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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 17:56 GMT 18:56 UK
British Grand Prix 2007



LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (ALL TIMES BST)

By Julian Shea

Send us your views, comment and opinions on this weekend's British Grand Prix - text us on 81111 or use 606

606: DEBATE

So that closes business at Silverstone for practice day. Join us again on Saturday for qualifying for the big race.

1910: "The paddock is emptying fast - many senior people are off to the Grand Prix Ball, which used to be held at Stowe Hall near the track but is this year at the Albert Hall. There'll be a few headaches knocking around in the morning, although not among the drivers, obviously, for whom it's early to bed for an early start tomorrow, with practice starting at 10am. Just bumped into Patrick Head, the technical director and co-owner of the Williams team, and one of the greatest characters in Formula One. He interrupted an interview to ask me why I'd lost so much weight. He said he meant it as a compliment. Anyway, it made a change from talking endlessly about the Ferrari spy saga."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.

1900: "As usual on Friday, there are so many unknowns in terms of the order among the teams. We must wait and see how the weekend develops. It was a good day, we worked in a different way to usual, covering a high mileage. I would say we have a good base from which we can improve the car for qualifying and the race.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

1700: "Inevitably, the future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone has come up again this weekend, and on Friday McLaren boss Ron Dennis poured cold water on suggestions in the morning newspapers that a developer could take over the track. Dennis is one of the 'guardians' appointed by Silverstone's owner the British Racing Drivers' Club, and unanimous agreement of these people is needed for the track to be sold, or for its ownership to be shared.

"As Dennis put it: 'That will never happen as long as I am breathing.' He added that he felt the government should invest in the track: 'If they can invest in other areas that they feel are required to make England the pinnacle of any sport, then why not one where we traditionally had that position? It doesn't have to be a hand-out. There could be support on planning, effort made on infrastructure. There could be pound-for-pound match for any money the club raises. I strongly believe Silverstone and the British Grand Prix has a future, but everyone's got to come to the party'".
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.

1625: Lewis Hamilton has said he is not disheartened at finishing fourth fastest in today's second practice session after leading the way in this morning's session.

"I'm quite optimistic, I still think we'll be able to battle with the Ferraris," he said.

And some of his fans on 606 agree with him.

"Hamilton has definitely got a fantastic opportunity to win the race. He's been waiting for this for a long time and on Sunday will be desperate to get in his car."
unitedsfan, on 606.

1550: The afternoon session is over, and Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa have ended the day on top.

Raikkonen, who beat Lewis Hamilton into third place last time out in France, clocked a time of one minute 20.639 seconds, 0.499 ahead of his Brazilian team-mate.

Toyota's Ralf Schumacher came in a surprising third fastest, ahead of Hamliton.

His McLaren team-mate, defending champion Fernando Alonso, was sixth, behind Jarno Trulli.

Anthony Davidson clocked the tenth-best time of the session, with David Coulthard, fresh from having signed a new Red Bull contract, in 14th place.

Jenson Button, who struggled in the morning session, missed the afternoon one to have treatment on a back problem.

1505: "Lewis Hamilton's rescued British sport this summer."
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

1455: "I think the BMWs are making themselves a real nuisance behind the ferraris and mclarens and its good to see renault get back up there."
englandmad666, on 606.

"Nick Heidfeld continues to look dangerous in qualifying and I'd be surprised if he doesn't get one race win in the BMW this year."
shoinan, on 606.

1450: "Jenson Button's back problem is apparently serious enough that he has gone to hospital to have it checked out. Reserve driver Christian Klien, a former Red Bull driver, is taking his place in practice on Friday."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.

1425: "For years, the pattern of the F1 paddock was the same. By late morning, most people who weren't actually working - sponsors guests and so on - congregated in the area outside the Ferrari motorhome. The reason being that was where the team's most popular team and most famous driver, Michael Schumacher, were. This year, though, that crowd seems to have moved a few yards down to McLaren. Presumably this is another example of what is becoming known as the Hamilton effect"
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.

1420: "I live in Silverstone village and judging by the number of people wanting to park their car on my drive (at 20 per day!) the Lewis hype is having a serious effect on attendance this year."
Whadyaknow, on 606

1410: "I think Lewis is going to try and dominate every session. He will want to stamp his authority on the weekend early and show that he is really pumped up for his home GP, a la Mansell when he was in Britain."
DixieBean, on 606

1355: Red Bull driver David Coulthard may not have had the most promising of mornings but the 36-year-old has something to smile about after the team confirmed he had signed a one-year contract extension.

