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My British Grand Prix preview

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Murray Walker | 13:36 UK time, Friday, 19 June 2009

This year's British Grand Prix will be a sad and emotional affair for me as it looks like it could be the last one at Silverstone which I think is a tragedy. Watch my video preview below to hear my thoughts on the race and who I am tipping for victory. I also explain why I think Lewis Hamilton has about as much chance of winning this year's Silverstone showpiece as I do.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Tragedy is right Murray, spot on.

    Silverstone has hosted some of the best grand prixs of recent times from my generation of watching F1 (late Senna, Hill, Schumacher era) and I am not happy with the decision for it to be dropped from the calender.

    If Bernie is bemoaning the facilities, then how about taking a look at Interlagos and Monza. Yes Monza has tradition, but I am going to argue that Silverstone and a British Grand Prix has even greater tradition. There would be no Formula 1 without it.

    At this rate, there will be a reduced number of European races and more of a middle eastern feel to the F1 calender, with Abu Dahbi now being added to Bahrain (which I love), Singapore Night Race, Sepang etc. I am already angry at the exclusion of the Canadian GP.

    As for your predictions, I fancy Barrichello for the win as he is in the last chance saloon with regards to the Drivers championship in my opinion.

    Always a pleasure to hear from you Murray once again.

  • Comment number 2.

    I heard your comments about Maclaren - should theyabandon this years' car and start development for 2010 - this will now be an even thornier issue following the stand by FOTA as a new format would mean new specifications to build to.

    And talking about the tracks - why on earth are we having Valencia again this year? It was surely the dullest European race of 2008 and simply doesn't offer the good racing that the fans want. In my opinion, the powers that be are seeing it as more of a mini-Monaco than a race.

    I'd love to see Rubino start winning - just not at Silverstone! The winner of the last Grand Prix at such a great venue should be a Brit (and the fact that it might be the last time the Grand Prix is held there only goes to reinforce the notion that the organisers of F1 are more concerned with prestige and appearance rather than sport. I haven't heard any complaints about the circuit from fans, teams, or drivers. Only Bernie doesn't like it much).

    And yes, it's truly great to have you back with the fans where you belong, Murray.

  • Comment number 3.

    Dear Murray,
    In the immortal words of Derek Trotter, "Lubberly Jubberly!"
    Let's hope for a cracking Grand Prix. I think you're right for a Brawn win, but I think it'll be Barricello.
    He's good at Siverstone and his time has come, and as a man of superstition Button shouldn't have changed helmet colours...

  • Comment number 4.


    Congratulations on your erudite comments, as always. Always perceptive.

    Quite apart from the sadness at this being the last Silverstone GP, I wonder if you sgree with me that, given the current shilly shally with regards to a suggested break away/rival champiobnship, it could be the swan song of fantastically competitive Formula 1 in an all inclusive sense at a British GP full stop...

    The last think GP needs - in fairness just when it became 'interesting' again after the years of marvellous though formulaic Schumacherian dominance - is a situation akin to boxing or darts where the myriad of governing bodies just 'waters down' the whole sport. As for tv coverage if such an event transpires,.....???

    The BBC has reinherited one of its lost 'crown jewels' in GP - (remember how many it used to hold?), and it is happening at the best time in the sports history for many years...long may it be so...

    I'm old enough to remember Nigel Mansell's win in 1986 at Brands Hatch - and still miss that circuit...

    Martin Hickes, journalist, Leeds

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi, I'm the editor who films Murray's video blogs and I'd like you to send in your questions following the British Grand Prix.
    Will championship leader Jenson Button return to winning ways in Germany after only managing sixth place at Silverstone? Does Red Bull's 1-2 mean they are set to dominate the second half of the season?
    Murray is waiting for your questions on these and any other F1 subjects.

  • Comment number 6.

    Great to be able to watch F1 without stupid interruptions again. However, am I too old to remember that the first ever British World Champion was Mike Hawthorn, who seems to have been airbrushed by the BBC and the pundits. I have heard the occasional mention of the great Stirling Moss (who Hawthorn beat in 1958 with an arguably inferior car) and all the greats from the Scalextric age of F1, who get frequent mentions.

    The 50s were possibly the golden age of both F1 and sportscar racing post war and the drivers, poorly paid by comparison to today, took their lives in their hands - many did die on the track every year. Tragically, Mike died on the public road after having announced his retirement, due to impending marriage.

    Perhaps Murray would comment on the greatest GP of all time; for me it has to be the 1953 French GP at Rheims, where Fangio (Maserati) and a very young Hawthorn (Ferrari) raced wheel to wheel the whole way, for Hawthorn to trick Fangio on the last corner and win in under a second. GPs were, in those days, longer than today; if anyone knows where I can obtain the Shell History of Motorsport covering the 50s, especially the French GP of 1953, I would be most grateful.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hello Murray,

    I wonder if you are as willing as Max Mosley is to answer this question:

    Who in your opinion is or was the biggest looney in Formula 1?



  • Comment number 8.

    hi Murray,as a long term fan of F1 and haveing just viewed the highlights of the 1987 british gp (again!) id like to ask you do you feel F1 is as goog as it was,im mean now its down to fuel stops,for me it breaks up the raceing,bring back the glory years like we saw from 1980-92,ban fuel stops,go back to out right raceing!

