Steven Smith

  • Thanks for the article. I’ve still not been to a grand prix as it’s hard for me to leave work but it’s nice to hear your experiences. It’s definitely getting more tempting to go. @ragwort

  • F1 Fanatic reader Steve Smith (@Ragwort) has been to F1 races across the globe but Canada’s round remains a favourite.

    He headed back to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for this year’s surprisingly cold race […]

  • @ragwort I think a lot of people bias their ratings based on the track, albeit the other way around. So if this race occurred in Sochi it’d probably be 4/10 instead of 6.5, because people have a natural dislike of that track.

  • @ragwort Just to confirm, indivduals can sell tickets onsite? We’re not able to get up there until Sunday and hope to get some decent seats in the hairpin or 24. Thanks.

    • Gary.
      There’s always been tickets available on the day from the scalpers / touts when I’ve been there. I’ve even sold some at a good profit to one of them after buying them at about one-third price on EBay.
      But it is normally done out of sight of security who don’t seem too bothered. You’ll see them outside the Metro exit when you get on the island.

  • @ragwort I’d personally still rather watch that than the Sky pundits waffling on for an hour.

  • Start, Silverstone, 2014The 2014 edition of the British Grand Prix – the 50th to be held at Silverstone – did not disappoint.

    The stage was set by a thrilling and unpredictable wet qualifying session, the result of which was a grid with several drivers out of their usual qualifying positions.

    The race began with a delay of over an hour following a first-lap crash for Kimi Raikkonen which brought the red flag out for track repairs. Fortunately the Ferrari driver and those involved in the accident were unharmed.

    Another intriguing contest between the two Mercedes was in the offing until technical problems forced Nico Rosberg out. But as that allowed Lewis Hamilton to claim his second home win, the crowd wasn’t too disappointed. It also narrowed the gap between the championship leaders to just four points.

    The British Grand Prix received an average rating of 7.8 out of ten – the third-highest of the year so far. Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers thought of it:

    Alonso versus Vettel

    By far the best wheel-to-wheel action of the race was supplied by two drivers with six world championships between them: Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, who slugged it out for more than a dozen laps. However the persistent complaining from both drivers on the radio drew some criticism.

    One of the best battles I’ve seen in a long time between Alonso and Vettel. Bottas put in a beautiful drive and there was plenty of action wherever you looked.

    I thought it was a great race, there seemed to be plenty of action throughout. I loved the battle between Alonso and Vettel and I was laughing at the radio comments from them as it seemed every lap one one of them was complaining about the other one, hoping that a penalty would be handed out.

    The fight between Vettel and Alonso, in my opinion, was highlight of the race. They fought for every millimetre of the track, the duel was just titanic.

    It was a pity the drivers couldn’t avoid whining, because they’re such great drivers and should put their energy into racing.

    Massa’s heroics

    Felipe Massa’s lightning reactions potentially spared Raikkonen from suffering a much worse accident, as he pitched his Williams into a spin to avoid striking the damaged Ferrari head-on.

    Impressed with Massa’s skilful avoidance tactics after Raikkonen went off.

    One (well known) person interviewed after the race said Massa “locked up”. I beg to differ. It looked like he deliberately wrenched the car sideways to avoid T-boning Raikkonen’s car; in my opinion it was skill and quick reactions, not an error.

    Respect to Massa for fast reactions. The onboard shot shows just how close he was when the Ferrari appeared in his view. I doubt anyone other than an F1 driver could have reacted so quickly. A tenth of a delay and he would have T-boned Raikkonen, and I don’t want to even consider what that may have caused.

    What a quick and fully committed move by Massa. If the tyres were hotter he might have even avoided Raikkonen. I imagine that Massa doesn’t have many Finnish fans, so I hope that they noticed!

    The view from the spectators

    I don’t know how well the television coverage showed the race. But as a spectator, it was one of the best British grands prix I have been to. The support for not only Hamilton, but for Button and Chilton was fantastic.

    The Raikkonen crash delay just heightened the expectation of the crowd. Bottas was brilliant. The battle between Vettel and Alonso was brilliant too. Involving Magnusson too for a number of laps.

