Silverstone sets up Hamilton vs Rosberg and Verstappen vs Ricciardo

2016 British Grand Prix pre-race analysis

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While Mercedes have produced by far the quickest car on-track this season we head into round ten yet to see what would happen if the teams to drivers went head-to-head from the start.

We have not yet reached the end of lap one this season with the two silver cars occupying the top two positions. It almost happened in Spain, but everyone remembers how that worked out…

Tomorrow’s race is set to continue the showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg which ended in such explosive fashion just one week ago. Providing, of course, they stay ahead at the start: last year they occupied the front row but were mugged by the fast-starting Williams pair.

British GP qualifying in pictures
The long run towards the sharp right-hander at Village can be a tricky one for the pole sitter to defend, particularly through the opening corners Abbey and Farm. “They’re not flat-out with the heavy fuel and on cold tyres after the start,” explained Rosberg as he weighed up his chances of passing pole sitter Hamilton on Sunday. “It’s quite a mission and it’s good fun and a good opportunity into turn three to attack.”

Could Red Bull make life difficult for Mercedes at the start? If any car can handle a high-speed sweep on a high fuel load it’s surely the RB12, though Max Verstappen was bitten by these quick corners in exactly these circumstances 12 months ago.

“I think Mercedes is a bit too strong for us,” said Verstappen, “but we’ll try to keep up”. As in Austria cool temperatures are expected again for race day. That’s likely to suit the W07s which already have a one-second advantage over a single lap.

Ricciardo, who has been out-qualified by his team mate for the first time this year, arrived at Silverstone suggesting he would be concentrating on improving his race pace, an area where Verstappen has excellent. The battle between the Red Bulls could be just as spicy as that between the Mercedes.

Inevitably the silver cars will be the focus of attention following their latest coming-together. After qualifying Hamilton continued to insist the stricter ‘rules of engagement’ they’ve been given will make no difference.

“We’re going to race as we always do. Of course what we have been told before this weekend we are aware of and conscious of, so it will be at the back of our minds for sure. But that does not mean that we can’t continue to drive hard as we have done. So, tomorrow, I think it starts the same.”

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Pirelli believes the optimum strategy for the race will be to run two stints on softs and one on mediums. However Force India appear to be considering something different, and go into the race with no new tyres for Nico Hulkenberg and just one set for Sergio Perez. Are they going to attempt a single-stop strategy with a long run on the hards?

It seems Pirelli are keen to discourage that. They recommend the hard tyre be used for no more than 26 laps – two less than the mediums – due to concerns over graining.

However, perhaps mindful of Sebastian Vettel’s tyre failure last week, they stress this “do not represent or constitute a guaranteed minimum number of laps for each compound” and add “it is the responsibility of each team to define its own race strategies based on its own wear data”.

Qualifying times in full


Q2 (vs Q1)

Q3 (vs Q2)
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’30.7391’29.243 (-1.496)1’29.287 (+0.044)
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’30.7241’29.970 (-0.754)1’29.606 (-0.364)
3Max VerstappenRed Bull1’31.3051’30.697 (-0.608)1’30.313 (-0.384)
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’31.6841’31.319 (-0.365)1’30.618 (-0.701)
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’31.3261’31.385 (+0.059)1’30.881 (-0.504)
6Sebastian VettelFerrari1’31.6061’30.711 (-0.895)1’31.490 (+0.779)
7Valtteri BottasWilliams1’31.9131’31.478 (-0.435)1’31.557 (+0.079)
8Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso1’32.1151’31.708 (-0.407)1’31.989 (+0.281)
9Nico HulkenbergForce India1’32.3491’31.770 (-0.579)1’31.920 (+0.150)
10Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1’32.2811’31.740 (-0.541)1’31.687 (-0.053)
11Sergio PerezForce India1’32.3361’31.875 (-0.461)
12Felipe MassaWilliams1’32.1461’32.002 (-0.144)
13Romain GrosjeanHaas1’32.2831’32.050 (-0.233)
14Esteban GutierrezHaas1’32.2371’32.241 (+0.004)
15Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1’32.5531’32.306 (-0.247)
16Kevin MagnussenRenault1’32.7291’37.060 (+4.331)
17Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’32.788
18Jolyon PalmerRenault1’32.905
19Rio HaryantoManor1’33.098
20Pascal WehrleinManor1’33.151
21Felipe NasrSauber1’33.544
22Marcus EricssonSauber

