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My British Grand Prix predictions

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Jonathan Legard | 08:49 UK time, Saturday, 20 June 2009

Is this the weekend Jenson Button and Brawn Grand Prix are finally made to do the chasing? They made fools of plenty of us in Turkey when it appeared this season's front-runners had met their match in the shape of Red Bull, who had put Sebastian Vettel on pole.

The German didn't help himself by sliding off the track on the first lap in Istanbul and allowing Button through into the lead.

But it was still a brilliant win for Button and the team reckon it was their best victory yet because they were not expecting it but still took the chequered flag with a car Button described as a "monster" and an outrageous drive by the English world championship leader.

So will it be Red Bull or Brawn who rule supreme in Britain? With no degree of certainty, here are my predictions for the top eight finishers in Silverstone:

1. Mark Webber (Red Bull)
2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
3. Jenson Button (Brawn)
4. Rubens Barrichello (Brawn)
5. Jarno Trulli (Toyota)
6. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber)
7. Fernando Alonso (Renault)
8. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

I'm going for Mark Webber to claim his first Grand Prix win because the Australian is on a roll right now. He's thoroughly enjoying his duel with Vettel. He feels having a team-mate that everyone rates so highly is bringing the best out of him and he's working very hard.

Although Webber's track record at Silverstone isn't very good, it's a track he loves and he is so keen to land his first victory here.

Mark Webber at Silverstone

One of the criticisms levelled at Webber is that he was always very strong in qualifying but he did not convert that potential into something greater on race day.

Now, I think the 32-year-old is racing stronger than ever and that's why I'm predicting him to finish ahead of Vettel on Sunday.

Both Red Bulls will be strong and the team say they have found an extra 0.2 seconds in pace per lap. There are plenty of updates to their car - a new nose, engine cover, upgraded diffuser and revised weight distribution, so they have pushed the boat out.

Having said that you simply cannot write off the Brawns and after Turkey I really felt they could match Ferrari's dominance of 2004 when they won 15 grands prix.

Brawn GP are still the force to be reckoned with in 2009 and if they fail to win here, make no mistake, it will be a disappointment for them.

Having said that, Button has been at pains to stress that whatever happens at Silverstone he will still lead the world championship by at least 16 points.

In some ways, the pressure is off and the team don't need to take risks or push too hard. The key is to keep the momentum going and to not crash or make a reckless mistake.

Looking down from the top four, I've selected a bit of a mixed bag to sweep up the points.

Jarno Trulli was solid enough in Turkey, finishing fourth, and I expect Toyota to deliver another decent performance on British soil.

BMW Sauber put together some good long runs in practice on Friday and Robert Kubica managed to pick up his first points of the season in Turkey so the voracious Pole will be looking to push on this weekend.

As an aside, one thing I've noticed about the BMWs is the noise they make on the track, it's a low grunt, completely unique compared to the other cars.

Once again, I'm selecting Renault's Fernando Alonso to collect some points in seventh.
The Spaniard has won here before - in his second world championship year in 2006.

It appears that Ferrari are still struggling as they did not perform as well as expected in Istanbul. The Italian team know they do not have the levels of downforce they need for Silverstone but Kimi Raikkonen knows his way around here and might just nick a point.

One thing to bear in mind is that rain is forecast for qualifying and so it will be fascinating to see, if and when the downpours come, how the grid shapes up.

If you were worried the drivers may be distracted by the political row over the future of the sport that has hogged all the headlines this weekend, well don't be.

There's a car to drive, a race to win and that's what each of them has to get on with.

This is probably Silverstone's last Grand Prix for now and the one thing I'm hoping is that the drivers serve up a classic race to befit a classic circuit.

Comments

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  • 1. At 09:54am on 20 Jun 2009, Express_James wrote:

    I can't wait for this grand prix, with all the factors that could come into play and affect it!
    It will be the first grand prix with qualifying in the wet if the forecast is right and that could obviously make for a Red Bull one-two if their car still has the wet dominance they showed earlier in the season.

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  • 2. At 09:59am on 20 Jun 2009, Dave_Kub_5 wrote:

    Hello Jonathan,

    Interesting predictions, however I feel Rubens Barrichello has nothing to lose this weekend with regards to his title aspirations. He has won at Silverstone before and I think he will be extremely driven to win here and prove to the Brawn team he has what to takes to match Button in terms of race performance. Thus my race predictions are:

    1. Barrichello
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    4. Webber
    5. Trulli
    6. Hamilton
    7. Raikkonen
    8. Heidfeld

    However I fancy Trulli, Webber or Barrichello for pole position.

