Felipe Massa, Williams, Silverstone, 2015

Surprises at Silverstone enliven British GP

2015 British Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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Felipe Massa, Williams, Silverstone, 2015Formula One was in need of a lift and the British Grand Prix gave it just that. F1 Fanatic readers rated it 7.9 out of ten – the second-highest score for a race this year.

Was this race the shape of things to come for the rest of 2015 – or a one-off which was down to great getaways by the Williams drivers and a rain shower? Here’s what you had to say about the race.

Usual result, unusual race

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel occupied the podium for the sixth time this year, but after a fairly eventful race.

The start made it really interesting, with Bottas and Massa very close in the lead. Such a shame that Williams didn’t let them race, it would have been awesome.

I agree that the middle of the race could have been better, but come on, it’s unrealistic to expect excitement in every single lap. I was a bit disappointed with Williams because they could have stayed in first.

The rain spiced things up, Rosberg made two very good moves and was catching Hamilton like crazy, it’s a shame that the switch to intermediates froze the positions.

It’s strange, if you look at the result that’s the most predictable result ever, but the way we arrived there was very entertaining.
Yoshisune (@Yobo01)

There was a terrific start followed by suspense in terms of the first four cars following each other very closely with many of Bottas’ failed attempts providing some action. The next four were relatively close as well and there was even an overtake on Perez by Vettel although he conceded a few places easily at the start.

The first rain shuffled the pack a bit with Rosberg getting past both the Williams and chasing down Hamilton and almost successfully passing him on track.

Hamilton and Vettel then managed to play the situation to their advantage and get their pit stop right on cue. The last few laps were all about how the drivers managed the wet conditions and Kvyat chasing down Bottas was fun.

A nice three week break to savour the essence of the race and for teams to review their mistakes (which was plenty especially for Williams, Raikkonen and Ericsson).
@Evered7

More action in the pits than the track

It was a stalemate between Mercedes and Williams in the early stages.

We’ve had races earlier on were there was far more racing and overtaking than what we saw today. For the most part on the track nothing happened today, Virtually no overtaking, Not a great deal of close racing and it was far more of a procession overall than a couple other races so far.
LyndaGreen

Not everything is about overtakes. There was a lot of tension during the race, with the outcome decided very late on. Although not great, probably the best race of the season for me.
@John-h

I think it would have been a much better race if we didn’t have these mandatory pit stops that forces them to run both of the tyre compounds. I say that because the first 20 or so laps with the top four right together was great, But as soon as Lewis made his first stop and got the undercut it made the next section of the race quite dull until the rain started.
@Stefmeister

Did the rain make or break the race?

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2015Seeing F1 drivers do their thing in the rain is always a thrill, but did the wet conditions spoil some of the on-track contests?

A good race overall I think, particularly the first stint, but the rain spoiled that outcome for me a little, as I don’t think it did much for the actual racing, just swapped the positions about a bit, and left Williams with a worse outcome than they deserved today; they were much closer to the Mercedes on pace than expected today and looked like second and third was on without that rain.
Quant

A race of three parts really. First part was good with the four cars so close together, kept in interesting to watch. Second part from the pit-stops until the rain came was very boring, nothing of note happening whatsoever. Then the rain did come, and whilst it wasn’t as good as the first part, with the cars eventually spreading out, it did bring back some tension, as a drop of water usually does.
Simon (@Weeniebeenie)

I’m really surprised by the high ratings. The race had great promise in the beginning with the Williams being ahead, but in the end boiled down to an undercut by Hamilton.

The rain put an end to the fight between Rosberg and the Williamses (another bummer). Hamilton’s call gave him a huge advantage over Rosberg (another bummer), the only excitement was the start and Rosberg closing on Hamilton and the Williams boys fighting (ruined by pit calls/confusion).

The camera coverage was really bad and partly Sky’s coverage was so over-hyped, that it felt like an Apple event where adjectives made up entirety of what they were saying. I really don’t get why this race was so good for others.
@Venky

The race was good yes, but great, not really, not compared to races like Bahrain, Canada & Hungary last year.

This race will be rated higher than it should be, simply because it was so much better than what we’ve had of late.
Bradley Downton (@Bradley13)

RaceAverage score
2015 Australian Grand Prix4.754
2015 Malaysian Grand Prix8.369
2015 Chinese Grand Prix5.721
2015 Bahrain Grand Prix7.366
2015 Spanish Grand Prix5.154
2015 Monaco Grand Prix5.627
2015 Canadian Grand Prix5.545
2015 Austrian Grand Prix5.602
2015 British Grand Prix7.949

2015 British Grand Prix

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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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15 comments on “Surprises at Silverstone enliven British GP”

  1. Completely agree with @Bradley13! Personally I prefer to compare what I watched with some great races of the past, to give a more objective rating…

  2. I think an 8 is fine. It wasn’t that exceptional but easily the best race of the season nontheless. If all races were like this we’d cal that a proper season.

