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2008 British Grand Prix

Santander British Grand Prix

Sunday, July 6, 2008
Cool and rain showers
Fastest Lap:
Raikkonen, 1m32.150
2008 season:

As Lewis Hamilton went out for his final qualifying run at Silverstone, the message over the radio was firm: ‘Don’t over-drive!’ On his previous run he had done just that, and had run off the road, and into a spin. The lurid tail-out style was wonderful to watch, but Lewis looked like a driver on the edge, and although his last lap was better, it was good only for fourth on the grid. His McLaren-Mercedes team mate Heikki Kovalainen, meantime, eclipsed everyone, and took the first pole position of his Formula 1 career. Therefore, the omens for Hamilton’s British Grand Prix were not the best. Since winning at Monaco he had scored not a championship point, and on top of that there were suggestions that a relentless PR schedule, plus an active social schedule, were having an adverse effect on his driving. While other drivers slapped Kovalainen on the back after qualifying, Lewis started vacantly into space, as if in a trance. Twenty-four hours on, his world was looking rather better. If rain had merely threatened on Saturday, on race day it arrived, and inevitably one thought back to Fuji last autumn, when conditions were truly appalling, and Lewis faultlessly left everyone behind. At Silverstone he did the same again, giving notice on intent right from the off. Both Mark Webber (a stunning front row qualifier for Red Bull) and Kimi Raikkonen were dispensed with before Copse, and as he turned into the corner Lewis showed every sign of wishing to snatch the lead from Kovalainen.