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  • 3. At 10:04am on 20 Jun 2009, Optomistic and English wrote:

    I have to say im stumped on the outcome it should be a usual top 8 that we have seen for the season, but the order is hiding from me. Would be great for Button to win at Silverstone, incase this is the last F1 here (Fota + FIA situation aside) to have a final Brit winner. But with the 2 Red Bulls, and Ruebens as well, anyone could win out of those 4 i'd say! which is great i want a good race more than anything!

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  • 4. At 10:23am on 20 Jun 2009, DavidBeckhamsBeard wrote:

    An interesting blog Johnathon, its a very tight race and could go anyway. I still fancy Jenson, you mention mark webber wanting to do well, well i think that no one will be more motivated to win than Jenson. This is his first chance to win his home gp, and as you said rain is forecasted, it certainly throws the cat amongst the pigeons. And we've seen how good Jenson and the car is in the rain. Webber only got into P2 last time because of Vettle's error, i don't think he'll make the same mistakes twice, which is why i think he'll be ahead of webber. And Barrichello isn't as quick as the top 3 so he'll be in P4.

    But, the one thing i do know, it should be a fantastic race!

    1. Button
    2. Vettel
    3. Webber

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  • 5. At 10:33am on 20 Jun 2009, davetherave211 wrote:

    The Red Bull's look extremely quick this weekend, id like to back them for vettel on pole, but I doubt they will convert that into a race win. Depending on where button qualifies, Id say the Brawn should take the points. McClaren to have another shocker with Ferrari nicking a few points.

    1. Button
    2. Barrichello
    3. Massa
    4. Vettel
    5. Webber
    6. Kubica
    7. Raikonnen
    8. Trulli

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  • 6. At 11:01am on 20 Jun 2009, Gary_Linekers_personal_crisp_chef wrote:

    What about Sutil - did you not see him in second practice? THIRD he might just get something (remember Monaco last year? Raikkonen crashing into the back of Sutil in the closing stages and Sutil retiring from a points scoring position)

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  • 7. At 11:21am on 20 Jun 2009, TheamazingMrWhite wrote:

    Vettel for pole, no doubt. The shower predicted for early on might send a few big names tumbling early on. The red bulls are just too quick. Vettel to win the race aswell!

    Most of the have-a-go hero pundits who comment on here get it so very wrong....

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  • 8. At 11:41am on 20 Jun 2009, ButtonFTW wrote:

    I think that Trulli will get pole, as he is a great qualifier. Shame that he is not a good racer.

    I think that Vettel will win, if he keeps his car on the track. If he doesnt, then maybe Webber. Red Bull have got the superior car at the moment.

    I also think Nakajima could get his first points of the season. He has been quick recently and I think that Williams have caught up a little bit on race pace.

    1. Vettel
    2. Webber
    3. Button
    4. Trulli
    5. Barrichello
    6. Rosberg
    7. Nakajima
    8. Alonso

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  • 9. At 11:52am on 20 Jun 2009, liverpoolrulesyeah wrote:

    1. Vettel
    2. Webber
    3. Button
    4. Barrichello
    5. Massa
    6. Hamilton
    7. Raikkonen
    8. Rosberg

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  • 10. At 11:54am on 20 Jun 2009, liverpoolrulesyeah wrote:

    I think that the red bull's practise sessions will prove a good race for both of them

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  • 11. At 12:07pm on 20 Jun 2009, I'm Rooney's Number One wrote:

    Hi John, the following text are my predictions for todays race.

    1. Vettel
    2. Trulli
    3. Webber
    4. Button
    5. Massa
    6. Raikonnen
    7. Hamilton/Barrichello ( IF it rains, if not, then Barrichello)
    8. Rosberg

    I think Trulli or Vettel will get pole, if it rains, Hamilton might sneak into Q3 of qualifying and get something out of it.

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  • 12. At 12:10pm on 20 Jun 2009, Nels180 wrote:

    Doubtless Red Bull will do well, but Home GP Advantage for Jenson - Brawn have over the alst few races sonsistently underperformed in practice and then blown us away completely in Quali and the Race.

    Fuel Corrected Predictions:

    1) Button
    2) Barichello
    3) Webber
    4) Vettel
    5) Massa
    6) Hamilton
    7) Glock
    8) Trulli
    9) Alonso
    10) Gonna stick my neck out and say Sutil

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  • 13. At 2:26pm on 20 Jun 2009, downbubble wrote:

    Wow, you gotta feel for Jenson; finally in with a decent shout of winning his home GP and he can't hook the car up. Poor bloke. Still, warmer tomorrow so fingers crossed for him.

