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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2008 BRITISH GRAND PRIX - RACEDAY AT SILVERSTONE
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Raceday at Silverstone
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
08:00 Hello and welcome to autosport.com Live for raceday at Silverstone, as we approach the 2008 British Grand Prix.

Rain has been falling at the circuit in the last hour and we'll be keeping a close eye on the skies throughout the build-up.

Today we will be bringing you updates and news from the circuit in the build-up to the race and a look back at the qualifying hour, along with live text commentary of the race itself, later this afternoon.

08:02 You can join in the fun by chatting live with other autosport.com forum members.

Click the SHOW LIVE FORUM link in the red bar at the bottom of your browser window if you'd like to join the debate.

08:05 For the second morning in a row rain has fallen over the circuit. The rain began sometime after 07:00 local time, and has been mainly light in nature, with the occasional heavier pulse coming through.

Conditions are expected to remain damp for much of the morning. The rainfall radar shows two bands of rain crossing central England. The first of those, dark blue and mainly light in nature, has deposited over Silverstone already.

The rain has stopped now as we enter the brief pause between the two bands, with the larger second band of rain due to hit later this morning.

The top temperature will be a cool 18 degrees Celsius later this afternoon.

08:10 Saturday would be an eventful day at Silverstone, with the final practice and qualifying sessions taking place in constantly changing conditions.

Early morning rain soaked the circuit, meaning a wet start to the third and final practice session. During the hour the track surface progressively dried up, allowing dry tyres to be used in the final segment. As times improved it was clear that last man over the line would likely take the fastest time, and Fernando Alonso did just that in the dying moments when he broke the beam with a time of 1:20.740.

Alonso fastest in final practice - Britain

Qualifying produced surprises in an incident-filled hour. Honda again failed to impress, with both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello being eliminated after 20 minutes. Joining them were the Force India drivers Sutil and Fisichella, as well as Nico Rosberg who has been plagued this weekend by a niggling suspension issue.

Period two caused another sir as both Toyotas failed to make the cut. Kazuki Nakajima was also out, along with David Coulthard and Sebastien Bourdais, who did a good job in the Toro Rosso to make it into the top 15.

The final ten minute shootout for the grid produced enough action to last a full practice session. Robert Kubica aborted his timed lap, coming into the pits with the feeling of a technical problem at the rear of the car. The Pole failed to set a time and will start from tenth this afternoon.

Felipe Massa and Ferrari had a disastrous pitstop in the final couple of minutes. By the time Massa got back out on track it was too late to set a final laptime and the Brazilian crossed the line to start his last attempt with the chequered flag already waving. Ninth on the grid for Massa was an unexpected and disappointing result for the championship leader.

Nelson Piquet and Sebastian Vettel produced excellent performances to qualify seventh and eighth respectively. Piquet has been much closer to his teammate Fernando Alonso this weekend, and Vettel has driven superbly as the Toro Rosso team are making good progress with the STR3 that debuted a few races ago.

Up front Lewis Hamilton ran off the road in the complex, handing the advantage to his McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen. The Finn duly used the opportunity to the full and claimed pole position on the last lap of the day - his first in Formula One.

Mark Weber placed his Red Bull Renault a superb second on the grid. The Australian in fact had the provisional pole briefly in the final minute before Kovalainen bettered his time. This lines up Kovalainen versus Webber at the start later today, with Kimi Raikkonen leading the Ferrari charge in third place, home hero Hamilton fourth, Nick Heidfeld fifth and Fernando Alonso in sixth place.

Kovalainen on maiden F1 pole at Silverstone

08:15 The GP2 grid is beginning to get organised for the sprint race. With the rain having stopped, at least for the time being, the race will start in wet conditions with the track drying.

08:28 Wet tyres are being bolted on to the GP2 cars down on the grid. Conditions are much wetter than those in France a fortnight ago, where slick tyre gambles at the start paid off.

08:31 A vast wall of spray is flung up into the air as the GP2 cars head around on their formation lap.

08:37 The sprint race is underway on a wet track but with no rain falling at present.

Luca Filippi led initially but immediately came under pressure from Bruno Senna, who dived by at Abbey and leads in the early stages.

A number of cars are off track in very tricky conditions.

08:41 The beginnings of the second band is moving into the Silverstone area now. This will keep the track wet for some time.

08:48 Bruno Senna leads GP2 into lap seven by 1.4 seconds over Renault tester Lucas di Grassi.

Series leader Giorgio Pantano runs third and Brit Mike Conway has scythed through the field and is up to fourth.

08:59 Light rain continues to fall over Silverstone with the main part of the second band of wet weather continuing to approach from the south-west.

At the very least this is going to take two to three hours to completely move through, which would take us close to the Grand Prix start.

09:03 With nine laps, or 16 minutes, to go in the GP2 sprint race, the fall of rain is rapidly increasing at Silverstone.

Bruno Senna continues to lead by over five seconds in a fascinating race, but conditions are set to deteriorate in the closing laps.

09:15 Senna leads in GP2 with two laps remaining as the conditions go downhill rapidly in the continuing rainfall.

09:22 Bruno Senna has won a chaotic GP2 sprint race in dominant style, holding a race-long lead in atrocious conditions at Silverstone, demonstrating wet weather mastery that his uncle would have been proud of.

Lucas di Grassi finished second from Giorgio Pantano.

Mike Conway's drive to fourth is also commendable, having started 14th on the grid.

