Lewis Hamilton will be looking to bounce back from a poor showing in Austria when the F1 field lines up at Silverstone this Sunday.
Well, well, we may just have a three horse race for the Drivers’ Championship this year after Valtteri Bottas managed to secure his second victory of the season at last week’s Austrian Grand Prix. Despite Bottas claiming the win, it was a rather bittersweet moment for his team, who saw their premier driver’s deficit to Sebastian Vettel at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings extended to 20 points. It’s not all bad news for Mercedes’ main man, as he’ll be racing in front of his home crowd coming weekend.
So will Hamilton bounce back at Silverstone or will Vettel extend his lead atop the Drivers’ Championship standings?
This season just seems to get better and better with Austria producing almost as much drama as Azerbaijan. The story of the weekend came quite early in the piece with Lewis Hamilton being handed a five-place grid penalty after an unscheduled gear change. This must have been daggers to the heart of Hamilton, as the Mercedes man dominated both Friday practice sessions.
So with Hamilton forced to start from eighth on the grid, it was up to the fastest qualifier, Valterri Bottas, to continue Mercedes’ dominance at the track. The Finn managed to do this although he was pushed extremely hard by the current Drivers’ Champions leader Sebastian Vettel. It actually looked like Vettel would hunt his man down on the final lap of the race but his Ferrari seemed to lose a bit of pace during the final two sectors – leaving him to settle for second.
Like, Vettel, Hamilton was on the hunt during the latter part of the race with Daniel Ricciardo the three-time world champion’s prey. And like Vettel, Hamilton was unable to chase down Ricciardo with the grinning Aussie holding on to claim his third successive podium finish while Hamilton had to settle for fourth place. Unlike Ricciardo, fellow Red Bull driver Max Verstappen had a day to forget with the Dutchman crashing out moments after the field had left the start line.
Another driver who had a bit of a disappointing day was Kimi Raikkonen, who could only muster up a fifth place finish. His ten point haul did ensure Ferrari pulled a point back on Mercedes on the Constructors standings. The Ferrari man was followed across the line by Romain Grosjean who rounded off the top six.
The rest of the top ten was made up of the two Force Indias and two Williams runners with Sergio Perez claiming seventh, Estan Ocon taking eighth, Felipe Massa claiming ninth and Lance Stroll taking the final points scoring berth.
To Win Race
Lewis Hamilton 83/100 | Sebastian Vettel 9/4 | Valterri Bottas 5/1 | Max Verstappen 16/1 | Daniel Ricciardo 20/1 | Kimi Raikonnnen 33/1 | Sergio Perez 300/1 | Fernando Alonso 500/1
The teams head for one of the most iconic race tracks this weekend; Silverstone. The track, which functioned as Royal Air Force base at the close of the Second World War, has been a has been a staple on the modern Formula One calendar since, hosting its inaugural race way back in 1987.
The total race distance for Sunday will be 306.332km with each of the 52 laps containing eighteen turns. The corners that will provide the biggest challenge to drivers will be the amalgamation of Maggots, Becketts and Chappel; this left-right-left-right-left combination will push the cars’ dexterity to their limits. The track’s two DRS zones are located at the Wellington Straight and the pit straight.
It may be summer in Britain but that doesn’t mean we’ll see clear skies. In fact, we could well be in for a wet race day as the local weather bureau are predicting a 20% chance of rainfall.
Pirelli have opted to issue the Medium, Soft and Super Soft compounds. This will be the first time that the SuperSofts make an appearance at the British Grand Prix and it will be interesting to see how many of the teams opt to start on them.
Podium Finish – Max Verstappen – Yes – 3/1
I’ve kept the tips segment rather short this week as I feel pretty confident about these three. This is a track that young Max has had a mixed relationship with, spinning off after only three laps in 2015 and then managing a second place finish last year.
I just feel Max is primed for a performance here. He’s had a few disappointing weeks, which I think will spur him on rather than hinder him. At 3/1, the Redd Bull man represents great value for a podium finish.
Fastest Qualifier & To Win Race: Lewis Hamilton 61/100 & 83/100
Okay, this is purely based on home ground advantage here but the Brit certainly produces at his home circuit, winning the last three races at Silverstone. Yes, he’s pretty short for both the win and to claim pole but you simply cannot overlook his form on this track.