Sunshine and showers: Silverstone set to produce unpredictable F1 spectacle once again for British GP
Silverstone British Grand Prix 2015
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Jul 2016   |  12:41 pm GMT  |  69 comments

Silverstone is always an important milestone in the F1 calendar and this year’s race, set to play out in front of a race day crowd of 130,000 people, looks set to be as unpredictable as last year’s race, where Williams led until rain intervened.

The current Silverstone layout is a huge challenge for teams and drivers, with the fastest corner combination of any F1 circuit. It is a strange one for the hybrid systems as the track is the lightest of the season on braking, but with 70% of the lap at full throttle, it’s hugely demanding on hybrid Energy Recovery, which harvests braking energy. So you have the demand on the energy but not enough opportunities to harvest the energy in braking. A very efficient system is essential to be competitive.

Pirelli has once again brought the hardest compounds and the start of the weekend is likely to be quite political as the sport and its supplier digest another tyre failure for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in Austria last weekend. It was at Silverstone in 2013 that Pirelli suffered a series of tyre failures, which changed the way the teams are allowed to run the tyres.

Silverstone 2015 Lewis Hamilton

This year three tyre choices are permitted and those are the Soft/Medium/Hard. So the Soft will be the qualifying tyre but a poor race tyre at Silverstone, so the default of one stop is likely to be altered. Two stops may be needed this year and with a relatively fast pit lane time, this could make things quite interesting. We’ve seen several times now that the best strategy seems to be to rely on the tyres going further than you expect – this was true in Spain and Austria and could well be true at Silverstone.

But like last year, to complicate matters, there is rain forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

The key numbers from Austria to Silverstone:

The dramatic last lap collision between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Austrian Grand Prix was the first time the lead of an F1 race had changed on the final lap since Jenson Button passed Vettel for victory at the 2011 Canadian event.

Jenson Button Canada 2011

Staying with Hamilton, his triumph at the Red Bull Ring was the 250th win for a British driver in F1 history, and as he also scored his 25th win for Mercedes. This means ten per cent of all British wins in F1 history have come from the triple world champion driving for the German marque.

Hamilton’s win at the Spielberg circuit was also the 22nd different venue he has won at in F1, which is just one behind the all-time record held by Michael Schumacher. Hamilton can draw level with the seven times world champion if he wins at Interlagos or Mexico City later this season.

Lewis Hamilton

Heading into Silverstone, Mercedes has now led 3,157 laps in its F1 history, which is just nine behind the tally of Red Bull that is fifth on the all-time list. Only Lotus (5,623), Williams (7,588), McLaren (10,578) and Ferrari (13,920) have more.

While his Manor teammate Pascal Wehrlein qualified 12th and scored the team’s first point of 2016 last time out, Rio Haryanto is the only driver to not to have escaped the first segment of qualifying so far this season. However, the Indonesian driver only missed Q2 in Baku by 0.116s, and he is just one behind Wehrlein (5-4) in the Manor qualifying head-to-head.

Two other drivers who are currently enduring a tough time in qualifying are Jolyon Palmer and Marcus Ericsson. The Renault driver has not made it through to Q2 since the opening race of 2016 in Australia, while the Sauber racer has only reached Q2 once, at the Chinese Grand Prix, so far this season.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg heads to the British Grand with a record of not being outqualified by a teammate at Silverstone since the 2010 event, which is only bettered by McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who hasn’t started behind a teammate in Britain since 2007.

Fernando Alonso Silverstone 2015

Although Alonso has scored points in the last five Silverstone races, and he won at the 3.652-mile track in 2006 and 2011, the Spaniard hasn’t started higher than 16th on the grid since 2013. His teammate, Button, has never finished on the podium of his home event in 16 attempts.

Kimi Raikkonen will make his 100th Grand Prix start for Ferrari this weekend, and he will become the fourth driver in the team’s history to reach that milestone. Only Rubens Barrichello (102), Felipe Massa (139) and Michael Schumacher (179) have made more F1 starts for the Scuderia.

Raikkonen’s third place in Austria was his fourth podium finish of the season, which is already more than the three he chalked up in 2015. The 2007 world champion is now tied on points with Vettel in the drivers’ championship – they both have 96 after the latter’s retirement at the Red Bull Ring. The Ferrari pair also has the same number of career podium finishes, with 84 each, but Raikkonen has taken 73 more races to reach that total.

Kimi Raikkonen

At Toro Rosso, Daniil Kvyat’s early retirement in Austria means he has only completed eight racing laps in the last two races. The Russian also has the unenviable record of completing the fewest racing laps of any driver so far in the 2016 season (372 out of 559, or 67 per cent), and he has only scored one point for Toro Rosso since his demotion from Red Bull.