09:40 The light rain - which occasionally falls a bit heavier - continues over the circuit.

The latest from the rainfall radar suggests that this is on for the next two hours or so, keeping the track fully wet to within minutes of the Grand Prix start.

Mark Webber
09:45 Mark Webber delivered a sensational lap in qualifying to take second on the grid for today's race. The Australian spoke to reporters after the session and was clearly pleased with his lap, yet remained realistic on his chances for the race.

"I knew my second lap was a lot better in Q3, my first lap was a disaster, I think a lot of guys had trouble adjusting to go back to the fuel level to be honest. I did a lot calmer lap and made the car do the work, and I just sat onboard and it was much easier," said Webber.

"It was good to be on the front row, obviously it’s going to be very difficult for us to fight McLaren and Ferrari, but our fight is against always the Toyotas and Renaults and Williams, and so far we’ve been very, very competitive against them this weekend. I hope we can get some good points against them."

Mark was also asked for his thoughts on the prospect of a wet race.

"I hope it’s a dry one and not an intermediate – you never know, it’s going to be a long Grand Prix if it is wet and we have a lot more to lose now. Generally when you are mid-pack and towards the back you want it to be wet, but at the moment the car is working well in the dry, and I feel like I’m driving well, so we should hope for a dry Grand Prix."

09:46 The Porsche Supercup cars are away on their formation lap with moderate rain falling all around the circuit. A dramatic race is in prospect from the brutish tin-tops.

09:56 An utterly chaotic first lap in the Porsche Supercup, including incidents for Jeroen Bleekemolen, Jan Seyffarth and Damien Faulkner, amongst many others, has brought out the safety car for a clean-up of the soaked track, which is now strewn with pieces from crashed Porsches.

09:58 Jaap van Lagen leads what is likely to be a lengthy safety car intervention from David Saelens and Stefan Rosina.

10:01 Meantime the rain continues to fall moderately over Silverstone.

With the multitude of incidents in the early stages of the Porsche Supercup race, another dimension is thrown into the mix, with a large oil slick now at the Abbey Chicane, making conditions even more treacherous.

10:02 Jaap van Lagen has pitted from the lead behind the safety car, with damage visible on the front of his car.

David Saelens now leads as the clean-up continues.

10:07 The Supercup race restarts in very wet conditions with the top ten David Saelens, Stefan Rosina, Sean Edwards, Danny Watts, James Sutton, Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, Jiri Janak, Christian Mamerow, Marco Holzer and Sam Hancock.

10:11 David Saelens dropped down the order with an apparent problem after the restart, putting Stefan Rosina in the lead from Sean Edwards and Danny Watts.

10:13 Four minutes now remain in the Porsche Supercup race with Briton Sean Edwards now through in to the lead.

10:19 Sean Edwards has won a chaotic Porsche Supercup race in horrendous wet conditions at Silverstone. Fellow Brit Danny Watts came home second with Stefan Rosina completing the podium.

Another home driver, James Sutton, finished fourth as local knowledge proved vital in navigating the extremely wet conditions.

10:19 Rain continues at the circuit, falling moderately again as the Porsche Supercup race ends.

The rainfall radar shows that the rain from this larger band will cease in the next hour or so.

The track will then begin to dry out again, but after a break more showers are packing in over the Welsh-English boder, and are working their way east in the direction of Northamptonshire.

10:28 Next on the schedule is the traditional driver's parade, with the competitors getting a chance to peer out from under their umbrellas at the soggy state of the Silverstone circuit.

10:41 The drivers parade truck comes through the complex to a blast of airhorns and cheers from a capacity crowd.

The rain has eased almost to a stop and overhead the sky is a little brighter than it was a short time ago.

10:47 The rain has now stopped all around the circuit. The track surface will slowly begin to dry out again, with just under 75 minutes to go before the start of the Santander British Grand Prix.

10:50 Heikki Kovalainen has looked on strong form in his McLaren throughout the build-up to the British Grand Prix and stormed to a maiden pole in qualifying yesterday.

One leading paddock theory is that, in comparison to Kovalainen, teammate Lewis Hamilton was too aggressive on his tyres on the opening part of the lap, leaving him without sufficient grip in the twisting final section. Lewis himself felt that he had over-used the tyres on his oulap for the final attempt, as he looked to recover from an off at Priory on his first run.

A happy Kovalainen chatted with the media scrum after taking pole.

"It’s a little bit surprising to have such a margin but the conditions were very difficult," said Heikki.

"I think it was very easy to make a mistake, it was very windy and the grip level was not very high, I think due to the rain earlier today, so I think that’s why the gap is quite big to the others. We can’t take anything for granted, we need to keep pushing tomorrow and be aggressive again. I think at the moment it looks like we can do it tomorrow and that is going to be our target."

"It doesn’t matter for me - rain or dry, no problem," said Kovalainen, when asked about the prospect of a wet race.

Ron Dennis has also been speaking to autosport.com on Kovalainen's strong form this weekend:

Dennis praises Kovalainen's progress

11:05 Conditions remain wet at the circuit with the lightest of sprinkles falling now and again.

In the main the rain has stopped though for the moment.

The official F1 Meteo France radar shows that another shower is likely to cross the circuit within the next 15 minutes or so.

11:11 The Red Arrows have been wowing the huge crowd as they blasted around the overcast sky.

A strong wind is blowing across the circuit as the wet track begins to drain.

