F1: British Grand Prix – live!
- Updates as Lewis Hamilton starts on pole at Silverstone, 1pm BST
- Hamilton gets Mercedes backing after equalling British GP pole record
- Future of the British Grand Prix: Silverstone, London – or nowhere?
- Email Ben or tweet @benfisherj to get in touch
Some more grid chat. “It will be a long race again, but I really can hope we can repeat what we did in the last race,” Felipe Massa says. Meanwhile, Christian Horner, the Red Bull chief, says he expects a “fascinating race” between Hamilton and Vettel. He adds it’s going to be “juicy”. Lovely stuff.
Mercedes’ chief Toto Wolff speaks. “Mood is good, obviously Lewis has had a bit of rough time this week but he’s in a good space,” he says. “Valtteri [Bottas] knows it’s about damage limitation.”
Martin Brundle’s been “taken ill” at Silverstone, say Sky Sports during their live coverage – including a wonderful montage of grid walks – just a few moments ago. Hopefully he’s alright.
Away from Mercedes, one driver is hoping just to complete the race after five retirements in the last seven races. Max Verstappen will start from fourth this afternoon but the Red Bull driver is keeping his feet firmly on the track.
“I want to be realistic and not dream so I’m hoping my luck has changed and I can have a good, fun race tomorrow and bring the car home,” he said, ahead of his 50th race start, yesterday. “I am not talking about podiums or winning for now. If something happens to the cars in front then we can challenge for a better result.”
Hamilton’s been speaking and answering a couple of fans’ questions.
How do you get so fast? “A lot of practice, a lot practice. I have just always wanted to go faster. This year we are working more as a unit than ever and the workmanship has been better than it’s ever been.”
Refreshed from a two-day jolly in Mykonos, Lewis Hamilton got straight back into things to land pole in front of a home crowd at Silverstone on Saturday. It was not any old pole, though – a fifth here and the 67th time he’s been in driving seat in his career. In layman’s terms, he is just one short of Michael Schumachers’s total. After soaking up the sun in Greece, Hamilton – who grew up in Stevenage but moved to Monaco and now calls a ranch in Colorado home – reverted to type in Northamptonshire. He did, at least, escape the Kaiser Chiefs’ performance in Trafalgar Square on Wednesday. Just as well, then, he said he “grew up in wet and chilly conditions” after celebrating pole.
Kimi Raikkonen will start alongside Hamilton on the grid while Sebastian Vettel begins from third. Hamilton’s Mercedes’ team-mate Valtteri Bottas will start from ninth. “I obviously have nothing to lose so we try to make a good race for the team and catch up on the podium,” Raikkonen said. As for those weather conditions, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso is predicting they will be “chaotic” today. The Spaniard is hoping it may work in his favour. “Hopefully it’ll stay like this tomorrow, weather-wise. I think we saw today with mixed conditions we can be fast, we can take extra risks because we are not in the points at the start, so let see.”
Ben will be here soon enough. Until then, read Richard Williams on Silverstone’s rich history:
A lot of tears will be shed this weekend over the potential demise of Silverstone as a grand prix venue in two years’ time, but they will not be universal. To some, the old second world war bomber base has outlived its era, ruined not so much by outdated facilities as by cack-handed attempts at modernisation. A glass pyramid might not have spoiled the Louvre courtyard, but the addition of the monstrous pits and hospitality complex called The Wing six years ago symbolises Silverstone’s failure to integrate past, present and future.
Source: Formula 1