After suffering disappointment in Austria last time out, Lewis Hamilton will be desperate to get back to winning ways on home soil at this weekend’s British Grand Prix (Race: Sunday, 9.10am ET).
Hamilton has secured victory for Mercedes in each of the last four Grand Prix at Silverstone, having previously won there with McLaren in 2008. He would become the most successful driver in the history of the British Grand Prix with another triumph on Sunday.
It is a result he needs after a disastrous race for Mercedes in Austria. They locked out the front row in qualifying, but things all went wrong for them on the Sunday. Valtteri Bottas retired with a hydraulics failure. A slow reaction as others pitted under the virtual safety car saw Hamilton lose the lead, and he later retired himself due to fuel pressure problems.
Max Verstappen was the immediate beneficiary, securing his first win of the season for Red Bull, but Mercedes also lost ground to Ferrari in both championships. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel came home second and third, which saw the Italian team move ahead of Mercedes in the constructors’ standings, and Vettel overtake Hamilton in the drivers’ championship.
Hamilton beat Vettel to last year’s title and this year’s championship is increasingly looking like a straight fight between them. While Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull have each won three races apiece, Hamilton and Vettel are over 40 points clear of their nearest challenger at the top of the standings.
Mercedes are keen to bounce back strongly this weekend and have reasons to be confident of having the quickest car at Silverstone. The engine upgrade they introduced a couple of weeks ago produced a dominant victory for Hamilton in France. On pace alone the win was again there for the taking in Austria before things went awry. A fifth consecutive British Grand Prix win should be within Hamilton’s reach.
In Austria, Haas had their best weekend since coming into F1 in 2016. Romain Grosjean came home fourth, which represented their best individual result, and he was followed by teammate Kevin Magnussen in fifth for their best collective result.
Before the French Grand Prix two weeks ago, Haas said that they expected to be competitive in all three of the races in France, Austria and Great Britain. In France, Magnussen finished fifth after both drivers had qualified in the top 10. Austria yielded the aforementioned bounty of points and now their attention turns to the British Grand Prix.
Haas have not scored at Silverstone in either of their previous two attempts, but Grosjean did sneak into the top 10 in qualifying last year. They also have a much quicker package in 2018. Their haul of 49 points is already more than they accumulated over the entirety of last season. The team had only achieved three top-six finishes prior to this year; this season, Magnussen alone has grabbed four.
With a rapid car underneath him, Magnussen can be fancied to secure his fifth such finish on Sunday.
Force India enjoyed a strong weekend in Austria, with Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez coming home sixth and seventh, ahead of the McLaren of Fernando Alonso and the two Saubers of Charles LeClerc and Marcus Ericsson.
It was the team’s first double points finish of the season and one that saw them make up ground on both McLaren and Renault in the ever-tightening battle for fourth and lower in the constructors’ championship. Just 20 points separate Renault in fourth from Force India in seventh, while seven points span Haas, McLaren and Force India in fifth to seventh.
Force India may not quite have the same outright pace they have shown over the last couple of seasons, in consecutive fourth-place finishes in the championship, but they have two good drivers and regularly get their strategy calls right. They have secured double points finishes in each of the last three and four of their last five British Grand Prix and have a good chance of doing so again this weekend.
Our Preview’s F1 British Grand Prix Picks & Predictions Verdict
Taking a look at the odds on offer with the top online US sportsbooks, these are the British Grand Prix predictions and betting picks of this preview:
- Back Lewis Hamilton to win @ +100 (evens) with Intertops.
- Bet on Kevin Magnussen to finish in the top six @ +250 with 5Dimes.
- Back Force India to secure a double points finish (ie: both drivers to finish in the top 10) @ +400 with Bovada.