Your View: Pick F1’s winners, and losers, at Silverstone this weekend

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The build-up to the British Grand Prix is in full swing, which means plenty of long, rambling answers to questions about the race and track from the drivers and other team members. For instance:

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India
2009 Qualifying – n/a, 2009 Race – n/a
“I’m really looking forward to the next race. I always liked the old track layout with the high speed sections, particularly the Becketts complex that is a real challenge as you need to keep the momentum all the way through the corners. I’ve looked at the new section and it might actually be even more suited to the characteristics of our car. I think we can be as good there as we were in Valencia, but hopefully without the qualifying problems we had. We will be aiming for the top ten again. We have some solid updates for the British Grand Prix that will give us extra downforce in high-speed corners, which is crucial at that track. I really want to put on a good show in front of the factory to give them a reward for the work they’ve done and the trust, belief and support they have shown me.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal
“It’s a very big weekend, and obviously Silverstone is where we really want to perform well. It’s the home race for us now and there’s a lot of involvement from the guys in the factory, and the whole team enjoys the race weekend. We’ve got a little update coming, over and above what we had in Valencia, and hopefully we can bring both cars home well into the points. Clearly this car is better than anything we’ve had at Silverstone in many years.”

Vitaly Petrov, Renault
2009 Qualifying – n/a, 2009 Race – n/a
“Until we get there and drive the lap it’s difficult to know what the new section will be like in an F1 car. My feeling is that it will just make the lap a bit longer because the main characteristics of the track have not changed. It was always difficult to overtake at the old Silverstone because of the quick corners and I think that will still be the case this year. There are some extra straights, but I don’t know if they are long enough to allow overtaking.

“The first thing we need to do is to see how our upgrades work at Silverstone because it’s a very different circuit to Valencia and much more high-speed. And because it’s difficult to overtake, I know how important it will be to get the maximum from the car in qualifying. So I must try and avoid any mistakes over the weekend and aim to qualify inside the top ten so that we can get the most from the race. It’s a local race for the Enstone factory so it would be extra special to get a good result for the team.”

Bruno Senna, HRT
2009 Qualifying – n/a, 2009 Race – n/a
“Racing on a historic circuit like Silverstone is always very special. I have good memories in Silverstone as I won here in GP2 in 2008 and also could finish on podium in Formula 3. And now coming back to the circuit in a Formula 1 car feels just great. The track is very challenging for each driver and has a lot of fast corners. You need a car with downforce and aerodynamics is also an important factor. The new “Arena” sector is quite interesting and some new fast corners have been created until you come back to the old track again. I am looking forward to the British Grand Prix and after Valencia, where we could finish the race again with two cars, we want to perform as best as we could.”

Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber
2009 Qualifying – n/a, 2009 Race – n/a
“I have a very good feeling for the race in Silverstone. I like this track a lot and I’m looking forward to seeing the new parts. The high-speed corners make it one of my favourite circuits. Also there is always a good crowd, and I think this time with their fellow countrymen leading the championship they will be very excited. I like going to England, and London is a great city anyway.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“In the past three races, we’ve scored 119 points from a possible maximum of 129 – an incredible statistic that tells you a lot about our hunger to fight at the front. Our home race at Silverstone has a special significance for all of us, and it would make the whole team tremendously proud if either Jenson or Lewis were able to stand atop the podium on Sunday afternoon. Such a result would be the highlight of our season so far.

“As we stand at the halfway mark in the season, I’m incredibly pleased with the way the team is currently operating. There’s a real grit and determination at work: you can feel it when you walk in the garage. We’ve created our own internal momentum, and it’s extremely rewarding to see how everyone is pulling together for the greater good. It’s the way great teams work, and I’ve rarely seen the team as single-minded – from factory floor to racetrack – as it is right now.”

Actually, as I’ve been suggesting in other posts, the teams all seem unusually focused this weekend. So perhaps the quotes are a bit less inane than usual.

But that doesn’t mean that F1B’s picks for the podium, pole and first out will be any less so!

To get you started, I’ll go out on a limb and say:

1st: Lewis
2nd: Vettel
Third: Button

Pole: Lewis

First out: Jarno Trulli

Now, Your View: British Grand Prix picks: Winners and losers

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