My Survival Guide to camping at the British Grand Prix

The British Grand Prix is one of the biggest sporting events in the country but if you are camping you will need to plan your adventure, don’t get caught out.

This survival guide is a good starting point to plan your F1 experience.

My first camping experience at Silverstone was fantastic so much that I now go every year, if you can relate to me this will save you!

Location – 2014 British Grand Prix Silverstone.
Age – 27
Gender – Female
Attendees – Myself and my best friend Charlotte who had never camped before!
Camping Experience – Can deal with living in a tent but was never actively involved in the organising or tent pitching (Lasted 1 day at V Festival).
F1 Experience – Numerous Grand Prix’s hotels and day trips.
Supporting – Me – Lewis Hamilton, Charlotte – Jenson Button

The Camp sites;
I have always stayed at Woodlands Campsite but I have recently spoken to a few regular attendees who mentioned Hamilton Fields which is nice too. There are plenty more campsites in the area so its worth a google.

· Lively or Family?
Well if your choice is lively this isn’t as crazy as you think its not like a festival, yes people will be playing music and yes you will hear a few drunks screaming the name Alan at 2am in the morning but you will manage to get a relatively good nights sleep. Saturday night is always quiet as majority of campers will be waking up at around 6am to get to the track for the race. Friday and Sunday nights can get a bit loud although by Sunday evening you will find the majority of your camping neighbours have gone!
I spoke to a lady this year who choose family camping, unfortunately she said this isn’t much different to lively. She advised there were a few drunken parents talking loudly into the night.

· Woodlands
A main pro for this campsite is that its about a 10 min walk to the track if you are in the nearest field add an extra 10 minutes if you are in the field further away. There is a regular shuttle tracker/bus which can pick you up and take you straight to the entrance free of charge. Please note if you meet friends at the track you cannot take them back to your campsite, you must be wearing your Woodlands pass on entry if not they won’t let you in. Personally with 2 girls camping we felt very safe and secure.

· Hamilton Fields
Cannot comment but have been advised its nice, further away from the track compared to Woodlands.

If you have never camped before the links below gives you a good insite what you will need to bring (except the portable toilet that’s a bit extreme).

When to get there & When to leave.

You can camp from the Wednesday before the race where you will get very close to the track with no queue to get in but bear in mind you will be camping for a minimum of 4-5 days you will need to be prepared.
I tend to arrive to the campsite Friday around midday still manage to get very close to the track and the queue consists of about 5 cars so no waiting.
If you are arriving Saturday or Sunday be prepared to queue, best advice get there really early. In F1 world 6am is early, 8am is probably too late.

If you can help it don’t leave straight after the race on a Sunday. I have been stuck trying to get out of the circuit for 4 hours before. If possible leave on the Monday morning there will still be a small queue as you get closer to the exit but you are only looking at around 45 minutes worth. Leave before 9am or after 10am, everybody seems to leave just after 9am I would then expect 45 minutes to be extended!

Race day
If you are general admission you want to get there as early as possible between 7.30am-9am. Get there after and you will struggle to find a good spot.
Take some time on Friday or Saturday when its quieter to pick your spot too as the last thing you want to be doing at 7am on a Sunday morning is battling crowds trying to find your viewing area. You will be shocked how busy it gets on race day!

If you are lucky and rich enough to get a grandstand seat you can roll up at anytime.

What to look out for.

– Silverstone Radios, these little gems are for sale round the track they cost around £10 but during races they are brilliant as they keep you up to date with live commentary. I bought a radio from Amazon a few years ago but it was too quiet I couldn’t hear it over the cars.

– Event leaflets these are free and give you a full schedule of the weekends events, look out for these on entry to the track, don’t waste your phone battery by constantly checking the schedule online.

– Free earplugs pick these up with your leaflets, you may not need them but always worth taking just in case.

– If you forget a portable phone charger you can pay for a charger at woodlands camping, the price depends on how long you want to charge for.

The Weather!

The great British weather can provide you some sheer delights and disasters.
I have experienced downpours of rain to blazing hot sun in the same day – check the weather before you leave.

The toilets

I can only relate to Woodlands Camping where I have always camped and unfortunately the campsite facilities are not in male and female blocks. As the weekend goes on the toilets get worse even though they are cleaned on a regular basis with the sheer amount of people using them the cleaners cannot keep up.

My best advice for a nice toilet experience at Woodlands Campsite is to take the short walk to the shower block where the toilets are split between male and female. The Showers are kept clean you get 5 minutes for a shower and the water is always hot, the toilets are much more pleasant too.

Do not use the campsite toilets first thing in the morning it will smell of what people were drinking/eating the night before, there will be a huge queue and there is a 90% chance there will be no toilet roll.

Do not use the campsite toilets late at night, those staggering from the Petrol Heads Pub or beer tents will be using these for emergencies, need I say no more.

Toilets at the track are thankfully well kept although they tend to get really busy between races.
Plan your pee! Try and sneak out just before a race/qualifying finish or begin if you have a weak bladder. If you need to wee before the Grand Prix starts good luck as that is what everybody is trying to do for obvious reasons!
If you are in the F1 fan zone and queuing do not be surprised if a cleaner lady tells you to follow her, there are some ladies toilets which nobody knows exist and she will guide you. I have encountered this 2 years running she is like a toilet angel!