11:14 The Meteo France forecast for the race that is available to all the Formula One teams, suggests that Silverstone is still at a reasonable risk of showers until the start of the race, then the percentage chance decreases rapidly.

The wind is set to be up around 30 kilometres per hour for the duration of the event, with gusts up to 45-50 km/h at times.

11:15 A marching band has now struck up on the starting grid, with 15 minutes remaining before the cars head out to form up.

11:22 The Red Arrows scream overhead trailing red, white and blue smoke.

Spots of rain are falling at the circuit once again with a further shower expected imminently, according to the on-site weather radar.

11:25 The drivers will be out on track when the pit lane opens in five minutes. This will be the drivers' first opportunity to check out the tricky track conditions.

11:30 The pitlane opens and now the drivers can make their way round the circuit towards the grid.

11:33 Many of the drivers are taking the opportunity to make a practice start at the end of the pitlane, as they join the racetrack for their reconaissance laps to the grid.

11:33 The drivers outside the top ten have a valuable advantage of being able to complete more than one lap to the grid to feel out the standing water on the circuit.

Those completing Q3 have their fuel load already onboard and are unlikely to waste more petrol than necessary.

11:33 Lewis Hamilton is heading out with the intermediate Bridgestone tyre on his McLaren.

11:36 Most of the cars favour the full wet tyre at this stage due to the large amount of standing water on the surface.

With rain not falling at present, the intermediate tyre may be a viable quite quickly, once the cars have cleared some water from the racing line.

11:38 Kimi Raikkonen is sampling the conditions with the intermediate tyre on his Ferrari.

11:39 The cars are twitching, squirning and darting around under braking and especially under acceleration out of Silverstone's corners.

Both Hondas come into the pitlane so that they can take another lap to the grid, as Felipe Massa pulls up to his ninth place starting slot.

"There are a few rivers in places and the standing water will be quite high so we need to get away well, have a good first stint, and of course it is going to be a long race, it's not a normal dry Grand Prix. We need to be there at the end."
Mark Webber on German broadcaster Premiere

11:42 On the grid further light spots of moisture are falling, all helping to keep the surface wet for longer.

11:43 Light rain is now falling on the circuit again.

11:44 Nico Rosberg will start from the pitlane following extensive work to the suspension on his Williams after problems with a strange feeling from the car on Saturday.

11:46 The track temperature is hovering at 16c with a 15c ambient and light rain continuing to fall.

A breeze of over seven meters per second is blowing across the circuit.

11:51 Light spots of rain continue to fall over the track, with a large dark area of cloud looming beyond Copse corner as we look from the pitlane end.

The Met Office radar now has the following showers moving into the West Midlands, and further heavy showers are possible before the end of the race if they reach Northamptonshire within the next 90 minutes.

11:54 Intermediate tyres look like a popular choice when the cars must have the wheels in place with three laps to go. The teams are counting on the field of cars moving the standing water quickly so the intermediate becomes the rubber to use.

The early laps could be full of drama with a high potential for aquaplaning on those shallow-cut tyres.

11:55 There are five minutes to go until the formation lap begins.

11:57 Nico Rosberg is wheeled from the garage into the pit box in the pitlane, and the hard dry tyres that were originally fitted to his car have been replaced with rubber that much better suits the conditions.

11:59 One minute to go before the formation lap begins ahead of the 60 lap British Grand Prix from a soggy Silverstone circuit.

12:00 The entire field await the formation lap on intermediate tyres.

12:00 The formation lap begins with all cars leaving the grid without problem.

Nico Rosberg will start the race from the pitlane.

12:01 The spray being thrown up from the cars is substantial as Kovalainen leads the pack through Club corner.

12:02 Kovalainen and Mark Webber in second lead the field through Bridge corner and into the complex as the formation lap draws towards its conclusion.

12:03 The front row pull up to their grid positions. The race is going to be interesting, and no doubt action-packed.

We await the lights ...

Lap 1: The lights go out and we are racing on a very wet track at Silverstone.

Lap 1: Heikki Kovalainen is jumped by Lewis Hamilton who amazingly leads into turn one, but Kovalainen comes back round the Briton and has the lead into Becketts

Lap 1: Heikki Kovalainen leads from teammate Lewis Hamilton after a storming start from the Briton.

Lap 1: Oh disaster for Mark Webber. He has spun entering the Hangar Straight and is dead last, but his car is undamaged.

Lap 2: Kimi Raikkonen runs third from Nick Heidfeld, Nelson Piquet and Fernando Alonso.

Lap 2: Felipe Massa has spun exiting the Abbey Chicane. He falls down to the rear of the field.

Lap 2: David Coulthard and Sebastian Vetel have spun off into the gravel at Brooklands as lap one ends.

Lap 2: Coulthard and Vettel are both out of the race.

Lap 2: Heikki Kovalainen leads over the line for the first time with Lewis Hamilton just 1.3 seconds behind. Kovalainen had to move stoutly in Copse, almost touching his teammate, to prevent Hamilton taking the lead in turn one.

Lap 3: Hamilton is all over the gearbox of Kovalainen for the lead but Heikki fends him off in the first corner.

Lap 3: World Champion Kimi Raikkonen is third, Heidfeld is fourth, Alonso fifth and Nelson Piquet tucked up behind his teammate in sixth place.

Lap 4: Fernando Alonso has tremendous pace in his Renault and cuts by Heidfeld around the outside at Club, taking fourth.

Lap 4: Jenson Button has made a solid start and has moved up to 11th position in the early laps of the race.

