Formula 1 is back after a fortnight and the teams are back across the pond after Max Verstappen’s fifth win in six races at the Canadian Grand Prix.
This weekend’s British GP at the historic Silverstone circuit is likely to be a sell-out and traditionally is one of the best-supported races on the calendar. The Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell is the first all-British driver pairing since the seven-time world champion and Jenson Button 10 years ago.
The 5.89km track features the high-speed corners Maggots, Becketts, and Chapel Curve that were introduced in 1991 with speed peaking at over 300km/h with the drivers fully committed.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll have shown admiration for the second sector while Hamilton compared driving flat-out at his home race to flying a fighter jet.
The track’s high-speed nature coupled with technical sections means the usual teams and drivers are likely to shine once again. The Red Bull has been ballistically fast and Ferrari have matched their rival’s pace on several occasions this season.
Charles Leclerc finished second to Hamilton at Silverstone last season after Britain’s tussle with Verstappen saw the Dutchman hit the tyres at 290km/h. The Monegasque driver hasn’t finished on the podium since Miami in early May and with a new power unit and no grid penalties, the Ferrari driver will be keen to get his title challenge back on track.
Verstappen starts as the favourite this weekend with the reigning world champion in stupendous form and riding high on confidence. Red Bull teammate Perez will give the Ferraris of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz something to think about, and the Mercedes duo are likely to be a touch closer to the top two teams. Hamilton and Russell will find the smooth nature of Silverstone to suit the W13 better than the previous three street circuits they raced on. The team has also brought changes to the car for Silverstone and it’s likely the reigning constructors’ champions will be very competitive this weekend. Team boss Toto Wolff offers a pragmatic stance on whether Mercedes can fight alongside Ferrari and Red Bull but keep an eye on the Brackley-based team this weekend.
Both Alpine drivers in the form of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon are in the top 10 of the drivers’ standings with several strong finishers in the last couple of races. The French team are battling McLaren for fourth spot in the constructors’ standings and that rivalry will intensify at Silverstone.