Handbag Heaven;

When I say handbag I mean rucksack or a seriously big bag! I have seen people at the track with tiny hand bags and I shudder to think how much money they are spending on food, drink and staying alive!
Here are some high priority checklist items I suggest you take with you to the track, if you are a weakling like me I would suggest some weight lifting a few weeks beforehand! Although it seems a lot I didn’t struggle too much with my bag;

– Tickets!
– Suncream
– Make up, including a compact mirror (you will either sweat or get drenched , the mirrors are limited in the toilets)
– Sunglasses or a hat (also good if you are experiencing a bad hair day)
– Toilet roll
– Hand wipes/Sanitiser
– Money (take your money out before you get to Silverstone)
– If you are lucky enough to look young for your age take your I.D
– If its hot still take a waterproof jacket you just don’t know with this weather, a jacket will keep you warmer than an umbrella too.
– Binoculars (if you are like me and want to see the screen)
– Your alcohol/drink for the day (Race day I managed to carry 4 beers to the track and bought 2 in the evening)
– Food of your choice, crisps, sausage rolls, maybe a left over bacon sandwich from breakfast.
– Your event leaflet will keep you updated with what’s going on.
– If you are general admission take a campchair.
– Portable phone charger (you can buy them for around £5 in Halfords)
– If you have any room left a little jumper to keep out than wind chill

What clothes to bring;
You need to be ready for anything so turning up in shorts and a T-Shirt will rarely work well for you at Silverstone the weather can be very unpredictable. Of the 6 British Grand Prix’s I have attend in my life there was only one where it was so hot it was unbearable and that was in 1999!
I don’t mean to rant here but do not wear flip flops or heels unless you are in hospitality. The campsite and the circuit you will be walking through mud, long grass, puddles and uneven surfaces. Yes heels and flip flops may look lovely but I consider them a hazard here you can still look the bomb but be safe with it!

– Walking boots or wellies if it rains, a pair of hunters do look good!
– If its definitely going to be warm wear converse type shoes, something with a thick sole standing on stones and pebbles all day in flimsy shoes can really hurt after a while.
– Again if its definitely going to be hot bring shorts.
– Skinny jeans, Jeggings always work well for me
– Vest tops as many as you can pack
– Favourite F1 shirt
– Light jumper x 2
– Towel
– Hoody this will be your life saver in the evening when the temperature drops
– A waterproof jacket (a cheap one from Primark will do the trick)
– Toothpaste & Toothbrush
– Shower cream
– Shampoo and Conditioner
– Plastic bag to store your dirty laundry
– Pants & Bras
– Socks, bring extra as you may want to wear these to bed it can get cold.
– Something warm to wear to bed, a nightshirt won’t do it. This is where a onesie may be useful.
– Hair bands – its can be windy and wet your hair will not be glamourous the whole time if you can pin it up or get a hat!
– Hairbrush

Food – There are no salads at Silverstone!
Campsite food and track food is expensive and you are normally looking at a £8 Burger or £8.50 Burrito! Do not be put off though as the food is tasty but if like me you can’t eat this food all the time it’s a good idea to look at other options.

– Eat well
Pack Fruit with you even if its just a couple of apples and bananas your body will be screaming for these after your 2nd day, I managed to attempt to make my Burrito slightly healthier by asking for it without cheese, sour cream and all that good stuff I know it sounds boring but sometimes your body just needs it.

– Save Money
Pack a cool bag with some bacon, sausages or burgers cook these up on a disposable BBQ in the morning, also bring a pan to heat up some water so you can enjoy a coffee or tea for that caffeine hit. This will already save you around £10.
There are some shops at the campsite which will sell the basics if you forget but they tend to be slightly more expensive than your local Sainsburys. If you forget your bacon do not panic.
There are some local pubs/shops nearby too I have not experienced these first hand but I am sure you can purchase some cheaper food there too.

– Alcohol
Bring your own! Its around £5 a pint everywhere and if you are looking to have 4 throughout the day that’s £20 down the drain! Plus during busy times the beer can be warm, a large queue and your favourite tipple is likely to run out.
Pop to your local supermarket beforehand and buy your favourite beer/tipple and take these to the track with you – no glass bottles they are really strict on glass on campsites and at the track.

– Bottled water
Just take as much water as you can possibly fit in your mode of transport, little bottles and big bottles.

Other Camping life savers!

– Dry Shampoo
– Beach look hair spray – there is no room for straighteners
– Lucozade or Red Bull you may need an extra caffeine boost come race day.

My last bit of advice is enjoy yourself, the Grand Prix is all about having fun and watching talented drivers race at 200 MPH. The fans at Sliverstone are friendly and sometimes drunk. You will laugh, you will potentially be hungover but you will love every minute! It gets better every year!

Review of the German Grand Prix

The Red Bulls are dangerous, naughty Rosberg and Hamilton starts his summer break on top.

Germany the land that has brought us some outstanding drivers the likes of Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Wolfgang von Trips. Wolfgang was the first German driver to win a Grand Prix in 1961 unfortunately his promising career was cut short by a fatal crash in Italy later that year.

Last year Germany missed out on hosting a Grand Prix for the first time since 1960 due to an issue with the owners of the Nurburgring. This must have been devastating for the German fans that are just as committed as those at Silverstone. Put it this way, imagine if there was no British Grand Prix!

Qualifying brought us the usual front row starting grid;
P1 Rosberg, P2 Hamilton, P3 Ricciardo, P4 Verstappen

Kvyat clearly isn’t happy with his Toro Rosso and stated the only good thing going for him is that he has nothing to lose.

Sadly Germany may potentially be the last time we see Haryanto in the Manor due to funding issues he may not see the season through. He does now have a summer break to see if he could rustle up some money, crowdfunding maybe?

We come to race day where Niki Lauda states “ Red Bull is dangerous” he couldn’t be more correct when the lights are out and the Red Bulls come flying past Rosberg. Hamilton manages to get a good start and manages to get safely to P1. Rosberg on the other hand is pounded by both Red Bulls after a bad start and drops to P4.
Poor Rosberg still on the first lap is being attacked by both Ferrari’s, while the Mclaren of Alonso and Button are clawing back up the grid.

