Heading towards the midlands, surrounded by trees and endless fields is the home of the British Grand Prix – Silverstone. The race is the venue for many of the teams, with McLaren, Williams and Force India being the most prominent, whilst a high proportion of the grid reside near the track too. The Northamptonshire track was the venue for the first ever Formula 1 World Championship race in May 1950, so expect to many tributes and celebrations going on as the circuit tackles the first race in its new ten-year contract*.
Jenson Button will also be basking in British glory this weekend – this will be his first home event as the reigning World Champion and he will desperately be looking for his first victory at the circuit. Button currently sits second in the title hunt behind his teammate and fellow Brit, Lewis Hamilton – the 2008 Champion has a six-point advantage over Button; however the McLaren drivers may find themselves under pressure from a Red Bull team, still fighting back after difficult races in Istanbul and Montreal.
Despite Red Bull’s car advantage, a series of errors and car failures sees the Austrian squad 2nd in the constructors fight and their pilots 3rd and 4th in the drivers championship respectively. Public signs of the frustration between the Red Bull pair, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel has cooled somewhat since their Istanbul collision, but while Vettel surged to victory nine days ago at Valencia, Webber walked away from one of the most frightening accidents in recent Formula 1 history on the Spanish streets. From leading the Championship a few races ago, Webber now lies 4th some 24 points behind Hamilton – the Australian driver needs a win to kickstart his title hopes.
As for Ferrari and Mercedes, they may say they can challenge the front two, but realistically, they may be fighting for minor points come Sunday. With Force India, Renault and Williams lurking close behind, the scrap from fifth onwards could be massively significant.
In the end, it looks like it will come down to four drivers; two teams and each are desperate to taste the victory champagne in the summer sun.
*Before anyone comments that the contract is for seventeen years, apparently the contract is for ten years with an option for seven thereafter.