Sector times

DriverSector 1Sector 2Sector 3
Lewis Hamilton28.269 (1)36.304 (1)24.580 (1)
Nico Rosberg28.284 (2)36.636 (2)24.671 (2)
Max Verstappen28.660 (4)36.702 (3)24.905 (4)
Daniel Ricciardo28.740 (5)36.704 (4)25.065 (6)
Kimi Raikkonen28.744 (6)37.050 (6)25.000 (5)
Sebastian Vettel28.638 (3)36.980 (5)24.785 (3)
Valtteri Bottas28.815 (7)37.543 (10)25.081 (7)
Carlos Sainz Jnr29.010 (11)37.399 (7)25.225 (12)
Nico Hulkenberg28.933 (9)37.612 (12)25.181 (10)
Fernando Alonso28.943 (10)37.440 (9)25.234 (13)
Sergio Perez29.040 (12)37.717 (13)25.095 (8)
Felipe Massa28.932 (8)37.793 (14)25.165 (9)
Romain Grosjean29.069 (13)37.436 (8)25.287 (14)
Esteban Gutierrez29.127 (16)37.796 (15)25.185 (11)
Daniil Kvyat29.105 (14)37.548 (11)25.389 (15)
Kevin Magnussen29.186 (17)37.915 (16)25.592 (18)
Jenson Button29.110 (15)37.956 (17)25.722 (20)
Jolyon Palmer29.307 (20)38.184 (20)25.414 (16)
Rio Haryanto29.218 (19)38.152 (19)25.513 (17)
Pascal Wehrlein29.187 (18)38.331 (21)25.633 (19)
Felipe Nasr29.529 (21)38.095 (18)25.905 (21)

Speed trap

PosDriverCarEngineSpeed (kph/mph)Gap
1Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes329.1 (204.5)
2Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes328.3 (204.0)-0.8
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrariFerrari328.0 (203.8)-1.1
4Pascal WehrleinManorMercedes327.9 (203.7)-1.2
5Sebastian VettelFerrariFerrari327.2 (203.3)-1.9
6Rio HaryantoManorMercedes326.9 (203.1)-2.2
7Romain GrosjeanHaasFerrari324.7 (201.8)-4.4
8Esteban GutierrezHaasFerrari324.2 (201.4)-4.9
9Valtteri BottasWilliamsMercedes324.2 (201.4)-4.9
10Daniil KvyatToro RossoFerrari324.1 (201.4)-5.0
11Felipe NasrSauberFerrari323.5 (201.0)-5.6
12Nico HulkenbergForce IndiaMercedes323.5 (201.0)-5.6
13Felipe MassaWilliamsMercedes323.3 (200.9)-5.8
14Sergio PerezForce IndiaMercedes323.2 (200.8)-5.9
15Max VerstappenRed BullTAG Heuer322.3 (200.3)-6.8
16Daniel RicciardoRed BullTAG Heuer320.0 (198.8)-9.1
17Carlos Sainz JnrToro RossoFerrari319.4 (198.5)-9.7
18Jolyon PalmerRenaultRenault318.6 (198.0)-10.5
19Kevin MagnussenRenaultRenault318.5 (197.9)-10.6
20Fernando AlonsoMcLarenHonda316.5 (196.7)-12.6
21Jenson ButtonMcLarenHonda314.5 (195.4)-14.6

Remaining tyres for the race

Lewis Hamilton102003
Nico Rosberg012003
Sebastian Vettel101004
Kimi Raikkonen101004
Felipe Massa012013
Valtteri Bottas012003
Daniel Ricciardo102003
Max Verstappen102003
Nico Hulkenberg010203
Sergio Perez010213
Kevin Magnussen102013
Jolyon Palmer102013
Daniil Kvyat101014
Carlos Sainz Jnr101004
Marcus Ericsson102040
Felipe Nasr102022
Fernando Alonso102003
Jenson Button102031
Pascal Wehrlein102013
Rio Haryanto102013
Romain Grosjean101014
Esteban Gutierrez101014

Over to you

Are we going to get another showdown between the Mercedes drivers? Which of the Red Bulls will emerge on top?

And what can Vettel and Jenson Button salvage from their lowly starting positions?

Share your views on the British Grand Prix in the comments.