Rosberg and Ricciardo are head to head real aggression shown by both drivers but both stay in position.
Massa and Palmer have a little bump but no damage…yet.

After Lap 1 Hamilton leads, followed by Verstappen, Ricciardo and Rosberg.

Lap 6 and those McLaren’s are doing well, Alonso takes Massa for P10.

A part of someones wing is missing my Lap7 evidently this is a Manor as it has it written on it! Haryanto unfortunately left this behind.

Kvyat is struggling with his tyres and needs to pits and does. This is closely followed by Verstappen who does not pit but advises his team his tyres are struggling too.

A double drop for Massa on Lap 9 when Sainz swoons past him followed by Magnussen. Massa has now lost 3 places could he have damage from that contact with Palmer?

Massa and Sainz then both pit, Williams who are always fast at pit stops manage to get Massa out in front of Sainz in the pits! One place back for Massa, thanks to the pit crew.

Hamilton has now a 3.8 second lead.

Lap 12 and Rosberg still in P4 pits there is a slight delay in the stop with his rear left tyre. Verstappen pits but due to Rosberg’s issue gets out quicker.

Ricciardo in the pits at lap 13, both Red Bulls are still ahead of Rosberg. Hamilton flying now with a 12 second lead.

Vettel in Ferrari pits on Lap 14 the Ferrari’s have aggression but can’t seem to catch those Mercedes or Red Bulls. It is then announced via Hamilton’s team radio it’s Hammertime! Pick up that pace make a bigger gap he has to pit soon.

Lap 15 and our leader pits along with Raikkonen who is having a quiet race so far.

Positions by lap 15, P1 Hamilton, P2 Verstappen, P3 Ricciardo, P4 Rosberg.

Massa stuck in P14 is struggling by lap 21. On lap 22 he is passed by Sainz and Grosjean. Massa now in P16 not a good day.

Lap 23 a confident Alonso takes Gutierrez for P10, Perez then takes the same move a lap later. Rosberg is picking up the pace at the same time and closing that gap between him and Ricciardo in P3.

Palmer in P22 pits for a new nose on Lap 27, looks like that small collision with Massa did cause some damage.
At this point in the race you can evidently see Verstappen, Ricciardo and Rosberg are close together. Could we see some front runner action?

Lap 28 and Massa takes a long pit stop the team are checking the car he obviously has some kind of damage. Rosberg and Verstappen both pit. Verstappen re-joins in P5 with Rosberg behind him who is told by his team to push hard. We then see Austria all over again but this time Rosberg isn’t ramming his fellow team mate off the track it’s Verstappen! Verstappen manages to stay on track unsurprisingly Rosberg is under investigation for this incident.
Hamilton is told by his team to pick up the pace.

Lap 33 the inevitable happens a 5 second penalty for Rosberg he will either take this during his next pit stop or this will be added to his race time either way this is not good.

Ricciardo pits from P2 and returns in P4, a Lap later on lap 34 Hamilton pits.

Current status;
P1 Hamilton, P2 Rosberg (5 second penalty to take), P3 Verstappen, P4 Ricciardo and Vettel catching up in P5.
Massa must have had more damage then we though sadly retires his car on Lap 38.

Team orders come into play on Lap 40 as Verstappen allows Ricciardo to pass by. Ricciardo’s car is much faster.

Rosberg on Lap 41 can now see both Red Bulls in his rear view mirror a fear for most drivers.

Verstappen is complaining about his tyres on Lap 42 he has lots of understeer.

Rosberg pits on Lap 45 to take his 5 second penalty which seems a lot longer than 5 seconds. It is later concluded that Mercedes made an error with their stop watch and Rosberg suffered a 8 second penalty!

A cocky Vettel starts giving his own team their orders his tyres are fine he is staying out. Is this evidence that life isn’t blissful at Ferrari?

Verstappen pits on Lap 46 he manages to sort his tyres out quite a challenging day for the young driver.
Alonso locks up and loses a little time in P9 but he is still in the points!

Lap 47 and Ricciardo pits re-joins in P2, Vettel decides its time for him to pit too and re-joins in P6. Hamilton pits again a lap later with no change in position he is untouchable.

Both McLaren’s in the points Button in P9 and Alonso in P10, it’s not easy as they are both struggling but both former world champions will push to the end.

Nasr retires in the pit lane on Lap 61.

Bottas in P8, his tyres are knackered! He has done 27 laps on them and he is slipping everywhere, what has happened to Williams’s strategy they are normally so good? Button is catching Bottas as he gradually loses time.
Alonso is struggling in P10 and is being hounded by Perez; Alonso shows sheer desperation to hold his place and even enables DRS next to a Red Bull who is lapping him!

By Lap 66 Bottas has “hit the cliff” his tyres are ruined and Button takes him.

Lap 67 last lap, Hamilton has this in the bag.

An easy race for Hamilton as he wins, Ricciardo in P2 and Verstappen P3.

Hamilton’s sixth win in 2016 and his fourth consecutive win. July has been Hamilton’s lucky month. Hamilton is now leading the championship by 19 points.

A good result for Mclaren too this race Button finishes in P8, Alonso was showing promise but finished in P12. The team are making progress.

And if anybody can explain why Ricciardo drank champagne out of his boot on the podium I would be grateful, what was that about?

Claire’s Rating Round up
Claire’s Driver of the day
Hamilton he has this race by the first corner, no challenge from anybody and he just flew!

Claire’s unlucky driver of the day
Massa a small bump from newbie Palmer cost him the race. Williams lost the plot with their strategy. Lets add Bottas here too, why on earth did they leave him out so long without a pit he had no chance!

