The British Grand Prix was certainly dramatic! Pirelli managed to conjour up a thrilling spectacle for the capacity crowd on a beautiful English summer’s day. Watching from the fast slalom that is Becketts I missed seeing most of the multiple blow outs myself, though I did see Massa’s excursion off track after his rear left burst.

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Lewis’ burst tyre was particularly harsh after his fine qualifying performance and clearly robbed him of victory in front of his home fans. Helped by the safety car he drove magnificently back to fourth from last. His comments after the race were revealing. He said that the “illegal” tyre test with Mercedes had been undertaken to try and address the tyre failure problems that had occurred earlier in the season but that nothing was done after the tests. His anger that drivers’ lives were being put at risk was clear.

Certainly tyres exploding at 190 mph are very dangerous for the driver, other racers, spectators and marshals who have to run on track to recover bits of rubber. That no one was killed or injured last weekend owes a lot to the skill of the drivers (only Massa lost control) and luck. In particular both Alonso and Raikkonen were lucky to avoid contact with tyre debris.

After the race some were quick to blame the “sharp” curbs at Silverstone. This was manifestly nonsense given the curbs were the same as last year. It was only days later that Pirelli admitted there was an issue with the tyres but again this was only after they appeared to suggest that fault lay with the teams using incorrect tyre pressures and camber. Whatever the cause it became clear something needed to be done urgently to avoid the (albeit slim) prospect of a boycott of this weekend’s German GP. Bernie Ecclestone wasted no time in banging heads together and hopefully we will not see any more failures this weekend.

The repeated blow outs and safety car periods led to a dramatic finale with Webber and Hamilton carving through the field to finish second and fourth. It’s a shame Mark could not win his last British GP but he certainly pushed Rosberg hard. His metronomic victory for Mercedes was ominous for Red Bull – nearly as ominous as Vettel’s gearbox failure retirement when he looked to have the race in the bag (the cheers of delight from the British fans when he pulled over left you in no doubt where their sympathies lay). A steady drive from Alonso meant he closed the gap on Vettel and though Raikkonen will have been disappointed to have lost a number of places in the last few laps the fact he has now finished more consecutive GP’s than Schumacher in his pomp is certainly some achievement. It was another race to forget for McLaren and Williams.

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I head off to Silverstone at dawn tomorrow for the British Grand Prix. There is always a great atmosphere at Silverstone where despite eye watering prices over 130,000 spectators regularly watch the race. It should be exciting tomorrow. Qualifying was thrilling, with Mercedes getting the better of Red Bull again. Hamilton seems to have finally got the measure of his car and stormed to pole with the only sub 1 minute 30 second time, nearly half a second quicker than team mate Roseberg. Vettel was the quickest of the Red Bulls but Paul D Resta gave British fans something else to cheer about with a fantastic P5. Will he finally get the podium place he so deserves? Ricciardo also did very well at P6 – perhaps motivated by the soon to be vacant Webber seat at Red Bull? Conversely the Lotus struggled to P8 and 9 and the Ferraris did even worse, Alonso managing only P 10 and Masa P12. But the news was far worse still for McLaren and Williams with both teams failing to make it out of Q2. Hamilton’s much derided decision to leave McLaren for Mercedes now looks increasingly sensible. Williams’ sad slide to oblivion is beginning to look irreversible.

Whilst I’ll be in my Lotus shirt tomorrow I’ll be cheering on Hamilton and Di Resta and wishing the best to the other Brits. A victory for Hamilton in a Mercedes would be a fairy tail mirroring Moss’s first British GP win for Mercedes in 1954. But whilst Mercedes seem to have the pace for qualifying Red Bull seem stronger in the races. Can Mercedes hold Red Bull off this time?

Another Grand Prix and another dominant Red Bull performance. The recent tweaks to their cars have relegated the opposition to mere spectators. And if it wasn’t for late mechanical problems with Webber’s car, Red Bull would have converted a qualifying one two into the same result on the podium. As it was, another fine drive by Alonso took him from fifth on the grid to second to keep his title hopes alive.

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