  • Comment number 9.

    What engines would 'Team Murray' use and would they run KERS?

  • Comment number 10.

    Is it not refreshing to be talking about the possibility of 2 British Grand Prix races next year? Does this not feel like a new beginning - a fresh start with the FOTA teams?

  • Comment number 11.

    Did you consider commentating for this grand prix in some form or another and will we ever see you return to the microphone? We all want it Murray!

  • Comment number 12.

    Dear Murray, When was if ever, the last time a british world champion in F1 hand over his title to another british champion, should Jenson button win this year and Lewis hand over the title?

    Thank you

  • Comment number 13.

    I would like to ask Murray if he believes former world champion Jacques Villeneuve could get a drive in formula 1.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Murray,

    After seeing potentially the last GP at Silverstone, where do you place it in your list of greatest circuits?



  • Comment number 15.

    Why is the KERS system not compulsory on all cars ?

    I thought it was being brought in to add an "extra variable" similar to the boost button in the Turbo days ?

    The lack of overtaking must be the biggest criticism for F1, and I though KERS was a solution to help this.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi Murray,

    I thought Giancarlo Fisichella deserved a point after his great drive in the British Grand Prix. With so little attrition from the top teams these days, do you think it's time the points system was changed, perhaps to something resembling the system used in Moto GP?



  • Comment number 17.

    This is not strictly a F1 question, but you will see that it is related:

    "If you were a football commentator and you discovered that that commercial rights for the Champions League were now to be wholly owned and controlled by a single London entrepreneur, would you consider this reasonable?

    "And if that person were to borrow against those rights and put the Champions League in hock for millions of pounds each month in dept repayments in order to buy the equipment with which his own company would sell content production services to broadcasters which meant that the teams would not draw any benefit from playing, would you write about it?

    "And would you choose to write about it even if that London entrepreneur controlled accreditation to every single football ground in Europe and access to each and every game and could shut you out? Even if he used the equivalent of the Uefa president who owed him his job as a red herring to muddy the waters with rule changes and papal-style edicts? I thought not ...

    Now can you tell me whether you know of a single journalist covering Formula 1 who does not owe his or her accreditation and access to Bernie Eccelestone and that we can therefore trust implicitly to tell the unvarnished truth?

  • Comment number 18.

    What do you think of Micheal Schumacher being revealed as the Stig? Is it true or is it just a publicity stunt?

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Murray

    I don't know if this is another case of reading too much into the actions of visibly tired pilots coming straight off the track but there was barely a glance exchanged between Vettel and Webber as they waited for the presentation. In fact the rtension seemed palpable. Are the two not getting along? Thanks

  • Comment number 20.

    Is Schumi the Stig?

  • Comment number 21.

    If you were in charge of FOTA, which tracks would you go to, what rules would you impose and would you commentate?

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi Murray just wandering what your views where on the current feud between FOTA and FIA?

    What do you think will happen in next few weeks and months?

  • Comment number 23.

    Hello Murray

    Where would you draw the line between:

    F1 getting stiffer regulations.
    (To make the competition between teams better)


    F1 being too restrictive.
    (Making teams look almost identical [on paper and on track])

  • Comment number 24.

    Do you think there will be a breakaway series or do you think the FIA and FOTA will reach a compromise?

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Murray

    Do you think that Mclaren will be back at top of the grid next season and do you think Lewis Hamilton will move to another team?

  • Comment number 26.

    Question for Murray:
    Whilst I like the concept of having two different tyre compounds which each car has to use during the race, and one is obviously going to be better than the other, why is it that one of the compounds is always so bad? Surely it's not right to have one very effective tyre and one tyre which isn't fit for purpose?

  • Comment number 27.

    Regarding Bernie's announcement that Silverstone will be used of Donington isn't ready. Do you agree with me that he has only said this so that Silverstone won't throw it's hat in with the FOTA breakaway series? Because if it does, it would be a massive step in establishing that series and making it feasible.

  • Comment number 28.

    Dear Murray,

    I am a fan from Dublin, Ireland and am absolutely delighted that F1 has returned to the BBC and also really happy that the BBC retained Martin Brundle.

    But all this recent upset with talk of a break-away competition is worrying. As much as I would like to watch more racing of F1 calibre, I don't want two competitions, which are so similar.

    Between March and Nov I am glued to the TV during F1 races - to the annoyance of my family and friends.
    So a real fan!

    So what are your feelings about the talk of a break-away competition?
    How do you think it will shape up if it does happen?
    Will the glitz and glamour and passion of this most fine motorsport wash away?

  • Comment number 29.

    Dave Kub rightly points out that Silverstone has a great history, from being a WW2 airfield to a post war racing circuit, like Goodwood.

    However, he should also remember that Donington has a far longer track record, going back to the days of Mercedes, Auto Union, Alfa Romeo (under Enzo Ferrari) and ERA before the War and, of course, the great Dick Seaman and Bob Gerard - Italy's incomparable Tazio Nuvolari and Germany's Bernd Rosemeyer among other greats. Unlike Silverstone, Donington is a purpose built track, not an airfield perimeter.

    I in no way want to run Silverstone down but I have done laps at Donington and it is a great circuit.


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