British GP Preview6 min read
Our F1 Expert is tipping Lewis Hamilton to make history and win a 4th consecutive British Grand Prix..
Video Replay Controversy
Valtteri Bottas went on to to win the Austrian Grand Prix, but not without a little controversy. Both Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo both thought he had jumped the start, something that seemed to be backed up by video replays. However, the false start system did not pick this up and he was able to finish the race atop the podium.
Further down the grid Lewis Hamilton started in 8th, despite qualifying 3rd due to a 5 place grid penalty. Hamilton went on to finish in 4th, setting a new race lap record along the way. This has again got the F1 world calling for an overhaul of the driver penalty system. Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff has been quoted as saying, “I always want the one who is the fastest to be able to win the race, so I believe technical failures should not so severely penalise the drivers.” This is a sentiment that many, including myself, agree with; a technical failure is the team’s issue and so shouldn’t this affect the constructor’s championship as opposed to the driver’s?
Nonetheless we have to put all this behind us as we move into the iconic British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone.
So, what can we expect from the British Grand Prix this weekend?
Firstly, expect plenty of talk surrounding Silverstone’s decision to activate a break clause in it’s contract with F1;, meaning, unless a new contract is agreed, 2019 will be the last British Grand Prix to be hosted at Silversone.
Silverstone has been home to the British GP every year since 1987…
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 11, 2017
Hamilton on the cusp of history
Lewis Hamilton has won the last 3 British Grand Prix, if he wins this weekend he’ll match the achievements of Jim Clark and Juan Manuel Fangio who both managed 4 consecutive home race wins. Despite Mercedes going conservative on their tyre choice for the weekend, only 6 sets of super sifts for both drivers compared to Ferrari’s 9 sets apiece, the Mercedes team knows how to win around Silverstone and barring technical difficulties seem likely to take both of the top steps on the podium.
In the last two races Sebastian Vettel has managed to increase his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton, however the German has only won once at Silverstone, back in 2009. Although another good performance is expected, the 3rd step on the podium could well be as much as he can obtain this weekend.
This will leave Daniel Ricciardo, who has finished in the top 3 in the last 5 races, off the podium. This is a prediction that I truly hope is incorrect. Having the ever smiling Aussie do a shoey on the podium has become a disgusting highlight of the race weekend. His teammate, Max Verstappen, has not enjoyed quite so much success of late; having failed to finish in his last 3 races and dropping to 7th in the driver’s championship. However Verstappen can go into this weekend confident in the knowledge that in last year’s race he finished 2nd, and so will be hopeful of a points haul this weekend.
Points Finish for Palmer?
Finally I’m hoping another home driver, Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, can find his way into the points for the first time this season. It’s widely thought that Palmer’s seat is under pressure and so a good result is badly needed. Palmer has come tantalisingly close to a points finish of recent, finishing just one place out of the points paying positions in 11th in 3 of the last 4 races.
Action gets underway from Silverstone with FP1 starting at 9am Friday morning live on Sky Sports F1, qualifying starting at 1pm on Saturday and the race taking place on Sunday at 1pm.