F1 Power Rankings: British Grand Prix

We’re only 13 months from the 2012 Olympics. But nobody really cares right now because Formula One has come home for its most historic World Championship race at a disused airfield in Northamptonshire. In fact, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was the first F1 World Championship race of the inaugural 1950 season. Speaking of history, that’s what Sebastian Vettel seems to be destined to make. He’s finished in the top two in each of the season’s eight races to go with seven poles and a three-race lead in the points.

#1 Sebastian Vettel (Last Race #1)

#2 Jenson Button (LR #2)
Jenson is hoping his Silverstone luck turns around: “My best finish at Silverstone is fourth, which I earned in 2004 and last year, after a great charge through the field after a disappointing performance in qualifying. Although it’s a place that’s not been too kind to me, I’m really looking forward to this year’s race: we raced on the new layout last year, but this will be the first time we’ve experienced the new circuit as it’s really meant to be.”

#3 Mark Webber (LR #3)

#4 Lewis Hamilton (LR #4)
Lewis hopes that the rules changes about blown diffusers slows Red Bull: “Going into this race, we’re facing some very stiff new interpretations of the regulations; while they’ll affect all teams, it will be interesting to see if the competitive order is changed as a result. It’s going to be a busy weekend for our engineers as they adapt – as always, they’ll do a fantastic job to ensure we stay competitive.”

#5 Fernando Alonso (LR #5)

#6 Felipe Massa (LR #6)

#7 Nico Rosberg (LR #11)
Keke’s kid hopes to put on a good show in front of the factory crew: “I finished third last year and I hope to have another good result, especially because so many of the people working at Brackley and Brixworth will be there with their families. This is the first of our two home grands prix in July, so I want to give a good performance in front of our people.”

#8 Nick Heidfeld (LR #9)
Quick Nick on what Renault is doing to improve: “We understood some of the problems we encountered but you cannot wave a magic wand and change these things overnight. Everyone is working very hard in the factory but the question on all our minds is what’s going to happen with the change in regulations from Silverstone. We will wait to see if that changes the pecking order or the gap between the teams, and then go from there.”

#9 Vitaly Petrov (LR #7)
Vitaly on the setup for the new Silverstone: “We will take the baseline set up we had at Silverstone last year and build on that. Of course, we will have to take the tyres into account. The first sector is quite high speed that requires one type of set up but the car would almost need a different set up for the second and third sectors with slower corners were more traction is required. Basically the car will need to respond to the different demands of the circuit. As usual we will make the most of the free practice sessions to get ready for the race.”

#10 Michael Schumacher (LR #8)
Seven-time knows there’s still work to be done: “With all the changes we have this season, it is difficult for me to judge how the track will suit our car. As always, we will probably only know more after the Friday practice sessions. We are in the process of developing further upgrades and new solutions which I am confident will help us to make a step forward again. The message for all of us is to put our heads down and work our way through, and as we are all sharing this attitude, I am sure we will get there.”

#11 Kamui Kobayashi (LR #10)
Kobayashi Maru is planning on putting on a show: “Silverstone is a high speed track, so I expect us to be good at the British Grand Prix and in a position to fight for points. For me personally Silverstone is my favourite circuit of all, because I really love such high speed corners and also the crowd is very enthusiastic there.”

#12 Sebastien Buemi (LR #12)

#13 Adrian Sutil (LR #14)
Sutil on the new Silverstone layout: “They changed the circuit last year and I have to say I enjoy the new layout just as much as the old one. The new turns one and two make up a really quick right-left chicane and it’s taken almost flat in qualifying. I also think that the new layout makes it a bit easier to overtake because the old lap was so quick that it was almost impossible to follow a car closely.”

#14 Jaime Alguersuari (LR #15)

#15 Sergio Perez (LR #17)
A man named Sergio says he used to live in Oxford. How odd: “There is a very special atmosphere about this race and I like it a lot. Also I used to live in Oxford, for three years actually, so it was my home race for a while and I still have lots of friends there. It will be something special for me to be there the first time to take part in the British Grand Prix and, of course, I want to do well there.”

#16 Rubens Barrichello (LR #16)
Rubens thinks he might get lost: “The circuit organisers have made some changes this year which could prove interesting at the start of practice. We all know what every corner is called, but drivers tend to use numbers rather than names over the radio. They’ve moved the start/finish straight, so we’ll have to remember that Abbey, which we used to refer to as Turn 11, is now Turn 1!”

#17 Paul di Resta (LR #13)
Paul has delusions of grandeur: “It’s a great lap and a place where you can really feel a Formula 1 car excel through the quick corners. And this year, with the new layout, there’s a high-speed end of the lap so it will be interesting to see how the tyres hold on in qualifying. My target is to hopefully make the top ten in qualifying. We’ve been there or there abouts for the last few races and we need to be there if we want to fight for points.”

#18 Pastor Maldonado (LR #18)
Maldonado’s Grade 1 level oral speech: “I have always enjoyed racing at Silverstone since my first visit back in 2007. I also have good memories of it as I have had some great races there, including winning in both 2009 and 2010 in GP2. My favourite corner is Becketts as it is really quick through there. We’ll be working hard to improve the car for this race and once again aim to fight for points.”

#19 Heikki Kovalainen (LR #19)
Kovalainen on Silverstone: “Silverstone is our second home race and it’s one of the great drivers’ tracks so it’s always a race I look forward to… he track itself is a good challenge from inside the cockpit. The first sector is very quick – Copse is taken at over 280kmh and then as you come into Maggots and Becketts where it’s all about staying committed and keeping the car balanced through the whole section, right until the flat-out run up to Stowe.”

#20 Jarno Trulli (LR #20)
The Italian on driving a British car in the British Grand Prix: “The British Grand Prix is one of the classic races and one where I have always had a lot of support. Throughout my career the British fans have been very kind to me and since joining Team Lotus the support in the UK has been ever better, so it’s great to be heading back there in the green and yellow for the second year.”

#21 Timo Glock (LR #21)
Tim O’Glock on his team’s and his home race in back-to-back Grand Prixs: “These next two races are going to be pretty crazy – it’s the team’s home race and then my own in Germany just two weeks later, so I should lose a few kilos because of the schedule alone! I’ve had the pleasure of racing in front of the British crowd many times, and for British teams, and it’s a very special feeling to know that everyone is rooting for you regardless of nationality.”

#22 Jerome d’Ambrosio (LR #22)
Jerome on the exciting week for the Virgins: “There is a lot happening around the team at the moment, which is all very exciting. The announcements this week are great news for all of us and I can’t wait to see how we can develop from here because we have an amazing opportunity for a team that is so young. I hope we can end the week as well as we have started it.”

#23 Tonio Liuzzi (LR #23)
Liuzzi on racing at Silverstone: “Silverstone is a great technical circuit that gives a lot of adrenaline to the drivers; I love the first sector which is made up of high speed corners. You really sense something special when racing here because the passion and heart of the British crowd is huge. It will be a difficult race because of the nature of the circuit but we’re progressing with every race and that is important.”

#24 Daniel Ricciardo (First Race)
Ricciardo on his upcoming first F1 race: “I’m very happy to have my first Formula 1 race coming up in Silverstone. It means a lot to me. I’m sure, as many of us here, we dream it as kids but don’t really believe that one day it will actually happen! It will be a very special moment for me, perhaps a little emotional too.”

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