The weather is a popular topic for discussion in Britain – and that’s at any time of the year, not just during the annual trip to Silverstone. It was the case again last weekend, but this time because there wasn’t a drop of rain to be found, or hardly a cloud in the sky.
The atmosphere at Silverstone is always one of the best, but this year it seemed to be particularly special, thanks to the combination of the sunny weather and the World Cup fever that has been spreading further over England the longer the national team remains in the competition.
The big match on Saturday overlapped with Formula 2, which led to a loud cheer or two at random moments during the race from those who were keeping an eye on the game. But the average British motorsport fan is a knowledgeable one, and many knew that there was plenty to cheer for in F2 too.
George Russell arrived at his home round in fine form: his pole position at Silverstone was his third in as many Friday afternoons and he was looking good in the early stages to convert it into another feature race win. Like most, he opted to start on the soft Pirelli tyres before pitting for the hards, but when he did stop, a small issue was enough to allow Alexander Albon to take lead.
The high temperatures, combined with Silverstone’s many fast corners, meant that tyre degradation was a concern going into the race, but Albon and Russell were both confident in the long-run work they did during Friday practice. Albon, who was able to sleep in his own bed in nearby Milton Keynes during the weekend, was able to manage his pace well to keep Russell at bay and take the win.
“I knew that the tyres were going to be quite good,” said Albon. “I heard other people talking about high degradation, but I think I knew it wouldn’t be that bad. So with that information, I drove – pushing, but not killing the tyres, so I could relax.”
Lando Norris suffered worse than Russell in his pit-stop, limiting him to 10th at the finish, but on Sunday, both put in superb drives to make the podium, and this time, there was nothing to distract the crowds.
With five rounds remaining, it looks increasingly likely that an English driver could be coming home with the F2 title at the end of the year. But which one remains to be seen.