THE BLOG

Why Silverstone Will Always Have a Place in My Heart

28/06/2013 17:13 BST | Updated 28/08/2013 10:12 BST

I write this from the famous Northamptonshire circuit of Silverstone. Geographically speaking though, I'm actually in Buckinghamshire, as the vast circuit straddles two counties. It's June, but the rain is pouring down. Outside, a cluster of umbrellas and rain-sodden macs bobs eagerly around at the paddock perimeter to catch a glimpse of one of 22 heroes who haven't even arrived yet. It's mad but somehow it makes perfect sense, and it feels like coming home. It can only be the annual occupation of the British Grand Prix.

I've been coming here since I was a baby, and Silverstone has a special place in my heart, my life, my memories and my career. My father also raced here, and my son has raced here; the Hill family are virtually resident (in whatever county that may be!) I won here in 1994 and it remains one of the best moments of my career.

My memories of that day are a bit of a blur, but some things I'll never forget... like sitting out on the grass signing autographs until the sun went down with a big smile on my face. My former team Williams are approaching their 600th Grand Prix; something that will make this year's Grand Prix even more special for me having won the driver's and team championship with them.

One part of that day in 1994 that I was oblivious to at the time, but has been recounted to me ever since, was the famous voice of my friend commentator Murray Walker cheering me home. Murray recently announced that he's fighting cancer, so this weekend hundreds of thousands of us gathered en masse at his spiritual home will be wishing him a full and speedy recovery.

There is another stalwart of the F1 community who has been in the news this week and who will be receiving a special cheer at Silverstone this weekend. Mark Webber announced on Thursday that this will be his last season with Red Bull Racing and that as of next year he will join Porsche in the LMP1 category to race in the World Endurance Championships - which includes the epic Le Mans 24 hour race. He'll join the likes of my friend and Sky F1 colleague Anthony Davidson in this fantastic series. And yet as full of praise has he has been for Porsche, he's remained measured in his summation of Red Bull. One can't help but feel he fell out of love with his team of six seasons after the debacle in Malaysia when despite Team Orders demanding that the two Red Bulls occupying first and second place didn't race, a disobedient Vettel took the win from within Webber's grasp. I don't blame Vettel - he's a racing driver. It's in the job description. But for sportsman Webber, perhaps this was the last straw.

Webber's announcement has set into motion a whispered chain reaction amongst the F1 grid. A sort of stealth musical chairs has ensued to see who might occupy this most coveted of seats - and the desirable spot he may vacate in turn. But it's a double-edged sword, for three-time champion Sebastian Vettel holds the number one spot in the team. Names in the mix include former world champ Kimi 'Iceman' Raikkonen who has admitted to 'small talks' with Red Bull - but who plays second fiddle to no man. It's going to be fascinating.

Formula 1 provides theatre, drama and special effects like no other sport can. The audience loves a hero, loves a romance, loves a villain. Despite a cast of Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen, Poetic justice demands a British winner at the British Grand Prix: enter stage left Lewis Hamilton, who is hunting for his first win in his maiden season at Mercedes. Many fans would like to see Jenson Button triumph on his home stage for the first time, but even JB himself knows this is unlikely in his underperforming McLaren. The forward-thinkers want to see in-form Paul Di Resta realise his potential and snatch a win in his best ever season in the mid-grid Force India. And Max Chilton, in his rookie year, will have the home crowd behind him even if the Marussia beneath him is one of the less competitive in the field. I'll leave you to cast the pantomime villain, indeed, if there actually is one, because after all, they're just young guys doing what they love and putting on a great show for us.

I can't wait. See you there.

The British Grand Prix is live on Sky Sports F1 HD from 28-30 June. Only with Sky Sports can you watch 116 live Barclays Premier League matches, the Lions Tour, the Ashes, Formula 1 and US Open tennis in HD and on mobile and tablet devices

Friday 28 June

9:45am - British GP Practice One - Live!

11:55am - GP2 Practice - Live!

1:45pm - British GP Practice Two - Live!

3:55pm - GP2 Qualifying - Live!

5pm - Team Principals' Press Conference.

6pm - The F1 Show - Live!

7pm - British GP Practice One replay.

9:10pm - The F1 Show.

10:10pm - British GP Practice Two replay.

Saturday 29 June

8:45am - GP3 Qualifying - Live!

9:45am - British GP Practice Three - Live!

12pm - British GP Qualifying - Live!

2:35pm - GP2 Feature Race - Live!

4:15pm - GP3 Race One - Live!

7:15pm - British GP Qualifying replay.

Sunday 30 June

11.30am - The 2013 British GP - Live!