Lap 4: Felipe Massa is off the road for the second time as he spins exiting Woodcote. He rejoins the race in 18th and last position.

Lap 5: Lewis Hamilton continues to press Kovalainen for the lead with Kimi Raikkonen holding on in third and closing on the battling McLarens.

Lap 5: Hamilton dives up the inside of Kovalainen into Stowe, snatching the lead from his teammate.

Lap 5: Both Hondas have made excellent progress in the early laps. Rubens Barrichello is 10th with teammate Button in 11th and catching Rubens quickly.

Lap 6: Jarno Trulli is another driver who has gained a lot of positions in the opening stage. The Toyota driver runs in 7th position behind the Renaults of Alonso and Piquet, having started outside the top ten.

Lap 6: Hamilton takes a 1.8 second lead into lap six from Heikki Kovalainen. Kimi Raikkonen is 2.7 seconds behind the leader in third, with Fernando Alonso running a strong fourth for Renault.

Lap 7: Giancarlo Fisichella in 15th has Webber and Rosberg climbing all over him as the three of them fight for track position.

Felipe Massa, in last position, is 11.5 seconds behind this trio.

Lap 7: Hamilton cranks up the pace at the front as the track continues to dry in the absence of rain. Lewis takes the fastest lap in 1:34.445.

Lap 7: Mark Webber overtakes Giancarlo Fisichella and assumes 15th place, passing the Force India driver at the Vale.

Lap 8: Adrian Sutil has kept out of trouble, made a solid start and runs in 12th place. He has Sebastien Bourdais in the Toro Rosso climbing all over his gearbox.

Lap 8: Nick Heidfeld is being told on the radio to push and find one second per lap. Heidfeld runs fifth in the BMW, 8.6 seconds behind Alonso's Renault.

Lap 9: Mark Webber has pulled away from Giancarlo Fisichella to the tune of 2.5 seconds already, and he has caught the Williams of Kazuki Nakajima who runs in 14th.

Meantime Fisichella now 16th, has to fend off Nico Rosberg.

Lap 9: Lewis Hamilton crosses the line with a new fastest lap as he presses on in the lead. His 1:33.869 extends his advantage to 3.2 seconds over teammate Kovalainen.

Lap 10: Hamilton, Kovalainen, Raikkonen, Alonso, Heidfeld, Piquet, Trulli, Kubica, Glock is the order.

Lap 10: Mark Webber is making short work of working his way back through the field.

One lap ago he passed Kazuki Nakajima, and on the following lap he passes Sebastien Bourdais for 13th.

Lap 10: Webber now passes Sutil for 12th and is cutting through the midfield runners without any trouble at all.

Lap 11: Heikki Kovalainen has lost over eight seconds on that lap and has dropped behind Kimi Raikkonen. Replays show a spin for Heikki at the Abbey chicane.

Lap 11: Mark Webber is setting fastest sector times of all the cars currently on the circuit.

Now a new fastest lap of the race with a 1:33.810.

Lap 11: Jenson Button has overtaken his teammate Rubens Barrichello for tenth place, as Mark Webber rapidly bears down on both of them.

Lap 12: Lewis Hamilton leads by six seconds from Kimi Raikkonen, with Kovalainen now third, 3.8 seconds behind his compatriot and now under pressure from Alonso.

Lap 12: Kimi Raikkonen has upped his pace since taking second. He sets the fastest lap of 1:33.635 to close down Hamilton's lead to 5.2 seconds.

Lap 12: Adrian Sutil has lost control of his Force India machine under braking for the Abbey Chicane as he was battling with Sebastien Bourdais for 14th position.

The German spins wildly across the track and into the gravel trap. He is out of the race.

Lap 13: Nelson Piquet, running sixth, is told on the radio that more rain is expected in five minutes.

Lap 13: Mark Webber has passed Rubens Barrichello for 10th position at the Vale. The Australian continues his great progress through the field, and caught a 10 second gap to the Hondas without three laps.

Lap 13: Further rain is expected in the next few minutes.

Lap 14: Kimi Raikkonen continues to close on the leader, Hamilton. The gap is down to 4.5 seconds.

Lap 14: Felipe Massa who is last in 17th place, has now caught the Fisichella-Rosberg battle for 15th which continues to rage at the back of the field.

Lap 15: Mark Webber has now caught the other Honda belonging to Jenson Button. The Red Bull driver is running much quicker than Button on the circuit, and should pass the Briton soon as they battle for 10th.

Lap 15: The official Meteo France rain radar shows a shower heading for the circuit, which is the basis of the teams predicting imminent rain.

Lap 15: Webber sends a move up the inside of Button at the Vale and he makes the pass stick. Good move there from Mark Webber who is now 10th.

Lap 16: Lewis Hamilton responds to recent pressure from Kimi Raikkonen with the fastest lap, 1:33.268, pegging the gap at just over four seconds.

Lap 16: Webber's next target is Timo Glock in ninth who is 7.6 seconds up the road.

Lap 16: Heikki Kovalainen has fallen 7.8 seconds behind Kimi Raikkonen with another wobble at the Abbey chicane.

Lap 17: Fernando Alonso runs fourth in the Renault but is being told to get a move on as they suspect Nick Heidfeld in the BMW has more fuel to mount a challenge at the pit stops.

Lap 17: Felipe Massa passes Nico Rosberg for 16th place at the Vale. Hard lines for the German Rosberg, who has been tucked up behind Fisichella from the start and has not been able to find a way through.

