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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 July 2007, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
British Grand Prix 2007



LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (ALL TIMES BST)

By Julian Shea

606: DEBATE

Send us your views, comment and opinions on the British Grand Prix - text us on 81111 or use 606

1725: "I've just bumped into veteran commentator Murray Walker, who is making a one-off return to his old job for BBC Five Live at the German Grand Prix in two weeks' time. Regular commentator David Croft's wife is expecting a baby and, as Murray said, 'They asked me if I'd like to do it, and I decided to give it a go.' I suggested to him that he'd probably manage - he's got a bit of experience, after all. 'Well,' as Kimi Raikkonen says, 'let's see how it goes.'

"It's nearly six years since his last commentary for ITV, but Murray has been keeping up to speed in F1 by attending about half the races each year in a promotional capacity for Honda."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.

1705: "There still seems to be a strong desire to penalise McLaren for a set of circumstances that are completely out of its control and it's a cloud that I don't like living under. I am even more upset about the reaction from a whole range of people who have known this company and me for years and yet are quite happy to dance on the grave, as it were. I'm massively hacked off."
The on-going spying row takes the edge off McLaren team chief Ron Dennis's enjoyment of the day.

1700: "The crowd for today's qualifying was higher than last year's race day - it's unbelievable. We expected the Hamilton effect to have an impact on this year's crowd, but to get the equivalent of a race day crowd on a Saturday is unprecedented for the British Grand Prix."
Richard Phillips, managing director Silverstone Circuits Limited.

1642: "It's been fantastic to hear the crowd roar like that is seldom something you hear at any Grand Prix. I can imagine the roar tomorrow as the drivers go into that first corner at Copse. It's storybook stuff, really that Lewis, who many of us have known since he was 11, has come to take pole at his home Grand Prix. You don't know where it can go from here."
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren chief executive officer

1635: "Qualifying was a bit of a nightmare. I was blocked on my first run by one of the BMWs and the second run I had my engineer on the radio shouting at me that there was a yellow flag and then telling me there wasn't one while I was in two corners, so that didn't really help."
Jenson Button.

1605: "McLaren boss Ron Dennis has given an insight into the sort of pressures that are facing his protege Lewis Hamilton as the global interest in him intensifies during his debut Formula One season. Dennis told a news conference about an incident that occurred after a charity event at Great Ormond Street children's hospital on Wednesday evening.

"'It was really scary what happened there,' Dennis said. 'A car followed him all the way home to his flat. Three guys jumped out, and all they wanted was autographs. But when you're on your own that's a pretty scary thing to happen.' "Those are the kind of things we are trying to address - and for Fernando Alonso, because it happens to him as well.'"
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.

1515: "As ever in the hour or so after qualifying, the F1 paddock is a subdued place (it would be wrong to say quiet, with the GP2 race going on in the background). The drivers and engineers are poring over the data from their cars, trying to glean what extra they can for the race, and people scuttle around doing the deals on which the sport thrives, well into discussions about who will drive where next year, or just gossiping about the events of the weekend."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.

1510: "We wanted to be on pole position but third is the best we could do today. Hopefully we can overtake people in the race. I will try to win, that's for sure."
Fernando Alonso

1420: "Brilliant lap there from Hamilton. Kimi should have had that though, that's a typical error from him this season and he needs to cut them out if he's going to challenge for the title."
safcfan89, via 606.

1416: "I had to pull it out and I think I did quite a sweet job putting the last lap together. I couldn't have done it without the team changing the tyres so quickly - I'm very excited about tomorrow. When I drive around I do see the helmets and the flags - I get a big buzz from that and a lot of energy, so that's positive - most of the pressure comes from myself, I'll just do the best job I can tomorrow. When I came across the line I was screaming just as loud as all the fans."
McLaren driver and pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.

1407: "The Ferrari is the quickest on the grid and yet Hamilton is top of the standings in his rookie season in front of his double world champion team mate. They're the facts and I can't praise him enough."
Pico69, via 606

Hamilton's pole is good news for British fans

1400: Kimi Raikkonen goes wide but still clocks a time of 1:20.099 to pip Alonso for provisional pole - but Hamilton is still out on the track, and at the last minute pulls off a stunning lap of 1:19.977.

Sensational stuff as Hamilton becomes the first Briton on pole for the British Grand Prix in 11 years.