Carlos Sainz’s eighth place in Austria pushed Toro Rosso over 300 points in the squad’s all-time F1 history.

What do you expect from the British Grand Prix? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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Why is it that every story on this site somehow evolves into a debate on why Hamilton is wonderful and Nico is not?


I don’t know how others feel but I really don’t like rainy F1 races. Sure it mixes up the field and makes things fairly unpredictable, but it also introduces too large an element of luck/bad luck for my tastes.


James, Im puzzled at the laps led stats; has someone really sat down and worked out who led which laps in the 1950s and 1960s?

Alex Kalinauckas

Check out Forix – every F1 stat you could think of, including laps led.

stephen Taylor

James I can guarantee one thing the British fans will be fantastic . Went to the race from 2000 ( yes that infamous April race) to 2007 and 2010 . Would like to go back some time.


I would like to see a fully drowned weekend, and see who comes afloat.


In the wet we always get to see the cream and the excrement.


Mixed feelings about the weather. I always like to see a wet race but, on the other hand, I’m camping for the weekend!


@James Allen

I realise this is off topic a bit and kicking a dead horse, but I just had a chance to read Massa’s comments regarding the last lap collision in Austria.

According to Massa, after watching the events live, and then watching the replays, he put the blame on Rosberg’s shoulders, but was absolutely convinced the incident did not warrant a penalty, and was surprised by the stewards’ decision. According to the comments on this site, Massa is wrong, as the incident was a “slam dunk” for the stewards, and in fact the penalty was too lenient.

I realise you will probably be very busy this upcoming weekend, but would it at all be possible to maybe ask some of the other drivers for their views and opinions, on both the incident itself, and the resulting penalty from the stewards.

Even if the drivers wish to remain anonymous, something like “driver A thinks this, while driver B had this to say.”


I can take a sample view yes


Not related to this but I have qestion for you James:
What do you think about Niki Lauda’s interview about Hamilton and then mercedess’ official announcement afterwards, and do you know if Toto wolff has made any decision in regards of how they will let their drivers race together from now on ?


It’s largely a load of waffle

HAMILTON threw his helmet in his room, like Alonso did in China 2007, no more thsn that

I think Lauda was just saying stuff as he does sometimes without thinking about what he was saying and how HAMILTON might feel

We’ll find out Thursday what the plan is between Merc and the drivers


Thanks, this site is one of the most reliable sources I know.


hamilton has 46 f1 victories and if the british total is 250, then hamilton won 18% not 10% as stated above.


mercedes has entered 136 races, winning 53 in total.
25 of those victories came from hamilton..


It says he won 10%, IE 25 races whilst driving for Mercedes.


is that how you read properly?
mercedes has entered 136 races, winning 53 in total.
25 of those victories came from hamilton..


Aveli – you really need to read the article properly mate…

” he also scored his 25th win for Mercedes. This means ten per cent of all British wins in F1 history have come from the triple world champion driving for the German marque.”


i think i understood it the first time i read it. 18% downgraded to 10% is nothing but belittling.
so much effort is put into achieving these results and these results are held in high regard or should be any way. not to be belittled..


may be i don’t understand this. what do you think the purpose of stating that statistic is? is it to point out a coincidence or to highlight hamilton’s victories?

Alex Kalinauckas

It’s an interesting stat – nothing more.


i think it’s belittling.
how can 10% be more interesting than 18%, while 18% is the truth?
there is no sign of the words only, just or alone in that statement above.
so there is a lot more to it than you think..


please point out what’s interesting about it so that i can also enjoy..


am i yet to learn how you read?
mercedes has entered f1 136 races, winning 53 in total.
25 of those victories came from hamilton..


25 of those victories were with Mercedes. Therefore Hamilton won 10% of all British victories with Mercedes, which is what James wrote.


what is the significance of that statistic?


Keep digging.


isn’t it belittling to report an achieving in a way that appears worth than what it is?
f1 is all about winning and it is crucial that those results are not disrespected or belittled in any way..
18% nearly 20% but got reported as 10% because 10% sounds more interesting than 18%?
where is the logic in that?
is that’s deep enough for you?


why talk about all victories won by all british drivers and compare with all victories won by hamilton but just some of them?


What do you mean?
It was predictable that the weather would be unpredictable.

Also, at Silverstone, Maldonator will celebrate not crashing his F1 for the 10th – consecutive – time.


You certainly know how to get a GP weekend in the thought process James. I’m away for the weekend so have settled for testing on Tuesday if there is anywhere to park in Glastonbury. You brought it up so great memory of Button in Canada my best last lap ever. Hoping for a little rain during the race like I witnessed in stowe B last year! Everyone chuckled as they put their macs on . I’m going for Button top podium if it rains.


