2008 British Grand Prix: Wikis


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United Kingdom  2008 British Grand Prix
Race details
Race 9 of 18 in the 2008 Formula One season
The Silverstone Circuit modified in 2000
The Silverstone Circuit modified in 2000
Date 6 July 2008
Official name LXI Santander British Grand Prix[1]
Location Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, England
Course Permanent Road Facility
5.141 km (3.194 mi)
Distance 60 laps, 308.355[1] km (191.603 mi)
Weather Rain, later drying[1]
Pole position
Driver Finland Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:21.049[1]
Fastest lap
Driver Finland Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari
Time 1:32.150 on lap 18[1]
First United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
Second Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber
Third Brazil Rubens Barrichello Honda

The 2008 British Grand Prix (formally the LXI Santander British Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 6 July 2008 at the Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, England. It was the 9th race of the 2008 Formula One season. The race, contested over 60 laps, was won by Lewis Hamilton for the McLaren team after starting from fourth position on the grid. Nick Heidfeld finished second in a BMW Sauber car, with Rubens Barrichello third in a Honda. Heikki Kovalainen, who started from pole position, finished the race in fifth place.[2 ]





Heading into the ninth race of the season, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa led the Drivers' Championship with 48 points. BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica was two points behind him in second position. Behind him in third place was Massa's Ferrari team-mate Kimi Räikkönen on 43 points. McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton was in fourth place with 38 points, ten points ahead of Kubica's team-mate Nick Heidfeld in fifth. In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari were leading on 91 points and BMW Sauber were second on 74 points, 17 points behind. McLaren Mercedes were third with 58 points. In the battle for fourth-place Red Bull Renault had 24 points, ahead of Toyota with 23 points.[3]

On Friday morning of the race weekend, it was announced by the FIA that the British Grand Prix would be leaving Silverstone from the 2010 season. Donington Park was awarded a ten-year contract to host the race, providing major renovations were completed. The British Racing Drivers' Club, owners of the Silverstone circuit, were disappointed with the announcement stating that development plans for the circuit had been progressing well.[4] They were also critical of the timing of the announcement, being made on the weekend the circuit celebrated it's 60th anniversary of hosting the British Grand Prix.[5]

Practice and qualifying

Three practice sessions were held before the Sunday race: the first was held on Friday morning and the second on Friday afternoon. Both sessions lasted 90 minutes. The third session was held on Saturday morning and lasted an hour.[6] Felipe Massa was fastest in the first session, with a time of 1:19.575, despite a crash that left him unable to compete in the final third of the session. Approximately thirty minutes before the session ended, Fernando Alonso's Renault engine failed, dropping oil on the circuit. Massa then approached the same corner, lost control of the car on the oil and spun off the circuit colliding with the barriers. He was not hurt, but the back of his Ferrari was damaged. The session was then stopped for 18 minutes while the car was recovered, and the oil was covered with cement dust. When the session resumed, no-one could beat the time set by Massa, although Heikki Kovalainen came within 0.012 seconds and Lewis Hamilton was 0.048 seconds back.[7] In the second session, Kovalainen set the fastest time of 1:19.989, ahead of Red Bull driver Mark Webber who was just over half a second behind. Kovalainen's McLaren team-mate was in third place and Webber's team-mate David Coulthard in fourth. Massa's car was still being repaired during the first part of the session, and after a limited number of laps he could only manage eighth place.[8] Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in the final practice session, which took place in damp conditions following rain earlier in the morning. Early laps were attempted on extreme wet tyres, but the track dried throughout the session, resulting in laps being attempted on intermediate wet and then later dry tyres. Webber finished the session in second place, a quarter of a second slower than Alonso and Kovalainen was third fastest ahead of Sebastian Vettel driving a Toro Rosso.[9]

Heikki Kovalainen took the first, and only, pole position of his career for McLaren.

