British Grand Prix: Preview

Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team are back at a friendly track as they look to close the gap to Max Verstappen and Red Bull at what is going to be a very different looking race weekend.

FIA have been flirting with the idea of making changes to formula one for a while now, with many suggestions being put forward. Finally, a decision has been made to go ahead with the implementation of a Friday qualifying session, followed by a Saturday sprint race, and race proper on Sunday.

What is the new format?

Firstly, the number of practice sessions will go down to two, with the second practice session being held on Friday.

The drivers will then take to the track later on the same day to complete the standard qualifying session to determine the grid. However, the grid being determined will be for the new sprint race that will take place on Saturday. 

The sprint race is a shortened 100km race with no pit stops. It will be a hectic race where the top three finishers will be given three, two and one point, respectively.

The finishing positions from the sprint race will then determine the starting grid for the race on Sunday. The race will be the same as every other, with no changes to points. 

The sprint race format will be used at three times during the 2021 race calendar. The races are confirmed for Britain this week, and Italy (Sept 10-12), but the third race, likely to be Brazil, is yet to be confirmed. 

If the sprint race format works, it is likely to become part of every weekend, not just the three selected races this year. 

What is the circuit like?

Silverstone has been subjected to numerous layout changes over the years, yet it has always maintained its essential character as one of the fastest tracks on the F1 calendar, while historic corners like Maggotts, Becketts and Abbey provide some of the biggest challenges for racing drivers anywhere in the world.

Home sweet home

Mercedes are back on home soil after spending a miserable three races in which Red Bull dominated.

Mercedes, a British based team, have been unbeatable at Silverstone, winning seven of the last eight races.

Six of those races were won by Lewis Hamilton, who will be hoping for another victory to cut the gap at the top of the championship to Max Verstappen. The only driver to break up the Mercedes domination was Sebastian Vettel, in 2018. 

For Hamilton – the most successful driver in history at Silverstone – this race is make or break in the title race. If Verstappen wins at Silverstone, it will completely break Hamilton’s will and determination. 

Lando Norris will also be looking to make home advantage count. This will be Lando’s third time competing at the British Grand Prix, where he has finished 11th in 2019, and then fifth last year.

He will be hoping to add a fourth podium finish of the season in front of home fans, or even claim a first victory. 

A huge weekend awaits, with more racing, excitement, and maybe even a British victory.

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