Silverstone is at the heart of Britain’s motor racing industry. Eight of Formula One’s eleven teams are based within a short drive of the track, along with 4,500 other businesses servicing all forms of motorsport employing over 40,000 people.
Britain’s round of the world championship has enjoyed home success for the last two years running. another triumph for Lewis Hamilton on Sunday could be a double success as he is poised to take the lead in the drivers’ championship.
The internal war within Mercedes will still be raging into the British Grand Prix weekend, possibly with ramifications for the battle at the front. If the two drivers find themselves anywhere close together in the dying moments on Sunday, there will be a lot of gritted teeth on the pit wall.
Will the Mercedes management finally be forced to employ team orders?
Williams showed so much promise at Silverstone in 2015, leading the field for the first stint of the race until the Mercedes of Hamilton was able to undercut them.
A row over the enforcement of team orders, preventing Valterri Bottas from attacking Felipe Massa possibly would have cost them victory in a dry race. Mercedes should think about this before they go a similar route.
Although home to their fiercest rivals, Ferrari have enjoyed considerable success at Silverstone, beginning with their first world championship success 65 years ago. They’re the most successful constructor at the British Grand Prix, with 15 victories, the last of which came in 2011.
To the surprise of few, the official verdict from Pirelli on Sebastian Vettel’s race-ending tyre explosion in Austria was “debris”. The lack of any prior indication the failure was about to happen will be a concern for all, particularly after the spate of tyre blow-outs at this track three years ago.
When his car has gone the distance, Vettel has usually finished on the podium this year, and he will be eager for nothing less this weekend.
Having achieved their best finish to date in Austria, around a track that usually does not suit the Red Bull chassis and power unit combination, the team can afford to be optimistic ahead of this weekend’s race at Silverstone.
The RB12’s superb cornering will serve it well at this venue, and the comparatively short straights should minimise the disadvantage of its power unit.
Nico Hulkenberg’s front row effort promised much in Austria yet the team came away with nothing. Being based opposite the Silverstone gates, Force India will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s double points finish.
Team principal Vijay Mallya is due to make his first appearance at a race weekend this year while his prior business activities remain a focus of interest for the Indian courts.
The Formula One team will be glancing across at their double championship winning Formula E squad with a twinge of jealousy, there is a real desire in the team to return to winning ways. At present they will be lucky to score points with their current package.
Reliability issues have masked some reasonable performances from the Toro Rosso team, with a double DNF last time out. If they can make the finish in Silverstone they should be knocking on the door of the points.
The only factor that could hold them back is the ageing Ferrari 2015 power unit, which will only lose ground as the other manufacturers continue to develop.
As they are the only team yet to score a point in 2016, Sauber need to turn their fortunes on track around soon. Missing next week’s test can’t help matters, though the team have indicated they are making progress with their financial problems. They will have Ferrari’s new power unit too.
Jenson Button has admitted that a podium finish at Silverstone is on his “to-do” list. But despite his fantastic performance in Austria this will be a difficult dream to realise this year, though this track should be one of the more competitive venues for McLaren.
A stunning run by Pascal Wehrlein to a single point in Austria shows that Manor are a “serious team” and will be keen to build some momentum for the rest of their season
The high-speed Silverstone circuit will not play to their strengths and are likely to struggle, especially through the downforce-reliant Maggotts-Becketts complex.
Returning to a more traditional circuit will benefit the Haas team and Romain Grosjean expects to use lessons learned from Barcelona testing to have a good baseline setup from the beginning.
There will be no aerodynamic updates for Haas this weekend, but a Ferrari power unit update (which the works team introduced in will help them on this high speed track.
2016 driver form
|Driver||Grid average||Race average||Race best||Race worst||Classified|
|Carlos Sainz Jnr||11.56||8.71||6||12||7/9|
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