Massa is past the Williams and will now set about passing Fisichella.

Lap 18: Raikkonen now responds with a fastest lap of 1:32.259, closing Hamilton to 3.3 seconds. It is a fantastic trade of quick lap times at the front of the field.

Lap 18: Massa passes Fisichella on the approach to Bridge corner and takes over that 15th place, leaving Fisichella to resume his battle with Rosberg.

Lap 19: Raikkonen takes a full second out of Hamilton with a storming middle sector of the lap.

The track continues to dry as the expected rain holds off just for the moment.

Lap 19: Mark Webber's charge continues in 10th and he is bridging that gap to Glock ahead of him. The Australian is setting fastest sector times again but he is in the pits at the end of the lap.

Lap 20: Light rain is falling once again as the first stops begin.

Lap 20: Nick Heidfeld is told on the radio to expect a short, light drizzle.

Lap 20: Heikki Kovalainen dives into the McLaren pits for his first stop. The team change to another set of intermediate rubber and he is away again just infront of Kubica in sixth.

Lap 20: Kovalainen has Kubica all over his gearbox as he tries to get back up to speed after that stop.

Lap 22: Robert Kubica has passed Jarno Trulli for seventh position. He had been stuck behind the Toyota since the start but is now through, as Kovalainen rejoined after his first stop.

Lap 22: Fernando Alonso pits the Renault from fourth and he resumes behind Trulli in eighth.

Lap 22: Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen pit together.

Lap 22: Hamilton takes new rubber and resumes just ahead of Raikkonen despite a slight fumble at the rear.

Lap 23: Kimi Raikkonen did not appear to change tyres on the Ferrari.

Lap 23: Felipe Massa pits from 15th place. He similarly keeps the same set of intermediates and rejoins.

Lap 23: The McLaren team may have made a superb move there as rain hits the circuit and Hamilton has new rubber to tackle the conditions.

Lap 23: Nick Heidfeld took over the lead of the race after the Hamilton and Raikkonen pit race, but he is now in.

Lap 24: Nelson Piquet pits from fourth position and rejoins.

Lap 24: The expected shower is hitting all around the circuit.

Lap 24: Light rain is falling again just as the racing line was becoming much drier. The spectators are donning their raincoats once again.

Lap 24: Robert Kubica pits from eighth position in the BMW Sauber as the rain becomes heavier.

Lap 25: Lewis Hamilton now leads on his fresh intermediates by 4.6 seconds from Raikkonen on worn rubber.

Lap 25: Kazuki Nakajima has spun exiting the Abbey Chicane, falling down the field to 14th place.

Lap 25: The lead gap is immediately up to 9.6 seconds as moderate rain now falls. Raikkonen has a job on his hands to keep that Ferrari on the road with very little tread available on his tyres.

Lap 26: Nico Rosberg is still tucked up behind the Force India of Giancarlo Fisichella. The pair are battling over 15th place and Fisichella you have to say is doing a great job to fend off the Williams driver.

Both have yet to make a stop, as Barrichello pits for the first time in the Honda.

Lap 26: Nico Rosberg pits, no doubt frustrated behind Fisichella. We will see how this battle develops when the Italian comes in for his stop.

Lap 27: Fernando Alonso is another man not to take fresh tyres at that stop.

Raikkonen lost five seconds on the last lap, with Heikki Kovalainen rapidly closing in on the Ferrari.

Lap 27: Jenson Button and Timo Glock both come into the pits for the first time.

Lap 27: Nelson Piquet overtakes teammate Fernando Alonso at the Vale for sixth place.

Lap 27: Heikki Kovalainen is now 1.3 seconds behind Raikkonen as heavy rain halts the Ferrari's progress. Lewis Hamilton leads by 21.8 seconds.

Lap 28: The order is Hamilton leading, from Raikkonen, Kovalainen, Heidfeld, Piquet, with Kubica moving into sixth as Fernando Alonso comes into the pits.

Lap 28: Heikki Kovalainen is all over the gearbox of Kimi Raikkonen for second with the McLaren fitted with far more suitable tyres for this stage of the race.

Lap 28: Heavy rain now falling at Silverstone, as Giancarlo spins away his 14th place at Becketts, promoting Massa, Rosberg and Nakajima.

Fisichella is out of the race.

Lap 28: A sensational opportunistic move from Nick Heidfeld puts him up to second in Woodcote as Heikki Kovalainen was too busy despatching the Ferrari of Raikkonen.

The order is Hamilton, Heidfeld, Kovalainen, Raikkonen.

Lap 29: Sebastien Bourdais pits for the first time in the Toro Rosso. The Frenchman was in 13th position.

Lap 29: Lewis Hamilton has almost a 30 second lead in the British Grand Prix with over half of the race still remaining.

Lap 30: Fernando Alonso pitted the Renault to change his worn tyres, asking the team for fuel to the finish.

Lap 30: The rain shower has eased in recent minutes.

Lap 30: Rubens Barrichello is having a great run in the Honda. The Brazilian has stopped once like many of the others, but runs in seventh place - albeit nearly 20 seconds behind Robert Kubica.

Lap 30: Nick Heidfeld continues in second with a strong pace in the BMW, he has closed Hamilton's lead to 23.5 seconds.

Lap 31: Kimi Raikkonen continues to lap slowly with heavily worn tyres. Robert Kubica and Nelson Piquet are closing on the Ferrari at pace, with the BMW having just passed the Renault.