1358: Two minutes to go and Hamilton needs to make up over one-tenth of a second on his three main rivals to go for pole. Never let it be said he failed to entertain his fans.

1354: The phoney war ends and people start putting in the big times challenging for pole. Fernando Alonso sets the best time so far, 1:20.410.

1350: Kimi Raikkonen moves into second place behind Hamilton.

1346: Leaving the pit lane for final qualifying, Fernando Alonso tried to get past Lewis Hamilton but the Briton was having none of it, so the world champion will have to make do with sitting on his shoulder for the time being. At the first time lap Hamilton is just over one second up on his team-mate, with a lap of 1:21.270.

1338: Time's up - and Mark Webber, David Coulthard, Alexander Wurz, Rubens Barrichello, Scott Speed and Vitantonio Liuzzi are the unlucky stragglers who are picked off.

1336: Seconds to go in the second session, and one of the surprises is Scott Speed in 11th place - usually the American is eliminated at the first hurdle, and although it looks unlikely he will survive until the top 10 shoot-out, this has certainly got to be encouraging for the Toro Rosso camp.

1332: On a hard tyre, Fernando Alono sets a new best time of 1:19.152. Looking impressive! With four minutes left until the second cut-off point, David Coulthard is well down in the mire.

1329: Kimi Raikkonen takes over at the top with a lap of 1:19.252, and Lewis Hamilton moves into second spot.

1325: Vitantonio Luizzi is the first out in the second session, clocking a lap of 1:20.947.

1320: "A bad weekend for Honda, in which they have become embroiled in the Ferrari spying row, just got worse. Jenson Button is eliminated from qualifying in the first session, having managed to set only 18th fastest time. He's probably paying for lost track time after missing Friday's second practice session with a bad back."
Andrew Benson, BBC Sport

1320: Jenson Button, Adrian Sutil, Takuma Sato, Christijan Albers, Anthony Davidson and Nico Rosberg are the unlucky ones who have failed to make the cut.

Anthony Davidson's exit is bad news for British fans

1314: "With 40 seconds to go, Anthony Davidson spins his Super Aguri on the exit of Brooklands and will be one of the six cars eliminated at the end of the first part of qualifying."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson

1312: Fernando Alonso takes charge with a new best lap time of 1:19.330.

1311: Jenson Button's plans suffer a setback as he is called in for a random weight check at the weigh bridge, so time is running out if he wants to avoid elimination at the first hurdle.

1309: Fernando Alonso finally takes to the track near the end of the first session and takes half a second out of the leaders. Talk about keeping your powder dry until the vital time!

1305: Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber and Robert Kubica are setting the early pace. Hamilton's leading time so far is one minute 20.274 seconds.

1300: And they're off! The serious business of the weekend starts here. The Spykers are out first but plenty of cars are staying in the pit lanes early on.

1254: "The atmosphere is really starting to build. Air horns are going in the crowd, a helicopter display team has just finished doing its stuff, and the banners are hanging over the pit-straight grandstands as fans await the start of qualifying. Most are for Lewis Hamilton, inevitably, but there is one in honour of David Coulthard, the last Briton to win his home race, in 2000. It's a saltire bearing the words: 'DC: the only Brit for me'."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson.

1251: "If you want more overtaking,and who does not, the answer is easy but the F1 circus would not do it. Take the wings off!!!!!"
sprinterst, via 606

1249: Weather update from the track - after all the rain, mercifully it looks warm and dry at Silverstone, if a bit windy. But after all the showers recently, surely a bit of wind is bearable.

1245: "Here's one for all you F1 history fans, my dad is today going to his first practice session in 30 years, his name is Peter Connew. If any of you remember the Connew F1 car then you might look out for him. The car is now in his garden shed along with the original tyres!"
Peter Connew's son (or daughter), via text

1230: The shadow of the spying row continues to overshadow the weekend. " "We're looking into the whole thing at the moment and when we've got all the facts then we will decide what to do. Both McLaren and Ferrari are giving us all the information that we want and we are asking questions. We will be writing to both teams next week with more questions and taking it from there. As far as the sport is concerned, it should all be clarified within the next three weeks."
FIA president Max Mosley

1225: An anoymous texter at Silverstone is clearly looking forward to the race but has given Silverstone a hammering for the eight-mile traffic jams at 10am, "disgraceful" toilets and overpriced food. It may be the spiritual home of the British Grand Prix, but what are your views on the much-maligned venue?