Claire’s worst driver of the day
Again Rosberg that move he pulled was not good and to do this twice in one season is unbelievable can he not see how wrong it was? Not only over aggressive but very dangerous too. Lucky for him Verstappen has the skill to keep on track.

We now have a summer break, our next race in Belgium in 3 and half weeks. A circuit which is long but always gives the fans good viewing! See you then!

Review of the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix

Hamilton a poor pacemaker, Red Bull and Ferrari battle it out. Welcome to Hungaroring.

For 30 years straight Hungary has held a Grand Prix. 2015 brought us a race of sheer chaos where I spent most of the time trying to work out what an earth was going on. This race brought victory to Vettel. Unfortunately this was the first race since Bianchi’s death, dedications were written on drivers helmets along with a minutes silence, a sight we pray will never be witnessed again in motorsport.

Hungary 2016 started with the 1 point difference between Hamilton and Rosberg, a very tight championship whereby the leader can change at any race.

Qualifying was a sheer wash out with downpour of rain which caused huge delays. Teams and drivers had to tactically time when to take flying laps due to the uncertainty of the weather. We saw a few spins from the likes of Massa where the water logged track caused some awkward pre race surprises.

Unfortunately qualifying didn’t provide us with any interesting positions at the front of the grid the usual Pole Rosberg, P2 Hamilton, P3 Ricciardo and P4 Verstappen. The only unusual site was to see both Mclarens in the top ten Alonso in P7 with Button closely behind him in P8 (have they finally sorted out those Honda Engines)?

The first lap brought us the invasion of the Red Bulls on the first corner any Mercedes fan would have been holding their breath. Hamilton manages to jump in the lead even though the Red Bulls were literally by his side. Rosberg manages to get to P2.

The grid for the first couple of laps consisted of P1 Hamilton, P2 Rosberg, P3 Ricciardo, P4 Verstappen, P5, Vettel, P6 Alonso. Definitely six men you would not want behind you in a race.

Just when you thought things were going so well by Lap 5 Button has a problem. Over the radio he mentions his pedal is going through the floor. His team mate Alonso still sticking with it in P6 Button sadly starts to drop places but is told by his team to stay out.

A different story for Raikkonen who is fighting the field stuck in P11 due to bad planning during qualifying he is attacking hard to work his way through that grid. Bear in mind Hungary is a challenging circuit to overtake.

Button pits on Lap 8 by Lap 9 his radio communication by the team informing him to stay out is under investigation. Rules were implemented were drivers must race alone and unaided. By Lap 10 we see a drive through pit lane penalty for Button he is not a happy chap and what deemed a potentially positive race for him has now been ruined.

Lap 15 brings a pit stop for Vettel who comes out in front of Raikkonen who is getting through the grid in P9

Hamilton in P1 pits on Lap 17 followed by Rosberg P2 on Lap 18 both do not lose position. At the same time Verstappen pits returning to the track in P6 now taking on Raikkonen in P5. We see a battle of the young vs old. Although it will be tough for anybody to fight a young testosterone filled 18 year old boy, can the vintage Raikkonen keep up? By Lap 18 it proves he can and we see a fight between both drivers.

Lap 20 and Hamilton is struggling with the pace, Rosberg is catching him. Ricciardo in P3 by Lap 22 is a second quicker than both Mercedes boys. By Lap 23 the Ferrari’s are catching up too. Mercedes confirm there is nothing wrong with their cars, why did they loose pace?

Hamilton by Lap 25 is told over the team radio to pick up the pace, he is obviously trying but it isn’t fast enough! Rosberg and Ricciardo closing down on the leader is Hamilton started to hold the grid up?

Kvyat on Lap 27 is investigated for speeding in the pit lane. A rookie mistake made by somebody whose misfortunes seem to be spiralling this year. A lap later he is handed a five second time penalty.

Finally! Lap 28 Hamilton has picked it up and the lead starts to extend.

The ongoing fight between Raikkonen and Verstappen continues until Raikkonen pits on Lap 30 re-joining just behind Alonso who is in P6. A tough day for Raikkonen who if not fighting the young Verstappen who will not let anybody past to then have to fight fellow world champion Alonso who may not have the best car, he is still deemed one of the best drivers.

It happens again on Lap 33 Hamilton’s team radio telling him he must get faster (a vision of Jeff Goldblum appears in my mind from Jurassic Park “must go faster, must go faster” or that T-Rex of Rosberg is going to eat him)!

Ricciardo pits on Lap 34 joining the race back in P5 and the gap has finally opened between Hamilton and Rosberg.

At this point the top three consist of a struggling pacemaker Hamilton in P1, Rosberg P2 and Vettel in P3.

Hamilton pits on Lap 42, followed by Rosberg a lap later both keep their grid positions.

An error made at the same time by Force India who were clearly not ready for Perez in P14 to pit, a lot of time lost there. He states his dissatisfaction over the radio why weren’t they ready for him?

By Lap 45 the track positions stand at P1 Hamilton, P2 Rosberg, P3 Ricciardo, P4 Raikkonen, P5 Vettel, P6 Verstappen. Raikkonen the only driver to have pitted once while the others have completed their second pit stop.

We see a spin from Palmer who was in P10 about to gain a point, he sadly drops down to P13.

Raikkonen takes his second pit stop on Lap 51 returns back into P6.

Gutierrez a constant back runner is blue flagged on Lap 52 he clearly holds Hamilton up who provides him with “the bird”. Gutierrez’s poor move taken under investigation leading to a five second penalty and definitely taken off Hamilton’s Christmas card list.