Coulthard, 36, who has won 13 races in his 13-year career, is the oldest driver on the grid and was out of contract at the end of the season.

But the news finalises the team's line-up for next year, with Australian Mark Webber also returning for another season.

1345: A big disappointment for the British fans - Jenson Button will miss the afternoon's second practice session after suffering a recurrence of a back spasm, which occurred after a crash with Honda team-mate Rubens Barrichello at the US Grand Prix. Button is undergoing physiotherapy and is expected to be fit for qualifying on Saturday.

1255: "I think Hamilton can still get on the podium and keep ahead of Alonso, but those two Ferraris just look way to strong - especially in race conditions."
Cilurnum, on 606

1140: The dust settles after the first practice session, held in windy conditions, and to the delight of the home fans Lewis Hamilton is the man at the front of the field.

The McLaren driver's sensational form continued with a quickest lap time of one minute 21.100 seconds, putting him 0.111 secs ahead of nearest rival Kimi Raikkonen.

His Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa was third fastest, with Hamilton's team-mate and defending world champion Fernando Alonso back in fourth place.

The Spaniard appeard to have the advantage over Hamilton early on but that soon withered.

Anthony Davidson came in tenth-fastest, with Jenson Button in 15th and David Coulthard in 18th place, just behind Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.

The afternoon's practice session starts at 1400 BST.

1050: "The buzz in the media centre is focusing on the McLaren-Ferrari spy row, in which McLaren have suspended chief designer Mike Coughlan after he was found to have "personally received technical information from a Ferrari employee". McLaren boss Ron Dennis had to fight back tears in a news conference on Thursday, so upset was he that his team's integrity had been impugned - integrity is a big thing with Ron, which you cannot say about everyone in F1, as this whole saga has demonstrated. And today there are rumours that a second team is involved."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.

1040: Fernando Alonso ousts Lewis Hamilton from the top of the standings, with the fastest lap so far - 1:21.738.

1040: "30,000 people have paid 10 each to Red Bull's 'Wings for Life' charity to have a sticker of their photo put on the cars for this weekend's race, so if you wonder why they look a bit different this weekend, that's why."
BBC Five Live's Holly Samos

1035: "40,000 fans have had already had a glimpse of Lewis Hamilton, and he's set the best lap time so far of one minute 22.55 seconds, an entire second clear of second-placed Jarno Trulli in the Toyota".
BBC Five Live's David Croft

1000: Friday morning's practice session is under way and lasts until 1130 BST, with the second session running from 1400-1530 BST.

Weather update: Possibility of showers on Friday but it's set to brighten up over the remainder of the weekend, with the rain holding off on Saturday and Sunday.

0958: "The circuit seems a bit busier than usual on a Friday morning - and there's definitely more people in the grandstands than last year - must be the Hamilton factor.

"Wandering down the paddock to the media centre, the first thing that caught my eye was McLaren's breathtaking new three storey-high 'Brand Centre'. Circular, and clad in smoked glass, it takes F1's obsession with ostentatious on-site bases to a new high - or low, depending on how you look at it.

"It's all a long way from my first few experiences of Silverstone, when I used to sleep in the back of a Fiat 127 with my dad in the campsite.

"I'm off to stand on the outside of Copse and Becketts to watch some racing cars later. The wind on the motorway on the way up was bad enough - I can only imagine what it must be like to deal with a gusting cross-wind as you're turning into Copse at 180mph."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.

Pre-race news: Lewis Hamilton will be the name on everyone's lips in the run-up to Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The 22-year-old Brit has taken the Formula One world by storm in his rookie season and leads the standings by 14 points after eight races. Most of the fans who will be heading for Silverstone over the next three days will be hoping the McLaren star can extend his advantage with victory on home soil. Whatever happens, the BBC Sport website will be keeping you up to date with all the news, views and action.



SEE ALSO
Raikkonen on top at Silverstone
06 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Honda on defensive in spying row
06 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Coulthard extends Red Bull deal
06 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton makes pledge to McLaren
06 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Spy row will not damage Hamilton
05 Jul 07 |  Formula One


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