    1. Agree. Compared to the rest of the races it this season, it’s been pretty good.

      But by itself, as a standalone race, it was average to boring (probably a 6 rating)

  3. I certainly think the inter-team conundrum at Williams offered an interesting dynamic to the race. However I think it was a situation that arose from the inherent flaw in F1 in 2015: the fact that the cars are generating too great an aero wake to be able to overtake without a straight-line advantage. By extension, the fact a car that was three-quarters of a second faster in qualifying was unable to pass on a track that offers numerous opportunities, is a rather graphic case for change in F1’s technical regulations.

    1. Good point. Williams *did* let their drivers race – it was just that Bottas couldn’t get past safely due to those aero problems. Which made Williams seem like the bad guys in the eyes of some (namely Sky), when it wasn’t really their fault! On the other hand, if cars could run closer, Mercedes would’ve overtaken in no time anyway and made for a less exciting race. As usual, F1 can’t win!

    2. I differ on the reason for the difficulties in following and overtaking that we see this season, especially with similar cars.

      The FIA tightening the rules around the flex in front wing components is actually hurting the show. Previously, the flexing in those elements compensated for the dirty air while following a car closely. When in the wake, the front wing elements expand and generate extra downforce which allows for closer combat. With the now rigid components and elements of the front wing, there is no compensation and hence the difficulties in getting close and passing.

      This tells me that the FIA aren’t abreast with the workings of all aspects of the cars performance and thus all those rule changes which the fans, especially, see as knee jerk that add no value to the racing. The FIA needs to consider with an engineering POV the consequences of changes as this case shows.

      1. I think the flex in the front wing is just one chapter in an entire saga of failings resulting in these cars being unable to follow one another.

        Yes, the rear wake is now less of an issue with the height of the air plumes post-2009, and subsequently with downforce being cut at the rear quite substantially in 2014, but it can remain an issue if, as you say, the front of the cars are unable to displace the turbulence. I would argue that the problem with the front wings is not so much in the restrictions on flex, although this does have an effect, but more broadly because the front wings flaps have become aerodynamic “flash points” in R&D in the context of highly restrictive regulations (much like brake ducts). Meanwhile, barge-boards, rear wing main-planes, engine covers and sidepods are becoming increasingly standardized.

        I agree that front wings are the main issue here, but the only system that can begin to guarantee excellent side-by-side racing in F1 is to divorce F1 from its aerodynamic dependencies. In 2017 the DTM will cut a chunk of its downforce in favour of more mechanical grip and much more power; F1 should do the same.

        1. More power plus less downforce = cars going airborne and winding up in the stands. While that may suit some TV viewers it’s a model of motor racing which F1 has spent decades trying to get away from.

          1. An alarmist pov, in fact in the case of a car becoming inverted while airborne those wings will fly the vehicle rather than ground it.

    3. the fact a car that was three-quarters of a second faster in qualifying was unable to pass on a track that offers numerous opportunities

      Mercs didn’t have that advantage in the race. Ham was faster than MAS by less than 2 tenth, the later one could push harder though.

      the fact that the cars are generating too great an aero wake to be able to overtake without a straight-line advantage

      I think DRS is still over-powerful

    4. @countrygent, I agree totally on the aero problem but would like to point out that the problem is being greatly compounded by tyres that cannot sustain being driven at the 3/4 second advantage speed, nor can they sustain being driven in the aero-wake of another car. More durable tyres wont entirely fix the problem but would be a big step in the right direction.

  4. Highly overrated. Last year’s British GP was rated a 7.8 an was a lot better than this race. Sure this race was different from a boring bunch this season but wasn’t that great. Even the 2012 and 2013 editions were better.

    1. Exactly. Fully agree to that.

  5. Wow! Another mention! Thank you Keith :) Great race and great coverage by F1F team as well.

  6. we watched, we hoped, we need some sort of excitement,
    well we did, with Williams jumping into the lead and holding off the Merc’s for 20odd laps,
    the safety car made us wait to see if it was the end of Williams but they hung in there,
    Bottas saying he’s faster made us wounder, but the call was not to race, then it was ok, total shambles,
    then the pit stop, early for Merc but the experience of a well drilled front running team showed the difference,
    Williams could only see it slip away, even though they managed to keep Rosb behind for a few more laps,
    now the worst thing that could have happen to Williams was rain, after such a great start they then got dumped,
    if they had managed to hang in there it would have been a FANTASTIC race but no.

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