“…where Williams led until rain intervened.”

Actually Hamilton had jumped both of the Williams cars at the first pitstops before the rain, the rain brought Rosberg into play though.


Do those stats. on British drivers include Dick Seaman or are we counting only from 1951?


Toto bans both Lewis and Nico for one race after last weekend and use reserve drivers instead.

Wonder what sort of reaction that would provoke.


It would finally prove or disprove the theory that a ‘Max Chilton’ could win a Grand Prix in the Merc!


another meltdown by Hamilton probably. Interesting that there is no report on the meltdown on this site. I suspect if it was any other driver it would have made the cut


Talking Rubbish.
Lauda The Laudable opens his mouth before engaging brain constantly it never happened.
Mercedes have reported it’s untrue and I reckon at the end of the season Lauda will be shown the door. As his TV work conflicts his Mercedes interests and it just adds more chaos. Toto and Laura are not exactly the best of buddies.
However entertaining his outbursts are he will have been told to zip it.
As for the other websites they are rubbish in comparison to JAF1.
Which is the Standard that others cannot match. The way it’s moderated and managed prevents the extreme silly and crazies from posting on this site. Also some of the senior posters who have been around from the early stages, help maintain a respectable order.
So enjoy the other sites Dah.


So Lauda is a liar?


I was wondering more about fans reaction. There are 130,000 fans arriving at Silverstone this weekend. Probably 70% at least supporting Lewis. If Toto bans him……


I took the trouble to ask about it

It’s not true

So I didn’t report it.

He threw his helmet- like Alonso did in China 2007

That’s it


ok James. So I see 2 scenarios. 1. You are publically calling Niki Lauda a liar. 2. The British press is covering up a behavioural indiscretion by thier hero. Which one is it?


Just shows they care and how important these things are. I would expect there to be some emotion from human beings that are pushing to the max.

I’m sure if damage was caused then HAM would have put his hand in his pocket and paid up anyway.


Mercedes have since issued a retraction of Niki’s comments and a flat denial that the incident ever took place. Interesting….


“In F1, a firm denial is often as almost as good as absolute confirmation”. Not my words, but fits the situation nicely.

Are we to assume that Niki, one of the most calculating people in the paddock, simply had an “old man moment”? C’mon guys. Something here stinks.

Niki calls Lewis a liar, now Merc calls Niki a liar. Maybe Lewis didn’t trash the suite, but something very fishy is up. That entire camp is ready to implode.


Twitch, or we could accept that when James says he looked into it and it isn’t true, that he is telling the truth?


Can’t wait to see the next episode of Bumper Cars by Mercedes. Who will take out who? Tune in to find out!!!


Well Nico has taken Lewis out, and Nico has taken himself out, and they have taken each other out, so not many options left….


Lewis punts Rosberg off the track at Luffield, wins the race as stewards declare “it was just a racing incident”.


It’s coming home,…….. it’s coming home! Motorsport is coming home!

Tornillo Amarillo

I expect HAM wins and ROS get at the back or the points or DNF… Why? I will explain myself below.

ROS is under psychological pressure and will do mistakes during the weekend, he looked silly colliding in last race, he lost points in Austria for the team, he is in the verge of losing the lead in the WDC -maybe this season the last one he could be crowned champion-. His stocks are fading.

In the other hand, HAMILTON won the Austrian GP “physically” in the last laps in an old-fashion style and he is still raising as a Champion. Now he needs a 50 points cushion to build as soon as possible in order to compensate for inevitables grid penalties at the end of this season, after only him has lost 4 out of 5 new Mercedes PU early this season and nobody still explains why…

HAMILTON and VERSTAPPEN are raising and that is good news from the near future.


‘And nobody still explains why’

I can’t seem to remember any other inquests in the past for other drivers poor car reliability. Did anyone explain why Kimi Raikkonen’s engines kept exploding every other race in 2005? Just sort of what happens in motor racing.


Will be there for the race day. But missing the weekend for the first time. Getting too expensive . But can’t wait for race day.
Good luck to the Home Boys .
Is Sauber in crisis again? They are missing the final F1 testing sessions. Is it financial problems because the new sponsors have hot cold feet all of a sudden. Desperate times at Sauber.


‘Unpredictable F1 Spectacle’ –

Toto engineers pit-stops so Merc pilots can only pass each other on track within first half of main straight?


[mod] ?? !!
No expletives or profanities, just a couple of nicknames for the Merc drivers.
Whatever happened to democratic freedom of speech?


Not really a freedom of speech issue. His house – his rules. If Mr. Allen decides no one is allowed to use the word “Monday” in his forum, then we will all have to start referring to it as “the day after race day” from now on 🙂


A pity – this blog used to be non-partisan and open.
Now you can only make fun of ‘disapproved’ individuals.