1210: If you are at Silverstone, we would love to hear your observations and news from the circuit. Seen any celebs in among the crowd? Or if the sun is out, maybe some bizarre tattoos are on display. At the Donington MotoGP the other week, I saw a Valentino Rossi fan with "The Doctor" tattooed across his back, who had just got Rossi to sign the tattoo - presumably he was going to get that inked too. All contributions gratefully received....

1157: "Forza Felipe. Not a Hamilton fan but don't disrepect his achievements - he is the real deal. However ALL current F1 drivers are a bunch of dull wet blankets. I wanna see wheel to wheel action on the track and passion in the pit lane. These guys are racers but too afraid to be confrontational both on and off the track. I agree with an earlier comment: there is no real rivalry anymore! Come back Montoya - F1 needs you more than you need F1."
Namako, via 606

"ALL current F1 drivers are a bunch of dull wet blankets"?? Hmm, I sense a fresh can of worms being ripped open there... your views please.

1153: Prodrive boss Dave Richards is still hopeful of announcing details of his new 2008 team by the end of the month, but his planned announcement this weekend is on hold. The chairman of Aston Martin will use a chassis and engine from a current major manufacturer and says he has a "favoured partner," but is not giving away any clues as to who it is. Although it is widely known in the F1 paddock that Richards is in deep negotiations with McLaren about running a B team.

1145: "Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood are all on the radar as guests this weekend at Silverstone."
BBC Five Live's David Croft

1145 "I had a dream last night that Hamilton, Coulthard and Davidson got up on the podiums and we had the National Anthem played by Hamilton's 'friend' Pharrell. Where does that leave Button though, you cry? He was seen having a conversation with Super Aguri and asking for his old car back."
Richard in Hampshire, via text

By Sam Lyon

1140: Right folks, while Andrew Benson and pompey_chimes battle it out over the Hamilton-Alonso rivalry, I must hand you over to the one, the only, Julian Shea as I'm off to Centre Court (via helicopter from Silverstone of course) to cover the Wimbledon men's semis and women's final. Be nice to JS and keep the texts and 606 chat coming...

Ron Dennis
Dennis - Terry from Chester says sorry

"I have a belated apology to make to Ron Dennis, as I'm sure he'll be reading this on one of his screens. In the barmy days of Mansell Mania, I sported a t-shirt at Silverstone with some rather rude remarks about him. Well, I was young and naive and it was my brother's idea. Honest! In case you are wondering, it was a rather unsubtle play on the abbreviation for the F1 Constructor's Association. Not funny, I know that now. Anyway Ron, sorry about that and thanks for unleashing Lewis on an unsuspecting World..."
Terry, Chester via text

1122: "Andrew, I wasn't commenting on their quality at all. In terms of quality they are in the same bracket as Senna or Prost, but at the moment all we have a sulky latin gentleman and a smiling kid.

"F1 demands action and if they aren't going hammer and tongs to have a scrap on the track, this rivalry is just overhyped. Unless it spills over onto the track there is no real rivalry, but McLaren don't seem too keen. Alonso certainly seems reluctant to make something of it.

"So in terms of a Senna/Prost rivalry, it's not even on the register."
pompey_chimes on 606

"Hamilton will get back on track and win this one, because of the extra incentive of winning on home soil."
jazzy1985 on 606

"Lewis is good but Kimi is back on form. Another Ferrari 1-2. Forza Ferrari!"
Neil, Wallasey via text

1111: So, Hamilton is again out-paced but Fernando Alonso finally looks to be getting to grips with his tyres as he laps just slower than Raikkonen. Is Alonso on the way back into form? Or are Ferrari proving that last week's one-two was just the start of their own rejuvenation? Let us know via text or on 606.

Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen looks in good shape at Silverstone

1105: A vast improvement in practice from Fernando Alonso, but it is Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen who once again dominates, beating the Spaniard into second place with a time of one minute 19.751 seconds.

Alonso finished 0.169secs back, with Raikkonen's team-mate Felipe Massa third and Lewis Hamilton fourth again.

