It’s coming home! No, not football, we’re talking about F1. The tenth round of the season kicks off this weekend at the legendary Silverstone circuit.
Will Lewis Hamilton take a historic victory? Will Ferrari capitalise on their momentum? And what will happen in the midfield?
Here are your reasons to watch all the British Grand Prix action this weekend!
Can anyone stop Lewis Hamilton at his home race? He’s excelled here in recent years, taking pole in four of the last five Silverstone races and winning every single British Grand Prix since 2014. He’s scored 66 more points at Silverstone than any other driver has at the British Grand Prix in their career. So it’s a slam-dunk pole and victory for Lewis this weekend, right?
Well… maybe not. Things haven’t been rosy at Mercedes recently with reliability issues seeing both cars retiring from the Austrian Grand Prix. The team are worried about potential grid penalties this weekend, with Valtteri Bottas seeming more likely to be demoted on the grid than his team-mate. Mercedes are yet to have a trouble-free weekend since introducing their newly updated engine package at the French Grand Prix.
In addition to that, there has been a bit of a home race curse in F1 recently. In Monaco, Charles Leclerc crashed out of his home event. In Canada, Canadian Lance Stroll was out on the first lap, and a similar fate met Frenchmen Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon at the French Grand Prix. Will Hamilton avoid the curse to take a historic sixth British Grand Prix victory on what could be the biggest British sporting weekend of the year?
Can Red Bull do the double?
The home curse certainly didn’t affect Red Bull last weekend as Max Verstappen stormed to an emphatic victory on his team’s home soil. Team Principal Christian Horner remains adamant that his team remain in the title hunt and has suggested this week that Red Bull could even be in the lead of the championship without the reliability problems they’ve suffered so far this season. Red Bull’s next challenge is clear – to become the first team to reach four wins in 2018.
Verstappen ended Mercedes’ four-season long stronghold at the Austrian track. Mercedes have also had a firm grasp on the spoils at Silverstone for the past four seasons. Will lightning strike twice this weekend for Red Bull?
Ferrari on a mission
First in the queue to spoil Lewis Hamilton’s home party will be the new championship leader, Sebastian Vettel.
We said at the start of the triple-header that momentum throughout the three weeks could be critical. Mercedes faltered last time out in Austria and head into the British Grand Prix weekend wary of the issues which put both of their cars out of the last race.
Ferrari, meanwhile, head to Silverstone leading both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. They come here armed with a new floor which, if successful, is designed to improve performance in high-speed corners such as the ones seen at Silverstone.
Can the Scuderia capitalise on their form and pull out a further advantage on their title rivals?
The midfield battle
The midfield battle intensified in Austria. Renault recorded their first non-score of the year as Haas, Force India and McLaren closed in.
Haas is riding high having achieved their best ever result last weekend in Austria. Their 22 point haul launched them up to fifth in the standings, five points ahead of McLaren and a further two clear of Force India.
Neither of the Haas drivers has scored a point at the British Grand Prix since their début seasons. Local team Force India, whose factory is just a stone’s throw away from the circuit, celebrated their strongest showing of the year so far last time out in Austria too, with both drivers finishing in the points.
Will they be able to leapfrog McLaren, or even catch Haas, at the British Grand Prix?
All change at McLaren
The main talking point this weekend is likely to be one of the midfield teams, namely McLaren. Eric Boullier has announced his resignation from the team, as Gil de Ferran steps into the new role of Sporting Director.
While McLaren has more points so far this season than they scored in total in 2017, Zak Brown pointed out in a statement that the performance of the 2018 car hasn’t met expectations and that the restructuring marks the beginning of a ‘process of change’. He’ll be fielding plenty of interesting questions in Friday’s Press Conference and throughout the weekend.
Meanwhile, on track, the battle between Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne in Qualifying will be interesting. Alonso has beaten the Belgian in all of the last fourteen Qualifying sessions, but Silverstone was the first of three tracks where Vandoorne won the Saturday battle last season.
Who’ll come out on top this weekend?
Happy Birthday, Silverstone!
It’s a milestone year for Silverstone in 2018, as the circuit celebrates its 70th anniversary. There’ll be plenty of special events and car parades to mark the event throughout what could be the penultimate F1 event at the track.
In the run-up to the 2017 British Grand Prix, Silverstone announced that they would no longer be holding the race after the 2019 event. After the initial outrage, news about the future of the historic event has been sparse, though Chase Carey and Sean Bratches both seem keen to keep the event on the calendar.
Will we hear positive news about the future of the British Grand Prix as Silverstone celebrates its 70th year?
The 2018 British Grand Prix gets underway at 2:10pm BST on Sunday. In the UK, coverage is live on both Channel 4 and Sky Sports F1.