Lap 31: Felipe Massa has passed the Williams of Kazuki Nakajima for 14th place at Stowe corner. Felipe is not making much progress through the field.

Having passed Rosberg and Fisichella before the pitstops, he now finds himself chasing down Rosberg once again, who retook the place when they both stopped.

Lap 31: Robert Kubica and Nelson Piquet pass Raikkonen as Ferrari finally decide to pit Kimi.

Lap 32: Kimi Raikkonen takes brand new intermediate rubber and rejoins behind Button in 11th.

Lap 32: Nick Heidfeld is told on the radio that the rain will stop in the next couple of minutes, although it appears to be falling heavily at present.

Lap 32: Behind the leading six, Barrichello runs seventh, the Toyotas of Glock and Trulli are eighth and ninth, Alonso is tenth with Button less than two seconds behind him in 11th.

Lap 33: Felipe Massa pits for the second time in the Ferrari. He drops to 16th and last of the remaining runners in the race.

Lap 33: Kimi Raikkonen has likely filled his Ferrari to the finish and Fernando Alonso also looks to be in a similar situation.

The rain is falling heavily at present.

Lap 34: Raikkonen rejoined from his stop behind Alonso and Button, who are ninth and tenth.

Lap 34: Lewis Hamilton leads by 25.8 seconds over Nick Heidfeld.

In the heavy rain, the best battle up front is Kubica's BMW now on the tail of Kovalainen's McLaren for third.

Lap 35: The rain is falling very heavily now with 26 laps to go at Silverstone.

Lap 35: Kubica sends a sensational move up the inside of Kovalainen to take third on the approach to Stowe as the BMWs run brilliantly in these terrible conditions.

Lap 36: Heikki Kovalainen pits the McLaren, taking replacement intermediates and fuel to the finish.

Lap 36: Rubens Barrichello continues to move up the order. He was seventh a few laps ago, but with Raikkonen and now Kovalainen pitting, the Honda runs in fifth place.

Lap 36: The predicted end of the rain has proven completely wrong as a downpour hits the circuit.

Lap 36: Action is likely here as intermediate rubber begins to struggle with the amount of water on the surface.

Lap 37: Timo Glock has gone off the racetrack at the Abbey Chicane, handing seventh place to his teammate Jarno Trulli.

Lap 37: A huge volumes of rain is falling from the sky.

Lap 37: Rubens Barrichello pits from what was fifth place in the Honda.

Disaster at Honda as Rubens arrived to find Button already in the pitbox for service.

Lap 37: Nico Rosberg pits the Williams, taking extreme wet rubber.

Lap 38: Jenson Button had a problem with his pitstop - his total pitlane time was over 48 seconds.

Lap 38: Leader Lewis Hamilton is shown having a grassy moment in the extreme rain. He may want to pit for extreme wet tyres.

Lap 38: Felipe Massa has spun off at Becketts as the conditions are now almost impossible! Cars are going off with increasing frequency.

Massa rejoins without damage and is still last in 16th place.

Lap 39: Hamilton lost his car at Club, bumping over the grass but continuing.

The Honda of Barrichello has unlapped himself as the Brazilian uses the extreme wet rubber.

Lap 39: The rain is easing as the Ferrari of Raikkonen has been off in the complex as the drivers continue on inappropriate rubber.

Lap 38: Nelson Piquet in among this heavy rain spun off a couple of laps ago and is out of the race after what was a very strong run in the Renault.

Lap 38: Hamilton has a 30 second lead as he pits for new intermediate tyres and fuel to the finish.

Lap 39: The heavy rain has subsided after that intense shower.

Lap 39: Nick Heidfeld pits the BMW from second as the rain eases and new intermediates look a good tyre choice to the finish.

Lap 39: Kimi Raikkonen has spun his Ferrari once again after a moment on the kerbs at Woodcote.

Lap 39: Barrichello on his extreme wet tyres is running laps of 1:41, while the rest of the field are running in the 1:50 bracket or higher in some cases.

Barrichello is up to seventh and charging afdter Kovalainen who is sixth.

Lap 39: Mark Webber spins off at the Abbey Chicane as the sun now comes out after the recent downpour.

Lap 40: Lewis Hamilton leads in the sunshine as the rain has stopped, leaving the circuit covered in water.

Lap 40: Barrichello has passed Kovalainen for sixth, and with pitstops happening ahead of him the Brazilian now runs fifth again.

Lap 41: Nick Heidfeld is second, with Jarno Trulli, having stopped just once running third in the Toyota.

Lap 41: Barrichello is flying and has caught Alonso easily ... and he goes through!

Barrichello up to fourth.

Lap 41: Robert Kubica has spun the BMW into the gravel and is out of the race at Abbey.

Conditions remain very tricky with intermediate tyres on the sodden track.

Lap 41: Nico Rosberg has hit the back of Timo Glock and damaged the nose of the Williams. The pair were battling over eighth position at the time.

Glock appears to be undamaged but Rosberg has to pit to replace the nose. He rejoins after a 31.5 second total pitlane time.

Lap 42: Rubens Barrichello is having a stormer on the extreme wet tyres and is through on Jarno Trulli for third.

The problem for Rubens is he may be forced to pit for intermediate rubber before the end of the race as the track dries out.

Lap 43: Lewis Hamilton leads by 46.8 seconds over Nick Heidfeld, who has Rubens Barrichello closing rapidly on his tail using the extreme wet rubber.

