Recapping the additional news and notes from the paddock at Silverstone on Thursday ahead of the British Grand Prix, F1 Editor Luke Smith brings you his paddock notebook.

- Heading into media day on Thursday at Silverstone, the biggest focus was on McLaren following yesterday’s announcement that Eric Boullier had resigned as racing director. Racing CEO Zak Brown held a press session in the afternoon to discuss Boullier’s departure and the next steps, saying the team had got into an “unacceptable” situation in recent years before outlining a long-term timescale before it can expect to fight for titles again.

- Brown appeared to suggest in his comments that drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne had been consulted about the management changes, only for both the drivers and the team to clarify later that this was not the case. “I was not consulted,” Alonso said. “I was informed about the changes and the new possibilities.”

- Observers in the F1 paddock have noted an Alonso influence in the appointments made in the wake of Boullier’s departure. New Performance Director Andrea Stella worked with Alonso at Ferrari before joining McLaren, while Sporting Director Gil de Ferran played a key role in Alonso’s preparation for the Indianapolis 500 last year.



- Outside of McLaren, F1’s driver market continues to whirr, with Daniel Ricciardo saying that he is increasingly confident of putting pen to paper on a contract for 2019 before the summer break. The Australian is closing in on an extension of his existing Red Bull deal.

- Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean both stayed coy when asked about their 2019 plans on Thursday. Magnussen said he was in “no rush” and that  he “could easily imagine” staying at Haas “a few years more”, while Grosjean simply smiled and said he was “alright” with waiting until after the summer break before making any decision on next year. Haas has stressed it will wait until then before sorting its line-up out.

- Grosjean was nursing a bout of cold on Thursday, but brushed it off despite the triple-header, saying it was just down to “air con or whatever.”

- One of the other talking points on Thursday was the possibility of using DRS and staying flat through Turn 1 following the addition of a new zone on the main straight. The right-hander at Abbey has been flat without DRS in recent years, but drivers said it would be risky to try staying flat with DRS activated. “Probably everyone will try,” said Lewis Hamilton. “Max [Verstappen] will be the first to try, I’m sure!” Verstappen said he would “definitely” give it a go, but added he was unsure of the benefits it would offer.

- Following the miscue in Austria by the Mercedes pit wall, Hamilton reaffirmed his faith in the team’s strategists, saying he felt like he has “the best strategist team behind me.” A misread of a Virtual Safety Car period cost Hamilton a comfortable lead in Austria before his late retirement.

- World Cup fever continues to grip England following the national football team’s progression to the quarter-finals after its penalty shoot-out victory against Colombia on Tuesday. England’s next match against Sweden will kick-off as qualifying ends on Saturday, with Hamilton joking on Thursday that he would ask what the penalty for missing the FIA press conference is so he could watch it instead of his usual press commitments.

- Haas announced a new sponsor on Thursday morning in the form of Peak Coolant and Antifreeze, with its branding to appear on the Haas VF-18 car starting at Silverstone on Friday.

- Recent F1 racer Esteban Gutierrez was spotted in Mercedes gear in the paddock on Thursday. Gutierrez has been working with the team on its simulator in recent months.

- The FIA issued an update on power unit elements on Thursday heading into the race weekend.

- Finally, there was gasps of excitement among the international F1 media corps at Silverstone over a new addition to the media centre: a window! Since the construction of the new paddock complex in 2011, the media centre has always been windowless, with the nearest view of the track coming from the cafe. However, following a rejig of part of the building, a vantage point across the track has now been offered. What a time to be alive.


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