Rate the Race Poll Result and Driver of the Day, Silverstone, British GP 2016 by TJ13 contributer @F1Theaj
Reader score 6.79 out of 10
Can the enthusiasm of the British fans at Silverstone rival that of the Tifosi in Monza? Please feel free to comment below!
Personally I think so. Although the support for Lewis Hamilton was overwhelming at Silverstone this year there was still plenty of room for supporters to express their enthusiasm for other drivers. Lewis arrived at Silverstone with an eleven point defecit to his teammate Nico Rosberg and there were high hopes that Silverstone may see Lewis take the lead in the Driver Standings. This was not to be, but reducing Nico’s lead to one point, albeit in controversial fashion, certainly came close. The triple world champ was at the top of the timing boards in all the free practice sessions, Q1 and Q2 but with just a few minutes to go in Q3 was in P10, having not set a lap time. What went wrong? Exceeding track limits at Copse Corner, that’s what. His pole winning, 1:29.339 lap was deleted, so he had to do it all again with just enough time on the clock to put in an out lap and one final blistering pole setting lap. Job done. (No Baku-style, corner clipping, car smashing errors at Silverstone.) His 1:29.283 put him a good three tenths ahead of his nearest rival, Rosberg.
Being British, the weather played its part and the race started behind the safety car. The drying track and intermittent showers both tried their best to out-wit the drivers, and (particularly at T1) did a pretty good job. No less than 10 incidents occurred there, with some drivers being caught out more than once. But by and large, Lewis remained unchallenged for the race and with the obvious exception of when he was in the pits, pretty much led the race from start to finish. Why then did only receive 23% of the vote for Driver of the Day in our poll? That’s because his performance was overshadowed by the bright young thing which is Max Verstappen, and the real race was not for the middle step of the podium, but for the remaining two…….
Driver of The weekend: Max Verstappen, Reader vote:71%
Not for the first time this year, Max has won this poll by some considerable way. Qualifying in P3 (his best of the season so far) and out-qualifying his more experienced team mate Daniel Ricciardo for the first time, he was never going to settle for third place, without putting up a jolly good fight. Which he did: from the moment the safety car left the track he was all over the back of Rosberg. He pulled off a spectacular overtake around the outside of Rosberg at Beckets as Rosberg missed the apex and was slightly out of position, giving Verstappen a tiny window of opportunity which he grabbed with both hands. In the drying conditions, Verstappen was ripping up what was left of his intermediate tyres before pitting for slicks. Once the slicks were on, the Mercedes proved too fast for the RB12 and Rosberg once more was in P2. This is how the race seemed as if it would end, as Rosberg started to pull away, gaining on the race leader Hamilton. Then fate intervened and not to Rosberg’s advantage. He had a gearbox problem, particularly with 7th gear, which in the heat of the moment, his team not only told him about it (which was ‘legal’) but also how to fix it (which was not.) A ten second penalty was awarded (albeit 4 hours after the race was over) and Verstappen was promoted from 3rd to 2nd place, effectively reducing Rosberg’s lead over Hamilton by another three points. Verstappen was received at the after race party with genuine enthusiasm, warmth and appreciation for a driver of exceptional talent: How British is that?
Over to our sidebar crew for their appraisal of the British GP