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A very English summer welcomes Formula One back to its spiritual home this weekend for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, as the pursuit of upsetting Red Bull’s streak of six straight wins continues. Be sure to tune in here on The Roar from 11:50pm (AEST) for live blog coverage.
Reigning world champion Max Verstappen returns to the 5.8km historic circuit which was one of the key flashpoints in his title pursuit in 2021, having been a victim in that first lap incident with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Having a 46-point lead in the standings over Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, the Dutchman is definitely in a position to not have to risk anything – particularly if the weather mirrors the wet conditions from the changeable qualifying.
The wet was able to equalise Red Bull and Ferrari during qualifying, seeing Carlos Sainz ahead of his 150th grand prix claim a maiden pole position ahead of former Toro Rosso teammate Verstappen. Charles Leclerc made a mistake, similar to Verstappen on his final run in Q3 to end up third joining Perez on the second row.
In the limited dry running, it was evident that Red Bull still have the superior race pace. A hungry Verstappen keen to redeem his 2021 result, may even lead at the end of the first lap.
The 52-lap race will be touch and go when it comes to race strategy and whether the harder compounds in Pirelli’s range can withstand a one-stopper. As known, the high-speed corners at Silverstone can be quite demanding on the tyres.
Eight-time British Grand Prix winner in Hamilton will be in the hunt for a podium on home soil from fifth, leading fellow Brit Lando Norris who starred for McLaren – while teammate Daniel Ricciardo was eliminated in Q2. George Russell in his first home race for Mercedes too, was only eighth-fastest, but still holds the enviable record of finishing in the top-five at every race this season.
Star performances from Guanyu Zhou and Nicholas Latifi also see them starting in the top ten, however with faster drivers in the likes of Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas behind – it might be a struggle to keep them at bay.
With the rich vein of form for Verstappen and Red Bull, it is hard to go past that title-winning combo to win the race and their long-run pace still beats the Ferraris. Can the Scuderia engineer a special victory?
Lights out: 12am (AEST)
Venue: Silverstone, Northamptonshire
TV: Fox Sports
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
1. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), 2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull), 3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), 4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull), 5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 6. Lando Norris (McLaren), 7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine), 8. George Russell (Mercedes), 9. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo), 10. Nicholas Latifi (Williams), 11. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), 12. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), 13. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), 14. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), 15. Esteban Ocon (Alpine), 17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas), 18. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), 19. Mick Schumacher (Haas), 20. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)