It’s time for the British Grand Prix, one of the most loved races on the Formula One calendar.
While Max Verstappen enters the race as the favourite to win, hope is not all lost for a British victory with Hamilton, Russell and Norris all out to prove a point.
After Max Verstappen took victory last time out in Austria, as he has done on all but two races this season, he extended his lead at the top of the driver’s standings over his team-mate Sergio Perez, the only other driver to win a race this season.
Verstappen himself would be leading the Constructor’s Championship as Red Bull looks firm favourites to defend their crown this season, but with only three points separating the Silverstone-based Aston Martin and the all-British driver line-up of Mercedes, things could get interesting this weekend.
With McLaren being partnered with Google, and the promotion of the Google Chrome brand being fairly prominent on their car, it was only right that the brands teamed up for a special livery at the team’s home race.
While the idea of a chrome livery excited many fans and while many are happy with the end result, some were suggesting that they needed more chrome on the car.
The team have said that they wanted to keep their papaya identity and grow it a bit like how Ferrari is associated with Red. But it’s only a one-off and it’s something a little bit different for the packed Silverstone crowd expected this weekend.
Sticking with McLaren and apart from the new livery, there is much to be excited about as the new upgrades used on Lando Norris’ car at the Austrian Grand Prix appeared to work as he qualified on the second row and finished the race in third, once post-race penalties were applied.
In the sprint, the finished the shootout in third but dropped to ninth at the end of the sprint, but still ahead of his team-mate Piastri, who is getting the upgrade at the British Grand Prix.
If these upgrades can be seen to work here at Silverstone and subsequent races in Hungary and Belgium, it will set the team up nicely to recover from the challenging start to the season and put them in a better place going into 2024.
The British Grand Prix has had its fair share of major incidents in the past few years, from Zhou Gunayu’s horror crash last season, to Verstappen ending up in the wall at Copse. You could almost say that a safety car is pretty much a guarantee.
In fact, according to Lights Out Blog, the safety car has made an appearance at 16 races at Silverstone since 1998 and has been used at every race since 2013.
The virtual safety car was used in the 2015 and 2016 races, with the most times the safety car was on track in one year being twice, which has occurred five times, including three of the previous five races.
Last year’s race was red-flagged, as was the 2022 edition with the race behind halted on four other previous occasions.
There is a record that could be equalled this weekend at Silverstone if Red Bull continues their winning streak.
They are currently joint second on the list of most consecutive F1 race wins for a team, with Mercedes reaching the 10-in-a-row mark on three occasions, and Ferrari once back in 2002.
McLaren is the outright holder with 11, dating back to their winning run between the 1988 Brazilian Grand Prix and the Belgian Grand Prix later in the year. Their drivers at the time were Ayrton Senna and Alan Prost.
Silverstone is one of those circuits that is instantly recognisable to motorsport fans from around the world. Built on the site of a World War II airfield, the first British Grand Prix took place in 1948 at the circuit, although the actual layout has undergone several changes over the years. The track also hosted the very first Formula One Grand Prix in 1950.
The most recent changes were in 2010 when the Silverstone Wing became the new pitlane and the Hamilton Straight now being where the race starts and finishes.
With a track length of 5.891km or 3.66 miles, the drivers will compete over 52 laps for not only the British GP winner’s trophy, the winner will also receive the Royal Automobile Club trophy which Carlos Sainz lifted last year.
He joined a list that included the likes of Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and local heroes such as David Coulthard, Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell, Jackie Stewart and Stirling Moss.