I was one of the lucky few to be sitting in the grandstands on Sunday as the rain poured down just before the start of the race. As the umbrella’s went up, I was sat thinking “What is this going to throw up now?”
Unfortunately we were robbed of the iconic five light sequence when Race Control decided it was ‘too wet’ for the drivers to handle. After seeing the MotoGP riders tackle treacherous conditions in Assen a couple of weeks ago, I thought a Safety Car start was a bit uncalled for.
But when they did start there was action all over the place, particularly into Abbey where I was situated. I think I seen most of the midfield who made the switch to Intermediates slide off before the gravel claimed it’s first victim, Pascal Wehrlein.
As a drying line started to appear there was just a bit of a wet spot before the sweeping corner near the kerbs, which was taking temperature out of the tyres and root cause of most drivers going off when the switch to slicks came.
Then you could really see which drivers were taking it easy and which felt frustrated over losing out to the Virtual Safety Car. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were inch-perfect, as was the McLaren of Jenson Button and Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
Kimi Raikkonen looked like a novice, consistently hitting the wet patch which made him take to the escape road on a couple occasions. Daniil Kvyat managed to replicate his half-spin from practice, while Fernando Alonso gave us a nice pirouette as he chased down the Williams of Valterri Bottas.
Max Verstappen also almost nearly threw it away when he was catching up to Hamilton having passed Rosberg in that sensational move around the outside of Becketts. It’s a shame their change of positions post-race came through politics rather than through what happened on the circuit.
FOM have done a good job of putting the new rules in perspective in a video on their website. But I think after the problems we seen for Hamilton in Baku and some other drivers throughout the season so far, it does seem like the FIA have potentially opened up a pandora’s box with these radio rules having let Rosberg off with a 10 second penalty.
In amongst the bold overtaking moves and impossible saves, the greasy conditions always show the true skill of the drivers.
You could also see what it meant to Lewis having won in those conditions which were so similar to his first here back in 2008. The moment of the weekend for me came when he decided to crowed surf on the many fans that waited for him outside the Mercedes garages after the race.
I was just a few feet away from it all. A sportsman. In his prime. Engaging closely with his fans; with Formula 1 fans in one of those ‘moments like these’ experiences.
Every year I come to the British Grand Prix I’m reminded of how much of a fan I really am of this sport. Meeting the people involved behind the scenes (and them being surprised I recognise them!) and getting involved in the pantomime antics. I think only the Japanese and US fans come close to the dedication and atmosphere.
Until next year Silverstone. You were a blast!