21 June 2013
Formula One talking points ahead of the British Grand Prix
Silverstone is a hot spot on the F1 calendar. Other than Monaco, no other place on the calendar gets fans, drivers' and teams so excited to go racing. Silverstone is unique, and an integral part of Britain's glorious sporting offering. It's special to everyone.
Horner recognition deserved
Christian Horner was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours last week, and rightly so.
Not only has he steered a still very young Red Bull team towards three consecutive driver and constructor titles, but has had to do so in an occasionally hostile team environment.
From swapping upgrades between his drivers' cars to watching them collide on track and disobey team orders, Horner has not had it easy all of the time. He has backed the younger, more talented product in Sebastian Vettel since his arrival, but has also managed to keep Mark Webber content within the team to help contribute to the constructors' title.
Horner's biggest test may come in the near future, when he decides who will fill the second seat at Red Bull long-term. He has already recently re-signed Vettel until the end of 2015. But once Mark Webber departs the scene, who will Horner select to come in and challenge Vettel in what the German has essentially made his own team?
Hamilton can provide silver lining for Mercedes
It's fair to say that Mercedes could do with a good result at the British Grand Prix next weekend. Their tribunal verdict from their Pirelli tyre test last month was one they certainly would have taken at the beginning of it all, and a solid score at Silverstone would be a welcome break from the intense focus on the German team.
Hamilton is also the most likely of the Brits to put a smile on the faces of the public. His Mercedes is competitive in qualifying, but the rear tyre issues in the race are still denying him a chance of victory.
Hamilton didn't seem pleased at claiming third place in Canada, which seemed a little harsh for the team who often struggled to make Q3 last season. A podium is possible at Silverstone, and if the myth is true that the crowd can give you an extra couple of tenths per lap, who knows what could happen.
Either way, any good result would certainly please the Mercedes-Benz hierarchy, as they look to patch up their recently damaged reputation.
Valsecchi worthy of Lotus chance
GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi will certainly be pleased with his chances of claiming a race seat for next season. If speculation that Kimi Raikkonen is moving to Red Bull is correct, then the Italian could bank on a shot at Formula One.
Romain Grosjean has failed to improve on his form from last season, and it would be a surprise if Lotus were to retain him once again. Waiting in the wings are two talented drivers' in Valsecchi and Jérôme d'Ambrosio, who deserve a crack at the big time.
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