"I'm with you Jonathan - I would have loved a Schumacher-Hamilton season. Perhaps Michael will be tempted back?"
Kate in Buxton via text

1051: "Interesting to read pompey_chimes's remarks about Alonso and Hamilton, but I'm not sure about the remark that it 'isn't exactly Senna and Prost'. Alonso and Hamilton may get on on a personal level, so they may not be behaving like Senna and Prost did, but that is certainly the level those two are working at out on the track.

"They are without doubt good enough to be mentioned in that company. It really does seem McLaren finally have a driver pairing of that sort of calibre - the sort many thought would never be together again."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson

"Lewis will be fourth today, now that Alonso and Kimi have become used to their new teams and tyres. Kimi will win by half a lap."
lewisisboring on 606

"I was told by a Aussie F1 driver this week "all the drivers want Lewis to fail, he is showing everyone up". It's just jealousy Lewis, go out and show the m up again."
JRC in London via text

"I'm having a buttered toast and fresh orange juice breakfast in Brussels whilst following the qualifying sessions on French Eurosport... You guys are my direct way of knowing what's going on accurately. I expect a fiery race tomorrow, seeing the resurgence of Team Ferrari."
Maxxfoot on 606

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton gets ready for Saturday's practice

1034: "Just been out on the track for my fix of F1 in the raw. It is possible to describe the yawning chasm between what your brain tells you is possible and what your eyes see as a Grand Prix car tests the laws of physics as it weaves left-right-left at more than 160mph through the first part of Silverstone's Becketts complex. But the bloke behind me already cracking into the Heineken at 1020 was happy with: 'Whoah. That is unreal, innit?'"
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson

"I have a good feeling about this being an electrifying practice session followed by the most gripping race. I think McL & Ferrari will be very close in performance terms and all 4 of their drivers have an overwhelming reason to win. That all said, I think Kimi will win. But, 'Go Lewis Go!'"
Terry, Chester via text

1027: "An insight into the subtleties that make all the difference at the edge of performance at the highest level in F1. An engineer who used to work with Fernando Alonso at Renault says one of the reasons the double world champion has not yet fully settled at McLaren is to do with the new Bridgestone control tyres used in F1 this year.

"These respond very differently from the Michelins Alonso is used to, and do not work well with his driving style. If a driver turns into the corner still on the brakes, or uses the steering wheel aggressively - both of which Alonso does - the tyres will not co-operate. They do not have enough bite, so Alonso will find himself forced to go into a corner slower than he feels the car should. A more subtle style - such as Lewis Hamilton's - works better with the tyres.

"The engineer says Alonso will eventually adapt - but he has to 'unlearn' five years' experience.

"Equally, Alonso has been making more mistakes than usual this year - particularly while braking. Tied in with the tyres, this may be to do with the fact that McLaren is in the minority by using a different brake manufacturer from Renault. These provide much less feel than Alonso's preferred make, which he finally persuaded McLaren to let him use at the French Grand Prix last weekend."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson

"Great to see the British lad doing well but this thing with Alonso is hardly Senna and Prost is it? If this gets nasty on the track it has the potential to make F1 interesting, but as of yet all we've had is Alonso moaning..."
pompey_chimes on 606

1011: "The Lewis Hamilton effect is undeniable. Interest in the sport is up 100% on last year and that is absolutely down to Hamilton. He's the perfect sports star - charming, genuine, intelligent and a winner - and this weekend is building up brilliantly."
Former F1 driver Martin Brundle on BBC Five Live

1000: And the first practice session of the weekend gets under way...

"Lewis has been VERY lucky so far with problems hitting all his rivals. Come on Ferrari."
James in Ireland via text

0957: "Word in the F1 paddock is that the Ferrari spying row has plenty of life in it. There's a lot of things that have yet to come out..."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson

"Hamilton's win here depends on his grid position. So I think Ferrari is favourite again in the British GP. Good Luck Ferrari. Good Luck KIMI."
Sharif Rasel on 606

"Over-hyping? He's only putting the two time world champion well in the shade! In his first season, this is amazing sustained form, only the greats have starts as stellar as this."
jmb on 606

Jenson Button
Button is hoping to shake off a back problem and feature on Saturday

0940: Only a handful of you letting us know your thoughts and plans for the race today, unfortunately. I thought there were loads at first, but then realised we're sharing the 81111 text line with numerous other BBC departments - I did wonder why I was being asked to "play Neyo, So Sick or anything by the Kaiser Chiefs". Anyway, get texting and chatting on 606...please.