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  • 14. At 2:41pm on 20 Jun 2009, Millerfred wrote:

    Before Qualifying
    1)J.Button
    2)M.Webber
    3)S.Vettel
    4)R.Barrichello
    5)N.Rosberg
    6)J.Truli
    7)K.Raikonen
    8)L.Hamilton

    After Qualifying
    1)S.Vettel
    2)M.Webber
    3)J.Button
    4)R.Barrichello
    5)J.Truli
    6)T.Glock
    7)K.Nakajima
    8)K.Raikonen

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  • 15. At 3:07pm on 20 Jun 2009, Matt Chrome wrote:

    I think the turning point has arrived in grand prix this year, I wish Jenson the very best, but I think he is going to struggle here on in! Fingers crossed that he can keep it all together for the rest of the season.

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  • 16. At 4:35pm on 20 Jun 2009, tribeguest wrote:

    The Red Bull`s now seem to have found what it takes to win a GP and could be very tough opposition for Brawn for the remainder of the season. In Vettel and Webber they have two excellent and determined drivers. So far there has been no competition for Brawn and Jenson has cruised easily so far. With moderations for Red Bull we could certainly see a shift in power. It will be interesting and Jenson and Brawn will have their work cut out.

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  • 17. At 5:18pm on 20 Jun 2009, dan_wall wrote:

    It wasnt the best day for Jenson for qualifying today but I do suspect he is carrying a bit more fuel though, which may explain Barrichello starting from a higher position. Despite this Im going for a Red Bull win, both cars seem to be more hooked up around Silverstone and they have some upgrades on the cars. Brawn im sure have been expecting the teams around them to catch up from the first race when there was a clear advantage (the double diffuser). The weather may be a bit warmer for the race to help Brawn with the tires, but the momentum is with Red Bull. If they pull off the win and start being consistent, the next few races will be interesting for the title. Expect Williams to have a strong race and Trulli. Hamilton has his work cut out from 19th, would love to see a charge from the Mclaren but I just can't see it, he just doesn't have the car.

    Race Prediction

    1. Vettel
    2. Webber
    3. Barrichello
    4. Button
    5. Nakajima
    6. Trulli
    7. Raikkonen
    8. Glock

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  • 18. At 6:01pm on 20 Jun 2009, Carlonso wrote:

    Not much has been spoken about Rubens this weekend - yet this is a track he excels in and came second to Vettel in the qualies, so...

    1. Barrichello
    2. Webber
    3. Vettel
    4. Button
    5. Trulli
    6. Rosberg
    7. Glock
    8. Alonso

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  • 19. At 7:31pm on 20 Jun 2009, lionihatethisgame wrote:

    Vettel
    Webber
    Barrichello
    Rosberg
    Button
    Trulli
    Glock
    Nakajima

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  • 20. At 10:51pm on 20 Jun 2009, AndrewHallidayF1 wrote:

    Hi Jonathan,
    I spoke to you at the Spanish Grand Prix and again today at Silverstone. Thanks for taking the time to stop and chat, only EJ & Peter Windsor seem as pleased to be recognised at a race!
    Earlier today you mentioned Barrichello would be a good bet for the win tomorrow but after seeing the fuel weights I fear Vettel could run away with it - how can he be at the top with 4 extra laps of fuel?! Having said that, Barrichello has been the master off the start line on more than one occasion, if he can get ahead early and make that Brawn wide who knows what could happen???!
    Keep up the good work and I'll keep an eye out for you at the next race I'm lucky enough to attend, Hungary!

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  • 21. At 09:00am on 21 Jun 2009, FastBBBB wrote:

    I was there and it was great up at Stowe apart from the fact, two umbrellas were i the way and from my view I didn't think Raikkonen did anything as Webber entered and came round the corner in exactly the same way he normally would.

    I want it to be with slight realism:

    Button
    Webber
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Rosberg
    Trulli
    Nakajima
    Glock

    Realistically:

    Vettel/Webber
    Vettel/Webber
    Barrichello/Button
    Barrichello/Button
    Trulli
    Rosberg
    Nakajima
    Glock

    I want Button to win but even with Ross I think his max is third giving that neither of the Red Bulls go wrong

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  • 22. At 02:08am on 23 Jun 2009, getridofJL wrote:

    My British Grand Prix predictions for 2010

    1) F1 continues with all teams
    2) Silverstone will be hosting British GP
    3) JL will not be commentating on it

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  • 23. At 3:40pm on 24 Jun 2009, DonnyAsh wrote:

    I've just been looking at the driver standings. You can clearly see that the Brawns and Red Bulls are pulling away. The rest seem all very close.

    It you were to take Brawn & Red Bull out of the equasion, who do you think would take the title. We're about half way through the season, and there's barely a gnat's whisker between then.

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