Nicknames for the drivers, how about;

Driver A- The one the team management would like to win
Driver B- The one that is likely to win


Number 1 & Number 2


Some Silverstone stats:

Between 1950-1954 and 1987 to
present, the race has been held solely at Silverstone. The rest of the years it was alternating between Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Aintree.

1) Ferrari 12 wins, Mclaren 12
wins, Williams 9 wins.

2) Most successful at British Grand
Prix: Clark + Prost = 5 wins, Mansell 4
wins, Brabham + Schumi + Lauda + Lewis = 3 wins

3) Most successful at Silverstone:
Prost 5 wins, Clark + Schumi + Mansell + Lewis = 3 wins, Ascari + Stewart + Gonzalez + Jacques + Coulthard + Alonso + Webber = 2 wins.

4) Prost won the race with 4 different teams whilst Stewart, Alonso & Lewis won it in two different teams >>> everybody else won with the same team.

5) Clark has the record of 3 back to back wins at Silverstone however, these weren’t consecutive years as back in the 60s, Silverstone was alternating with Brands Hatch

6) Only Ferrari & Williams have
scored 4 back to back wins

7) The most successful poles to flag
winners are Clark 3 wins, Mansell 2
wins >>> everybody else 1 win from pole

8) In 51 years, only 17 have won
from pole i.e. Lewis, Vettel, Alonso,
Rubens, Jacques, Damon, Prost,
Mansell, Hunt, Clark, Brabham,
Ascari, Gonzalez and Farina >>>
however only 6 have been
successful from pole in the last 20


Can’t wait Camper Van rented for the first time for the weekend.
Talk about “Glamping” ? nirmally tents but might as well .
BBQs the whole weekend & a bottle of Bolli on ice if Lewis gets a win and has a trouble free weekend .
Hoping for Button to be on the podium too maybe J. Palmer also ?.
Has that ever happened before James 3 British on the podium for a home GP?
Can’t believe one of my mates has put his 10th Wedding Anniversary on hold as it clashes with Silverstone. An understandable wife or divorce papers in a couple of years ??
Don’t care whether it rains or shines nothing like a home GP and mega home support for the lads ? Come On The Brits ?


“Has that ever happened before James 3 British on the podium for a home GP?”

1958 finished Collins-Hawthorn-Salvadori
1963 finished Clark- Surtees-Hill
1964 & 1965 finished Clark-Hill-Surtees.

So yes, but not in what I would call modern F1.


The sixties were littered with British championship wins I suppose


Have to admit it, Joylon Palmer looks out of his depth thus far. I know the Renault has wayward handling, and is underpowered, but some of his performances have been as poor as Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane at Euro 2016…………………well maybe, not THAT bad, but he’s hardly had the startling debut season, of say, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and even young Max last year (all who drove middling cars at best for their rookie season).

Unless be achieves some good results in the next few races – it’s a result based business after all – his Formula 1 career does look somewhat short.


People actually thought his F1 career would be long?


The great thing about the British race is majority of the team members get to sleep at home and not in a hotel which is always welcome

Also Silverstone is a great place to race for it’s pretty wide meaning chances of a safety car are low

As for the tyre strategy, it will again be an interesting game of chess to see if some people decide to go for a one stop with the hard tyres

Overall, what I look forward to at Silverstone is seeing packed grand stands and fans making merry


Button never on the podium at Silverstone? I didn’t realise that, hopefully next years Williams will be up to the job! I can’t make it this year unfortunately, so will have to make do with the TV feed, the weather forecast might say it will rain, but us locals know full well that it could be pouring down in the car park and bone dry on the track, so lets wait and see. I have been hoping for a straighforward pole to win typical Mercedes victory for Lewis for a while now, it still hasn’t happened and I have to admit it has been more interesting the way things have turned out, as well as gaining him more points than a dreary old one two! let’s just hope for an action packed GP, with no strategic errors or pit stop blunders and definitely no broken carbon fibre.


I bought a last minute impulse ticket for Club ???? #44


AndrewM, now your tempting me… is my birthday on Monday…….


JB could have finished on the podium in 2011, but McLaren neglected to tighten the wheel nut at a pit stop properly, and thus instead of spraying champagne it was a drink of orange juice after JB had to abandon ship with only 3 wheels on his wagon…………

I’m not being overly critical, it’s such a high pressure cooker job to be a mechanic responsible for the wheelguns. Even though these days the wheel nut is retained within the axle, if a mechanic doesn’t aim square on to the stub axle within that split second, or if an “O ring” is warped, the nut can cross thread or even sheer.


Rings a bell Gazboy, bad luck for JB, still time though!

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