The Top 5 most memorable moments from the F1 British GP

This week, we welcomed Imogen to the Platinum Live offices to complete a week of work experience with the team. As a massive F1 fan, Imogen has shared her top 5 most memorable moments from last weekend’s F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone – and what a weekend it was…

  1. Martin Brundle and Cara Delevingne’s awkward encounter

First up is probably one of the most spoken-about moments of the weekend – the awkward encounter between F1 legend Martin Brundle and model/actress Cara Delevingne.

If you are a fan of F1 you will know about Brundle’s iconic grid walks, where he walks the F1 grid for 10 minutes before the race interviewing numerous different people, from the drivers themselves to team principals and celebrities.

This weekend at Silverstone, Brundle tried to have a quick conversation with Delevingne where he asked about her thoughts before the race. Her team shut him down almost immediately, saying no multiple times, with Delevingne then stating  ‘I can’t hear anything, I’m so sorry’ to which Brundle replied, sarcastically ‘Ok, alright, well I’m sure that would have been extremely interesting’.

This started up quite a lot of controversy, causing Delevingne to take to Twitter claiming an F1 representative told her to decline the interview. This caused fans to question why a representative would tell her to do that. On the other hand, others claim that Brundle pressed on for the interview causing the awkward moment for it to purposefully cause controversy and to shade celebrities.

However this isn’t the first time that this has happened to Brundle. Last year at the Austin Grand Prix, he approached Megan Thee Stallion, to which her bodyguard shooed him away stating ‘You can’t do that’ which caused a classic reply from Brundle: ‘I can do that because I did’.

This stirred up a bit of controversy from F1 fans as it was seen as disrespectful and that these celebrities who were acting this way were only using F1 for ‘fame’ and ‘clout’. In turn, this caused the beginning of a change to the rules which now means that celebrities can’t bring their bodyguards on the grid and that they may get interviewed.

Ultimately this begs the question – are celebrities are really just using F1 as a ‘claim to fame’?

  1. A record-breaking weekend at Silverstone

This weekend saw over 480,000 fans attend Silverstone throughout the whole weekend, a whopping 80,000 more than the year previous. This is a record break for the circuit as it is the most people to ever attend over a single weekend, with the owners looking to expand in the coming years. Could this prove that F1 is becoming more and more popular because of the Netflix series, Drive to Survive?

The privately owned and funded race track, which is owned by the British Racing Drivers Club, is one of many which is not state-owned. The BRDC is a group of 850 motorsport professionals, some of which include current drivers that are on the grid and some F1 seniors such as Nigel Mansell CBE,  Alain Prost, and Damon Hill.

Also a part of this club are tema principals Christian Horner OBE and Toto Wolff.  The current President of the Club is David Coulthard MBE who raced in F1 from 1994 to 2008, now he can be seen across the F1 tracks over the weekend interviewing drivers and giving his opinions on each of the races.

The history behind Silverstone is very important as it was originally an airfield after World War II when people started to race on it in 1948.

Silverstone is known for its high-speed corners and the Wellington straight, which provides viewers with an exciting and exhilarating weekend that you can clearly channel through the TV, never mind being there in person! This just once again proves why the track is continuing to break records as well as providing a great weekend experience for all those involved.

  1. The Mercedes engine outperformed the Mercedes car

Yes, that’s right, the McLaren of Lando Norris outperformed the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, even though both cars have the exact same engine.

With Norris finishing 2nd and Hamilton finishing 3rd there was a battle throughout the grand prix. Although the outcome was surprising for the McLaren drivers, it was not surprising from the Mercedes as both cars have been struggling all season, especially at the Austrian Grand Prix where Hamilton explained ‘This car is slow, mate’ to which the Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff replied ‘Lewis the car is bad, we know. Please drive it’.

Whilst Hamilton has complained about the car in the past, he managed to secure a place on the podium this weekend, with it being his 14th podium at Silverstone and his 4th podium this season – but he is yet to win a race.

However, another issue raised over the weekend with the engine was that F1 rookie Oscar Piastri also outperformed the Mercedes of George Russell who is in his fourth season of F1. Mercedes fans are now slightly less worried about the car, even though the engine is performing better in another car, they are now aware that they can get on the podium, giving them hope that they could win a race this season.

SILVERSTONE CIRCUIT, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 07: Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60 during the British GP at Silverstone Circuit on Friday July 07, 2023 in Northamptonshire, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)

McLaren has proven that there is hope in the car and that both the cars and the drivers have the ability to perform in the Grand Prix. It was also Norris’ first podium at his home Grand Prix, which highlighted the success even more for him as it was also his seventh showing how much improvement he is making as a driver.

Another highlight was that it is the first time that two British drivers have been on the British grand prix podium since 1999. A proud day for all British drivers and spectators.

  1. Magnussen’s catches fire on the Wellington straight

It’s not often that a car catches fire during a Grand Prix however when smoke started to come out of Magnussen’s Haas on lap 33 of the British GP, he was forced to retire from the race completely as the engine started to die. At first, a virtual safety car was activated, which then led to a full safety car in order for the marshals to remove the Hass from the track so that the race could continue safely.

Safety cars are notorious for bringing out controversy, especially since the end of the 2021 season when we saw Verstappen and Hamilton battle it out for the drivers’ championship on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi GP. However, this time it wasn’t so dramatic as it gave cars the chance to get in a ‘free’ pit stop while the rest of the other cars will have been under the safety car conditions when out on the track. This included the current race leader Verstappen as well as Norris, Hamilton and Alonso. With all of these drivers on soft tyres, while Norris moved on to hard tyres, they proved to do well as his race engineer told him they were ‘running’ with Norris’s reply being ‘Wonderful, huh?’

Once the safety car was brought back in, the order stayed the same with Verstappen peeling off from the rest of the group and gaining a considerable lead. This lead Norris to defend Hamilton for the remaining 15 laps, leading him over the finish line in 2nd.

  1. Just Stop Oil protestors hint that they will disrupt the British GP

It is known that the Just Stop Oil protestors have been disrupting a lot of sporting events over the past few weeks and F1 wasn’t excluded from that list.

From running onto the Ashes Test at Lords and throwing orange power on the pitch which saw protesters being carried off by Jonny Bairstow, to Wimbledon where protestors ran onto the court throwing orange petals and jigsaw pieces all over the court, postponing a lot of matches across the weekend. These people since then have been charged.

This created alarm bells for the British GP as it would be highly dangerous to protest here. There would be cars going around the track at 200mph and there would be no way to stop them if the protestors were to be sitting on the track. This concern also came from last year’s race as protestors successfully made their way onto the track during the opening lap and sat down as cars were coming in for a race restart after Zhou Guanyu crashed with Albon and Russell.

This year, it would only cause more chaos as the protestors have been unpredictable and completing dangerous acts. The FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), which is the governing body of F1, raised concerns about what the protestors could do across the whole weekend. The head of the FIA Stefano Domenciali met with the Deputy Prime Minister in order to put across his concerns, as lives would be at risk if the protestors were to do anything.  The Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden, then issued a statement urging the protestors to not disrupt the F1 weekend, warning them that it would be ‘extremely dangerous and put lives at risk’.

This meant that the FIA had to take greater security measures than ever before, bringing in 100 army soldiers onto the track as well as the Northamptonshire Police lining the fence throughout the weekend. Thankfully, no protestors made it on the track and the race and the race was completed without postponement.

 

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