The British Grand Prix’s future may be uncertain but this year’s race is set to be a thriller. As the world championship heats up, will Sunday bring success for the Silver Arrows, victory for Vettel, or a podium-topping performance from someone else?
Formula 1 – Silverstone Contract Controversies and Tough Times for Hamilton
The biggest talking point about the British F1 GP recently has been whether or not the race will continue to be held at Silverstone after 2019. Last month, Lewis Hamilton told the press how important he thought it was for there to be a British race on the F1 calendar – although he didn’t express an opinion about the track that should be used. “There has got to be something in Britain,” he told the Daily Mail. “It’s the most important race of the year.”
This weekend, however, he’ll be firmly focussed on the present. He’s in second place on the 2017 driver standings table, twenty points behind Sebastian Vettel.
His Mercedes team mate, Valtteri Bottas, is just fifteen points behind him. The Finnish driver claimed second place in Baku, then seized another motorsports trophy for his mantelpiece by winning in Austria last weekend. Hamilton only managed to finish fifth in what turned out to be an incident-packed race in Azerbaijan. He also failed to overcome a five-place grid penalty at the Red Bull Ring, only improving enough to finish fourth.
Following the Austrian GP, the Brit publicly praised his team mate. “Valtteri did a fantastic job, so he thoroughly deserved to win,” he told ESPN. “When you look at the results, he’s also had a DNF as well. He’s generally had a better season, I would say, so far.”
The British Grand Prix – The Key Contenders
Things may not have been going Hamilton’s way recently but Mercedes are confident that’s about to change. Speaking to the Standard this week, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff, said that it was “about time to fight back and hopefully that is going to happen at Silverstone.”
Hamilton’s record at the British GP certainly suggests he is likely to win; he won it in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Vettel, in contrast, has only triumphed there once, in 2009, while Bottas has never won the trophy.
All three will be battling hard to be the first across the line, however, and they aren’t the only ones in with the chance of a podium place. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, is currently in fourth place in the driver standings, despite having had two DNFs. The Australian has finished on the podium in the last five races, winning in Azerbaijan.
Max Verstappen, Ricciardo’s team mate has also already proven himself capable of winning races. He’s had a difficult start to the season, with five DNFs in nine races, but did secure third place in China.
Kimi Raikkonen’s recent results have been disappointing, causing Sergio Marchionne, Ferrari’s president, to accuse him of being “a bit of a laggard,” according to Sky Sports. The Finn hasn’t won the British GP since 2007, but could he produce a surprise result?
The only other driver to have made it onto the podium this year is Lance Stroll, who gained third place in Baku. It would be a huge shock if he were to win on Sunday, but stranger things have happened in Formula 1.
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