Lap 43: The order with 18 to go is Hamilton leading by 42 seconds from Heidfeld in second. Barrichello is third, Trulli fourth, Alonso fifth, Kovalainen sixth with his fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen having a nightmare afternoon in seventh.

Lap 44: Rubens Barrichello is up to second after flying past Heidfeld out of Club with the grip from his extreme wets.

Lap 45: Timo Glock is off the road at Club corner, spinning as he powered out of the right-hander. This hands eighth place to Kazuki Nakajima who looks like he may score points yet again.

Lap 45: Glock gets going again after that spin at Club but pits at the end of the lap. He rejoins down in 11th position.

Lap 45: Barrichello has closed Hamilton's lead to 42.7 seconds as the extreme wet rubber continues to work well on the Honda.

Rubens may face a tricky close to the event, however, with the sunshine now out and the track drying up slowly.

Lap 46: Rubens Barrichello took almost 15 seconds out of Nick Heidfeld after that overtaking move. Even if Rubens has to stop again, his pace may allow him to come out in a podium place.

Lap 46: Hamilton, Barrichello, Heidfeld, Trulli is the top four.

Fernando Alonso in fifth has Heikki Kovalainen all over the back of him, with Raikkonen five seconds behind this pair in seventh.

Lap 47: Barrichello does need to stop again and the Honda crew await him in the pit lane.

Lap 47: Kazuki Nakajima is eighth with Mark Webber ninth, Rosberg tenth, Bourdais 11th, Glock 12th and Felipe Massa still last of the remaining runners in 13th

Lap 47: Rubens takes intermediate rubber and comes out fourth on the road, just behind Trulli's Toyota.

Lap 48: Heikki Kovalainen passes Fernando Alonso for fifth place at Bridge corner.

Lap 48: Jarno Trulli pits the Toyota, elevating Barrichello's Honda to a podium place.

Lap 49: Felipe Massa spins yet again coming onto the pit straight. Massa has been off the road three or four times during the race and remains last in 13th position.

Lap 50: Both Felipe Massa and Mark Webber find the exit of Woodcote to be the trickiest point on the circuit and pirouette onto the pit straight but continue.

Lap 50: Lewis Hamilton continues with a lead of over one minute in a sensational drive from the front.

Having survived the downpour on intermediate rubber, he has just over ten laps to run to the flag.

Lap 50: Out of the race with just over 10 laps to go are:

David Coulthard and Sebastian Vettel who tangled on the first lap.
Adrian Sutil who spun wildly out of the race at Abbey.
Giancarlo Fisichella who spun off at Becketts, just missing Lewis Hamilton.
Nelson Piquet who also spun wildly out of the race approaching Abbey.
Jenson Button who retired soon after that long pitstop when the Hondas came in together.
Robert Kubica who also spun off amidst the heaviest of the rain.

... as Massa is facing the wrong way for the fifth time this afternoon. He rejoins.

Lap 51: Heikki Kovalainen has spun his McLaren in Brooklands, allowing Fernando Alonso through to fourth and Kimi Raikkonen to fifth.

Lap 52: Hamilton, Heidfeld, Barrichello, Alonso, Raikkonen, Kovalainen is the top sixth with Kazuki Nakajima now seventh.

Lap 52: Kimi Raikkonen is all over the gearbox of Fernando Alonso's Renault in a battle for fourth and vital championship points.

Lap 52: Felipe Massa pits from 13th and last position.

Lap 52: Lewis Hamilton is catching both Raikkonen and Alonso to lap the pair of them.

Lap 53: Lewis Hamilton laps Raikkonen's Ferrari.

Lap 53: Jarno Trulli is eighth, but Nico Rosberg in ninth behind him is running three seconds per lap faster than the Toyota.

Despite spending the first 20 laps at the back of the field tucked up behind Fisichella, Rosberg might end up with a point this afternoon.

Lap 53: Hamilton is also past Alonso, setting up a cracking battle between Alonso and Raikkonen for fourth.

Lap 54: Trulli responds to Rosberg's challenge as the track begins to dry out with the aid of a sunny interval. The gap between them in nine seconds, and they are both catching Nakajima in seventh.

Lap 54: Raikkonen powers out from behind the Renault on the run to Stowe and dives up the inside of Alonso for fourth to conclude another fantastic on-track battle.

Lap 55: Heikki Kovalainen is now on the back of Alonso as the McLaren looks to take fifth from the Renault.

Lap 55: Fernando Alonso is running in the 1:42s, backing up Kovalainen with Nakajima (7th) only 2.8 seconds behind these two. As we said Trulli and Rosberg are both catching the Japanese driver.

Lap 56: Five laps remain in an outstanding British Grand Prix, which Lewis Hamilton leads by a huge margin over Nick Heidfeld's BMW. Rubens Barrichello remains on for a stunning third place after excellent strategy from the Honda team and sublime driving from the Brazilian.

Lap 57: Alonso continues to hold off Kovalainen for fifth. Nakajima has now closed right up on this pair with Trulli just behind the lot of them in eighth.

Lap 57: Fernando Alonso takes the wide line out of Luffield and again holds off the McLaren behind him. Nakajima is now making it a trio fighting for fifth, but has just recieved a team radio message warning him to concentrate on Trulli behind, rather than the Alonso-Kovalainen scrap in front of him.

Lap 59: Heikki Kovalainen passes Fernando Alonso up the inside of Luffield to take over fifth place. The crowd in the complex cheers as the Finn makes the move stick.

