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Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Friday, 19 June 2009 15:52 UK

British GP practice as it happened


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By Caroline Cheese

1547: Time to go then. I shall return tomorrow at 0930 BST ahead of final practice at 1000 BST and qualifying at 1300 BST. I imagine there'll have been some more statements and counter-statements by then. Oh joy. Enjoy the rest of Friday...

1545: Almost time to go but a reminder that there is more live sport to distract from you from work/revision today: Dirsy's on the golf, Prans is on the ladies' cricket, the devil.
Live text - cricket
Live text - golf

1541: Well at least they waited until the cars were off the track before dropping the latest bombshell. Just.

1540 BREAKING NEWS: The FIA is to issue legal proceedings without delay against the Formula One Teams Association following their threat to begin a breakaway series.

1537: Unbelievably, I might have already made progress on the 'meeting Sir Stirling Moss' ambition. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted. Imagine! Little me meeting motor racing legend - and voice of Roary the Racing Car - Sir Stirling. I think the world would end.

Text in your views on 81111
From Neil, Liverpool, via text on 81111: "On the subject of legends' autographs, Sir Jackie Stewart at the 1994 British GP is the best I got, but my everlasting memory was my mum chasing Damon Hill on his scooter for his autograph. I still treasure that now!"

1534: How to ruin an otherwise excellent day... Adrian Sutil, third quickest in his Force India, manages to run over the front of team-mate Giancarlo Fishichella's car as he returns to the pits.

1531: Top eight: Vettel, Webber, Sutil, Nakajima, Alonso, Barrichello, Hamilton, Trulli. BBC commentary team David Croft and Antony Davidson have a minor falling-out over Brawn's performance. Croft is worried, as Barrichello and Button languish in sixth and 14th respectively, but Davidson simply says: "Just wait."

1530: Chequered flag is out but a few cars still on flying laps, including Rubens Barrichello.

1527: Couple of minutes remaining and the top six looks like this: Vettel, Webber, Sutil, Nakajima, Hamilton, Trulli. Jenson Button still dawdling in 15th. Replays show Fernando Alonso being held up by a Brawn and waving his arm in frustration. The former world champ is eighth quickest.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Webber's problems are more likely to be with electrics."

1523: Whoah. What's this then? Mark Webber pulls off the circuit on the Hangar straight... Replays show he ran wide and damaged the car.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Dark clouds ahead but sun hitting me in the face. Typical Silverstone weather."

1516: FIA boss Max Mosley is about to issue a statement ... Whatever... oh sorry, did I say that out loud?

Bridgestone's Andy Stobart: "We've got the hard and soft compounds here, the same as Malaysia, Spain and Turkey. The tyres are taking longer to warm up simply because it's not that warm here."

1505: If we don't get some kind of late charge from Jenson Button, I shall be enormously disappointed. He's down in 16th at the moment, sandwiched between Bob Kubica and Nelson Piquet Jr. Bad times.

Murray Walker on BBC Red Button: "I'm fed up to the back teeth with politics... but the racing this season has been absolutely fantastic. I've just come from Brawn. I was Honda's ambassador for several years and last winter we faced this desperate situation where the team looked as though it wouldn't be competing and Jenson Button's career looked to be over. It's a fairy story. Button is at last getting his just deserts. If Button doesn't win, I hope it's Mark Webber."

1453: Ted Kravitz reports that Jenson Button has gone back to his old set-up and will shortly return to the track. Another frustrating Friday practice for the championship leader - but it hasn't done him much harm so far, has it? Very little change on the leaderboard, still the Red Bulls in charge.

1449: Heikki Kovalainen loses it momentarily - not sure where that was. Still Webber, Vettel, Sutil the one-two-three.

1445: Only the Red Bulls have managed to break into the 1:19s, with Adrian Sutil lying third. Third! Next up Kazuki Nakajima, Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen.

BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "Jenson Button is having a torrid Friday. He really didn't want to have a Friday practice like his last few when things haven't gone well for him. But he is still complaining about the car twitching a lot. He's gone back into his garage so we'll see if he comes back out again."

1436: According to the Daily Telegraph, today is the day people are most likely to feel happiest in the UK. I don't think Robert Kubica realises as he sits cross-legged in the garage, chin on hand.

Antony Davidson on BBC Red Button: "When Michael Schumacher went to Ferrari, he pulled the team together. That's what Robert Kubica has to do at BMW. It's the difference between a quick driver and a complete driver. It seems Kubica has just given up on the season already."

1431: A muffled Jenson Button radios back to the pits to complain about graining on his tyres. The Englishman is trundling around in 10th at the moment.

1427: Coming up to half an hour gone and the top six is: Webber, Vettel, Sutil, Rosberg, Hamilton, Alonso. Only Webber into the 1:19s though.

1422: Uh-oh. Ted Kravitz reports that Bob Kubica has engine trouble. BMW told him to come in immediately and they'll now try to change that engine in time to get him back out before the end of the session.

BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "Mark Webber has a new engine this weekend. He's just flying this weekend after his podium in Turkey, where Seb Vettel made a mistake for the second race in a row. There's a lot of pressure on his young shoulders at the moment."

Antony Davidson on the Red Button: "I think this is Mark Webber's best chance of a win this season. He's gained a lot of confidence from beating Vettel in Turkey, and the team know they will be closer to Brawn here than in Istanbul."

1411: If you can't see the video stream, may I suggest giving this page a manual refresh? Let me know if you're still having problems... Mark Webber currently quickest, ahead of live text hero Adrian Sutil and Lewis Hamilton.

1409: A moment for Nelson Piquet Jr at the Maggots/Becketts complex. I'm saying nothing. I don't need to. The sight of Renault boss Flavio Briatore shaking his head says it all. That's not going to help the Brazilian's confidence one bit.

BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos:"The Force Indias have a new aero package this weekend - with changes to the wing, bodywork and floor. The team are saying they are definitely, definitely going to score a point this weekend. They have to."

BBC Sport’s Sarah Holt at Silverstone: "The weekend may have only just begun but the legendary Silverstone circuit is filling up with plenty of racing legends. Former world champions Damon Hill, Sir Jackie Stewart, Nelson Piquet and Jacques Villeneuve are all here. I bumped into 1997 champion Villeneuve and asked him if he thought the end of Formula 1 as we know it is nigh. "It's gone so far this time so there will be damage," he said. "It would be a shame because any series that is separated has been damaged and the same thing could happen here. On the other hand, it could be quite cleansing." Jacques' dad Gilles Villeneuve, who was killed at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982, is remembered as one of Ferrari's most popular drivers. Could F1 be the same if Ferrari ended its 60-year association with the sport? "F1 will still carry on without Ferrari," Villeneuve added. "Everything has to end but it would be a shame."

1401: We're off then, and the crowds - packed into Silverstone's grandstands - are watching Heikki Kovalainen get in some early laps.

1352: Not long to go now, but long enough for you to read Andrew Benson's latest blog on the F1 breakaway, which breaks down the two sides' views in bite-size format. In summary: Andrew says the most likely outcome is that F1 will carry on next year in much the same way as now.
Andrew Benson's blog

Force India owner Vijay Mallya on the Fota breakaway: "We find this to be very sad and disappointing... As of now, Force India is a confirmed entrant to the FIA 2010 Formula One World Championship and we wait to see the developments over the weekend."

Text in your views on 81111
From Neil via text on 81111 "As a teenager in the 60s, I used to go to Brands Hatch and at the Race of The Champions I paid a few bob more to get into the paddock. Having got Graham Hill and Dan Gurney's autograph, approached my hero, Jim Clark for his. He sighed heavily and duly signed my programme. Five minutes later, he was out qualifying. Ah, those were the days."

1336: 25 quid?! Is it made of gold?

