

I'm saddened to see a female driver just setting off her journey into F1, with great potential in attracting more women to watch and get involve with the sport, to have her racing career cut short. The silver lining is that she's alive. It reminds us again that F1, despite all the safety measures on the car, at the garage or on the track, has an element of danger that will never fully go away. Much kudos to all the drivers and the pit crews!

About the famous Silverstone race this weekend, based on the latest prediction on, there is a 50% chance of rain in Silverstone this Saturday and a 40% chance of wetness on Sunday race day! Woo! It's been over 100°F in Chicago the last few days and more hot days to come, so not only is the sight of rain a welcomed relief (even if in far off land), rainy race day means we will be treated to an even more unpredictable race. Tyres choice will be paramount, the qualifying session and the race will be extra challenging, aquaplaning will be rear its ugly head.

It'll also be interesting to see how Red Bull will fare with their car at this race, their pace last time at Valencia was unmatched by any other team. Vettel and Hamilton will both be hungry as ever to get some serious points to stay competitive in the championship. Button will surely want some rain to help him turn on a super drive at the Grand Prix in front of a home crowd. If you look at the British Grand Prix winners of last few years, you see Alonso (2011), Webber (2010), Vettel (2009), Hamilton (2008), Raikkonen (2007), Alonso (2006). These are familiar names and I have the inkling that we will see one of these drivers on the podium this weekend.

That's all for now! Catch you again at the British Grand Prix Race Recap!

The Peaks and Troughs of the British Grand Prix

// Blighted by motorsport politics, yet adored by British politicians, the UK’s premier slot in the annual F1 calendar is also every bit as important, not merely in income or status terms, as one of the tiny nation’s other greatest sporting achievements. As major as Wimbledon is for tennis, or St Andrews is for golf, Silverstone is the home to the British Grand Prix. However, its top billing has been shared by other venues too and could have been somewhat different in 2012, had one operation not fiddled the books and attempted to spread egg on Bernie’s visage.