Best of British

SILVERSTONE-BOUND: Josh Webster, pictured in Spain in the GP3 Series, which is to join up with Formula One for this weekend's British Grand Prix
SILVERSTONE-BOUND: Josh Webster, pictured in Spain in the GP3 Series, which is to join up with Formula One for this weekend's British Grand Prix

Josh Webster is bubbling with anticipation as he prepares to take part in one of the country’s biggest annual sporting events this weekend.

The teenager from Mickfield, near Stowmarket, will join more than 100,000 British motorsport fans on their yearly pilgrimage to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix (GP).

But rather than watch from the stands, Webster will be racing in front of one of the most passionate racing crowds in the world as he warms up the fans for the Formula One (F1) races by taking part in the fifth and sixth rounds of the GP3 Series.

“I’m very lucky to be able to say I’m racing at the British Grand Prix,” said the former European karting champion, who was a spectator at the 2012 British GP.

“It should be quite cool — I’m really looking forward to it.”

Webster added: “The British Grand Prix is one of the biggest races and you get some of the biggest crowds there out of all the grand prix — it’s going to be a good experience.”

The Status Grand Prix driver, who is backed by the Nine Group, hopes home advantage will also pay off as he looks to gain his first points in an international series.

“If we do well in qualifying for Silverstone, we should go well,” he said. “I’d like to get top 12 in qualifying and then I’d have a good chance to make good moves up the order.”

Webster’s qualifying is at 9.45am tomorrow, with the first race at 4.20pm on the same day and the second race at 8.25am on Sunday.

While the 19-year-old is preparing for his racing action in the GP3 Series, Wortham resident Ben Edwards will be working for the BBC on their coverage of the F1.

Commentator Edwards, who will be joined by 13-time race winner David Coulthard to describe the action on BBC1, said: “The British Grand Prix is a huge event for the BBC and all British race fans. It’s our home event and the BBC tends to go to town on it.

“There will be some pretty amazing features so, for everybody, there is definitely an added buzz about working there.

“It’s got a huge heritage and the history of Silverstone means a lot — it was the scene of the first Ferrari win and goes right back to the start of the World Championship.”

Ferrari have gone on to become the biggest name in F1 since that day, winning 16 Constructors’ Championships and 15 Drivers’ Championships — more than any other team on both counts — and Edwards believes they are the team who can push championship-leading Red Bull the closest for a race win this weekend.

“Historically, Ferrari have always done pretty well at Silverstone, but the Red Bull is the class car,” added Edwards.

“It’s a crucial time in the championship with the British and German Grand Prix a week apart,” he said. “If Ferrari and Lotus are going to be able to put pressure on Vettel then they have got to respond now.”

One surprise omission from the championship race this year is the under-performing McLaren.

“They’ve got no chance of the championship,” he said. “Their only hope is to get a freak result.”

The Pirelli tyres have created lots of headlines during the 2013 season, but Edwards believes it is more to do with the sport’s politics than racing.

“The tyres have been a huge talking point and it sometimes gets a bit too carried away,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’ve got what we’ve got.

“There is a lot of political manoeuvring and the teams will drop comments into the press to try and further their game.”

n Watch all three practice sessions, qualifying and the race from the British Grand Prix live on the BBC from today.