British weather helps Vettel on his way to P2 on the grid

Leave a comment

Sebastian Vettel has matched his best qualifying result of the 2014 F1 season at Silverstone today, and will start the British Grand Prix from second place on the grid.

The four-time world champion has had a difficult start to the year, scoring just two podium finishes and falling way behind the all-conquering Mercedes drivers in the championship standings. However, he managed to tame the wet conditions in England today to secure P2 in qualifying, matching his result from Saturday in Malaysia.

“It was a very weird session,” Vettel said during the post-qualifying press conference. “A lot of rain, no rain, drizzling, very fine rain, nearly like spray; I think England is the only country where you can get this sort of rain and conditions and changing so quickly.”

Many of the drivers struggled in the conditions, but Vettel asserted that it was a case of taking enough risk without going too far.

“Incredibly difficult to know what was coming so on the flying lap you approach turn one and turn one is a pretty big balls corner, so it’s difficult to know how much risk you can take,” he explained. “Eventually, you have to take some risk because, especially in my case, I wanted to set a lap.

“So obviously very happy that it turned out. Yeah, very positive and starting from the front row tomorrow.”

Vettel will be hoping to convert his front row start into his third podium finish of the season on Sunday, but will face stiff competition from the McLaren and Force India drivers not far behind.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will also be gunning to make up some positions after a mistake in qualifying that leaves him sixth on the grid.

You can watch the British Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET tomorrow.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”