2015 British Grand Prix Preview

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As races in Formula 1 go, few can boast the heritage or the popularity of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Since hosting the first ever world championship grand prix back in 1950, Silverstone has diced with extinction and losing its position as host even as recently as 2010, when the race was due to move to Donington Park.

However, since undergoing redevelopment and redesign, it is once again up there with the likes of Monza and Monaco as legendary circuits that the sport must do everything in its power to preserve.

140,000 fans are expected to come out this weekend to see home favorite Lewis Hamilton fight for a third British Grand Prix victory following successes in 2008 and 2014 (pictured).

However, the momentum currently lies with Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg. The German driver has won three of the last four grands prix, with his best of the season coming in Austria two weeks ago as he outclassed Hamilton to win comfortably.

With the battle hotting up – quite literally – just behind and a number of upgrades due at Silverstone this weekend, there are plenty of talking points for the 2015 British Grand Prix.

2015 British Grand Prix – Talking Points

Hamilton’s homecoming

For Lewis Hamilton, this weekend is arguably the most important of his season. The British fans are unlike any others, coming out in droves to cheer on the world champion and compatriots Jenson Button and Will Stevens.

With Rosberg lacking a home race in 2015, this weekend could be a big psychological victory for Hamilton if he can win convincingly. That said, it could also mark something of a bitter defeat if Rosberg were to claim his second win at Silverstone, leaving the pressure squarely on the shoulders of the British driver for his homecoming.

Redemption for Rosberg?

A mistake by Hamilton in last year’s wet qualifying session handed Nico Rosberg a golden opportunity to win at Silverstone, only for a gearbox problem to force him to retire when leading comfortably.

This year, the German driver will be hoping to make up for this disappointment by scoring a victory that would take him to within three points of Hamilton at the top of the drivers’ championship.

With three wins in the past four races and his mindset now fixed, it would be foolish to rule Rosberg out of the running for the race win this weekend.

Keep it cool

The British Grand Prix is typically known for one thing: rain. Actually, that probably applies to Britain as a whole.

But not this weekend. Something of a heatwave is currently hitting Britain, with temperatures soaring to 36.7ºC (98ºF) at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, making it the hottest July day ever. Although temperatures have cooled a little at Silverstone on Thursday, the heat is expected to return for the three days of on-track running.

We know that Ferrari has fared very well in hot conditions so far this season, and it will be intriguing to see how the Italian marque runs at Silverstone. Could another opportunity present itself like it did in Malaysia?

Force India’s B-spec car gets ready to race

After a successful running of its B-spec version of the VJM08 car in Austria during testing, Force India will finally race its long-awaited updated model this weekend at Silverstone.

The team was unable to make any notable changes to its car in Spain two months ago like the rest of the field, yet it has still managed to keep ahead of the curve and remain fifth in the constructors’ championship, scoring its best result of the year in Austria.

If the upgrades provide the pace improvement that is expected, could Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg take Force India above Red Bull in the coming races? Time will tell.

More misery for McLaren?

McLaren’s Austrian Grand Prix weekend was one to forget. After amassing 50 places worth of grid penalties, both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button retired in the first nine laps of the race as the team failed to score points for the seventh time in eight races.

It’s unlikely that the British Grand Prix will bring too much of a breakthrough for McLaren, but the team did complete some solid running in Austria last week that should aid its progression.

Button came close to picking up his first podium finish at Silverstone last year, finishing fourth. With a repeat result off the cards this time around, he will instead be focusing on doing all he can to give his home fans something to smile about.

2015 British Grand Prix – Facts and Figures

Track: Silverstone
Laps: 52
Corners: 18
Lap Record: Mark Webber 1:33.401 (Red Bull, 2013)
Tire Compounds: Medium (Option); Hard (Prime)
2014 Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2014 Pole Position: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:29.607
2014 Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:37.176
DRS Zones: Wellington Straight (T5 to T6); Hangar Straight (T14 to T15)

2015 British Grand Prix – TV Times

Free Practice 1: NBC Sports Live Extra 5am ET 7/3
Free Practice 2: NBCSN 9am ET 7/3
Free Practice 3: NBC Sports Live Extra 5am ET 7/4
Qualifying: CNBC 8am ET 7/4
Race: CNBC 7:30am ET 7/5 (encore on NBCSN at 12pm ET)

For further information on our British Grand Prix broadcasts, click here.

Bryan Sellers aims to be first Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Champion

JaguarUSA.com
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Bryan Sellers will leave the familiar confines of his Paul Miller Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and head into the unknown in 2019.

At the age of 36, Sellers has 25 years of competitive racing behind him and is turning his attention to the battery-powered Jaguar I-PACE sedan that he will driver for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – something he describes as “the way of the future.”

Racing for Ohio native Bobby Rahal, it is a connection that brings him home to his roots. Sellers was born in Centerville, Ohio. 

“I’m very proud to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” Sellers said in a press release. “I grew up in Ohio watching Bobby (Rahal) win races and build an incredible racing program and it will be nice to finally get to see it from the inside.”

Sellers’ electric-powered Jaguar won’t have the same horsepower as the V10 Lamborghini that he steered to victory in the 2018 IMSA Weather Tech Sports Car championship with co-driver Madison Snow and Katherine Legge.

At his heart, Sellers is a  racer chasing a championship and it’s not the horsepower but the potential for close competition that drives him. Next year, he has an opportunity to win the first ever Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship.

In 2016, Jaguar joined the Formula E series. Now they are looking to make history with the world’s first all-electric production-based international race series that will compete at 10 venues next year in support of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The series’ 10 venues will be international, racing on tracks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, China, Italy, Mexico, France, Monaco, Germany and the USA, which will showcase electric cars on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, in July.

“Electric cars are clearly the way of the future and to be involved with the first electric production car racing series is very important to me,” Sellers said. “I’m very thankful to everyone at RLL and Jaguar for giving me this opportunity.”

Sellers raced fulltime in the American LeMans Series from 2005 through 2013 – amassing four victories and two other podium finishes. In 30 career races in the Grand-Am Series, he added three more visits to the podium.

But it was last year that was clearly the highlight for Sellers. For the second time in his career, he scored multiple wins in a series (Sellers had two wins in ALMS in 2011), but he stood on the podium eight times in addition to winning the championship.

Joining Sellers in the I-PACE eTROPHY Championship Jaguar next year will be Legge, who was one of his co-drivers in 2018.

“Experience, maturity and pace are very important qualities that I was looking for when we chose our driver lineup,” said Rahal, the former IndyCar Champion and Indy 500 winner.

The series will kickoff with the Formula E season-opener in Riyadh on December 15, 2018. They will not run in conjunction with the next two Formula E rounds and will rejoin for most of the remainder of the 2019 season.