Text in your views on 81111
From Dan via text on 81111: "Currently sat in a stand at the top of Stowe, mood is surprisingly positive despite the hive of calamitous nonsense happening with Max and Co in the paddock. The sun is shining, the 25 quid Brawn baseball cap is donned, all waiting for the prodigy that is Jenson Button!"

1332: Less than half an hour until practice two begins - and hurrah, my live feed from Silverstone has sprung back to life. There's a plane flying over the famous old circuit... and out tumble several brave men with coloured flares on their feet. They've got parachutes too, which is no bad thing in such circumstances.

From Sophie from Manchester, via text on 81111: "Johnny Herbert once told me which races he'd wee-ed in while we were eating breakfast in the Stewart Racing motor home. My dad was working there at the time and I'm not sure I really knew who Johnny was so I think I told him to stop grossing me out while I was eating! I was only 12..."

From anon via text on 81111: "Re 1310: well said Stirling! While cost-cutting is an ideal and being green is preferable, one must not lose sight that people like F1 because its the pinnacle of motor racing. Leaping back to a car with lower formulae will be the end of the sport with or without dissent among teams."

Text in your views on 81111
From Eddie from Lincoln, via text on 81111: "Re 1222: I was fortunate to travel VIP to Sao Paulo to watch the 1993 race. I remember being in the pits during Saturday practice and meeting Ayrton Senna. After obtaining the third autograph in a row he gave me a funny look as if to say 'that's enough!'"

1310: While we're on the subject of F1 legendario Sir Stirling Moss, we might as well hear his views on budget-cap-gate (that'll never catch on). "It's so important that there is harmony," he said recently. "The sport is ridiculously expensive, but it is terribly difficult to cut that down. It's got to be the leading formula in the world, where anything goes more or less, and the cars now are superlative. You've got a lot of very clever people there and there's no doubt that they are negotiating from their own corner, but I also think that they appreciate that the sport is the most important thing and that, if they go and cripple the racing and make it not so good, they're going to lose a lot of the enthusiasts that follow it now."

Text in your views on 81111
From Andrew from Kidderminster, via text on 81111: "I once stood next to Ken Tyrrel in the urinals by the cafe in the centre of Silverstone. We didnt speak!"

1300: What do you mean the BBC's Ted Kravitz isn't F1 royalty? Of course he is! Along with Lee McKenzie, Holly Samos, David Croft and, er, Sarah Holt.

Get involved on 606
From Superha83 on 606: "The closest I ever got to F1 royalty was sitting a few seats down from Ted Kravitz on my flight to Bahrain. How does that compare to meeting Sirs Jackie and Stirling?"
Join the debate on 606

Text in your views on 81111
From Dekka in Nuneaton via text on 81111: "I was behind Sir Jackie as we checked into a hotel in Birmingham a couple of years ago. As he got to the front of the queue, the receptionist asked for his name. Dressed from head to toe in his green tartan garb, Sir Jackie responded: 'Do you not know who I am?', to which she replied in her best Eastern European accent... "No". I guess F1 isn't as global as we thought>"

From anon via text on 81111: "Re 1222: Drunken pit escapade in Singapore last season saw me not only meeting Murray Walker but introducing him to a crowd of Singaporean policemen as the most famous man in England, only to have one pipe up 'Prince Charles?'"

Renault's former world champion Fernando Alonso: "Life keeps going. The new series will be very attractive, with the biggest teams and best drivers, so everything stays the same - just maybe not the name. Formula 1 is finished. The new series will be the new Formula 1."
Formula 1 is finished - Alonso

Text in your views on 81111
From anon via text on 81111: "Re Sir Jackie Stewart at 1037: I asked Julius Caesar about empires and he said 'mine lasted 500 years after I was dead'."

1222: Why oh why would you send a text like that anonymously?! Unbelievable. Anyway, if you've had any other similar brushes with F1 legends, I'd be happy to hear them. It might take our minds off the political dullness.

