Questions Ahead Of British GP

Date published: July 1 2015

Can Silverstone hush the naysayers, will Kimi Raikkonen emerge from his slump and more as we look ahead to the British GP.

Can Silverstone Hush The Naysayers?
It has been another miserable month or so for Formula 1 with the moaning about the state of the sport growing louder each day. No one can deny that F1 has problems, but as Jean Todt has pointed out, it has a headache, not cancer.

However, it is really sad to see so many high-level officials criticising F1 on a daily basis. Red Bull, in particular, have not done them or the sport any favours with the constant complaints coming from Christian Horner, Helmut Marko and Dietrich Mateschitz. Frankly it has become tiresome.

Therefore F1 needs Silverstone to produce a good show even if it only puts a band aid on and distracts us from what's wrong. The British Grand Prix has a reputation for producing the goods, both on and off the track. Last year Lewis Hamilton came from sixth to thrill the home crowd with victory, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo were both on the podium, and Kimi Raikkonen caused a red flag. The previous year we had the Pirelli tyre puncture drama.

Let's hope for some on-track talking points this year and the good news before the race is that a a record of 350,000 people are expected over the four days.

Who Really Has The Momentum?
It wasn't that long ago when people wondered if Nico Rosberg has accepted his lot in life and settled for the role as Mercedes' number two driver after Lewis Hamilton won three out of the first four races.

David Coulthard said there were "worrying signs" coming from the Rosberg camp while Jenson Button advised the German to do his "talking on the track".

Well, Rosberg has certainly done his talking on the track after the Bahrain Grand Prix as he has won three of the last four races, including the Austrian Grand Prix last time out. The manner in which he squeezed Hamilton aside off the start line certainly shows he is up for the fight this year.

Don't read too much into the momentum though as Rosberg also entered last year's British Grand Prix on the back of a confidence boosting victory in Austria with many questioning whether or not he had the upper hand over Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship stakes.

Hamilton ended up winning at Silverstone last year after Rosberg retired due to a gearbox problem, but for the sake of this year's title we need the Merc drivers to continue swapping wins and to maybe throw their toys out of the cot to keep things interesting.

A Hat-Trick Of Disappointments For Kimi?
The pressure is on Kimi Raikkonen. First he spun on his out-lap after a pit stop in Canada, prompting Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene to say he "threw away a certain podium", and then he crashed on the first lap in Austria, taking Fernando Alonso with him in the process. He copped plenty of flak in the wake of the incident at the Red Bull Ring with many people not quite sure what happened.

Needless to say that the Finn needs to produce a solid display at Silverstone. The bad news for Raikkonen is things also ended on the first lap last year as he lost control on the Wellington straight, went sliding off the track, came back on and then nearly took out Felipe Massa in the process. That race was delayed for an hour as marshals fixed the Armco barrier, but Raikkonen was also heavily criticised after the incident.

A year later and he heads into the British GP desperately needing a good display to not only get the critics off his back, but also to get back into the good books of his Ferrari bosses.

How Big A Boost Will Force India Get?
Force India have certainly punched above their weight in the first eight races of the 2015 campaign when you consider they missed the entire first pre-season test and only unveiled the VJM08 at the final test in Barcelona. Yet Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez managed to pick up 31 points between them to put the team fifth in the Constructors' Championship.

After putting their B-spec VJM08 and its much-talked new nose with 'nostrils' through its paces at the in-season test in Austria, the Silverstone outfit will be confident of taking a few steps forward. Who knows, if they get a few more seconds out of the upgraded car, they could well be pushing Red Bull for fourth place in the standings.