Lap 59: Kovalainen pulls away from Alonso now as Nakajima closes right up to the Renault. Trulli in eighth has caught the pair of them as they scrap over sixth.

Lap 60: The noise is incredible as Hamilton comes through for the last time.

Lap 60: The air horns blare and the crowd cheers wildly Lewis Hamilton takes the chequred flag to score an amazing win in Britain after a simply outstanding drive from the crowd favourite.

Hamilton and his McLaren team played their tyre choice perfectly, taking new rubber just as rain came and holding on with the intermediates during a cloudburst.

His win, and a pointless day for championship rivals Massa and Kubica, put Hamilton on equal points with the championship leader with half of the season remaining.

13:43 Nick Heidfeld comes across the line a full 68.5 seconds behind Hamilton to claim second.

13:44 Kimi Raikkonen, lapped, has already finished fourth, and his points put him in the tie for the championship lead with both Massa and Hamilton, all on 48 points.

13:44 Rubens Barrichello gets that podium and finishes third after a fantastic drive in the Honda.

13:45 Heikki Kovalainen finishes fifth after a tough day in his McLaren, finally getting the better of Fernando Alonso.

Jarno Trulli takes seventh for Toyota and Kazuji Nakajima scores the final point for Williams.

13:46 Lewis Hamilton arrives in parc ferme and steps out of the car to rapturous cheering and applause from the home crowd.

13:48 Rubens Barrichello jumps out of his car, hugging his team of mechanics and engineers after a sensational drive to third in the Honda.

13:48 Nico Rosberg finished in ninth position, just 0.8 seconds away from his teammate and a point.

Mark Webber ended up tenth after the promise of that front row start. Sebastien Bourdais was 11th in the Toro Rosso, with Glock 12th, and Felipe Massa completing his nightmare in 13th and last position after five incidents.

13:49 Lewis Hamilton emerges on to the podium to a huge reaction from the crowd as the British national anthem rings out for the winning driver and constructor.

13:50 Lewis Hamilton, the home hero, receives the winners trophy for victory in the 2008 Santander British Grand Prix. He is completely delighted.

13:50 Martin Whitmarsh accepts the constructors' trophy for McLaren and holds it up to the cheering crowd.

13:51 Nick Heidfeld takes his trophy for finishing second this afternoon. He raises it aloft and salutes his BMW team.

13:51 The crowd react wildly to Rubens Barrichello taking his award for a brilliant third.

13:52 Hamilton sprays the champagne and whips up support from his home crowd.

13:53 Hamilton sprays the throng down below one last time, as the three drivers make their way towards the unilateral TV press conference.

13:55 Lewis Hamilton is shown on top of the drivers standings, in a tie with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen on 48 points.

BMW's Robert Kubica lies two points behind on 46, with Nick Heidfeld a further 10 points drift.

The title race is wide open with half of the season still to run.

"We know we don't have the best equipment at the moment but the team have been doing a great job all year and when they get an opportunity like this, they take it.

It's a little frustrating because we had a problem with the fuel rig, or else I think genuinely second place could have been possible. We've got a very good strategy group, good pit wall, good group of people so it was everybody involved - it was great."
Ross Brawn, Honda on German broadcaster Premiere

14:00 Matt Beer has the round up on a fascinating race at Silverstone:

Hamilton takes dominant home victory

14:06 We have just witnessed a fantastic Grand Prix at Silverstone, with the home favourite coming through to take the win and send the 90,000 strong crowd wild.

The race started on a wet track and never dried up during the course of the 60 laps. Lewis Hamilton made a cracking start and from fourth was challenging Heikki Kovalainen into Copse. Mark Webber was right there but spun away his front row start on the Hangar straight on the first lap.

The McLarens battled at the front for a while but Hamilton soon asserted himself and forcefully took the lead into Stowe. From that moment the Briton never looked back and won convincingly by over a minute, deftly keeping his car on the road while many others flew off into the scenery.

Further down the field there were some amazing drives. Rubens Barrichello worked his way into the top six, then took on extreme wet tyres when the heavy rain came. His pace on the full wets was amazing, running seconds per lap faster than Ferraris, Renaults and Heidfeld's BMW at one stage. He third place is fully deserved and may even have been second but for a fuel rig problem during his first pitstop, when he changed onto the extreme wets.

On the flip side, Felipe Massa had an afternoon to forget. He dropped down to the back of the pack in the early stages of the race after spinning, and was never able to recover the ground, spinnning again, and again.

Kazuki Nakajima also deserves a commendation for claiming another point today. The Japanese driver was involved in battles throughout the whole day - first with Bourdais, then later with the Toyotas and even Fernando Alonso.

But all eyes are on Lewis Hamilton after a stunning drive in the wet, which has resulted in a three-way tie at the top of the drivers' championship.

This was the 2008 British Grand Prix weekend from Silverstone. We hope you have enjoyed the commentary across the three days. The next round of the championship is in Germany in two week's time. Join us then.

  OVERVIEW BRITISH GRAND PRIX  
Race length: 60 laps
 View official live timing
  CURRENT WEATHER
Showers clearing High Temp: 18°C / 64°F
Track: Wet
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Monday 30 Jun Start GMT
 Weather Forecasts and Reports 15:00
Friday 04 Jul
 Friday Practice 08:30
Saturday 05 Jul
 Final Practice and Qualifying 08:30
Sunday 06 Jul
 Raceday at Silverstone 08:00
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Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are autosport.com's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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