The qualifying session on Saturday afternoon was split into three parts. The first part ran for 20 minutes and eliminated the cars from qualifying that finished the session 16th or lower. The second part of qualifying lasted 15 minutes and eliminated cars that finished in positions 11 to 15. The final part of qualifying determined the positions from first to tenth, and decided pole position. Cars which competed in the final session of qualifying were not allowed to refuel before the race, and as such carried more fuel than in the previous sessions.[6]

Heikki Kovalainen took the first pole position of his Formula One career, with a time of 1:21.049 in the final part of qualifying. Webber would start the race in second position after setting a time that was half a second slower than Kovalainen. This was the Red Bull team's best qualifying result to date. Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen was third quickest. Hamilton set the fourth fastest time, opting for a more conservative approach to his second attempt at a lap in the final part of qualifying after making a mistake in his first attempt.[10] Nick Heidfeld in the BMW was fifth quickest ahead of the Renaults of Alonso and Piquet. Vettel qualified in eighth place, ahead of championship leader Felipe Massa who was delayed when his team changed a tyre, and was too late to run a second attempt at a timed lap.[11] Robert Kubica did not set a time in the final part of qualifying, resulting in him taking the tenth grid slot. Webber's team-mate David Coulthard qualified in 11th, and claimed problems earlier in the day and the resultant lack of practice had prevented him from qualifying better.[12] Sébastien Bourdais was 13th splitting the two Toyota cars of Glock and Trulli. Nakajima was the slowest of the cars to make the second part of qualifying, and would start the race 15th. Both Hondas failed to get past the first stage of qualifying, but were ahead of Rosberg in 18th who was hampered by suspension problems and the two Force Indias.


Heikki Kovalainen leads McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the early laps.

There had been rain before the start of the race, leaving water on the track. More rain was forecast to arrive during the race. The air temperature at the track was 17 °C (63 °F). All cars were using intermediate wet-weather tyres. The race began at 13:00 local time (UTC+1).

Kovalainen led from pole at the start, as Raikonnen tried to pass Webber for second position. Hamilton overtook both Räikkönen and Webber to move into second place before attempting to pass Kovalainen for the lead. The two made contact, requiring a small correction to the steering from Kovalainen to keep his car on the road however no damage was done and they remained in first and second position. Webber was passed by Räikkönen and was in fourth position when he lost control of the car and spun 180 degrees on the Hangar straight. The remainder of the field avoided colliding with him and he was able to continue the race, albeit in last place. Kazuki Nakajima briefly left the circuit however he rejoined with no damage to the car. Felipe Massa who had been running in seventh position spun and like Webber had to face oncoming traffic before he was able to turn the car back around and continue the race, ahead of Mark Webber. Coulthard and Vettel collided with each other approaching the Priory corner. Both of them left the track and were beached in the gravel trap, causing them both to retire from the race on the first lap.[13] Massa spun again on lap three, this time approaching the start/finish straight, dropping him to last position. On lap five, Hamilton passed Kovalainen for the lead at the Stowe corner.[14] Hamilton began to pull away from his team-mate, before Kovalainen spun on lap 10 at the Abbey chicane, allowing Räikkönen to get past him. A lap later, Adrian Sutil lost control of his car at the same chicane and bounced over the grass, spun across the circuit and then came to a halt in the gravel trap narrowly avoiding hitting Sébastien Bourdais. Sutil became the third man to retire from the race. Meanwhile, Mark Webber had recovered from last place to tenth.

Hamilton had extended his lead over Räikkönen to five seconds, but as the track began to dry Räikkönen began to close the gap, getting it to under a second as the field began to make their first pit stops to take on fuel, and put a new set of tyres on. Third-placed Alonso made the decision in his stop not to change his tyres, preferring to keep his worn intermediate tyres. Hamilton and Räikkönen came in together the following lap. Hamilton elected for a new set of tyres while Räikkönen like Alonso kept on his current set, hoping the track would continue to dry. Hamilton left the pits just ahead of Räikkönen, with Nick Heidfeld temporarily taking over the lead of the race, before he made his pit stop the following lap. Heidfeld rejoined behind Glock and Alonso, but soon overtook both cars at the Luffield corner to move up to fourth as a light rain shower arrived. This was followed by a heavier downpour, and the cars that had elected to keep their worn tyres struggled with a lack of grip on the slippery track. Räikkönen was five seconds a lap slower than Hamilton and was quickly caught by Kovalainen, who was running new tyres. While Kovalainen was trying to pass Räikkönen, he was held up enough to allow Heidfeld to catch him, and while Kovalainen overtook Räikkönen, Heidfeld overtook both drivers, as he had done at the same corner with Glock and Alonso earlier in the race, to move up to second position. Giancarlo Fisichella retired on lap 28, when he lost control of his Force India as he was being lapped by race leader Hamilton and beached his car in a gravel trap.

