After seeing his Formula One Drivers’ Championship lead cut to 10 points in Austria two weeks ago, Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to strike back with victory on home soil at this weekend’s British Grand Prix (Race: Sunday, 13:00 BST live on BBC & Sky Sports F1).
It was Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg (pictured) who was first past the chequered flag in Austria in a dominant performance that secured him his third victory in the last four races. As we approach the halfway stage of the season, a genuine title battle is now developing.
Williams made the most of their upgrade package to record their best result of the season to date, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas coming home third and fifth respectively. They were split by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, whose team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was eliminated on the first lap following a strange collision with Fernando Alonso’s McLaren.
Nico Hulkenberg finished in a strong sixth place for Force India, while Pastor Maldonado recorded his second consecutive seventh place finish for Lotus. The points positions were rounded out by Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso), Sergio Perez (Force India) and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull). An electrical problem saw off the second McLaren of Jenson Button.
Silverstone first hosted the British Grand Prix in 1948 and has been the permanent home of the event since 1987. It is a medium-to-high downforce circuit, with a number of sweeping high-speed corners that provide a strong test of aerodynamic performance and stability. It is one of the drivers’ favourite tracks.
Weather forecasts suggest that it will be a warm but cloudy weekend, with a slight possibility of rain on Saturday. Pirelli have chosen their medium and hard compound tyres for this weekend’s event, mirroring their selections from last year.
Mercedes have won both of the last two British Grand Prix and are deservedly favourites to do so again this weekend. Seven wins in the eight races so far this season, in addition to seven straight victories at the back end of last year, have clearly established them as the dominant force in Formula One.
Rosberg had the upper hand on Hamilton throughout the weekend in Austria, with only a mistake in qualifying preventing him from taking both pole position and the race victory. He has taken a large chunk out of his team-mate’s championship lead in recent races and would move to within three points if he was to finish at the head of a 1-2 on Sunday.
Rosberg won at Silverstone in 2013 but it was Hamilton who won last year’s race at a circuit at which he had previously tasted success with McLaren back in 2008. He has come home ahead of his team-mate of the time on four of the five occasions that he has finished the Grand Prix and can be fancied to dominate proceedings this weekend.
Williams have finished on the podium on each of the last two Grand Prix and travel to Silverstone confident that the Northamptonshire circuit will be another that is suited to characteristics of their car. The upgrade package they introduced in Austria further improved their downforce levels, and they should be in the hunt for another top-three finish on Sunday.
Bottas came home a couple of places behind his team-mate Massa in Austria, but he was the one who secured the podium finish in Canada and is the one who has been the marginally more consistent of the pair so far this season.
The Finnish driver recovered from 14th on the grid to finish second in an excellent drive at last year’s British Grand Prix and has a good chance of making the podium again this time out.
Force India scored their first double-points finish since the first race of the season in Austria last time out and arrive at Silverstone with hopes of obtaining another good result. The team have used a modified version of last year’s car so far this season but will bring a significant upgrade package to this weekend’s event that should provide a strong performance boost.
Hulkenberg has been the team’s lead finisher in each of the last two races, but Sergio Perez also finished in the points in Austria for his fourth points finish of the year. The Mexican driver has retired from two of the last three British Grand Prix, but he finished in a strong seventh place for Sauber back in 2011 and will mount a good top-10 challenge on Sunday.
F1 British Grand Prix Betting Tips Verdict
- Back Lewis Hamilton to take both pole position and the race victory @ 5/6 with Paddy Power.
- Bet on Valtteri Bottas to finish on the podium @ 9/2 with Bet365, Betfred or William Hill.
- Back Sergio Perez to finish in the points @ best odds of evens with Ladbrokes.