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Formula 1 Preview: British Grand Prix

Written by Marcus Woodhouse, Edited by Meghana Sree

Credit - Lars Baron/Getty Images

To the delight of fans worldwide, F1 returns this weekend to the deeply historic Silverstone Circuit - a place in which the drivers feel truly at home. Having played host to the very first Formula One Grand Prix, it has been a stalwart on the calendar ever since, and for good reason. We can only hope for yet another thriller of a race on Sunday.

Circuit Guide

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The drivers will start their engines on the Hamilton Straight, before trying to maintain their speed through Abbey and the twisty run down to Village. If they can emerge unscathed, then the first major overtaking opportunity will be there to greet them, as their DRS (Drag Reduction System) can be utilised on the Wellington Straight. Once the overtake has been made, the driver will have to keep it clean through Brooklands and Luffield in order to capture a scintillating speed to take through Copse and into the electrifying turns of Maggotts and Becketts. The Hangar Straight quickly follows, where the drivers can feel the power of the DRS once more, before this hair-raising lap finishes up with the famous corners of Stowe, Vale, and Club.

Weekend Format

Unlike in recent years, the British Grand Prix is running the standard F1 weekend format, following the sprint format in place last weekend at the Red Bull Ring.

Schedule (in BST)

Practice 1 - Friday, 12:30 pm

Practice 2 - Friday, 16:00 pm

Practice 3 - Saturday, 11:30 am

Qualifying - Saturday, 15:00 pm

Race - Sunday, 15:00 pm

Weather Forecast

Throughout the weekend temperatures look to be set high, although the unpredictability of British weather should always be taken into account. However, there are moderate possibilities of rain for both qualifying and Sunday’s race, so there’s every chance we could see a repeat of the legendary wet weather races here at Silverstone; such as Lewis Hamilton’s storming victory in 2008 when others around him faltered.

Talking Points

  • McLaren to run a special chrome livery, continuing their 60th anniversary celebrations at their home race.

  • Williams to run a “striking” new livery to pay homage to their British heritage, in commemoration of their upcoming 800th Grand Prix.

  • Pirelli to introduce a new slick tyre spec in response to underestimated loads this season, having been tested at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this year.

Silverstone in Years Gone By

Credit: Klemantaski Collection/Getty Images

Ever since Giuseppe Farina claimed victory here back in 1950, great races have been abundant, including the battle between Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet in 1987, with the British driver making a daring move for the lead to send the home crowd into pandemonium. Additionally, drama is never far away from Silverstone, such as when Damon Hill collided with Michael Schumacher in 1995, knocking the two title contenders out of the race. Plus, who can forget the absolute theatre of the 2021 British Grand Prix, when a heavily controversial collision between fierce rivals, Hamilton and Verstappen, resulted in the Dutchman being sent to the medical centre as the home hero received all the jubilation of the British fans.

Last Race Recap

Last weekend, we travelled to Austria to see the cars battle it out at the Red Bull Ring, and the spectacle did not disappoint. There was drama from the get-go, as Sergio Perez and George Russell both failed to make it into Q3 on Friday. Saturday was a different story though, as an entertaining sprint saw Max Verstappen take maximum points in fluctuating conditions, while the battle for points left fans glued to their screens. Lastly, the Grand Prix race was rife with drama and action, despite an impervious display from Verstappen out in front. The quartet of Hamilton, Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz, and Perez provided some great racing action as they vied for a spot on the podium, before post-race penalties for track limits shook up the order somewhat.

Drivers to Watch

Credit: Frank Augstein/Getty Images

Aside from the seeming inevitability of a Verstappen victory, there are some drivers whose past performances and form here stand out from the crowd.

Charles Leclerc - Can his fortunes reverse?

The Monegasque driver has had rotten luck this season, coupled with some poor performances, and this weekend could be the perfect opportunity to salvage his season. His pace has always been one of the strongest around here, and it would be brave to bet against him repeating such performances on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton - Home Hero

Although Mercedes’ struggles have persisted this season, much as we saw last weekend in Austria, this is Hamilton’s playground. He is comfortably the most successful driver to ever race here, with eight British Grand Prix victories to his name. Although the win was out of reach for him last year, he still claimed a podium in dramatic fashion, to the delight of his adoring fans.

Aside from Hamilton, the only other drivers on the grid to have tasted victory at Silverstone are Fernando Alonso with two wins, as well as Verstappen and Sainz with one apiece. However the home advantage can never be counted out, so George Russell and even Norris could still find themselves in contention for the win. Of course, Perez could always outperform his teammate in that rocket ship of a Red Bull too.

Marcus’ Predictions

Anything but a win for Verstappen would be difficult to imagine, but I’m envisioning a three-way battle for the lead between him, Hamilton, and Leclerc at some stages of the race at least. I predict that Perez’s streak of qualifying catastrophes will end, but a difficult race will see him slip down the order, paving the way for Norris and Alonso to battle it out for fourth. I also think that Williams will have a strong showing, with Alex Albon being the one to challenge for points. In any case, the race looks set to be a thriller so let me know your predictions in the comments below, and enjoy the British Grand Prix this weekend!

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