British Grand Prix F1 2008 Drivers Guide | CAR Magazine Online | CAR Magazine

2008 British Grand Prix driver guide

Published: 25 June 2008 Updated: 26 January 2015

CAR Online’s Grand Prix reporter Tom Clarkson rates the chances of each of the 20 drivers who will race in the British Grand Prix. First up, the ‘Ice Man’…


From seven starts at Silverstone, Kimi has finished on the podium fives times. He loves the track and will be looking to bounce back from the disappointment of France, where technical problems robbed him of victory.


Has never looked comfortable at Silverstone. No podiums at the track to date, but Felipe’s driving is a work in progress and two days of testing at the track last week will have given him confidence, as will the fact that he now leads the world championship.


What’s happened to Quick Nick? Virtually overnight he’s become not-so-Quick Nick, and his problems seem to be escalating. Can’t get enough heat into his tyres during qualifying, and from the middle of the grid it’s difficult to get good results.


Incredibly aggressive behind the wheel and remarkably consistent for someone in only his second full season of F1. Has taken the fight to Ferrari and McLaren, while at the same time ending Heidfeld’s career. Fourth here last year.


Says he’s not expecting much support from the Silverstone crowd, but we should value Fernando for what he is: a supremely gifted racing driver. Hasn’t had the equipment to challenge at the front this year, but he continues to show tenacity.


After a hopeless start to the year Nelson finally showed promise at Magny Cours, where he beat Alonso for the first time. Needs to maintain that momentum at Silverstone, a track that he knows well from British F3 and where he’s always been quick.


McLaren tried to sign him as Lewis’s team-mate this year, which shows how highly regarded he is within the paddock. Good through high-speed corners, so perfect Silverstone fodder.


Probably the most consistent Japanese driver ever. Stacks up well against team-mate Rosberg in races, but lacks one-lap pace. Has only completed one F1 test day at Silverstone, so faces an uphill struggle.


Twice a winner at home, David loves Silverstone. He’s lacked the one-lap pace of team-mate Mark Webber this year, but he’s still a good bet to score points.


Doing a really good job on all types of circuit, so expect him to be strong at Silverstone too. His best thing about Silverstone? “The fact that I can go home every night and sleep in my own bed.” 


A stunning drive to third place in France, which included rubbing wheels with Heikki Kovalainen at 185mph on the final lap, proved that Jarno is still a potent force when in the right car. With the Toyota improving all the time, who’s to say he can’t repeat that result at Silverstone?


It’s been a disappointing start to Timo’s F1 career proper. He’s failed to match Trulli’s race pace, let alone the Italian’s legendary qualifying speed, and Timo’s only convincing performance was in Canada, where he finished fourth. The pressure’s on at Silverstone.


Since finishing seventh in Australia, Sebastien’s impact on F1 has decreased. He’s still doing a good job relative to Vettel, but he’s become lost in the mid-field pack. He knows Silverstone from F3000, so expect him to grab the (Red) Bull by the horns.


How good is Vettel? Damn good. Points in Monaco and Montreal were followed by a strong drive in France, where he mixed it with the McLarens and BMWs for much of the race. Has never previously been to Silverstone, so it will be interesting to see how he fares.


Given the Union Jack on his helmet, there’s no doubting Jenson’s patriotism. Sadly, however, he’s in for a tough home race – unless his Honda’s new aerodynamic package tested this week proves to be a big step forward. His optimism, given the circumstances, is remarkable.


Became the most experienced driver in GP history earlier this year, but there are no signs of his motivation waning. Silverstone was the scene of his greatest win in 2003, so expect him to give it everything.


Was Monaco 2008 Adrian’s 15 minutes of fame? Let’s hope not, but he needs to start beating team-mate Fisichella regularly (as Kovalainen managed at Renault last year) if he’s to have a long term future in F1.


Like a golfer has a favourite club, Giancarlo has a favourite team. He gets a tune out of Force India (nee Jordan, for whom he scored his first win in ’03) that he hasn’t managed elsewhere, but it’s still a bit sad to see a man of his stature running at the back.


After two races without troubling the scorers, Lewis needs a strong finish at Silverstone. He won’t have a 10-place grid penalty to contend with, but the Ferrari will most likely be the dominant car. How many tenths of a second will the sell-out crowd be worth? 


In France he proved that he’s definitely recovered from that horrific head-on shunt at Barcelona, toughing it out with Jarno Trulli on the last lap. He’s brave, is Heikki, and courage is what you need to be quick at Silverstone.

Summer motoring events

By Tom Clarkson

F1 correspondent, BBC pitlane man, accesser of all areas, head beans-spiller