• Matthieu Piekarski

#17 British Grand Prix Review

Let’s get straight to the point: The British GP was the best Grand Prix of the 2015 season. We were served a “Box-Office” Grand Prix as said by David Coulthard after the Grand Prix. The thrill from the underdogs that are Williams managing to surprise everyone at the start, to the weather alternating between sun, ligt rain, sun, rain, and finally cameback the sun, in time for the last lap all played a significant role in disturbing the hierarchy. This gave us from the start of the race until the chequered flag an amazing race, one that kept us hooked.

Formula 1 desperately needed a race like this one. In the build-up to Sunday’s race the paddock were discussing the GPDA Fan Survey, then we had the rumor of Aston Martin joining the sport, Ron Dennis calling Eddie Jordan the “village idiot”, all of these were quickly forgotten once the red lights went off and the cars went racing, because at the end of the day that is what F1 is all about. It was incredible to forget all the previous boring races and for a change we were gazing at the screen in the anticipation of what was going to happen next. Now the only problem, is that we expect the remaining 10 GP of the season to be as spectacular as or even more thrilling than the British GP.

Silverstone reminded us how it is important to keep the classic venues a staple of the Formula 1 calendar. They are the ones with Monza & Monaco that attract the largest crowds. The crowds do make a difference, the drivers feel it and the racing benefits from it. Formula 1 is not just racing it is a celebration of motorsport from the spectator to the mechanics to steward to the marshals to the driver, everyone plays a part in the celebration.

Yes, F1 still needs to tweak certain aspects but overall the sport remains the pinnacle of motorsport and this weekend demonstrated it amazingly.

Williams were as surprised as us in finding the perfect amount of grip to overtake at the start both Mercedes AMG F1 cars. We can play out all the various scenarios possible, but at the end of the day if it would have stayed dry throughout the race, then yes Williams could have won the Grand Prix. The issue with Williams is that whenever they are at the forefront, they tend to be too conservative, which as a result leaves them with a greater margin of losing their position.

Mercedes AMG F1 on the other hand, took the risk firstly from Lewis to overtake Massa right after the Safety Car went back into the pits, but failed. But the resilience of the team and driver led to Lewis pitting earlier to undercut both Williams, and what a call it was.

What I am trying to get to in the end is that teams must build up confidence on the track if they want to beat Mercedes AMG F1. Yes, Mercedes AMG F1 have created a spectacular gap that has left everyone amazed performance speaking. But teams need to apply more pertinent strategical decision that will leave Mercedes AMG F1 scratching their heads, because this is where the Achilles heel of Mercedes AMG F1 lies.

It was the first time we got to witness a proper Virtual Safety Car, as the one in Monaco barely lasted 10 seconds. Jacques Villeneuve and other of my friends when watching the race found it completely idiotic for a concept, I have mixed feeling about it. Yes, its saves us the pain of enduring the time consuming safety car procedure but at the same time it doesn’t provide an enhanced thrilling restart. The cars should be able to regroup to form a more compact field. At the moment the cars simply conserve their gaps to each other and it’s something that bothers me slightly. At the same time, don’t hear me wrong, I completely understand why the Virtual Safety Car was introduced to enhance the safety of the marshals and the drivers following the Bianchi incident. It is just something that should be perfected, perhaps the leader slowing down completely until most cars or the top 5 are regrouped.

The Toro Rosso rookies finally showed their lack of experience this weekend. Max Verstappen was complaining Saturday and Sunday about his car not having grip and ended up crashing, while Carlos Sainz Jr broke down when the rain started. It was bound to happen at least once, it’s through errors that we learn.

Errors that keep repeating themselves at McLaren, every GP that follows leaves us with even more questions about the future of their performance. Despite Alonso scoring his first point of the season. What McLaren lacks at the moment is stability. We are hearing more and more about Jenson Button racing his last season. But at the moment, McLaren should make it clear in my mind that they will retain Jenson and Fernando (they have no choice contractually speaking for the latter one) for next year, to create a stability in the mind of the drivers, team and sponsors. Since, Lewis Hamilton has left the team, every season saw a new driver arriving to the team, for me that is the first sign of an unstable team. In my view, this is the first little step they must take to find stability and will slowly result in enhancing the whole team to focus on scoring as many points as possible, because at the moment their current Constructor Championship means that by the end of the season they will lose more than 50 million British Pounds of prize money in comparison to last year.

Ferrari at the end of the day all they could do is damage limitation, they were never anywhere close to the top throughout the weekend. Thanks to the rain, Vettel’s podium allows him to keep some hopes in the title. But it seems that Ferrari are a bit confused with all the upgrades, in knowing adequately which direction to focus on in order to close the gap to the Mercedes powered and Mercedes AMG teams. I still maintain that Kimi is driving his last season in F1, unfortunately.

The team that overall impressed and that is making a step forward is Force India. I must admit their new front wing nose is simply amazingly good looking! Both scoring points and a special mention once again to Nico Hulkenberg for a sensational start!

It was such a joyful Grand Prix, filled with on track action, it is pointless to ruin such highlight with other paddock subjects such as Formula 1 potentially being bought by Qatar, Jean Todt putting forth later GP’s during the European season, etc. Let’s keep these dicussion for another time, perhaps if I miss writing about F1 during these next three weeks holiday, then perhaps I will write an article. For now I want to put forth the racing and how F1 is an amazing sport filled with excitement on the race track.

To conclude, I will give the 2015 British Grand Prix the grade of 9 out of 10. The reason is straight forward, the racing was spectacular and it was everything we were hoping for, for a very long time. What I particularly enjoyed is the unpredictability of the race in alternating weather conditions, the true champions (Lewis and Vettel) demonstrated what differentiates a champion from the rest, in their ability to time perfectly changing situation to their strategy. When Lewis pitted a second time to put Inters as Nico was gaining 2 seconds a lap on him, in my mind I was saying we are living an identical Monaco strategy call scenario, when actually one lap later we realized it was one of the best call in F1 history! This is the sort of Grand Prix that you can watch again and never get bored of. We need more GP like this, we want to be hooked from the start to the beginning filled with surprises and nerve wracking moments!

Thank you for your growing fidelity, I hope that you once again enjoyed reading my Grand Prix Review. Unfortunately, due to the German GP being cancelled, we have to be patient for three weeks now. But rest assured, the Magyar Nagdij or in other words, the Hungarian Grand Prix will be worth the wait. Take care!

ps: To all Motorsport gamers from PC, PS4, Xbox One do not forget to pre-book the F1 2015 game that will be released the 10th of July. Currently Amazon is offering 14% off, for all purchase before the release date. This is a must-have game for any F1 Game! Can’t wait to race with all of you online very soon.

Don’t forget to follow me on my Twitter: @m_piekarski

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