We preview the full Formula One race debut of Red Bull Junior Daniel Ricciardo at HRT this weekend, but who else is ready to impress at Silverstone?
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Hispania – 26th (0pts)
The announcement that Daniel Ricciardo would drive the HRT in place of Narain Karthikeyan from Silverstone onwards speaks volumes about how far he’s come just this season as Toro Rosso’s Friday practice driver, and as a former British F3 champion, Silverstone isn’t exactly an unknown quantity for the Aussie. Hispania are hardly challenging for points or even mildly scaring the midfield teams yet, but giving his new team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi (another former Red Bull protegé and veteran of more than 70 grands prix) a fright on his first outing would be a bloody good start. Good luck, Daniel…
'Alguersuari’s eighth place in Valencia was one of the grand prix’s standout drives'
Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull – 3rd (109pts)
Last year’s British GP was especially sweet for Mark Webber, who regards Silverstone almost as his F1 ‘home’ venue (he lives not far away) and grabbed his third F1 victory here 12 months ago. Effectively joint-second in the drivers’ standings with Jenson Button behind Sebastian Vettel – albeit now a long way behind – Mark will have fond memories of how he came from second on the grid in 2010 to overhaul his rivals and become a genuine title contender once again.
Jaime Alguersuari (SPA), Toro Rosso – 13th (8pts)
Sébastien Buemi (SUI), Toro Rosso – 14th (8pts)
With ‘in-house competition’ Daniel Ricciardo off to HRT, at least for the time being, and neck-and-neck in the championship on eight points apiece, Sébastien and Jaime can concentrate on the job in hand for STR at Silverstone, and though they both improved from lowly grid slots at the European GP at Valencia, Alguersuari’s eighth place in particular was one of the grand prix’s standout drives. He ended up in the gravel on his F1 Silverstone debut last year, but you feel with the confidence he brings from his last home appearance that another points-paying position this weekend is likely. Buemi, similarly, will want to improve on last year’s 12th place, where a mere five seconds separated him from 10th and a valuable point.
'Unbelievably, Jenson has yet even to appear on a British GP podium…'
Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren – 2nd (109pts)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren – 4th (97pts)
As the only two men to break Sebastian Vettel’s victory stranglehold this season, both Jenson and Lewis have good reason to want to do so again, and not just because of their home favourite status. Almost unbelievably, Jenson has yet even to appear on a British GP podium in 11 attempts, but having recently come from last place in Montreal to win in the wet, Jenson might well pray for rain! Last year Lewis had to settle for second behind Webber, and he still has just one home victory from his four British GP appearances. You feel both need a victory here and to hope for some kind of Vettel-related misfortune to retain any realistic hope of becoming a double world champion this year.
Paul Di Resta (GBR), Force India – 17th (2pts)
The third and final Briton on the grid, Di Resta’s full-time switch from mixing German touring cars (in which he won last year’s DTM championship in a Mercedes) and test driving for Force India to his 2011 F1 drive is working out OK for the Scotsman so far, with two 10th places in his first two GPs and regular Q3 visits in a VJM04 that remains doggedly in the midfield but seemingly no closer to emulating its 2009 predecessor’s stunning streak when Spa almost delivered Giancarlo Fisichella pole and win. More points at Silverstone this weekend would no doubt put a smile on Di Resta’s face, and Vijay Mallya’s also…
- British Grand Prix event page
- Red Bull Racing on Twitter @redbullf1spy
- Official F1 website, formula1.com