"Don't listen to the nay-sayers - this GP is all about Lewis baby! Come on the Brits!"
Emma M via text

0932: Still no further word on Jenson Button, who was forced to sit out Friday's practice because of back pains. He'll be looking to recover in time to start his home race in the hope of building on last weekend's point at Magny-Cours - Honda's first of the season.

Elsewhere on the British front, Anthony Davidson can feel suitably buoyed by his 10th-place finish in Friday's practice, while David Coulthard, 14th fastest yesterday, will just be hoping for a fault-free weekend after a series of technical problems this season.

"Hamilton has done well, granted... but can this site stop over-hyping him?"
a_proud_devil on 606

"Some of us are watching this weekend's GP for all 22 drivers, not just one. Has anyone yet said that Alonso will win? If not, I will be the first."
safcfan89 on 606

0920: "McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were some way behind the Ferraris in practice on Friday, but Hamilton says he is confident of a close fight this weekend: 'We have very good pace,' he said.

"'I have no doubt that some of the people ahead of us were quite a bit lighter [in weight of fuel] than us but we will obviously have to see. I go into qualifying with quite a bit of confidence in my car and I really do feel that at least on a single lap we will be quicker than the Ferraris.'"
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson

0911: Lest we forget amid all the hype, Friday's practice served to remind everyone that Ferrari are hell bent on ruining Lewis Hamilton's hopes of home glory this weekend.

Kimi Raikkonen was almost a second faster than Hamilton, who finished fourth, with Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa second quickest. With reigning champion Fernando Alonso back in sixth, there is obviously quite a bit of work to do by McLaren in the coming 24 hours or so.

0903: "I certainly don't think either McLaren or Ferrari have a significant advantage here. Qualifying today will be really tight and Lewis Hamilton's chances in the race may well depend on his starting position on the grid."
BBC Five Live's David Croft

"Lewis Hamilton's anagram is "I'm lethal, so win". Just thought you'd like to know."
Bill36 on 606

0854: "Silverstone say that Friday's attendance figure - 42,000 - was not only 4,000 up on last year, but was the highest for a first day in British Grand Prix history - and that's despite the windy, cool weather.

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton arrives for Saturday practice

"Saturday has started sunny, with only a few white clouds dotted around. The wind that caused the drivers so many problems on Friday has died down, and things look pretty good for a great weekend."
BBC Sport's Andrew Benson

"Don't you wish we could have had one season of Hamilton and Michael Schumacher?"
Jonathan via text

0843: Carl Lewis - after whom young Lewis Hamilton was named - leads the good luck messages for the Briton from sports stars around the world, telling BBC Five Live: "I do love Formula One and I'm a big car buff.

"It does make you feel amazing that someone admires you enough that they would, first of all, name someone after you and then that person has tremendous success.

"I'm a big fan, I understand and watch it and I know the races so Lewis...out to you...just keep knocking 'em out."

Quite.

0838: Not meaning to over-hype this weekend or anything - heaven forbid - but ber-limey if this isn't one of the greatest couple of days like, ever, in British sport? The British Grand Prix, the men and women's finals at Wimbledon, Le Grand Depart of the Tour de France, the England v West Indies one-day international and the Mildenhall v King's Lynn Premier League clash in the Speedway (I'm assured it's a big deal). Come on!

0830: Forget your red-top special pull-outs people, throw away your Lewis Hamilton magazine specials and turn your eyes from the dozens of features, profile pieces and exposes that litter the Saturday papers - this is the place to find all your British Grand Prix build-up.

Huge crowds are expected to flock to the course in time for practice at 1000 BST and then qualifying at 1300, and we'll be taking you through all the news on and off the track as it happens.

Are you on your way there or following the action via the BBC as part of your weekend?

Why not get in touch via 606 or by texting 81111 to let us know your thoughts on how Hamilton will get on or anything else about the race. Otherwise I will be lonely.

SEE ALSO
Mosley clears Honda in F1 spy row
07 Jul 07 |  Formula One
British GP Day 1: as it happened
06 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Raikkonen on top at Silverstone
06 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Coulthard extends Red Bull deal
06 Jul 07 |  Formula One
F1 boss rejects London Grand Prix
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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