Both Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s are attacking each other, again Raikkonen P6 is trying to get past young Verstappen who has clearly defending aggressively. No surprise when on Lap 57 there is contact Raikkonen hits the back of Verstappen’s car luckily with limited damage and they still battle on.

A sad day for Button today after everything has gone wrong for him he retires his car with an oil leak.

It’s still full throttle for Raikkonen and Verstappen, Raikkonen just can’t get past. A last major attempt on Lap 68 for the Finn but with no joy.

Vettel in the closing stages of the race is catching Ricciardo in P3. The Ferrari’s and Red Bulls looked well matched.

By the last lap we still see the constant fight between Raikkonen P6 and Verstappen P5, along with Vettel in P4 and Ricciardo in P3. Both Mercedes fully out of any wheel to wheel action.

Hamilton takes his 5th win at the Hungarian Grand Prix smashing Schumacher’s record of 4 wins.

Race results are Hamilton P1, Rosberg P2, Ricciardo P3, Vettel P4, Verstappen P5 followed very closely by Raikkonen in P6. And an amazing result for Mclaren Alonso brings the car home in P7. Hamilton now leads the championship by 6 points.

Hungary brought us some amazing fights and showed that the Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s are getting faster. As the season goes on will they improve even more giving the Mercedes a run for their money?

We must highlight the amazing drive from Verstappen who defended his position throughout the whole race and the sheer determination from Raikkonen who just doesn’t give up.

Claire’s Rating Roundup

Claire’s Driver of the day

Raikkonen who started in P11 and fought his way to finish P6 with the constant battle with Verstappen. Don’t forget Hungary is a difficult circuit to overtake on.

Claire’s unlucky driver of the day

Button need I say no more, Alonso did well if it wasn’t for issues with his car I am confident Button would have finished in the top 10.

Claire’s worst driver of the day

Gutierrez needs to review his flags, if you are being lapped get out of the way!!!

Next race Germany the home of Vettel and Rosberg, will they be delivering a dream finish for their home race? Will Hamilton work on his pace? Or will Gutierrez just hold everybody up as he plods along?

Get your Bratwursts ready!

A Review of the 2016 British Grand Prix

Hamilton Flies in front of his home crowd, Rosberg and Verstappen battle it out and the Ferrari’s struggle.

After an exciting qualifying session we started the race with Hamilton P1, Rosberg P2. Verstappen P3. 5 minutes before the end of qualifying Hamilton’s pole lap was cancelled as he drove wide on a forbidden corner! With the minutes counting down he still managed to pull it out the bag. The crowds at Silverstone went mad with excitement and relief!

Vettel faced a grid penalty and started in P11, Button has never had a good result at his home GP started in P17. After a bad crash during practice Ericsson started his race in the pit lane.

Unfortunately shortly before the race the heavens opened over Silverstone, the race was starting in the wet. Even more unfortunate due to the wetness of the track the race started under the safety car for the first five laps. For the fans at Silverstone this was more like an F1 fashion show but did give fans a good opportunity to get some good photos.

Finally the safety car is in, we see the race begin. Quite dramatically nearly half the grid all pit including Vettel. Neither the Red Bulls or Mercedes pit.

By Lap 6 we see Verstappen on Rosbergs tail, hounding him down like a Lion hunting his prey. Ricciardo in P4 Pits.

We see the lead building by Lap 7 with Hamilton already 3.7secs in front of Rosberg who has the constant pressure of Verstappen. Its busy again in the pit lane the track is drying out intermediates are the best choice. Wehrlein is out the young driver aquaplaned straight into the gravel which causes a virtual safety car this is a good opportunity for the Mercedes to pit. First in Hamilton closely (very closely) followed by Rosberg then Verstappen. Hamilton still in P1 returning to the track.

Lap 11 and we see Verstappen with the fastest lap, we see an unusual error for Bottas who skids off track to make it calmly back on to track in P13.

You can still see there are areas of the track that are still wet although on Lap 15 Vettel pits for Slicks! Poor Rosberg is getting a mental pounding from Verstappen who will not stop attacking, finally we see an epic overtake by Verstappen on Becketts.

Lap 17 Palmer retires, in the pits he attempts to drive away without a tyre which is investigated, Palmer receives a 10 second penalty. Was this a pit crew error or was Palmer too eager to drive off? Not a good ending to your first home GP.

Both Mercedes pit on Lap 18, along with Ricciardo and Perez who sneaked up to P4. Verstappen leads for a short moment, we see a spin from Vettel who is back in P12 but manages to control the car and stay on track.

Lap 19 its Hamilton in P1, Verstappen in P2. Sainz looses the back of his car manages to keep it on track unfortunately Kvyat doesn’t and ends up in the gravel. The track is still clearly quite wet even though it hasn’t rained now for a while.

We see some amazing action from Alonso in P10 trying everything to pass Bottas in P9. Alonso is so determined he tries to overtake on the grass!

Lap 26 Haryanto in the Manor is out of the race.

Its still quite wet out there and on Lap 28 even Hamilton spins off on turn 1 skilfully manages to get back on track like many others. Turn 1 is a tricky one where a lot of drivers have spun. Verstappen follows Hamilton and makes the same turn 1 error!

Rosberg is catching up with Verstappen, it has been a constant battle between these two all day. Rosberg at Lap 35 complains over team radio that Verstappen is blocking him to overtake it’s a close call as Rosberg nearly takes Verstappen.

There is a 6 second lead for Hamilton by Lap 36 he is flying, Rosberg tries to take Verstappen again by Lap 38 Rosberg has finally got past! While this is happening Vettel in P9 and Massa in P10 are having an epic battle, Vettel even complaining that Massa is trying to take him off the track.

