Photo Essay // The British Grand Prix
Words and photos by Andrew Coles
There’s arguably no finer institution in world motorsport than the British Grand Prix. Along with the Italian Grand Prix, it is the only race of the Formula One World Championship to have been staged every year since the championship’s establishment in 1950, with all but 17 races having taken place at the famous Silverstone Circuit.
The 2018 edition took place in the middle of an unseasonably warm British summer, and was run under bright blue skies and with an ambient temperature hovering over 30 degrees for most of the weekend – an anomaly for this country. Over 95,000 sweltering and sunburnt Brits turned out for what would be a patriotic weekend of sport for the nation, especially the Saturday qualifying day.
Local hero Lewis Hamilton delivered a stellar performance to steal pole position by the slenderest of margins, which was followed only an hour later by the broadcast of the Football World Cup, where England took an unlikely victory in the quarter-final against Sweden. St. George’s Cross flags flew vigourously and beer was consumed at an alarming rate by the fans, with chants of ‘Eeeennnngggglllaaaaannnndddd’ and songs containing the simple lyrics of ‘It’s Coming Home… It’s Coming Home…’ sung late into the night.
It didn’t go to plan come race day – a botched started saw Hamilton cede grid positions off the line, only for a spin caused by contact with Raikkonen at the third corner to send him to the back of the field. He made a valiant attempt to push through the field, much to the delight of the fans as he went past each lap, but second place was the best he could manage.
The fans were not pleased, and it was an unpopular victory for Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, but he took the booing graciously and with good humour; what comes around, goes around. We suspect that Hamilton may not have been so gracious had the situation been reversed.