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British Grand Prix - Race 
6th-Jul-2008 07:32 am
The forecast for the race calls for "frequent heavy rain showers" which should make for extra excitement.

One thing I forgot to mention in yesterday's post is the news that DC is retiring at the end of this season.

The provisional grid: HK, MW, KR, LH, NH, FA, NP, SV, FM, RK; DC, TG, SB, JT, KN; RB, JB, NR, AS, GF - unchanged from qualifying (i.e. no penalties).

Lots of "celebs" in the pit lane: Damon Hill, Stirling Moss, Murray Walker...

It's still raining - not too hard but the track is definitely wet - and it's very windy, so maybe the track will dry quickly once the rain stops
Air temperature 16°C; track 17°C; wind 7.2 m/s; humidity 80%

My race notes are behind this cut, as usual

NR will start from the pit lane after an overnight suspension change

Formation lap:HK leads everyone away
Looks like everyone's on intermediate wet tyres, as expected

01/60: clean start
LH up to P2
MW spun! He's facing oncoming traffic and visibility is terrible!
KN runs wide
FM spins
DC and SV are off in the gravel - they're stuck, so that's the end of DC's last home race :(

02: HK, LH, KR, NH, NP, FA, JT, RK
Replay shows HK taps wheels as he keeps his teammate behind him as they enter Turn 1

03: LH fastest lap 1:40.270
LH had a good line into Copse (T1) but drops back behind HK
FA passes NH for P4

04: HK f/lap 1:37.852
FM spins again, dropping from P17 to very last

05/60: f/lap HK, no LH, now KR, then FA 1:35.500
LH takes P1 from HK into Stowe

06: LH f/lap 1:34.907
FA 1:34.904 - is he on full wets?

07: LH f/lap 1:34.445
Looks like the rain has stopped, and a dry line is definitely forming
MW passes GF for P15

08: LH 1:34.258 - he's opened a 2.8s lead over HK

09: LH 1:33.869 - a couple of seconds quicker and it'll be time to move onto dry tyres
MW passes KN for P14

10/60: LH, HK, KR, FA, NH, NP, JT, RK; retirements: SV, DC
MW passes SB then AS - he's up to P12 now

11: replay shows HK spin - does a 360 but meanwhile KR passes him for P2
MW f/lap 1:33.810
Pit-car radio for NP says they expect more rain in about 5mins

12: KR f/lap 1:33.635
AS loses the tail under braking into Abbey - slides across the track in front of SB, into the gravel

13: on board with FM shows he's still struggling to keep the Ferrari pointing in the right direction
MW passes RB for P11

14: Ross Braun confirms rain expected in a few mins, about the same time as the first stop for the 2-stoppers
MW closing on JB, pushing him for P10

15/60: LH, KR, HK, FA, NH, NP, JT, RK; retirements: SV, DC, AS
KR f/lap 1:33.526 - reducing LH's lead to under 4secs

16: LH f/lap 1:33.268
Closest battles are FM pushing NR for P16, and RK closing on JT for P7

17: LH 1:32.817
FM takes P16, pushing NR to the last place

18: KR 1:32.259
FM passes GF for P15 before Bridge

19: KR 1:32.150 - that's 1sec faster than LH's time for the same lap!
MW is the first to pit, from P10 - keeps intermediate tyres

20/60: LH, KR, HK, FA, NH, NP, JT, RK; retirements: SV, DC, AS
HK pits from P3 - stays on inters - rejoins in P6

21: KR under 1sec behind LH
FA pits from P3 - twist of front wing on - keeps inters

22: LH and KR pit together - LH stays just ahead as they exit the pit lane
FM pits too
ITV-F1 report McLaren put in about 0.3s more fuel

23: NH pits from P1, followed by NP from P4
Rain is getting heavier

24: NH passes TG and FA
KN spins but finds the black stuff again

25/60: LH has opened a gap of almost 10secs!
Rain getting harder still - those on old rubber (FA, KR) are probably going to have to pit again?