    There were battles all the way through the field. A cracking race.

    I was there too, the atmosphere was truly incredible! Every time a British driver came past everyone cheered, whether it was Hamilton, Button or Chilton!

    The noise is just not the same.

    I was at the Austrian Grand Prix too, so have heard them for a total of five days now. The GP2 cars, and the GP3 cars are both louder than the F1 cars. The Porsche Supercup also!

    Ear defenders are not essential any more. You can hear a lot of the race commentary over the speaker systems. Or with a radio and headphones you can hear all of the commentary. F1 has definitely lost something. It was well proven during the lunchtime display when Alain Prost drove last years Red Bull.

    I certainly heard a lot of people around me complaining about the noise, however the quality if the racing was such that I didn’t really find myself minding.

    I liked being able to actually hear the commentary at the track, and so while the old noise was great, the new noise is good too, for me it didn’t really affect the show.

    No fight at the front

    One unfortunate aspect of the race was that Rosberg’s retirement spoiled a potential battle for victory. This mattered more to some than others.

    There were some absolutely fantastic battles up and down the field, notably between two drivers that share six world championships between them, and there were some very good strategy calls made today.

    However, we were denied any sort of battle for the race lead due to Mercedes’ gearboxes, and we had a very long delay in which I did honestly get quite bored. It’s a fantastic result from a British perspective, yes, but from a purist point of view it was a pretty mediocre race.

    No battle for the lead; the race winner result obvious since one of the two possible competitors retired, useless red flag stoppage that set the race back one hour for a trivial reason, was half-asleep during most of it.

    Sure we had some really good passing as well as really good defending. But the race was decided by a gearbox issue, apart from that the fights were for lower spots.

    F1 is now officially as boring as NASCAR.

    Praise for the ‘show’

    With all that was going on, does F1 really need standing restarts and other gimmicks?

    That’s all I really want from a race – great wheel-to-wheel action, several teams with similar pace, a couple of young chargers on the podium and some doughnuts.

    They don’t need to improve the show, because that was great!

    One of the best British Grand Prix, and possibly better than Bahrain. Cars overtaking and team radio wars. Unfortunately Rosberg was out. But it still a stellar battle.

    We are only halfway into the season and have already had three absolutely phenomenal grands prix. Got to love 2014.

    2014 race results

    2014 Canadian Grand Prix9.190
    2014 Bahrain Grand Prix9.095
    2014 British Grand Prix7.848
    2014 Monaco Grand Prix7.044
    2014 Australian Grand Prix6.889
    2014 Austrian Grand Prix6.698
    2014 Spanish Grand Prix6.449
    2014 Malaysian Grand Prix5.896
    2014 Chinese Grand Prix5.473

    British Grand Prix results

    2008 British Grand Prix8.164
    2011 British Grand Prix7.960
    2014 British Grand Prix7.848
    2013 British Grand Prix7.394
    2010 British Grand Prix7.203
    2012 British Grand Prix7.048
    2009 British Grand Prix5.755

    2014 British Grand Prix

    Browse all 2014 British Grand Prix articles

    Image © Allianz

  • @ragwort @breesegp

    Thanks very much for the feedback! I was going to Canada but got sidetracked when we sold off part of the company and I was a little “busy” that weekend prepping. Hopefully nothing will […]

  • @ragwort @breesegp
    Like, @lethalnz, I would love to get your impression of the sound of the engines as you were personally at the race! If you would share your impressions of the engine noise level and whether […]

  • @ragwort I was there too, the atmosphere was truly incredible! Every time a British driver came past everyone cheered, whether it was hamilton or chilton!

  • @ragwort – The FIA has pushed for that, but there has been no word as to whether it is happening. The teams don’t like it because it means losing space that could go to sponsors.

  • @ragwort
    He did get a reprimand, as said in the article.

  • @ragwort Sorry, just noticed you replied. Thanks for sharing. Had no idea the run from the last corner to turn 1 is so long and makes such a huge direction change.

  • @ragwort, you are perfectly welcome. Thanks for the nice pictures, they really show how far you can see over there.