The Formula 1 World Championship arrives this weekend (12th -14th of July) at what is the most legendary track in the Championship calendar. The Silverstone circuit, birthplace of the speciality, hosted the first-ever F1 race in 1950.
The hero from Stevenage and absolute sovereign of the championship with 31 points over second-classified teammate Valtteri Bottas, could break this weekend the Silverstone victories’ record.
Ferrari, for their part, is gonna have to deploy their heavy weaponry in a track that is traditionally less favourable to the SF90. The boys from Red Bull, on the other hand, arrive in Britain in great spirits after Max Verstappen‘s feat at Spielberg. They want to be in the top three and, who knows, perhaps repeat the stunt of two weeks ago.
Regarding best of the rest McLaren, they want for either Carlos Sainz or Lando Norris, for whom this is his home race, to come in the points. Their greatest rivals are Renault and a re-vitalised Alfa Romeo. The team from Hinwil’s main objective will be precisely that, to stop the Woking boys on their tracks.
Mercedes to win again
Mercedes are hoping to take their ninth victory of the year after their somewhat tepid performance in Austria. In order to do that they had better resolve the cooling issues they suffered form in Styria, where the heat and the altitude had a negative impact on the German engines.
For the 2019 F1 British GP, however, we can expect some mild weather, averaging the 20 degrees Celsius, a factor that could play in favour of Mercedes. Their other ally will be the track’s layout itself. The aerodynamic efficiency of the W10 is perfectly suited to its ultra-fast turns.
The sheer power of the machines, Ferrari’s strength, is not that crucial at Silverstone. History is also on Mercedes’ side. Since the arrival of the hybrid era in 2013, Mercedes has won five of the last six races in Silverstone. The overwhelming superiority of the Silver Arrows on British soil has a name, and that name is Lewis Hamilton.
The Briton has conquered five editions of his home race and this Sunday he could become the F1 driver with the most victories in Britain. If he does so, he would overtake current record holders (with five victories each) Jim Clark and Alain Prost. Hamilton needs a new challenge being as he is 31 and 71 points ahead of Bottas & Verstappen and respectively.
His teammate Bottas, on the other hand, who hasn’t had a win since Azerbaijan, needs to wake up asap. Still, the way things are going, he is the only possible contender to Hamilton for the title.
Ferrari: Damage control
Austria was another chapter in Ferrari’s 2019 book of misfortunes. One again, destiny brought them to the edge of victory only to deny it in the end. Despite being consistently the fastest driver over the weekend, Leclerc fell to the feet of an outstanding Max Verstappen during the last lap.
His box neighbour Vettel was fifth in Spielberg, not being able to take part in the Q3 after an engine problem. Maranello’s chief, Mattia Binotto, has said that the SF90 is never quite at its best in Silverstone.
The weekend is going to be most likely a damage control exercise for Ferrari. But in F1 anything can happen. One just has to look at last year when Vettel broke Hamilton’s four-year winning strike in Silverstone.
Red Bull to keep up the good work
Milton Keynes´ squad will be a threat to Mercedes and particularly to Ferrari at the British GP 2019. They demonstrated so in Austria where Max Verstappen’s performance left everyone gobsmacked.
The Dutchman is having a fabulous season. His mature, fast and very efficient driving style is squeezing all the juice out of the #33. His teammate Pierre Gasly, on the other hand, has fallen well behind.
Red Bull is ready to do it all again this weekend; shame that the Honda RB15 engine is still a few hp short.
McLaren, full of energy
The Woking team is optimistic and full of energy. The orange cars have grown with every race. Their drivers, Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, who will remain together in 2020, are performing to an outstanding level.
The team has consolidated its position as the fourth team of the grid. The fast corners of Silverstone will be another test for the MCL34. They will try and sneak in the Q3 and lead the midfield.
Images: Mercedes, F1.com