• Jul 7th 2008 at 9:58AM
  • 20


Click for a hi-res gallery from the 2008 British GP

Storms swept through Silverstone this year for the British Grand Prix. First came the announcement of David Coulthard's retirement from Formula 1, which was followed by the announcement that, starting in 2010, the race would leave its historic home at Silverstone and move to Donington Park.

The decision by Formula One Management and the FIA followed years of calls for the ageing Silverstone track -- owned and operated by the British Drivers Racing Club -- to renovate and get itself up to the modern standards set by F1's newer tracks. However, after failing to secure government funding or sufficient private investment, the decision was made to move the event to Donington. So as the storms set in to close two major chapters of British motor racing history, the rain poured down on the penultimate running of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Follow the jump to read how it turned out.

[Images: Getty/AFP]

Storms must have been raging in the hearts of British racing fans as well as they saw their homegrown hero David Coulthard - the most successful driver in British racing history - run his last laps at his home race, only to retire from the grand prix disappointingly early as his Renault-powered Red Bull racer skidded into the Toro Rosso of Sebastian Vettel, the very rookie driver tipped to be assuming the Scotsman's seat next year, taking both out of the race on the first lap.

The Red Bull pilots were far from the only drivers to spin out on the wet track, as BMW Sauber's championship contender Robert Kubica also retired early, along with both the Force India cars of Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil, Nelson Piquet Jr.'s Renault and Jenson Button's Honda.

The British fans could not have been sentimental for too long, however, as their favorite son Lewis Hamilton commanded an astonishingly dominant victory in his front-running homegrown McLaren before the local crowd. When Lewis finally crossed the finish line, he was more than a minute ahead of second place finisher Nick Heidfeld in the second BMW Sauber. Honda's Rubens Barrichello took an elated third place to round out the podium, occupied by three drivers who managed to lap the entire rest of the field before the checkered flag was waved.

It was indeed a spectacular weekend for McLaren, after Heikki Kovalainen took his first pole on Saturday. The position quickly slipped away from him, however, on the first rain-soaked lap as his team-mate slipped in behind him off the grid and made short order of passing him en route to widening the gap as the rest of the field jockeyed for position. Towards the end of the race, Kovalainen battled valiantly with Fernando Alonso in the ultimately less competitive Renault and with Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari to come in fifth behind the defending title-holder and ahead of the two-time world champion.

Fourth ultimately proved to be an admirable finish for Raikkonen, who suffered from poor strategy and battled his way up the grid for precious points in the title fight, setting the fastest lap once again along the way. His team-mate Felipe Massa, however, fared much worse as he struggled to control the car on the wet tarmac without traction control, reverting to his unfortunate start of the season after spinning out several times along the race distance - but managing to keep it going - to finish dead last in thirteenth place.

The results of the stormy race leaves Hamilton, Raikkonen and Massa in a dead heat for the drivers' championship with 48 points each, ranked officially in that order by virtue of races won so far. With both Ferraris in that mix, the Scuderia holds a commanding lead in the constructors' championship with 96 points, ahead of BMW Sauber with 82 and McLaren-Mercedes trailing with 72.

Scroll down to view the full race results, check out the gallery for images from the race, and tune in again on July 20th for the German Grand Prix from Hockenheim.

2008 British Grand Prix

1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2. Heidfeld BMW Sauber
3. Barrichello Honda
4. Raikkonen Ferrari
5. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes
6. Alonso Renault
7. Trulli Toyota
8. Nakajima Williams-Toyota
9. Rosberg Williams-Toyota
10. Webber Red Bull-Renault
11. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari
12. Glock Toyota
13. Massa Ferrari

Fastest lap:
Raikkonen, 1:32.150

Not classified/retirements:
Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 40
Button Honda (B) 39
Piquet Renault (B) 36
Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) 17
Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) 11
Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1
Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 1

World Championship standings
(after 9 rounds)

1. Hamilton 48
2. Raikkonen 48
3. Massa 48
4. Kubica 46
5. Heidfeld 36
6. Kovalainen 24
7. Trulli 20
8. Webber 18
9. Alonso 13
10. Barrichello 11
11. Rosberg 8
12. Nakajima 8
13. Coulthard 6
14. Vettel 5
15. Glock 5
16. Button 3
17. Piquet 2
18. Bourdais 2

1. Ferrari 96
2. BMW Sauber 82
3. McLaren-Mercedes 72
4. Toyota 25
5. Red Bull-Renault 24
6. Williams-Toyota 16
7. Renault 15
8. Honda 14
9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 7

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "David Coulthard - the most successful driver in British racing history".

      By what measure? There are several notable names like Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell.