Alonso pitted again on lap 30 to change tyres, requesting that the team add enough fuel to allow him to complete the race without stopping again. Räikkönen had also been struggling with his worn tyres, dropping to sixth place, and opted to make another pit stop on lap 31 to change tyres. This demoted him to 11th, but, as with Alonso, provided him with enough fuel to reach the end of the race. Kubica overtook Kovalainen for third place, shortly before Kovalainen pitted for the second time. Despite the rain getting heavier he opted for a new set of intermediate tyres. Both Kubica and Glock left the track, both rejoined however Glock lost a place to his team-mate Trulli. On lap 37, both Honda's elected to change onto the extreme wet-weather tyres, Button queuing behind his team-mate in the pitlane while waiting to be serviced. Nelson Piquet spun off the track and beached his car in a gravel trap, ending his race, while in separate incidents within a few moments of each other; Hamilton, Kubica and Massa all lost control of their cars and travelled over the grass before rejoining the track, without any damage. Räikkönen also spun off on the same lap, again rejoining the circuit without damaging the car. Hamilton, leading the race by around 30 seconds, made a pitstop to change tyres and take on fuel on lap 38, opting for a new set of the intermediate wet-weather tyres, as the weather forecast predicted the rain would ease. Second placed driver Heidfeld pitted the following lap, opting for the same tyre choice as Hamilton. The gap between the two leaders at this point was 36 seconds. Kimi Räikkönen spun off in his Ferrari for the second time in as many laps, again though he avoided contact with the barriers and was able to rejoin the track.

With 20 laps of the race remaining, Rubens Barrichello on the extreme wet weather tyres was about nine seconds a lap quicker than the majority of the field and quickly moved his way up to fourth place by passing Kovalainen and Alonso. Robert Kubica retired from the race after losing control of his car and ending up beached in a gravel trap. Nico Rosberg ran into the back of eighth placed Timo Glock as he attempted to overtake. The collision damaged Rosberg's front wing, and he was forced to make a pit-stop to change it. By now the rain had stopped, but the track surface was still wet. Barichelllo caught and passed Trulli to move up to third position, however a refuelling problem at his earlier pit stop with the meant that he would need to stop again. Before that however, he passed Heidfeld for second position and then built up a twenty second gap over him before making his pit stop on lap 47, opting to change to the intermediate wet weather tyres. He rejoined in third place, behind Heidfeld. Kovalainen passed Alonso for fifth place at the Bridge corner. Trulli then pitted, promoting Kovalainen to fourth. Felipe Massa spun on the exit of Woodcote, managing to recover without any damage. A few moments later Mark Webber made a similar error at the same location. The following lap saw a spin from Kovalainen, which allowed Alonso and Räikkönen to get past while he recovered to the circuit. Massa, the last car on the road still running in 13th position, spun for the fifth time during the race. He continued without any damage, and made a pit stop the following lap for new tyres and fuel. The final few laps so a battle for fourth place, as first Räikkönen and then Kovalainen passed Alonso.

Hamilton crossed the finish line on lap 60 to win the Grand Prix by 68 seconds from Nick Heidfeld in second. The margin of victory was the largest in a Formula One Grand Prix since 1995. Rubens Barrichello finished in third position for Honda's best finish of the 2008 season. Kimi Räikkönen finished in fourth ahead of Kovalainen and Alonso. Räikkönen had also set the fastest lap in the early stages of the race, the sixth consecutive race in which he had done so. Jarno Trulli finished in seventh position, and Kazuki Nakajima finished the race in eighth.


The top three finishers appeared on the podium to receive trophies and took part in the subsequent press conference. There, Hamilton described the race as "by far the best victory I’ve ever had." but also commented on the difficult conditions, explaining that he had condensation inside his helmet visor. He attributed the decision to change tyres at his first pit stop to the team.[15]



Pos No Name Constructor Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Grid
1 23 Finland Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.957 1:19.597 1:21.049 1
2 10 Australia Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:20.982 1:19.710 1:21.554 2
3 1 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:20.370 1:19.971 1:21.706 3
4 22 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.288 1:19.537 1:21.835 4
5 3 Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:21.022 1:19.802 1:21.873 5
6 5 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 1:20.998 1:19.992 1:22.029 6
7 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. Renault 1:20.818 1:20.115 1:22.491 7
8 15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.318 1:20.109 1:23.251 8
9 2 Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:20.676 1:20.086 1:23.305 9
10 4 Poland Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:20.444 1:19.788 no time 10
11 9 United Kingdom David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:21.224 1:20.174 11
12 12 Germany Timo Glock Toyota 1:20.893 1:20.274 12
13 14 France Sébastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.584 1:20.531 13
14 11 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:21.145 1:20.601 14
15 8 Japan Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:21.407 1:21.112 15
16 17 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:21.512 16
17 16 United Kingdom Jenson Button Honda 1:21.631 17
18 7 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:21.668 20
19 20 Germany Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:21.786 18
20 21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:21.885 19


