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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-04-2008, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Silverstone 08

04 Jul 2008
Practice one - Massa fastest, but crashes heavily
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa set the fastest time in Friday’s first practice session for the British Grand Prix here at Silverstone this morning, but also brought out the red flag for 15 minutes after crashing immediately after establishing the benchmark.

The Brazilian had just lapped in 1m 19.575s when he encountered freshly spilled oil at Stowe corner, courtesy of Fernando Alonso whose Renault had just lost its engine. The Brazilian’s Ferrari snapped sideways and went off backwards, hard, into the tyre wall on the outside. Massa was unhurt, but his F2008 is a mess.

Later Heikki Kovalainen raised McLaren hopes by reducing his time to 1m 19.587s to displace team mate Lewis Hamilton, who had worked down to 1m 19.623s. Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari was the final runner beneath 1m 20s, with 1m 19.948s for fourth fastest slot.

Robert Kubica was some way off the leading quartet for BMW Sauber, lapping his F1.08 in 1m 20.367s to fend off the hamstrung Alonso, who recorded 1m 20.436s before his problem.

Sebastian Vettel was again in strong form for Toro Rosso with 1m 20.588s, and the young German was chased by Renault’s Nelson Piquet on 1m 20.653s, Red Bull’s David Coulthard on 1m 20.698s and Nico Rosberg on 1m 20.744s. Mark Webber’s 1m 20.892s in the second Red Bull rounded out in 11th place the runners below 1m 21s.

Timo Glock was another driver to encounter Alonso’s oil, but only spun his Toyota. Earlier he had also rotated at Brooklands before posting 1m 21.102s to head Nick Heidfeld on 1m 21.107s in the second BMW Sauber. Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais was 14th with 1m 21.166s ahead of Toyota’s Jarno Trulli on 1m 21.265s and Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima on 1m 21.282s. Then there was a gap to Jenson Button in 1m 21.901s in a slightly improved Honda RA108.

Adrian Sutil survived a hefty off-course moment at Becketts which put some serious impacts into the floor of his Force India, to lap in 1m 22.169s, just ahead of team mate Giancarlo Fisichella on 1m 22.219s.

At the back, Rubens Barrchello only managed 1m 24.123s before his Honda ran into undisclosed mechanical trouble. The session was run in overcast but dry conditions, and a track temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-04-2008, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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04 Jul 2008
Practice two - Kovalainen sets pace, Trulli loses wing
Friday’s second practice at Silverstone saw many leading runners focus on race set-up running. It was Heikki Kovalainen who set the pace for McLaren with the only sub-1m 20s lap of the afternoon, a 1m 19.989s - a time that would have given him fifth place in this morning’s quicker session.

As Felipe Massa settled in his repaired Ferrari F2008, and team mate Kimi Raikkonen worked on long-distance runs, it was Mark Webber who placed his Red Bull RB4 in the runner-up slot with 1m 20.520s, which was just sufficient to prevent Lewis Hamilton making it a McLaren one-two.

The Englishman lapped in 1m 20.543s to head Red Bull’s David Coulthard (1m 20.589s), Williams’ Nico Rosberg (1m 20.748s), Sebastian Vettel (again on strong form for Toro Rosso with 1m 20.805s), Honda’s Jenson Button (1m 20.929s), Massa (1m 20.943s) and Kazuki Nakajima (1m 20.985s). Vettel had one off-course moment at Stowe, which may still have been slippery after Alonso’s morning engine failure, while Nakajima also ran his Williams into the tyres at Vale, before limping back to the pits with suspension damage.

Rubens Barrichello completed the top 10 for Honda with 1m 21.002s, then came BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica (1m 21.023s), Raikkonen (1m 21.275s), Nick Heidfeld (1m 21.453s) in the second BMW, Toyota’s Timo Glock (1m 21.472s), Alonso (1m 21.511s), Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 21.520s), Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais (1m 21.634s), Renault’s Nelson Piquet (1m 21.642s) and Force India’s Adrian Sutil (1m 21.756s). Fisichella went off at Stowe.

