The 2011 British Grand Prix, held at Silverstone Racetrack between 8th and 10th July, is the ninth race of a season thats already promising to live long in the memory of Formula One fans. This Silverstone showdown is made all the more exciting by McLarens British pair of Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button staying doggedly in contention, despite the commanding form of Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel.
Jenson Buttons immense performance at Montreal to win the Canadian Grand Prix in the last lap of a scintillating, action-packed four-hour-plus battle has already been hailed by McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh as:
One of the best wins in the history of F1, let alone his. I think it was incredible, absolutely fantastic.
Buttons improbable win which was achieved despite suffering two crashes, a drive-through penalty, six pitstops and fighting back from 21st position sent out a defiant message to championship leader Vettel that despite him being 60 points ahead nearing the halfway point of the season, McLaren arent going to hand anything to him on a plate.
And whatever happens on the dockside street circuit of Valencia in next weeks European Grand Prix, while Button will go to Silverstone still buzzing with confidence, team mate Lewis Hamilton will enter the paddock with a point to prove. Despite a great start including one win and two further podiums, the talented 2008 World Champions undoubted ability is not translating into consistency and points at the moment. Some view the audacious moves creeping into his driving which have contributed to four crashes in two races already this season as a mark of frustration, with former World Champion Niki Lauda branding him completely mad while commentating on the race.
Headlines concerning a possible move to Red Bull Racing for the underperforming driver hopefully wont prove too much of a distraction after his misfortunes this season, Hamilton needs to blaze a trail at the British Grand Prix, and remind everyone on home soil why hes considered such a prodigious talent by the Formula 1 racing fraternity.
The Silverstone circuit itself has introduced some changes for 2011 with a new pit and paddock complex unveiled in May, and the long straight leading into the Arena complex promises to continue the overtaking thrills weve seen so far, with the FIAs decision on where to place the DRS activation zone (or zones) a critical factor in team strategy.
Silverstone will also be the first race in which the recent blown diffuser ban will be implemented the race will be an early indication of how the teams plan to adapt to the loss of the downforce-increasing technology, a rule change that could have a strong bearing on the titles destiny and the overall shape of the races to come.
If the Brits provide a further challenge to Vettels dominance in the race, then its game on for the championship rarely has a British Grand Prix been so eagerly awaited. Roll on July!
Note: This was a guest post, written by Silverstone Racetrack