Lewis Hamilton won the race by over a minute from second-place Nick Heidfeld.
Rubens Barrichello took Honda's first podium finish since 2006.
Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 22 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 60 1:39:09.440 4 10
2 3 Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 60 +1:08.577 5 8
3 17 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Honda 60 +1:22.273 16 6
4 1 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 59 +1 Lap 3 5
5 23 Finland Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 59 +1 Lap 1 4
6 5 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 59 +1 Lap 6 3
7 11 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 59 +1 Lap 14 2
8 8 Japan Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 59 +1 Lap 15 1
9 7 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 59 +1 Lap 20
10 10 Australia Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 59 +1 Lap 2
11 14 France Sébastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 59 +1 Lap 13
12 12 Germany Timo Glock Toyota 59 +1 Lap 12
13 2 Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari 58 +2 Laps 9
Ret 4 Poland Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 39 Spun off 10
Ret 16 United Kingdom Jenson Button Honda 38 Spun off 17
Ret 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. Renault 35 Spun off 7
Ret 21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 16 Spun off 19
Ret 20 Germany Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 10 Spun off 18
Ret 15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 0 Collision 8
Ret 9 United Kingdom David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 0 Collision 11

Standings after the race

Drivers' Championship standings[1]
Pos Driver Points
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 48
2 Brazil Felipe Massa 48
3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 48
4 Poland Robert Kubica 46
5 Germany Nick Heidfeld 36
Constructors' Championship standings[1]
Pos Constructor Points
1 Italy Ferrari 96
2 Germany BMW Sauber 82
3 United Kingdom McLarenMercedes 72
4 Japan Toyota 25
5 Austria Red Bull-Renault 24
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Alan Henry. Autocourse 2008-09. CMG Publishing. pp. 180–181. ISBN 1-9053-3431-1.  
  2. ^ "2008 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix". The Official Formula 1 Website. http://www.formula1.com/results/season/2008/795/. Retrieved 2008-11-10.  
  3. ^ Windsor, Peter (August 2008). "Massa Grabs His Chance". F1 Racing (Haymarket Publishing) (150): p.118.  
  4. ^ Pablo Elizalde (2008-07-04). "BRDC surprised by Donington news". autosport.com. Haymarket Publishing. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/68843. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  
  5. ^ Jonathan Noble (2008-07-04). "Silverstone 'disappointed' to lose GP". autosport.com. Haymarket Publishing. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/68831. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  
  6. ^ a b "2008 Formula One Sporting Regulations". Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 2008-05-19. http://argent.fia.com/web/fia-public.nsf/475632E46002BEDAC125744F004312F4/$FILE/F1.SPORTING.REGULATIONS.19-05-2008.pdf. Retrieved 2008-11-14.  
  7. ^ Matt Beer (2008-07-04). "Massa leads first practice despite crash". autosport.com. Haymarket Publishing. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/68827. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  
  8. ^ Matt Beer (2008-07-04). "Kovalainen quickest in second practice". autosport.com. Haymarket Publishing. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/68833. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  
  9. ^ Matt Beer (2008-07-05). "Alonso fastest in final practice - Britain". autosport.com. Haymarket Publishing. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/68864. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  
  10. ^ Simon Strang and Edd Straw (2008-07-05). "Hamilton 'happy' with fourth on the grid". Autosport.com. Haymarket Publishing. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/68902.  
  11. ^ Pablo Elizade (2008-07-05). "Massa laments costly pitstop problem". autosport.com. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/68894. Retrieved 2008-07-21.  
  12. ^ Simon Strang (2008-07-05). "Coulthard: Oil leak cost me top ten spot". autosport.com. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/68890. Retrieved 2008-07-21.  
  13. ^ "Lewis Hamilton wins the British Grand Prix". TimesOnline. London: News International. 2008-07-06. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article4280523.ece.  
  14. ^ Benson, Andrew (2008-07-06). "British Grand Prix". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7492145.stm.  
  15. ^ "FIA post-race press conference - Britain". http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2008/7/8060.html.  

External links

Previous race:
2008 French Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2008 season
Next race:
2008 German Grand Prix
Previous race:
2007 British Grand Prix
British Grand Prix Next race:
2009 British Grand Prix


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