The drama then begins, gearbox problem for Rosberg on Lap 47 and he is losing time with all that constant pushing to overtake it is now possible Verstappen will overtake him again! With only a 1.6sec gap the Mercedes team clearly tell Rosberg to leave 7th gear alone an obvious rule break This will be investigated after the race, potential bad news for Rosberg.

Lap 52 and we have hit the final lap clearly Hamilton has this in the bag with now a 10sec lead – Easy! Silverstone erupts this is what the fans came to see!

We see a frosty atmosphere between Rosberg and Hamilton prior to them receiving their trophies on the podium. A great post podium interview by Mark Webber who tries his best to shake off the unfair boo’s Rosberg receives.

Approximately 4 hours after the race it is decided that Rosberg will receive a 10 second penalty for the advice the Mercedes team gave him during the race shifting the race results P1 Hamilton, P2 Verstappen and P3 Rosberg. This now leaves Rosberg with a 1 point lead in the championship after such a great start to the year is this slipping through his fingers? With 11 races left anything could happen!

Next stop Hungary!

Review of the Austrian Grand Prix – Where the hills are alive with the sound of V6 engines, a frustrated German and Boo’s for the English.

Austria, the Spielberg ring with beautiful mountainous and wooded surroundings. Last year this track brought victory to Rosberg who was behind Hamilton in the Championship. This year it’s the complete opposite!

Qualifying brought us a strange grid, Rosberg P6 and Vettel P9 with grid place penalties our top 3 consisted of Lewis in pole, Hulkenburg P2 and Button P3. Prior to the race Button showed his sheer delight with the P3 start but didn’t hold back in the fact they wouldn’t finish the race there. We also had Massa and Kvyat starting in the pits, Kvyat who had an awful crash in qualifying while Massa had an issue with his wing.

Warm up lap commences and all drivers take their starting place unless you are Wehrlein in the Manor who accidentally takes the wrong box. A bit of a panic among spectators as he reverses back to his place literally seconds before the race starts!

Race is on! Hamilton gets away quickly while Hulkenburg has a slow start leaving Button to take P2 and Raikkonen in P3. It already clear the Mclaren of Button is holding up the pace for the cars behind allowing Hamilton to gain time on his lead.

Lap 3 Poor Kvyat retires in the pits. Bad weekend for the Russian.

Lap 6 Hulkenburg is under attack by Verstappen and Rosberg who both overtake him with ease. Rosberg now P4 and Verstappen P5.

Finally on Lap 7 Raikkonen in P3 takes over Button now its time for the Ferrari of Raikkonen to hunt down Lewis.

By Lap 9 Rosberg is now P3 as Button starts dropping back through the grid. The Mclaren just can’t take the pace.

Mclaren are the team to pit both drivers first, Mercedes pit Rosberg on Lap 11 leaving Hamilton out.

It seems by this point of the race the ultra soft tyres are not working well and are deteriorating fast. Although Hamilton is still keeping a four second lead on these tyres.

Lap 13 we see a tyre kiss of Perez and Sainz,sparks flying. Hamilton’s tyres are now starting to give up but he is still going for it.

Lap 20 Ferrari and Hamilton are yet to pit, can these tyres hold it a bit longer? Rosberg is making up for lost time on his new tyres watch out Ferrari he is coming to get you both!

Then finally Hamilton pits on Lap 20 and manages to get out back in just behind Rosberg now in P3, ready to attack the men in red.

Raikkonen then pits unfortunately coming back out stuck behind two Red Bulls in P6, this is going to be his biggest challenge of the afternoon.

Vettel now leads but he needs to pit, those tyres must be exhausted by now!

Lap 27 and bang goes Vettel’s rear tyre he is out of the race leaving debris all over the track, Safety car is out.

Lap 31 – LET’S RACE!

Grosjean and Hulkenburg receive a 5 second penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

A 5 Second penalty is handed to Magnusson for swerving to avoid being over taken.

At this point its P1 Rosberg, P2 Hamilton, P3 Verstappen.

By Lap 40 we still have a tight grid with small drops of rain. Nasr is yet to pit for the whole race, how is he doing this?

Rosberg loses a little time on turn 1 in Lap 44 giving Hamilton to advantage to catch up, Hamilton is then warned to leave the kerbs alone his suspension is critical!

Sad day for Hulkenburg who did so well in qualifying now has bad vibration and may need to stop he pits and takes his 5 second penalty at the same time on Lap 50. At this point Button is in P6!

This is where it went from a good race to a shocking race!

Lap 54 its Hammertime! Hamilton pits for the second time and manages to get back out in P3 missing the scrap between Raikkonen P5 and Riccardo P4.

Lap 55 and Rosberg pits and gets back out in front of Hamilton.

Raikkonen overtakes Ricciardo finally to get P4 Ricciardo constantly fighting for his place back.

Lap 60 the top three can all be seen close together, Rosberg P1, Verstappen P2, Hamilton P3. Verstappen can’t hold it much longer and on Lap 63 Hamilton takes him.

A few retirements take place, Massa on Lap 65 followed by Alonso and Hulkenburg on Lap 66 have these guys just given up?

3 laps to go and its Mercedes Vs Mercedes – who let this happen!!

LAST LAP! And Hamilton is ready to take Rosberg, Rosberg having none of it tries to block him unfortunately at the same time hitting Hamilton’s car. Hamilton dives off track but manages to get back on and holds it. Rosberg has wing damage it’s actually under his car now and drags his car to the finish in P4. At the same time Perez seems to lose his steering and collides into a barrier. A nasty move by Rosberg cost him points and the podium, Hamilton wins.