26: KR gives up another 5sec to LH - if he doesn't pit for new tyres he's going to keep falling backwards

27: NP passes teammate FA
HK is just 1.3s behind KR ... and now he's right on his tail
FA pits for new rubber
HK needs to make the move before NH threatens him

28: GF spins off into the gravel just as LH laps him
HK passes KR - NH follows HK through - KR looked like he was going to pit but NH was in the way - NH passes HK too, so he's now P2

30/60: LH, NH, HK, KR, NP, RK, RB, TG; retirements: DC, SV, AS, GF
Close battle for P5 between NP and RK
MW pits again

31: LH has a 23.5s lead over NH, who in turn has a 13.2s gap to HK
KR pits from P3 - will they fuel him to the end?

32: FM pits again too

33: Pit-car radio for FA say KR is "fueled to the end too"

34: TG shakes his fist as he laps FM - yes, a Toyota laps a Ferrari
RK closing on HK for P3 ... and passes him into Stowe

35/60: LH, NH, RK, HK, NP, RB, TG, JT
HK pits from P4

36: The rain is so heavy now they should probably be on full wets, not intermediates
RB pits, as does JB - RB stalls, which means JB has to queue

37: NP off into the gravel at Abbey
LH runs wide but recovers
NH runs wide too
FM spins all over the grass, just missing a hare

38: KR off track but recovers
Is the rain easing up?

39: LH pits - they're putting on another set of inters
NH pits from P2 - he's taking on inters too
RK pits from P3 - inters too
KR spins again on the exit of Woodcote
MW spins too

40/60: LH, NH, JT, FA, RB, HK, RK, KR; retirements: DC, SV, AS, GF, NP

41: RK spins off and is stuck in the gravel
NR breaks his nosecone running into the back of TG
JB has stopped on circuit - didn't see why or where

42: NR pits for a new nose
TG spins and recovers
RB passes JT for P3 - those extreme wet tyres are working well for him for now, but what if there's no more rain?
Replay shows JB off track coming out of Bridge but he could have rejoined, surely?

43: ITV-F1 say there was a refuelling problem when RB pitted - he didn't get enough fuel so he'll have to stop again :(
RB passes NH for P2 - stopping again will be so painful

44: LH has a 44.6s lead over RB

45/60: LH, RB, NH, JT, FA, HK, KR, KN; retirements: DC, SV, AS, GF, NP, JB, RK
TG pits after another spin

46: RB is closing on LH by about 2.5secs/lap, although the gap is still 42.7s
Honda get ready for RB's stop

47: RB pits from P2 - swaps over to inters - lots of front wing going on

48: HK passes FA out of Bridge, taking P4

49: FM spins again
MW spins in the same place

50/60: LH, NH, RB, HK, FA, KR, KN; retirements: DC, SV, AS, GF, NP, JB, RK
LH's lead now 62.9s over NH; next person for LH to lap is KR

51: HK has spun, letting FA and KR past

52: FM pits from P13/last, 2 laps down
KR pushing FA for P4

53: LH laps KR then FA - that means only NH and RB are on the same lap as the leader
KR pushing hard - has a better line into the complex but FA stays ahead

54: KR takes P4 from FA

55/60: LH, NH, RB, KR, FA, HK, KN, JT; retirements: DC, SV, AS, GF, NP, JB, RK
HK pushing FA hard for P5

56: ITV-F1 report the McLaren pit crew have just put their helmets back on - are they expecting someone to stop?

57: KN is closing on HK; HK has to pass FA soon

58: JT has joined the train behind FA

59: HK finally takes P5 from FA
KN now pushing FA

Final lap: LH has a 66.4s lead over NH, with RB 11.5s behind him
You can hear the crowd cheering over the noise of air horns and F1 engines

LH takes the chequered flag
KR crosses the line just behind him, but he's a lap down in P4
LH continues his victory lap, very happy
NH is followed over the line by RB

Provisional result: LH, NH, RB, KR, HK, FA, JT, KN; NR,MW, SB, TG, TM

LH definitely looks happy as he heads for the podium
Huge roar from the crowd at the end of the anthem
NH really needs to stand closer to the razor :)
RB has a huge grin, hamming it up as usual

LH: speechless at first; "best victory I've ever had"; on the last lap, thinking "just finish"; right side of visor kept fogging up; "so slippery, so tough"
TSN cut away before we hear from NH or RB :(
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