The 2016 F1 British Grand Prix returns to the Silverstone circuit this weekend for the oldest – and, some say, greatest – race on the calendar. Will defending champion Lewis Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg and scoop his fourth F1 title? Let’s just say, you may not want to bet against it…
Right now we’re in the midst what may well prove to be the most exciting phase of this year’s 21 race F1 calendar. Not only is the championship boiling over after Nico Rosberg’s spectacularly unsubtle attempt to ram his teammate Lewis Hamilton off the track and derail his resurgence from a dismal start to the season, but this weekend we’re heading to the oldest, and some say greatest, race of the year, Silverstone.
For many years the circuit has battled to retain its place in the F1 Championship, but after the 2010 revamp of the pits and paddock and some tweaks to the circuit layout, it has emerged as one of the finest and fastest of all F1 venues. It now combines the first-class facilities of the newest circuits like Yas Marina and the Circuit of the Americas, but combines this with a Grand Prix gold-dust heritage. Silverstone has seen some of the greatest battles since it first hosted the British Grand Prix in 1948; Moss vs Fangio; Clark vs Hill; Stewart vs Fittipaldi; Hunt vs Lauda; Prost vs Senna vs Mansell; Schumacher vs Hill. See what I mean?
Silverstone has always been scheduled around mid-season, just as the championship rivals are removing their gloves, ready for a bare-knuckle fight to the last. What makes the Rosberg/Hamilton battle even more enthralling is the fact that they are old friends and rivals from their karting days. But the two could not have had a more different start to their racing careers. Rosberg was brought up in Monaco, the privileged son of 1982 F1 champion, Keke.
Silverstone has always been scheduled around mid-season, just as the championship rivals are removing their gloves, ready for a bare-knuckle fight to the last
Hamilton, on the other hand, grew up in Stevenage and his father Anthony worked three jobs to pay for his son’s burgeoning karting career. If the Mercedes duo appear to have an especially intense rivalry, it is with good reason; they have history. The pair became teammates as long ago as 2000 in a karting team set up by McLaren and Keke Rosberg with the sole aim of developing their careers. They raced together, ate together, and even shared hotel rooms together. And who do you think came out on top back then? You guessed it: Hamilton.
Rosberg is currently on 153 points, with Hamilton closing fast on 142 points. With the wind in his sails, a partisan 120,000-strong crowd behind him, and three Silverstone wins already under his belt (each of them in his championship-winning years), you may not want to bet against our Lewis this weekend.
For tickets, visit Silverstone
Chris Bucknall is Managing Director of V Management, a 5-star storage and management facility for classic and supercars in Berkshire. They also organise bespoke private European tours and track days. You can contact him at email@example.com