Click here for a video showing Rosberg’s mistake

Hamilton P1, Verstappen P2, Raikkonen P3.

There was a strange feeling as the race finished and the drivers parked up. It took a few retakes of the incident to see which Mercedes was to blame for this contact. The fans in Austria obviously haven’t seen the crash to analyse and boo Hamilton on the podium. Toto Wolff obviously furious over the incident calls it brainless as we could have easily seen a DNF for both Mercedes on the last lap.

We have seen this before its very much a Prost VS Senna moment.

Who seriously let this happen?! Keep Rosberg and Hamilton apart if it wasn’t for Vettel’s tyre he would have been sitting there in P2 breaking up this cat fight. Rosberg received a 10 second penalty which didn’t affect his P4 and 2 points on his driving licence; maybe he could take the speed awareness test instead?

Rosberg now only 11 points in front of Hamilton in the Championship. Both Ferraris of Raikkonen and Vettel on 96 points 46 points behind Hamilton.

Next race Silverstone, can Hamilton please his home crowd and take the Championship lead? Can Rosberg learn to play nicely and pipe it down? Only a 1 week gap this could get really interesting!!!!


Bad day in the office for Kimi, plastic and wrong modes. Welcome to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2016.

Azerbaijan, Baku host of the European Grand Prix 2016, we haven’t had a European Grand Prix since Valencia, Spain in 2012. A brand new street circuit produced which at first glance looks similar to Monaco tight corners, extremely fast straight with a touch of class. Due to the structure of this circuit it was assumed that a safety car would be used at some point. We were wrong.

With Nico Rosberg still leading the championship by 9 points this was a golden opportunity for Lewis to take the lead. Unfortunately a mistake by Lewis in qualifying forced him to start the race in P10 next to an unforgiving Max Verstappen who throughout the weekend attracted unwanted attention from Bottas. Max being naturally an aggressive driver already had aggro from the pesky Williams of Bottas annoying him throughout the weekend already a seeing red– a Red Bull you may say!

Race commences, and a surprisingly good start for most except a few back markers who had a little bit of contact but nothing bad enough to bring out the safety car. The first corner was a squeeze for all but the drivers impressively got round it with caution and of course speed! Lewis kept it clean even with Max next to him and Perez in the Force India having a great start from P7 to P5.

All cars are close together and it’s tight.

Lap 3 we saw a move by Bottas in P9 taking over Kvyat closely followed by Lewis who overtook the Toro Rosso with ease. Could Kvyat have an issue? Or maybe it’s just the Ferrari of Vettel he likes to do the dirty on?

By Lap 5 we have a 3 car battle! Bottas, Max and Lewis both Lewis and Bottas manage to get passed young Max without any drama – Phew! Bottas now in P7 with Lewis in P8. At this point our leader Rosberg is flying ahead. Vettel in P3 overtakes the Red Bull of Ricciardo in P2 with a strange looking Ferrari it seems a large blue plastic bag has gripped to the front of Vettel’s car, lucky for him this doesn’t cause an issue.

The pit stops then start very early; starting with Max and Alonso in the Mclaren, could these drivers be looking for a 1 stop strategy?

At this point you will notice the amount of plastic on the track? Did somebody unload their Sainsbury’s shopping bags somewhere? Kimi on team radio expressed his dissatisfaction with this.

Kvyat who was losing places retires in the pit with suspension issues this answers our question to whether its just Ferrari’s he likes to fight obviously this issue was affecting him.

Lap 10 shows us some surprises! Pascal Wehrlein in the Manor is P8 and holding it although he hasn’t yet pitted he is showing a strong performance. Perez in the Force India is P3 and Max has dropped to P14.

Kimi unfortunately crosses the line to the pit lane from what we can see it looks like he was following the car in front or maybe it was another plastic bag and lost concentration. This was investigated with an outcome of a 5 second penalty which he can choose to take during a pit stop or be added to his time at the end of the race. Bad day for Kimi.

By Lap 15 the top 5 are yet to pit, Lewis in P5 breaks this by pitting complaining about a vibration, this is not a problem and rectifies itself by Lap 21. Perez and Ricciardo pit shortly afterwards, Perez making a good move by coming out in front of Lewis. Perez now P8. We are still waiting for the top 3 to pit.

Lap 18 brings in Ricciardo stalking Kimi in P4. Ricciardo one of the drivers you wouldn’t want to see in your mirrors! Lewis is the fastest man on track stuck in P9 with potential of being held up.

This track has tight corners similar to the wall of champions in Canada, a small glitch and you are in the wall. We saw Nasr in the Sauber clipping the wall sparks flying luckily with no problem.

Lap 21 and we finally see one of the top 3 Vettel who comes back out in P3, while Max pits for the second time maybe this early pit strategy was a bad idea with the tyres lasting longer than predicted.

Rosberg pits the following lap to come out still in P1 there is no competition out there this weekend for him. At this point Lewis is in P5.

Lap 23 and Pascal Wehrlein has a last warning for cutting the corner on turn 8.

Lap 24 Ricciardo finally pits only to come out in P12 he has a big fight ahead, nothing comes easy for Ricciardo.

Lap 27 and Lewis has a problem, he is in the wrong mode. By Lap 31 he is asking the team to give him some suggestions to what to do unfortunately rules state the team cannot do this.  An angry Lewis states he may just change everything but the team strongly advise against this. What is wrong with his car? Was it set up wrong? Lewis is now robbed of being able to improve on his race.

While Lewis is having a nightmare Kimi is told not to hold up Vettel as he is faster. Kimi then stating he better be faster as he doesn’t want to see him right in front of him.

Lap 32 Sainz in the Toro Rosso retires.

