Setting the scene for the British Grand Prix
There's a new pit complex and a new startline at Silverstone, but will it be the same old story when it comes to Red Bull domination in the race? Edd Straw reflects on the gossip in the paddock the day before the British Grand Prix
Tomorrow will mark a glorious new dawn for Silverstone as the home of the British Grand Prix.
The new pit and paddock complex, which brings with it a switch of the start/finish to the straight between Club Corner and Abbey, has gone down well even though, to no-one's great surprise, some mixed weather conditions met the teams and drivers on Thursday.
Fortunately for the 120,000+ crowd expected for Sunday's race, it's expected to be sunny when the time comes for the 24 cars to roar into the new first corner. But inevitably, the weather will be one of the weekend's talking points. As Jarno Trulli explained this afternoon, the climatic conditions can make it a trying weekend.
"I've never been a big fan of this track," he said. "It's mainly because of the weather and the wind! As an Italian coming from the south, every year I come here the weather has been the most difficult thing to adapt to. That's the only reason why I don't enjoy coming to Silverstone."
Aside from the snipping about the weather, there was a positive feeling about life in the F1 paddock. This was partly down to the hope among the teams near the front that Red Bull, resoundingly at the front so far this year, would drop back into their clutches thanks to the ban on using exhaust gases generated while the driver is off the throttle to generate downforce.
Technically, it's a rule clarification, but make no mistake. This is a change. And a big one.
So all eyes turn to McLaren's brace of home heroes. Of course, what lies in the immediate future of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, specifically how they will do on Sunday afternoon, is one question. A far bigger one is attracting more attention though, specifically that of which team their long-term future might lie with. But for now, the focus is on whether the wings of the Red Bulls have been clipped.
Sebastian Vettel pleads ignorance over the magnitude of his lead - it's 77 points Seb - but while no-one has ever come back from so great a deficit without their rival coming close to death after crashing at the Nurburgring, both Button and Hamilton are very publicly not giving up. Jenson's target is, unsurprisingly, a first win at Silverstone, a track which has not treated him so well in F1 despite him winning here in Formula 3 and clinching the British Formula Ford crown on its hallowed asphalt in 1998.
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