Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2015

Hamilton can halt Rosberg’s progress with home win

2015 British Grand Prix pre-race analysis

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2015There are no surprises at the sharp end of the grid for the British Grand Prix: Mercedes have their fifth consecutive one-two, while Lewis Hamilton starts from pole position for the eighth time this year.

But as we saw in Austria that doesn’t make victory for Hamilton a foregone conclusion. Particularly at Silverstone, where the pole sitter has only won four times in the last two decades.

After losing the lead to Rosberg at the start of the race at the Red Bull Ring, Hamilton has reverted to a previous clutch set-up which he preferred. But a lot is riding on those pivotal first seconds of the race when the two Mercedes drivers apply the power.

One way or another, Rosberg has whittled away Hamilton’s advantage in the last few races. The gap between the pair of them is just ten points, and what a few weeks ago had the potential to be a Hamilton championship cakewalk is not looking a lot more interesting. A Rosberg when tomorrow would serve to ratchet up the pressure on Hamilton even more.

But the most interesting battle on the track tomorrow could be the one behind the two silver cars. Ferrari had a difficult qualifying session and were beaten by the two Williams drivers. The red cars have dependably been more competitive over a race distance, so the contest for the final podium position should be one to watch. And Red Bull fancy their chances of getting Daniil Kvyat into the mix as well.

As forecast, Saturday brought cooler conditions than Friday, and Sunday is expected to see a further drop. A cloudy day is expected with maximum temperatures around 20C. The prospect of rain in the late afternoon has almost completely diminished.

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2015Drivers will therefore find the track conditions significantly different to what they experienced on Friday afternoon. The last-minute tweaks they make on the way to the grid will be all-important. While a two-stop strategy was preferred by most last year, Pirelli expect one-stop strategies will be more commonplace.

Track limits were a major talking point during qualifying as more than half of the drivers had at least one lap time deleted for abusing the run-off areas at Silverstone. Some of the support race drivers have already discovered to their cost that the stewards will not turn a blind eye to drivers going off the track and gaining an advantage – Seb Morris picked up two penalties for doing so in today’s GP3 race.

Last year Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel repeatedly accused each other of doing the same thing while fighting a tooth-and-nail battle for position. Don’t be surprised if we hear more of the same tomorrow – Copse and Club are the main trouble spots.

But a repeat of the kind of action we saw between Alonso and Vettel last year would be a timely reminder that it’s not the race weekend format which is selling F1 short at the moment, it’s the lack of competition. Despite that, Silverstone may still serve up another race to remember.

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Qualifying times in full

DriverCarQ1

Q2 (vs Q1)

Q3 (vs Q2)
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’33.7961’33.068 (-0.728)1’32.248 (-0.820)
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’33.4751’32.737 (-0.738)1’32.361 (-0.376)
3Felipe MassaWilliams1’34.5421’33.707 (-0.835)1’33.085 (-0.622)
4Valtteri BottasWilliams1’34.1711’33.020 (-1.151)1’33.149 (+0.129)
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’33.4261’33.911 (+0.485)1’33.379 (-0.532)
6Sebastian VettelFerrari1’33.5621’33.641 (+0.079)1’33.547 (-0.094)
7Daniil KvyatRed Bull1’34.3141’33.520 (-0.794)1’33.636 (+0.116)
8Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso1’34.6411’34.071 (-0.570)1’33.649 (-0.422)
9Nico HulkenbergForce India1’34.5941’33.693 (-0.901)1’33.673 (-0.020)
10Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’34.2721’33.749 (-0.523)1’33.563 (-0.186)
11Sergio PerezForce India1’34.2501’34.084 (-0.166)
12Romain GrosjeanLotus1’34.6461’34.289 (-0.357)
13Max VerstappenToro Rosso1’34.8191’34.502 (-0.317)
14Pastor MaldonadoLotus1’34.8771’34.511 (-0.366)
15Marcus EricssonSauber1’34.6431’34.868 (+0.225)
16Felipe NasrSauber1’34.888
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1’34.959
18Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’35.207
19Will StevensManor1’37.364
20Roberto MerhiManor1’37.956