Text in your views on 81111
From anon via text on 81111: "Re 1048: I met Sir Stirling at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2003. He had the locker below mine in the drivers' changing room! He was bent down doing up his shoes when I walked in to change, he stood up - not that he is very tall - and I said 'you're Stirling Moss' or something equally stupid!"

Sir Jackie Stewart speaking to BBC 5 Live: "Max's way of ruling is bully-boy tactics - that's why the teams have got fed up. Someone will stand up to a bully eventually and stop it. That's the way it works."

1212: Talking of Victoria Derbyshire, she reports that Ross Brawn has pulled out of a planned 5 Live interview scheduled for 1230 BST because he has been called into a series of meetings. FIA boss Max Mosley has also turned down an interview. Everyone who's anyone in F1 is in a meeting, basically. Hope they're fully stocked up on tea and biscuits.

1205: With all this talk of people leaving F1 it's nice to hear someone saying they want to get involved - 1997 world champion Jaques Villeneuve is at Silverstone (he was also spotted in Monaco) and he tells BBC Radio 5 Live's Victoria Derbyshire: "It would be fun to get back in there, there is a lot of change happening in F1 right now."

Text in your views on 81111
From Neil via text on 81111: "The next venue for the British GP has been decided. On the M25 this morning the matrix signs read 'for British Grand Prix use M40'."

BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "Bernie never gives you anything serious unfortunately, but the general consensus I'm getting from a lot of team principles both on and off the record is that there are a lot more twists and turns to come. This isn't it."

1142: The second session kicks off at 1400 BST. Until then, treat number one is some video of Jenson Button cycling around Silverstone.
Button cycles Silverstone

1136: So, Red Bull put down something of a marker there, but Brawn not far behind. Fernando Alonso's Renault is fifth quickest, ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton eighth and Williams' Nico Rosberg a quite miserable (for him) ninth.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at Silverstone "Just I was writing some technical blurb, BBC Sport’s Lee McKenzie dashed in to BBC HQ and put paid to my scribblings with some breaking news. She says that the team bosses are set to meet after this session at Ferrari HQ. “What’s interesting is that everyone in F1 circles thought Ferrari were so sheltered by the FIA but Ferrari are right at the head of this breakaway threat,” she adds. You’ve probably guessed but she also reports that it’s a frenzy up in the paddock right now. Good luck Lee."

1131: Session over - and Sebastian Vettel pips Red Bull team-mate to top spot with a time of 1:19.400. They are the only two cars in the 1:19s. Brawn's championship leader Jenson Button is third ahead of his team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

1129: Well done Holly Samos. The BBC's pit-lane reporter approaches Bernie for a quick chat about his meeting with Max Mosley just now. What's going to happen Bernie? "About what?" About your meeting with Mosley. "What's happened to Max? Is he here?" What japes.

BBC Sport’s Sarah Holt in Silverstone: "Hello again. BBC HQ is just about in the middle of the pit straight at Silverstone and every minute or so the sound of a car whizzing past shakes up the office. Now, after being trapped in the heart of the hum in Istanbul it’s much easier on the ear drums but here’s something new – the sound of a crowd loudly cheering the cars as they cross the line. Jenson Button says the voluble atmosphere at his home track doesn’t actually make him go any faster, I’m guessing it’s pretty hard to hear anything above the engine roar. But the championship leader, who remembers watching Nigel Mansell here in his youth, reckons the Silverstone crowd are just fantastic. David Coulthard was also full of beans at BBC HQ this morning, he may live in Monaco but the Scot says it’s such a great feeling being here."

1125: After Max Mosley faces the media scrum in the paddock, Bernie is next to run the gauntlet. He seems a bit happier to chat, as always.

1120: Lewis Hamilton does not have Kers on his McLaren today, whereas Heikki Kovalainen does, as the team decide on the best option. With Hamilton ninth and Kovalainen 20th, I think I know the answer.

Max Mosley speaking to BBC Sport's interpid pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "We're going to issue a statement later on."

