It had been touted as an opportunity for an emotional home victory, and a fitting homecoming for the most successful rookie in Formula One history.
And when McLaren's Lewis Hamilton took an unexpected pole position with a dramatic last-minute effort during Saturday qualifying, it seemed as if the predictions for Sunday's British Grand Prix were coming to fruition.
Lewis Hamilton and the Silverstone crowd © LAT
Former champion Nigel Mansell claimed that the adrenaline boost of racing in front of the British crowd gave him an advantage of half a second per lap over his rivals.
Going into the Silverstone weekend, Lewis Hamilton might have been counting on the 'Mansell effect' to extend his championship lead. But what Mansell never mentioned is that home GPs are rarely happy hunting grounds for the sport's champions.