By Lap 36 Rosberg is too far ahead that the only way anybody will catch up with him is by either a jet engine, safety car or if Rosberg makes an error.

A few laps later Kimi is going mad “where the f**k are the blue flags?” being held up back markers something he doesn’t need with a 5 second penalty hanging over him.

Lap 41 we saw Pascal Werlain retire, he has no brakes left but a good performance today from the Manor team.

No idea what happened but Lap 43 Lewis is now the fastest on track. Whatever that issue was seems to have shifted, did he turn it off and on again?

Alonso in Mclaren sadly retires at Lap 44 stuck in 4th gear.

Lewis starts dropping back again at Lap 46 what is going on!

With 5 laps remaining we have had no safety car, Rosberg is in a league of his own and Force India are showing a strong performance.

Final lap brings Perez to take over Kimi in P3. Perez will be on the podium either way with Kimi’s penalty but this moves makes it solid!

Race winner Rosberg who we have barely seen throughout the race he was untouchable his 5th win in 2016. As always a gracious winner and with a drive like that well deserved.

Azerbaijan was predicted to give us safety car action and a fight through the field from Lewis but due to car issues this was not possible. The championship now stands with Rosberg 24 points in front of Lewis with Vettel quietly sneaking up 21 points behind Lewis.

Austria next Rosberg won here last year, could we see another epic win from the Mercedes driver? We still have plenty of races left this year Mercedes still as dominant as ever but the Ferrari’s are showing improvement.




LOOK OUT FOR THE GULLS! A review of the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix.

A review of the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix.

Canada considered possibly one of the best tracks out there, with a surprisingly long history, the wall of champions and the unpredictable weather (who can forget 2011*)!

With Hamilton still recovering from a poor start to the season and his first win only in Monaco two weeks before it was tough to judge who would actually win. It seems in this day and age pole position means very little especially when you have the likes of Risky Rosberg who like Hamilton is a true racer who would take any chance to win; Hamilton’s 2015 dominance has not been seen this year so far.

Let’s not forget Hamilton has won here 4 times already.

The front of the starting Grid consisted of Hamilton in pole, followed closely by Rosberg third held by Vettel and Ricciardo in 4th. You could see the sheer determination of Hamilton on the grid who had already slightly pointed his car towards Rosberg looking to immediately alpha him out. Lights out and a shocker of a start Vettel faster than the speed of light over took both Mercedes leaving them to fight for 2nd leading to Rosberg being forced off the track and fall back down to 8th. Deemed as a racing incident no action by the stewards was taken but I would have loved to see Toto’s initial response.

The race was on Vettel looking to create a huge gap between Hamilton and himself until a little mishap between Vettel and couple of Seagulls and yes this is true it was then Hamilton who had the opportunity to make the time up.

Sad times for Alonso a previous world champion and one of the best drivers out there was caught holding up a pack of angry drivers at lap 9 and button retiring on lap 11. Alonso near completion of the race then querying why they were even pushing at P11 just for one point!! It’s a sad state of affairs for Mclaren these days who have brilliant drivers but just can’t sort out their speed and reliability. No doubt they will rise again someday – I hope.

Prior to race start words of wisdom arose from David Coulthard who stated there will be a safety car in this race, well he was right due to buttons car stranded on the side of the track VSC came out. Ferrari perceived this as a good time for Vettel to take a pit stop could this strategic move be the winning one?

It is possible for a one stop or two stop strategy on this track the Ultra Soft tyres were working a dream for majority of drivers at the start bear in mind that all drivers must use Soft tyres at some point in this race.
This Pit stop lead Vettel to having an attack of the red bulls it was game one, fresh tyres gave him that extra speed and grip.

Lap 21 we sadly saw a retirement from Jolyon Palmer no drama involved.

Lap 25 commenced with the only pit stop to be taken by Hamilton, bringing him back out to 2nd behind Vettel. With Vettel taking an early pit stop could he hold out for the whole race?

At this part of the race you could clearly see Rosberg putting pressure on everybody in front of him, he shouldn’t have been amidst middle markers it looked like this was not to be Rosberg’s day.

Lap 34 involved the 2nd pit stop for Kimi’s Ferrari being rather quiet this race and not making a huge impact pitted first. Vettel in Lap 37 obviously losing time and coming out behind Hamilton. This 2 stop strategy was not going to work for them. Only a Safety car would have brought them back together to fight it out with the speed of Ferrari’s it would have hard to determine who would have won on a head to head battle, unfortunately we were not treated to this in Canada.

Sad times for Williams when Massa retired for the first time this year on lap 52, first retirement this year. Lets not forget this man nearly became World Champion in 2008 he should not be underestimated.

Rosberg’s day became worse when he had a slow puncture running up to lap 51 managing to getting to 4th unfortunately this dropped him back to 7th although this was not stopping him and you would clearly see he fought all the way through the race. Personally I would give him driver of the day. By lap 64 he was giving Mad Max in 4th a run for his money pushing constant pressure on the teenager but unfortunately Rosberg made an error with a only a couple of laps to go losing time and leaving Max to drive without a Mercedes constantly in his mirror. Poor Rosberg, lucky Max.

Hamilton floated to the finish line, quoting the late Muhammed Ali “float like a butterfly, sting like bee” a thoughtful and considerate dedication.

Now 9 points behind Championship leader Rosberg can Hamilton take the lead in Baku! Lets not forget Vettel and Ricciardo are still able to grab the title too. The Ferrari’s and Red Bulls are getting stronger. With 13 races to go anything could happen!

*I would not encourage anybody to try and watch the full coverage of the 2011 Canadian GP, maybe catch the highlights on YouTube if possible – let’s just say I ate all the contents of my fridge waiting for the race to get going.