The guessing games begin at new look Silverstone
The Formula One circus rolled into Silverstone's new paddock on Thursday – with most of it still guessing whether Red Bull's domination will continue.
A damp, grey day welcomed the array of vast trucks and motor homes next to the track's new �28m complex for this weekend's British Grand Prix, with rule changes the talk of the paddock.
Most teams this season have improved their cars' performance and downforce by blowing exhaust fumes from their engine even when the drivers are not using their throttle. However, from Sunday's race that practice will be heavily limited.
Most hope the new regulation will peg back constructors' championship leaders Red Bull – especially Sebastian Vettel, who has already won six of the opening eight races.
But in truth, no one in the new paddock knows the relative effects of the change on their cars – or more importantly, those of their rivals.
You may also want to watch:
'Yes there is the ban of exhausts on braking and I think it will affect everybody because we were all using it, so we will see – it will cost us so time, as everybody will suffer,' said Fernando Alonso, in a packed Press conference aboard Ferrari's glistening motor home.
'But we have no idea whether we will be more affected or less. We will have to see on Saturday in qualifying and Sunday.
- 1 Builder took pink pill and ran naked around hotel
- 2 Norwich sees biggest rise in Covid infection rates in the country
- 3 Hotel 'nobody wants to buy' for sale as housing for £365,000
- 4 Four national high street names to move into former M&S store
- 5 Store open despite positive Covid test at town centre Sainsbury's
- 6 Fire tears through historic Thorpe pub
- 7 Man who died in west Norfolk crash named
- 8 Vandals leave £80,000 trail of destruction in car park
- 9 Nine Norfolk flood alerts ahead of Storm Christoph
- 10 PM warns there will be no 'open sesame' lockdown exit
'Normally this whole circuit is quite fun to drive. There is always high speed to the corners and I think we all enjoy driving the circuit. The only thing that's not fun is when it rains.
'It is beautiful to drive here in dry conditions and to experience all these G-forces at high speed, and when it rains you miss a bit of grip and spin into the corners. So you are always hoping for a dry race.'
Vettel cut a relaxed figured once again – continually protesting he had no idea how big his current lead at the top of the drivers' championship is. A colossal 77 points is the answer – enough for him to go missing for three races and still lead the pack.
Instead, the German and defending champion was happy to see Silverstone's new look: 'It's quite impressive what they have done here…overall it is a big improvement.'
Force India's Paul di Resta and McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are the British contingent aiming to do well. It will be Button's 12th home race: 'I haven't even got on the podium here before in an F1 car, so that is something I will be fighting for,' said Button.
'This is a pretty special race for us Brits.'