F1 Power Rankings: British Grand Prix

After a three-week break, the Formula One circus returns home to England for the British Grand Prix at the historic Silverstone Circuit. The big story over the break was what would happen to Mercedes GP over the Pirelli tyre test. It turns out that nothing happened because the FIA is terrible. Well, we move on to Silverstone and I think that Mercedes isn’t the favourite but they’re in better shape than they were before Monaco.

#1 Sebastian Vettel (Last Race #1)
Seb talks about the challenge of the old first sector of Silverstone: “Only Suzuka can be compared to Silverstone – no other track on the calendar has such a sequence of superfast corners like Silverstone does. Copse Corner, Maggots, Becketts and Chapel are amongst the four best corners in Formula One – they belong together. You have to catch the first one perfectly, otherwise the rhythm is off for all of them and at the end, Chapel is so insanely fast. If you have driven properly in the previous three corners and the car is well tuned then you can drive through full throttle. You go through at roughly 270kph, really amazing!”

#2 Fernando Alonso (LR #2)
I bet Ferrari is kicking themselves after last week’s tyre test ruling. They could have logged 1,000 km on Pirelli tyres in their 2013 car after the Bahrain GP if they figured that the FIA would effectively rule it legal. Missing the Young Drivers’ Test is not an equivalency to the test feedback from your two race drivers. Mercedes worked the system and they’ll reap the benefits with none of the consequences.

#3 Lewis Hamilton (LR #5)
Old Louise TyreTest says that the test is steadily improving. Really? You don’t say: “In terms of our own performance, I think we’ve made some small steps in the right direction but we won’t know where we really are until we start our programme on Friday. Hopefully we have another positive step for this weekend and I’m looking forward to see what I can deliver in front of my home fans.”

#4 Mark Webber (LR #4)
@AussieGrit talks about the pressure of being the only driver in the field who pays his taxes in Britain: “Not really, we want to do our best at every race we go to, there are 25 points for grabs at every one. I’m sure it means that little bit extra for the staff members and their families, as many will be watching onsite. They’re very proud of the effort they put in during the year and of the car and it’s their time to show it.”

#5 Nico Rosberg (LR #7)
Nico TyreTest is worried about tyre degradation. I’m soooo sure he is: “I don’t know how our car is going to perform on such a track and it will certainly be interesting in terms of tyre degradation, because these tyres wear most in high-speed corners so this will be key to getting a good result.”

f1-kimi-raikkonen-helmet-2013#6 Kimi Raikkonen (LR #3)
After a tough couple of races, The Iceman thinks that street circuits are Lotus’ forte but expects things to pickup on dedicated road courses: “Obviously, it’s not been that great and we haven’t got the results we wanted. The last couple of races have been more a question of surviving not attacking and that’s not what anyone wants. That said, Monaco and Montréal are both street circuits; they’re quite different from a lot of tracks we visit and there are quite a lot of variables. You never know how you’re going to go at those two tracks but we do now and at least we got a few points.”

#7 Paul di Resta (LR #8)
Unlike the Mercedes boys, Dario’s cousin is quite happy with the tyres: “With the way our car is working these tyres at the moment, we are looking really healthy. I believe this car is the best we’ve ever had and everyone in the team is working hard to squeeze even more performance from it.”

#8 Felipe Massa (LR #6)
Pirelli Motorsport boss Paul Hembery talks about gathering data without mentioning Mercedes: “During free practice at Silverstone we will have the same prototype hard tyre available that we tried out on Friday in Spain, aimed at even greater durability than our current hard. This is in order to give the teams the chance to test this new compound on a different track to collect more data.”

#9 Jean-Eric Vergne (LR #14)

f1-romain-grosjean-helmet-2013#10 Romain Grosjean (LR #9)
Grosjean is expecting changing weather which I think would actually benefit him: “Last year there was quite a bit of wet weather over the weekend; not that this was much of a surprise to the Englishmen I’ve spoken to! I live quite near to the track now and my experience of regularly visiting Enstone means that I know the weather can change quite a lot. An English summer’s day is wonderful, but sometimes you have to look hard to find one!”

#11 Adrian Sutil (LR #10)
Sutil isn’t going out of his way to praise Silverstone. It makes for a nice change of pace: ” It’s not my top favourite, but it’s a great place to drive a Formula One car. It’s fast and flowing, so it’s quite a big change from Monaco and Canada, but I’m confident that we can go there and perform well. I enjoy the high-speed sections and also the newer start of the lap, which definitely makes it easier to overtake compared to the old layout.

f1-jenson-button-helmet-2013#12 Jenson Button (LR #11)
Jenson is setting expectations exceptionally low: “Of course, I don’t want to raise everyone’s expectations: I think the fans know what to expect. For me, my goal will be to get the maximum from the package and to race as hard as I can – that’ll be a satisfactory outcome for me next weekend.”

f1-sergio-perez-helmet-2013#13 Sergio Perez (LR #12)
Checo talks about generic history stuff: “Silverstone is a place with an incredible amount of history – it’s cool that you can look at old black-and-white photos of the British Grand Prix and still clearly recognise corners like Copse and Stowe, and the Hangar Straight. It’s amazing to think that the circuit has been in use since the very first race of the Formula 1 World Championship.”

#14 Daniel Ricciardo (LR #13)

f1-nico-hulkenberg-helmet-2013#15 Nico Hulkenberg (LR #15)
The Hulk wins generic PR quote of the week: “The British Grand Prix has a lot of history and is the home Grand Prix for the English Formula One teams. For the fans it also holds a lot of tradition. I’m comfortable with the track. I particularly like corners like Maggots, Becketts and Chapel, which require a lot of driving skill.”

#16 Valtteri Bottas (LR #17)
Val says talks about Williams milestone weekend: “This is going to be a very special weekend for Williams, celebrating 600 races in front of our home fans at a track which has a lot of history for the team and is great fun to drive.”

f1-esteban-gutierrez-helmet-2013#17 Esteban Gutierrez (LR #16)
Okay, Sauber wins a team award this week for generic quotage: “I’ve raced there in every year of my career and it’s one of the circuits I like the most. The track has a lot of fast corners that you pass in split seconds. To feel the limit of the car at such high speed, for example in corners like Becketts, is something special.”

#18 Pastor Maldonado (LR #18)
Pastor talks about grip on the new part of the track which is something that is seldom talked about: “With the track being quick and the temperatures usually low it is easy to grain the front tyres and this is something we will have to manage and consider when deciding on the pit stop strategy. The new part of the track is still very green with less grip which is something you have to bear in mind when behind the wheel.”

#19 Charles Pic (LR #19)

#20 Jules Bianchi (LR #20)
Jules likens this to a home race for the team but isn’t Marussia registered in Russia? ” It is also an important weekend for the whole Team and I too will be looking to achieve my objectives – to contribute to a good overall team result and keep up the fight with the cars around us. We will have a lot of our team members who don’t usually get to a race present and that is really important and nice for them, to be able to see us racing so close to our base.”

f1-max-chilton-helmet-2013#21 Max Chilton (LR #22)
Chilton is really excited for his first home GP: “The British Grand Prix is really special, and for so many reasons, so to be able to call it my home Grand Prix is pretty incredible and without doubt it will be the highlight of my debut season so far… I know from having raced at Silverstone previously that the atmosphere is electric, with a sea of Union Jack flags and some big noise coming from the grandstands. I’m sure it will be better than ever this year with four British drivers in the mix.”

#22 Geido van der Garde (LR #21)

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