1114: Timo Glock is off at Club, losing the back end of his Toyota, but he keeps the engine running and manages to crawl back onto the track. Yes, I meant Button (see 1107), give it a manual refresh would you?

1110: It's now a Red Bull lock-out at the top, Mark Webber from Sebastian Vettel. Lewis Hamilton has already admitted he's praying for rain this weekend - as he will be for the rest of the season - but he's not doing too badly in the dry, sitting eighth at the moment. McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen is languishing in 18th.

1107: With 23 minutes remaining in this first session, Jenson Button is back in the garage, having been toppled by Mark Webber's Red Bull. The Aussie is absolutely flying. His team-mate Seb Vettel is back in seventh.

1103: Keeping his powder dry, my.... Jenson Button pops up in first with a 1:20.487. Jaron Trulli, Rubens Barrichello, Mark Webber following. Robert Kubica propping up the time charts, not for the first time this season.

Text in your views on 81111
From John W at Copse via text on 81111: "Hot and sunny at Copse corner, like this all weekend please! Nice 360 by Piquet earlier."

1057: BBC Sport's Sarah Holt reveals that David Coulthard has recently filmed celebrity Family Fortunes. I hope he was up against the Damon Hill clan. On the track, it's Jarno Trulli in P1 ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Mark Webber. Who's in fourth? Why, it's Adrian Sutil's Force India of course!

1051: Sir Stirling (bit of a tongue twister that) won the British Grand Prix in 1955 and is one of 12 Brits to have won their home Grand Prix. Jenson Button, of course, a big favourite to follow in their footsteps. As he has done for most of the season, though, he is very much keeping his powder dry during Friday practice. He's back out on the track now though.

1048: Anyone see Sir Stirling Moss on All Star Mr and Mrs at the weekend? No? Just me? All a bit unsettling. A bit like seeing your grandad on telly. What a jolly decent man he seems to be though. My new ambition is to meet him.

1044: It must be Friday, Nico Rosberg's top. Williams' King of Practice is ahead of Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen. Jenson Button is the only man yet to set a quickie.

Jenson Button on BBC Radio 5 Live "It would be fantastic if I I could win here but I am trying not to put too much pressure on myself I have just been telling myself that I have to try and enjoy this weekend - the worst case scenario is that I will leave Silverstone and still have a 16-point lead in the world championship - so I have to make sure I enjoy it."

1037: You can always rely on Nelson Piquet Jr to take your mind off politics. The Brazilian takes his first unscheduled detour of the day. It's getting a bit busier on the track now, the Toyotas of Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock quickest at the mo.

Sir Jackie Stewart speaking to the BBC: "The teams have realised they can manage their own side of their business, thank you very much. Bernie Ecclestone must play a part in this. He has to influence Max Mosley on how he goes about his business. He's perhaps been doing it with an imperial air for too long. Empires don’t last forever, just ask Julius Caesar. The teams, now, don’t have to do anything. They’ve made their decision. It's up to the FIA now."

Text in your views on 81111
From anon via text on 81111: "Re Gina at 1020: Because there is no guarantee the breakaway would air free, that all the best teams and drivers would be in the same series, or that the formula would survive at all. 60+ years of history and legacy at an end - for the purist, it is heartbreaking."

1032: Not much to tell you about on the track. Sebastien Buemi is still the quickest man, which says it all really.

1029: Incidentally, if the future of F1 were to be decided by your texts, I wouldn't want to be Max Mosley.

Text in your views on 81111
From John in london via text on 81111: "One footballer just cost £80m. Max wants an F1 team to run at £40m. There in lies the ridiculousness of the FIA. I'll be watching Fota next year."

BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "Max Mosley has just walked in to the paddock and gone straight into Bernie Ecclestone's bus. I think he'll be a while."

1022: Sebastien Buemi is the first man to post a quick one with a 1:27.212. Last year's pole time was 1:21.049 by Heikki Kovalainen.

