2014 British Grand Prix
The stage was set by a thrilling and unpredictable wet qualifying session, the result of which was a grid with several drivers out of their usual qualifying positions.
The race began with a delay of over an hour following a first-lap crash for Kimi Raikkonen which brought the red flag out for track repairs. Fortunately the Ferrari driver and those involved in the accident were unharmed.
Another intriguing contest between the two Mercedes was in the offing until technical problems forced Nico Rosberg out. But as that allowed Lewis Hamilton to claim his second home win, the crowd wasn’t too disappointed. It also narrowed the gap between the championship leaders to just four points.
The British Grand Prix received an average rating of 7.8 out of ten – the third-highest of the year so far. Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers thought of it:
Alonso versus Vettel
By far the best wheel-to-wheel action of the race was supplied by two drivers with six world championships between them: Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, who slugged it out for more than a dozen laps. However the persistent complaining from both drivers on the radio drew some criticism.
One of the best battles I’ve seen in a long time between Alonso and Vettel. Bottas put in a beautiful drive and there was plenty of action wherever you looked.
I thought it was a great race, there seemed to be plenty of action throughout. I loved the battle between Alonso and Vettel and I was laughing at the radio comments from them as it seemed every lap one one of them was complaining about the other one, hoping that a penalty would be handed out.
The fight between Vettel and Alonso, in my opinion, was highlight of the race. They fought for every millimetre of the track, the duel was just titanic.
It was a pity the drivers couldn’t avoid whining, because they’re such great drivers and should put their energy into racing.
Felipe Massa’s lightning reactions potentially spared Raikkonen from suffering a much worse accident, as he pitched his Williams into a spin to avoid striking the damaged Ferrari head-on.
Impressed with Massa’s skilful avoidance tactics after Raikkonen went off.
One (well known) person interviewed after the race said Massa “locked up”. I beg to differ. It looked like he deliberately wrenched the car sideways to avoid T-boning Raikkonen’s car; in my opinion it was skill and quick reactions, not an error.
Respect to Massa for fast reactions. The onboard shot shows just how close he was when the Ferrari appeared in his view. I doubt anyone other than an F1 driver could have reacted so quickly. A tenth of a delay and he would have T-boned Raikkonen, and I don’t want to even consider what that may have caused.
What a quick and fully committed move by Massa. If the tyres were hotter he might have even avoided Raikkonen. I imagine that Massa doesn’t have many Finnish fans, so I hope that they noticed!
The view from the spectators
I don’t know how well the television coverage showed the race. But as a spectator, it was one of the best British grands prix I have been to. The support for not only Hamilton, but for Button and Chilton was fantastic.
The Raikkonen crash delay just heightened the expectation of the crowd. Bottas was brilliant. The battle between Vettel and Alonso was brilliant too. Involving Magnusson too for a number of laps.
There were battles all the way through the field. A cracking race.
I was there too, the atmosphere was truly incredible! Every time a British driver came past everyone cheered, whether it was Hamilton, Button or Chilton!
The noise is just not the same.
I was at the Austrian Grand Prix too, so have heard them for a total of five days now. The GP2 cars, and the GP3 cars are both louder than the F1 cars. The Porsche Supercup also!
Ear defenders are not essential any more. You can hear a lot of the race commentary over the speaker systems. Or with a radio and headphones you can hear all of the commentary. F1 has definitely lost something. It was well proven during the lunchtime display when Alain Prost drove last years Red Bull.
I certainly heard a lot of people around me complaining about the noise, however the quality if the racing was such that I didn’t really find myself minding.
I liked being able to actually hear the commentary at the track, and so while the old noise was great, the new noise is good too, for me it didn’t really affect the show.
No fight at the front
One unfortunate aspect of the race was that Rosberg’s retirement spoiled a potential battle for victory. This mattered more to some than others.
There were some absolutely fantastic battles up and down the field, notably between two drivers that share six world championships between them, and there were some very good strategy calls made today.
However, we were denied any sort of battle for the race lead due to Mercedes’ gearboxes, and we had a very long delay in which I did honestly get quite bored. It’s a fantastic result from a British perspective, yes, but from a purist point of view it was a pretty mediocre race.
No battle for the lead; the race winner result obvious since one of the two possible competitors retired, useless red flag stoppage that set the race back one hour for a trivial reason, was half-asleep during most of it.
Sure we had some really good passing as well as really good defending. But the race was decided by a gearbox issue, apart from that the fights were for lower spots.
F1 is now officially as boring as NASCAR.
Praise for the ‘show’
With all that was going on, does F1 really need standing restarts and other gimmicks?
That’s all I really want from a race – great wheel-to-wheel action, several teams with similar pace, a couple of young chargers on the podium and some doughnuts.
They don’t need to improve the show, because that was great!
One of the best British Grand Prix, and possibly better than Bahrain. Cars overtaking and team radio wars. Unfortunately Rosberg was out. But it still a stellar battle.
We are only halfway into the season and have already had three absolutely phenomenal grands prix. Got to love 2014.
2014 race results
|2014 Canadian Grand Prix||9.190|
|2014 Bahrain Grand Prix||9.095|
|2014 British Grand Prix||7.848|
|2014 Monaco Grand Prix||7.044|
|2014 Australian Grand Prix||6.889|
|2014 Austrian Grand Prix||6.698|
|2014 Spanish Grand Prix||6.449|
|2014 Malaysian Grand Prix||5.896|
|2014 Chinese Grand Prix||5.473|
2014 British Grand Prix
- Bottas wins second Driver of the Weekend in a row
- Silverstone’s 50th grand prix proves a fine vintage
- 2014 British Grand Prix team radio transcript
- 2014 British Grand Prix fans’ video gallery
- Top ten pictures from the 2014 British Grand Prix
Image © Allianz