      As much as I like him, career points do not make him more successful than these other guys.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well....The easiest way to compare someone is simply by the numbers. I'll still say that how many world champions you've earned is more important that career points...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well....The easiest way to compare someone is simply by the numbers. I'll still say that how many world champions you've earned is more important that career points...
      • 7 Years Ago
      What about the storm? Damn the storm. What can be more beautiful than raining during the race and then “raining with champagne”? Extraordinary. Of course not for everyone. ;-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ferrari was gambling that the rain was going to stop so they could come in for dry tires on the next stop. McLaren and everyone else figured the rain was going to continue and put on new intermediates.

      But the decision of the race was Honda going to full wets. In the rain, that pig of a chassis was superior to everyone else when they were the only ones running on full wets.

      I was glad to see Reubens get back on the podium since it had been so long. But I was not glad to see his little staggering around dance that he does after he drinks some champagne. I haven't missed that for a long time.

      I don't know if Massa was driving or practicing his triple axels.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's just a game by Bernie to move the British GP to another high fee paying country. Donnington will not be able to raise $200mm+ as a single GP race will never cover the costs.

      Bye Bye Brit GP and the soul of F1 racing.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I heard during the US broadcast on Friday that Donington needs a ton of improvements and to even have a chance of being ready they need to start turning dirt now.

        I hate to see that this feud between Bernie and the BRDC has come to this. I love Silverstone and I am just crushed that they will not be racing there anymore after next year.
        • 7 Years Ago

        The Donnington deal is very very iffy IMHO.
        FOM has award them the 10 year F1 race contract so long as the spend $200mm (or is it Pds 200mm?) B4 the first race in 2010. That money hasn't been rasied yet! So now Donnington must find investors, who will want a decent return on their money, to committ that money so that planned upgrades can begin.
        I seriously doubt that Donnington can find the money and seriously doubt that investors will have confidence that they will receive a return and/or ever get their money back.
        FOM has a way out of the contract if/when Donnington fails to make the agreed upgrades.
        At that point Silverstone will be dead in the water, as they obviously won't spend hundreds of millions of dollars meantime on continued upgrades. Ergo FOM can claim default by Donnington, knowing full well that Silverstone will not have been improved in the meantime. That's game set and match to FOM who will then abandon the British GP race and award a contract to another country whose State Gvt will subsidise FOM's Fees etc.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think during the US coverage of qualifying, it was mentioned that Donington has secured a 10 year deal with F1, so I guess it's not going away right now.

        Overall, this was a great race! Very disappointed with Massa's driving, felt bad for Kubica's retirement, and was so happy to see Rubens get a podium driving what's regarded as the slowest car in F1 (in a straight line)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Awesome gamble by Braun and Honda to put Rubio on the podium. I was wanting them to leave him on full wets and see if he could have caught Heidfeld. Hey, if you're gonna gamble...you might as well.... Anyway, I suppose they were protecting much needed points but still, would have been cool to see the battle. Very interesting race although my fantasy F1 teams fell apart at the seams.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Excellent race. Rain is the great equalizer as they say and Lewis put over a minute on the second place.
      Happy that my driver won and would've liked to see Kimi place better than where he did. Championship battle is going to be very exciting. Looking forward to the next race.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's sad that with two world-class memorable tracks (Silverstone and Brands Hatch), the British races will instead be held at Donington Park.

      Bernie only cars about the money.

      I guess the same thing happened in the US, didn't it?
      • 7 Years Ago
      This year's F1 season is just awesome so far. And this race was no exception. Just watching the tire strategies play out was fun to watch. Plus it was cool to see Lewis win his home race.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It would be most useful if the teams admitted the race setups for their drivers in this race.
      i.e. KOV looked to have a full dry setup versus a wet setup for Hamilton. This would explain how KOV was so dominating in dry qualifying and Ham so much better in the race.
      Other guesses...
      Heidfeld wet setup.
      Massa full dry
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hamilton having a wet set up would explain crappy qualifying. He also looked like hell in qualifying...Confusing!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree. What has me very confised though is that Hamilton seemed genuinely perplexed as to why he was so much time behind Kov in qualifying? Surely Ham,ilton would have known if Kov had a radically different setup on his car?
        Something very weird is going on.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm a Ferrari fan, and I just couldn't bear to watch the whole race, left about halfway. Massa drove like an amateur and Ferrari not changing Kimi's tires is just a suicidal gamble that defied the weatherman's predictions. WTF
        • 7 Years Ago
        I felt the same way about the Canadian Grand Prix...(as a Lewis fan) as soon as Lewis ran into Kimi I turned the TV off..same thing for the french grand prix...as soon as they gave Lewis the drive by I turned the TV off...lol lol emotionally I was crushed
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ya, that has to be one of the worst gambles of the season thus far. How many times did Massa spin? Three or four probably?

        Before Hamilton's last pit when it started getting really sloppy, I was thinking they had to put the full wets on... but their gamble of staying with intermediates seemed to pay off once the rain let up a little toward the end.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Just look what it does to have RossBrawn on your side...Absolutely ridiculous!
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