2009 British Grand Prix – Qualifying and Preview

Flavio Briatore at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Image via Wikipedia

A great qualifying session saw a bit of a shuffle up front as Jensen Button only managed 6th on the grid for tomorrow’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The championship leader was beaten by Brawn teammate Barrichello – who clearly enjoys the English circuit – who took 2nd slot on the grid behind Sebastian Vettel whoe flew round the track for Red Bull. Mark Webber was probably gutted with 3rd, having led throughout qualifying and another fan of Silverstone – his improving drives throughout the season mark him out as a serious contender alongside Vettel and the Brawn boys.

The cooler UK weather seemed to further challenge the Brawns, whilst Christian Horner’s Red Bull team revelled in the heavier air. Still, it could be all change at race pace as Button has shown before he can come from behind and Barrichello is loving it at Silverstone.

Warmer off the track as the petty, unprofessional squabbles amongst the sport’s management escalate towards the courts. Watching Max Mosley lose it slightly on the BBC – labelling certain unnamed individuals amongst the teams as “loonies” – and Bernie Ecclestone very much non-committal must make fans across the world worry for the future of Formula One at a time when the racing is all the more entertaining and there is much to be positive about. If Flavio Briatore is really using the arguments to divide and make a play for the commercial rights, it lends a lie to the assertion that this is not about greed. Having resolved the future of the British Grand Prix (Silverstone’s owners, the BRDC, have apparently calmed down enough to offer the circuit as the venue for 2010 should Donnington not come up to snuff), it seems sad that greed and ego might yet conspire to cripple the pinnacle of motorsport marques.

The preface to tomorrow’s race suggested more entertainment, with the possibility of the English weather upsetting the pack. Away from the race, one can only hope that someone decides to step back and stop the slide of the sport’s ownership and supervision into the barriers.

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