Sector times

Speed trap

PosDriverCarEngineSpeed (kph/mph)Gap
1Romain GrosjeanLotusMercedes327.4 (203.4)
2Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes326.3 (202.8)-1.1
3Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes326.2 (202.7)-1.2
4Felipe NasrSauberFerrari325.5 (202.3)-1.9
5Pastor MaldonadoLotusMercedes325.0 (201.9)-2.4
6Felipe MassaWilliamsMercedes324.4 (201.6)-3.0
7Kimi RaikkonenFerrariFerrari323.8 (201.2)-3.6
8Sergio PerezForce IndiaMercedes322.7 (200.5)-4.7
9Marcus EricssonSauberFerrari322.7 (200.5)-4.7
10Nico HulkenbergForce IndiaMercedes322.5 (200.4)-4.9
11Valtteri BottasWilliamsMercedes322.2 (200.2)-5.2
12Sebastian VettelFerrariFerrari320.3 (199.0)-7.1
13Max VerstappenToro RossoRenault313.3 (194.7)-14.1
14Daniil KvyatRed BullRenault312.7 (194.3)-14.7
15Carlos Sainz JnrToro RossoRenault312.5 (194.2)-14.9
16Will StevensManorFerrari310.0 (192.6)-17.4
17Daniel RicciardoRed BullRenault309.8 (192.5)-17.6
18Roberto MerhiManorFerrari309.7 (192.4)-17.7
19Jenson ButtonMcLarenHonda307.7 (191.2)-19.7
20Fernando AlonsoMcLarenHonda307.0 (190.8)-20.4

Over to you

Will Hamilton take his third victory in front of a home crowd? And who will be ‘best of the rest’ at Silverstone?

Share your views on the British Grand Prix in the comments.

2015 British Grand Prix

Browse all 2015 British Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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26 comments on “Hamilton can halt Rosberg’s progress with home win”

  1. I’m expecting normal business to be resumed between the Merc drivers.

    Williams vs Ferrari could be epic.

  2. So both Manors were faster through the speed trap than the McLarens, despite having last year’s Ferrari engine?

    1. Even Ferrari’s mistake ridden 2014 engine is better than Honda’s 1st attempt. Oh dear…

    2. Possibly, or possibly not. I’m not absolutely sure, but with the Manors running a lot less downforce than the front runners, shouldn’t they have a slippery car in a straight-line due to having less aerodynamic parts and thus drag? So the Honda might actually be comparable to Ferrari’s first effort. Probably not in a race distance and drivability though.

  3. Andy (@andybantam)
    4th July 2015, 20:02

    I think the result of this race, more or less, hinges on Hamilton’s start. I hope his new/old clutch works.

    If Rosberg gets by, it could be a long afternoon for Lewis.

    Williams and Ferrari battle might just give us the stuff this season has been lacking so far.

    Fingers crossed, but this is shaking up to be the best race so far in 2015.

    1. Yes I had the same feeling, the battle between Toro Rosso/Red Bull/Force India might be interesting too.

      1. Andy (@andybantam)
        4th July 2015, 21:45

        Absolutely! Although, I think the Red Bulls are quicker than their positions suggests. They might just edge it from that group.

        Looking forward to Max making some up some ground.

    2. It won’t be. They cannot follow each other. Start will be interesting, pit exits will be interesting, nothing on-track will happen other than that between Williams-Ferrari.

      1. Andy (@andybantam)
        4th July 2015, 23:43

        GP2 wasn’t too bad. It looked like the drivers had a few corner entry options which enabled a few to follow pretty closely. No one could really follow through Copse, though.

    3. @andybantam

      If Rosberg gets by, it could be a long afternoon for Lewis.

      Thats not a foregone conclusion – just like winning from pole!

      If there’s a head wind down Wellington or Hangar, then second place will have an advantage, especially with DRS.

      Also, Silverstone allows passing!

      1. Andy (@andybantam)
        4th July 2015, 23:34

        After watching the GP2 race, the DRS only really looked effective against cars with wounded tyres, struggling for good traction on to the straight. Rosberg is hard to pass and he’s quick around Silverstone. He’s on a bit of a roll too.

        It’s promising to be a top duel though. I hope it is. They’re very evenly matched.

        1. Yea and Lewis is slow and easy to pass.

          But how exactly is Nico hard to pass?

          1. Andy (@andybantam)
            5th July 2015, 10:52

            Well, let’s look at Hamilton’s most recent lightning starts, oh wait…

            No, you’re right. Nico finished in the bottom 4 for the last 10 races, hasn’t he? I mean, it’s not like he’s only ten points behind in the championship, it’s it? It must be because he’s so easy to pass.

  4. dull one-stop race in prospect?

