Ben gears up for the British GP

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BEN Edwards is expecting the unexpected once again as he prepares to lead the BBC’s commentary on the Formula One British Grand Prix for the first time.

The energetic voice of F1 on terrestial TV has endured a memorable first season for the BBC, with an unpredictable campaign throwing up seven different winners prior to Fernando Alonso’s triumph in Valencia last time out.

And with rain forecast at Silverstone on Sunday, more drama could be thrown up in one of the most open seasons in history.

“Being the British Grand Prix, it’s a big deal for me,” said Edwards, from Wortham, on the A143 between Bury St Edmunds and Diss.

“It’s our home event and there’s such a fantastic atmosphere there every year — and you know that’s that many more people tuning in as a result.

“It’s something that I’m really looking forward to.”

Edwards — who has also worked for ESPN and Eurosport among others — admitted he was privileged to have made his BBC debut during such an unpredictable year that has already seen Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Pastor Maldonado, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton take to the top step of the podium.

“I go into every race not knowing who is going to win it,” he said. “It’s been very eciting to report on.

“I couldn’t have asked for a more exciting season to be involved in — in each and every race there has been something to get excited about.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s event at Silverstone — which gets under way with practice sessions one and two today — Edwards added: “I think with the weather throwing in some unpredictability it’s going to be tough.

“The McLarens and Red Bulls should both be strong and Red Bull found something that made their cars a little quicker in Valencia, which has made all the teams a bit nervous.

“I’m hoping Lotus will win a race this year, but I’m not sure that race will be Silverstone because they tend to perform better when the conditions are warmer.”

Despite starting with their slowest car for a number of years, Ferrari have jumped to the top of the Driver’s World Championship thanks to the expertise of double champion Alonso.

His 111 points puts him at the top, ahead of Webber (91), Hamilton (88), Vettel (85), Rosberg (75) and Kimi Raikkonen (73), with race winners Button (49) and Maldonando (29) down in eighth and 10th place in the championship respectively.