It was not a great session for Toyota; Glock stopped out on the track at Club at one stage with a clutch problem, while Jarno Trulli was left in last place on 1m 22.196s after his TF108’s rear wing parted company with the rest of the car under braking for Stowe and the sudden loss of downforce caused him to pirouette into the wall on the outside. The team had been running a new part on Trulli's car. They immediately reverted to the standard spec on Glock's and will continue with that for the remainder of the weekend.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 05:34 PM
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Congrats to McLaren Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. Quite an interesting race to watch. Rain is a pain for drivers but it sure is nice for the fans (at home in the dry!) because it keeps the races from becoming processions
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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What a start and great win for Hamilton and McLaren. Kovalainen's shutting the door to Raikkonen may have cost him the lead. I was glad to see Heidfeld and Barrichello on the podium.
Not to mount new intermediates on Raikkonens car was a huge tactical Ferrari error.
The team is not the same without Ross Brawn and Jean Todt, and Massa sure didn't look like a top driver.
Hamilton, Massa, and Raikkonen, sharing the Championship lead with 48 points each should make for an interesting rest of the season.
Cheers
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 10:04 AM
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Lewis drove an amazing race! If we're going to have more rain races Lewis is going to be champion. Only one problem, who the hell gave fox the right to air the F1 race, you couldn't watch more than 3 laps before they would go to commercials! Another good reason to move back to Europe!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Fox and Speed channel both are part of News Corp (Murdoch). Thats why we at least have the same IMO great commentators on either.
The races we watch are usually the National or local TV / Cable channel feed, and are beyond the control of either Speed, or Fox.
But I agree, the coverage was pretty annoying.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Q&A - Heidfeld relives his Silverstone thriller

10 Jul 2008
Q&A - Heidfeld relives his Silverstone thriller
With Lewis Hamilton’s sterling home victory and Rubens Barrichello’s first podium in three seasons at Silverstone last weekend, Nick Heidfeld’s second-place finish at the British Grand Prix was somewhat overshadowed. For Heidfeld’s fans, however, the German’s race was a sensation. Not only did he overcome his recent qualifying woes, he fought his way onto the podium with a triumphant mix of clever strategy, composed racing and cooler-than-cool overtaking moves…

Q: You’ve earned a lot of praise for your second place and pair of double overtaking moves in the rain of Silverstone. How did you pull off such a great performance?
Nick Heidfeld: It was just brilliant. Qualifying finally went well again, and in the race everything slotted into place. The team did everything right and I also avoided making any mistakes. It’s always satisfying when passing moves come off; winning a head-to-head battle fair and square is as good as it gets. And if you can overtake two other guys in the same move twice in the same race, the thrill is that much greater. Especially as it was a Ferrari and a McLaren I got past on one of those occasions.

Q: A lot of people complain that overtaking is impossible in Formula One racing. You provide regular evidence to the contrary - under the toughest conditions as well. How do you decide whether to dive into a gap? Are you braver than other drivers?
NH: I actually find overtaking easiest in tricky conditions. The differences between the individual drivers are just greater in the rain. Plus, different drivers take different lines through the corners, which naturally helps with overtaking.

Q: You referred to your problems in qualifying. Are they now behind you?
NH: What is certain is that our work has paid off. The team has given me tremendous support. We conducted a complicated analysis of the situation and took measures to enable me to make better use of the tyres for a single hot lap. As an outsider it’s tempting to think that all it takes to get the tyres up to optimum temperature is a couple of burnouts. But that only heats up the contact area of the rear tyres. It is a complex issue, and the Barcelona test in June already produced a degree of progress. We undid some of the good work with our poor performance overall at Magny-Cours, but for me it was important to see that I was back up to the same level as my team mate in the second period of qualifying. That was the case again at Silverstone. However, we will not be easing off now; I’m sure that there is a lot more we can do to further improve my performance in qualifying.

Q: Have you feared for your place in the team over recent weeks?
NH: No, that would have been the wrong way to approach the situation. I was
concerned about my qualifying performance. But I also knew that I hadn’t suddenly forgotten how to drive a car and that my race speed was still good. The critical thing for me is to get the tyres up to temperature in qualifying.

Q: Why do you perform so well in the wet?
NH: I used to enjoy racing in the rain in my karting days, and then in the various classes up from there as well. The car slides and reacts totally differently, and you have to do everything with much greater sensitivity - steering, braking, accelerating. Getting to grips with all of these factors is so much fun. However, if you are not in the lead there is another aspect of racing in the rain that makes things rather unpredictable: the lack of visibility. We sit so low to the ground and the Formula One cars whip up so much water that you can hardly see a thing in the spray - neither the pools of water nor the other cars. You really can’t compare it with driving on the road.

Q: How did your two days of testing go at Hockenheim?
NH: We were fortunate that the weather turned out to be better than forecast, which meant I was able to complete more laps than I was expecting in the dry. We tested a few new aerodynamic and mechanical components at Hockenheim, both for the German Grand Prix specifically and looking further ahead. That was our priority during the test; the plan was in no way to set the fastest possible lap times. As I cannot judge what kind of programme the other teams were running, the lap times from the test do not tell us all that much. However, I would have liked more time to work out an ideal set-up for the race at Hockenheim.

Q: What is your plan for the German Grand Prix?
NH: Clearly, it gives me an extra push to go into my home Grand Prix on the back of a podium finish in the last race. I want to keep heading in the same direction - get a good position on the grid and do as well as possible in the race itself. I’m really looking forward to what is BMW’s home Grand Prix as well as mine personally. Plus, Hockenheim always attracts a particularly large number of fans from Switzerland as well, and I’m determined to put on a great performance for them.
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