Inspiration for these PrixViews is sometimes tricky to come by, especially when you are in the mist of a 5-race, 8-week run and you are trying desperately to think outside the box.
Thankfully, there is always the Mercedes team and their wonderful pairing of Hamilton and Rosberg to assist – their second coming together in just a handful of races is more than an ample excuse to have a first look at the fantasy-led team-mate battles ahead of fantastic British GP! This week, I’ll be concentrating on the top runners:
Mercedes – Hamilton (£23m) v Rosberg (20m) – This should be a close run fight, with only 9 points separating them in the Championship and Rosberg’s impressive 5 race wins so far this term. Plus, Hamilton’s third world title in 2015 means he costs a hefty Wehrlein (i.e. £3m) more than his German colleague. However, the fantasy statistics simply don’t lie and Hamilton is the easy winner in this war so far, with 92 points more than Rosberg in 2016 and a value per million spent of 13.35 for the Britain compared to 10.75 for Rosberg. Ironically, it is Rosberg that needs to turn it around for the rest of this season. WINNER: LEWIS HAMILTON
Ferrari – Vettel (£18m) v Raikkonen (13m) – Now, this is a battle. Level on championship points, Vettel takes the edge in the fantasy stakes as far as points hauls go with a small margin of 142 to 134 over the Finn. However, this comes at a hefty Grosjean (£5m) more meaning that Raikkonen clocks in at significantly better value, 2.42 points per million more than the German (10.31 to 7.89). Long-term it is a difficult fight to call but at the cheaper price, Kimi just grabs the win, though he’ll probably have a doze and drop it fairly shortly! WINNER: KIMI RAIKKONEN
Red Bull – Ricciardo (£14m) v Verstappen (£8m) – Unsurprisingly, the early-season switch between Verstappen and Kyvat has thrown an anomaly or two into the statistics. On paper, the wonderkid should take this all day, trailing the Aussie by just 14 points overall but at almost half the cost and having spent the first few races in the sister car. However, Ricciardo has been let down by his team at least twice to deny him potential race wins and deserves the plaudits he has received. My head says go for Verstappen over Ricciardo all-day long for your race team and put that £6m saving to good use elsewhere. My heart says give that smile a chance. Head wins. WINNER: Max Verstappen
Williams – Bottas (£16m) v Massa (14m) – It is difficult to get enthusiastic about this one, both are having underwhelming seasons in an under-performing car. Neither are particularly shining with Bottas edging both the value stakes (8.56 per million compared to 7.5 for the Brazilian) despite being £2m more expensive, whilst also leading the points race with his total of 137 being 22 points more than his team-mate. In the end, the Finn should nick it, but for a man that has been tipped for a top drive he really needs to be showing more and therefore I’m sitting on the fence with this one. DRAW (hint: neither!)
Other Tips – Lewis Hamilton took a great win at his home track last season, rebounding from a bad start and surviving late rain to take the win from Rosberg. Tensions are likely to be running high and therefore the brave amongst you may wish to avoid the obvious 1-2 Mercedes finish as, after all, there have only be two in 2016 and none in the last five! Ferrari struggled all weekend in 2015 despite nicking a podium but, along with Red Bull, will be keen to improve this time out. McLaren, Haas and Manor all made strong showings in Austria and will be keen to mix up the order again at Silverstone.
Weather is likely to be in play again this weekend with, at the time of writing, rain predicted for race day itself. In a further twist, Pirelli have mixed-up the tyre allocations for Silverstone with the three hardest compounds being the choice for teams on this high-speed, demanding circuit. Safety cars are a frequent feature of the British GP despite some good run-off areas, with 5 of the last 10 races featuring the silver Mercedes and 5 periods in the last 3 races alone. If you want to go risky, think rain and 3 plus stops might come into play.
Finally, can poor Kyvat continue his horrible 2016 and deliver the first retirement? He doesn’t appear a bad choice on paper. Enjoy Silverstone and let’s hope this brilliant 2016 season continues to deliver.