    1. Could be a lot worse, could be 2 stops.

  5. Looking at the bottom of the speed trap, I have to wonder if Honda has actually made progress on Renault. RIC was very close to the Hondas’ speed, and he didn’t look to be running a ton more wing than the Mclarens. Maybe the RBR is just naturally a higher drag, higher downforce car than the Mclaren (wouldn’t be surprising, that team seems to like setting up as such), but it could mean progress for Honda. I wouldn’t read too much into it, though.

  6. The gap between the pair of them is just ten points, and what a few weeks ago had the potential to be a Hamilton championship cakewalk is not looking a lot more interesting.

    A Freudian slip, @keithcollantine?

  7. I hate one stop races !!!

  8. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton says he would support a shake-up to the current Formula 1 weekend, whilst former world champion Sebastian Vettel is against the proposal.
    During a Strategy Group meeting on Wednesday, the idea of changing the race weekend format was floated, with the FIA confirming that “several exciting and innovative” ideas had been discussed.
    It was later revealed that amongst the change is a Saturday sprint race. Third practice would be scrapped and replaced by qualifying. That would decide the grid for the sprint race, which would then decide the grid for the grand prix on Sunday.
    Hamilton is in favour of mixing it up a little as he believes things can become stale, but reckons the drivers should be consulted on the matter before any final decision is made.
    “I would be very, very happy for the weekend to change,” said the Mercedes driver.
    “I’ve been here nine years – Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday always exactly the same, so I’d be happy for them to muddle it up to make it more exciting.
    “If the format is the same for the next seven years I don’t think I could take that!
    “It would be sensible for the people that have to make those decisions to sometimes consult the drivers.
    “It would be positive for them to ask us and I’d love to help in any way I can.”
    Vettel meanwhile believes tradition is more important and believes the sport has more important issues to resolve first.
    “I love racing, but I’m traditional on some things so I’m not in favour of it,” added the Ferrari driver.
    “A grand prix should be a grand prix. I know it’s only a qualifying race but it will take some of the spectacle from Sunday.
    “I think we have different issues to solve, rather than if we have a race on Saturday.”
    He then joked: “Maybe we should think about the real problems, like helmet designs!”
    http://www.grandprixtimes.com/news/display/10475
    I agree with Vettel.

  9. Kimi Raikkonen:
    “It was not an easy qualifying, with the strong wind the handling was not ideal and it was very tricky for everybody, because the conditions kept changing from run to run and from corner to corner. We know that when is windy it’s not very easy for us, we improved our car on that side but here it was still difficult to get the lap right, putting all the sectors together. Obviously we can’t be happy for fifth and sixth position, it’s a bit disappointing, but we tried our best and hopefully tomorrow we’ll do better. I don’t think we’re slipping back, it’s just the different conditions we had today. In the race we’ll see what is going to happen, we’ll push to gain some positions.”
    Sebastian Vettel:
    “It was more difficult than we expected so we’ll have to have a look at that, but clearly it’s not ‘clean’ from my side. I struggled a bit to find the right balance. Tomorrow could be a different story, because our race pace should be fine. Today was not the best day. Hopefully tomorrow will be an exciting race, we can do plenty of things, we have the pace. I know that is difficult to pass, especially the Williams as they have a good straightline speed, but we’ll see. Maybe we can find something for tomorrow. For sure it’s not the best starting position. In Q3 we were not happy with either run. The out lap was not great, I nearly crashed with Felipe in last attempt, I think there was a bit of confusion because Nico was going so slow…nobody to blame though. In the end I made a mistake in the final lap, but in general, we were not quick enough.”

  10. what progress by nico keith,,,he only has 2 deserved wins so far this season(spain,austria).lewis bounced back after he was beat by nico in spain,yeah lewis didnt win in monaco,but he was the better driver all weekend.then lewis won in canada.so really it should be 2-2 in the last 4 races,and its 8-1 in quali.so this momentum nico has,doesnt exist.if it did,he would have got pole.

  11. I think they shouldn’t let Rosberg qualify. Off the top of my head, I can remember 3 different instances this year where he had an adverse effect on quite a lot of people’s quali laps. Then again, his teammate Hamilton hasn’t been the cleanest either…

  12. i’d say its all about the start, hopefully Rosberg can get ahead of Lewis. then we have a good race on our hands.

  13. i think the battle for 3rd place should be between Williams & Ferrari, but i wouldnt be suprised if saw Kvyat for Red Bull up there. Maybe Kvyat can spring a suprise?

  14. if the race likely to be a 2 stopper? or just 1 stop?

  15. why didnt pirelli bring soft/medium??

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