This weekend, Formula 1 rounds out its first ever triple-header at one of the most iconic tracks on the calendar, Silverstone. It was a race of mixed fortunes for some in Austria, so just how are the teams looking going into this weekend?
This race marks the end of the first triple header in Formula 1, which began in France, continued in Austria and this weekend concludes in Britain. Last week’s round in Austria was a stunning success for some teams, and a nightmare for others.
Red Bull finally claimed victory at their home circuit, with Max Verstappen taking the top step of the podium. Unfortunately for the team, Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire with an exhaust issue.
Ferrari meanwhile claimed a spot at the top of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships, with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel taking second and third respectively.
Mercedes’ race could not have gone worse, with both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton retiring due to technical issues. Though Hamilton did look set to finish, he was unlikely to take victory after the team failed to pit him under the Virtual Safety Car. He later retired on Lap 64.
Haas were likely the most ecstatic team on the grid after Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finished in fourth and fifth, taking their first double points finish of the season, as well as moving up to fifth in the Constructors’.
Force India and Sauber also took double top ten finishes, bagging a good haul of points for their 2018 campaign. Williams, Renault and Toro Rosso all came away from Austria empty handed.
This week has seen McLaren face a major shake-up, with the resignation of Eric Boullier from his position as Racing Director at McLaren, amid a restructuring of the team’s leadership.
It’s no secret the last few years have been tumultuous at best for the team, and despite hopes a switch to Renault engines would prove to be a revival, it has been a less than stellar season. Though Alonso fought to finish eighth after starting the race from the pit lane in Austria, he and teammate Stoffel Vandoorne have struggled overall throughout the year.
To this weekend, and Silverstone is no stranger to speed, with the circuit hosting its fifty-third Grand Prix and many of the teams being based within eighty miles of the track. Long, fast corners, and an additional DRS zone along the start-finish straight, are sure to create some interesting racing, and the teams have the Hard, Medium and Soft compound tyres to play with on this resurfaced circuit.
For the teams, this is sure to be a crucial race. Mercedes, and Lewis Hamilton in particular, will be keen to come back strong after Austria. Hamilton will no doubt want the win, certainly for his home fans but to also retake the lead in the Drivers’ Championship. Bottas cannot be ruled out either after a string of lost opportunities.
Ferrari and Red Bull are both also looking to do well, with Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel hoping to cement their position at the top of the title standings. However, can the Renault powered Red Bulls pull off a victory at such a power-dependant circuit?
Down the field, Renault will want a strong showing after a turbo failure sent Nico Hulkenberg’s hopes of finishing up in smoke and Carlos Sainz dropping out of the top ten. Haas will also be keen for another good performance to keep their hold on fifth in the standings.
Despite their personnel changes this week, McLaren will also want to perform well. Vandoorne certainly needs a few more points after struggling against Alonso throughout the year.
With a double points finish in Austria, Force India will be looking to replicate that result if possible in Silverstone, with only forty two points to their name this season. Toro Rosso and Sauber will also be wishing for a good race, both occupying eighth and ninth in the Constructors’ respectively.
At last we come to the British former powerhouse Williams, who only three years ago led this race for a time. Currently, the team is last in the Constructors’ Championship with a meagre four points, so a top ten finish here would be invaluable. Sergey Sirotkin remains the only driver without points so far this season.
All in all, it is sure to be a great race. With Lewis Hamilton hoping to win his fifth British Grand Prix in a row, and the Prancing Horses looking to stop him, everything’s up for grabs as the F1 circus heads to Silverstone for the 2018 British Grand Prix.