1020: So we're relying on Bernie to sort this out then. Super-Bernie. The man himself was interviewed earlier. Is there any way back from this, he was asked. "I don't know where we are so I don't know where we're coming back from," he replied, elusively.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner: "Bernie Ecclestone is in a tricky position. He doesn't like the rules but it’s effectively his business. He’s in a situation where his key assets are saying they can’t enter. If anybody can deliver a solution to all this, I think he’s about the only man who can. But it isn’t forthcoming at the moment."

Text in your views on 81111
From Gina via text on 81111: "Why should any split be disastrous? Think about the Premier League in football, which started in just such circumstances. I wonder what happened to it."

BBC Sport’s Sarah Holt at Silverstone: "Good morning from Silverstone where Formula 1 has arrived back on British soil with a bang. We’re barely a few hours past breakfast here and the circuit is abuzz with the threat of a breakaway series by eight of the sport’s biggest teams, the future of the British Grand Prix and Somerset’s championship leader Jenson Button going for his fifth straight win. As if that wasn’t enough for thirsty petrol heads the wind is whipping across the former airfield, which means there should be plenty of movement out on the track during first practice. All systems go for a drama-packed weekend – and here at BBC HQ we’ll keep you posted on all the latest."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner: "With the new nose, she looks like she's put a bit of weight on.... a few other aero tweaks... hopefully it should be well suited to this circuit. We're hoping to get a 10th or two out of it."

Text in your views on 81111
From Andy, Tooting, via text on 81111: "No matter that F1 is falling apart, we can still rely on Nelsinho to stick into a wall if he gets bored and for Sutil and Rosberg to be the heroes of free practice."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at Silverstone: "The pace of the Red Bulls will be interesting this weekend - they have major updates to their car. They moved the position of both axles to change the weight distribution, they have a new diffuser - a so-called triple diffuser - to increase downforce, a new nose and engine cover. The cars were already probably the quickest on the grid in the high-speed corners, and the team hope the changes might enable them to end Brawn's run of success."

1000: The clock is ticking... and there's a Toro Rosso on the track.

A celeb has been spotted
0958: Aaaah. A sigh of relief as I hit more comfortable ground with the news that England coach Fabio Capello has been spotted at Silverstone with Renault boss Flavio Briatore. If there's one man to solve this almighty muddle, it's Don Fab. I mean, if you can solve the Gerrard/Lampard conundrum...

0953: Still, at least we’ve got the Silverstone Grand Prix hey? They can take away our teams, but they’ll never take away our Silverstone Grand Prix. Oh… wait…

0948: Well, "anon", the FIA is "disappointed but not surprised" by the F1 Teams Association's announcement of plans to set up a breakaway series. The FIA's deadline for unconditional entries into its 2010 championship is tonight.

Text in your views on 81111
From anon via text on 81111: "Re 0930: No, you cannot go to bed, this is one of the most significant developments in F1 for years, I can't wait to hear the FIA's response."

0945: It's been four weeks since I last covered a race. Back then, we were told a compromise was very close in the tiresome budget cap row… but it rumbles on, at every turn stripping away another layer of dignity from this once-beautiful sport. Does a sport have layers of dignity? Probably not. Tell you what, I'll stick to what I know best (celebrity-spotting), you drop me a text on 81111 with your thoughts or tell 606.
Join the debate on 606

The sun is out
0937: Just looking at pictures of Silverstone now. Looks like a beautiful day. I'm sure there'll be more of that from BBC Sport's Andrew Benson and Sarah Holt, currently embedded in Northamptonshire.

0930: If Formula 1 is disintegrating, can I go back to bed?

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see also
Vettel tops British GP practice
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix practice photos
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix quiz
16 Jun 09 |  Funny Old Game
F1 teams drop breakaway bombshell
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Hamilton vows to save British GP
18 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Mark Webber column
16 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Formula 1 is 'finished' - Alonso
19 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
F1 on the BBC
01 Dec 11 |  Formula 1

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