2016 British Grand Prix

Browse all 2016 British Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Silverstone sets up Hamilton vs Rosberg and Verstappen vs Ricciardo”

  1. Verstappen has had the measure of Ricciardo in races since day one, imagine what he can do when starting ahead.

    (Now I’ve said that, probably Ricciardo beats Verstappen in the race)

    1. Come again? Bar Monaco, they’ve been extremely close, I wouldn’t exactly call that ‘having the measure of.’

      1. Close? After de pitstops in Austria VES was 21 Laps in a row quicker than RIC. Build up a big gap.

        In Baku the same thing. In the 1st part of the race VES got stuck in traffic, once he was out of it he was consistantly quicker than RIC and ended up only 1 sec behind RIC.

        In Spain and Canada he also beat RIC. Dont know the laptimes anymore. But for someone who is not very experienced and new in the team, that is majorly impressive. Besides from that, VES is very easy on the tyres and because of that his laptimes are so consistent.

        RIC has a battle on his hands, especially if the Red Bull will start winning again. RIC Really wants a shot at the titel, but if that car is capable of it, I doubt if he will be the Bull fighting for it. It’s up to RIC to answer. Beating VES today is something he needs to do.

      2. The impression is Max was lucky 1sr race but was right there on race pace and now he is getting used to the car is pulling clear on race performance. Quali will be interesting was this a 1 off or is Max going to start getting on top there as well?

        This driver battle has been out of the spotlight due to Merc but maybe the most interesting battle as it may well be Ricciardo is the big name Max treads on on his way to the top. He looks like he has the potential to be the greatest since Schumacher.

      3. @daveF1, nah, they’ve not been extremely close

    2. Monaco wasnt too flash…..binned it three times and we all know who shouldve won.

    3. Agree with you. Poor Ricciardo fans can even accept truth. Few years back when he was beating Vettel, they were all saying how great he was and would win championship in a good car. Now if RBR got a good car Verstappan would win. But I expect fight to be close.

  2. Looking forward to Vettel his strategy.

    1. you think that coming from behind they will refrain from messing it up to lose out on a podium this time @xtwl?

      1. @bascb Mainly because he has one less medium. Do you think they’ll go soft/soft/medium or perhaps start on the soft and go with the hard as the only driver.

    2. Yeah, he is looking good for best after Mercs.

      1. I wouldn’t say that he is looking that good – he is starting in the middle of the pack due to his gearbox penalty (moving him into 11th place), so he has a higher risk of being caught up in a start line clash. Furthermore, the practise sessions seemed to suggest that Ferrari were slower than Red Bull on their long tyre runs, more noticeably so when looking at the medium tyres.

        The layout of this circuit makes it hard to pass other drivers, even if Vettel might have a slight advantage in the speed traps, and Vettel doesn’t have a strategic tyre advantage either – all of his soft tyres are used sets and have a similar mileage to those in front. Massa, in fact, has a slight advantage over Vettel in that case – he has one new set of soft tyres in reserve – so he might be slightly harder for Vettel to catch. I think that regaining 6th place is probably the best he’ll be able to achieve in a normal race – I expect Kimi and the two Red Bull drivers will simply be too far down the road by the time that Vettel makes it back through the traffic.

  3. I don’t agree. It’s going to rain so battle is completely open.
    Rosberg doesn’t seem to be good in rain.

    1. Simple but good point. Forecast at AccuWeather predict the highest chance of rain for the day for the first hour of the race. (56%)

      1. @atticus-2 In my experience AccuWeather do not live up to their name.

        1. @keithcollantine, by way of comparison, the Met Office currently predict that there is a 50% chance of light rain from 11am to midday, but only 5-10% during the race itself. Even if it does rain in the hour before the race, the track itself will probably dry out before the start of the race.

    2. Whilst generally Hamilton seems to have the edge over Rosberg in the rain when all things are equal, if either driver is struggling with tyre temperature issues then it’s anyone’s game. Lest we forget how Rosberg hunted down Hamilton as the rain began to fall in Silverstone last year.

      Remaining tyre life comes into play in changeable conditions, and Hamilton took a lot out of his Q2 tyres. I don’t have the data but I’d imagine if rain fell during the first stint he’d lose temperature in his tyres quicker than Rosberg would as he’d have less rubber left to retain the heat.

  4. One stop or two stops?

    1. Two. In the dry.

  5. first time ever a pole lap is slower than a q2 lap? (in the dry)

    1. Not really. Happened in Baku as well.

  6. Max was 2 sec faster then Lewis on intermediates.

Comments are closed.