A preview of the 2017 British Grand Prix

This year’s British Grand Prix is the second of three races that take place before the summer break kicks off. Taking place at the Silverstone Circuit, the British GP has been a regular feature on the F1 calendar ever since its inception in 1950.

The Grand Prix alternated between Silverstone and Aintree from 1955-1962. From 1963-1986, the race alternated between Silverstone and Brands Hatch with Silverstone hosting in odd numbered years and Brands Hatch in even numbered years. Since 1987, the race has been permanently held at Silverstone. It’s a circuit built on an abandoned World War 2 air strip, where the first ever race took place in 1948, and was termed as the mutton grand prix because a large number of cattle died due to collisions with the cars. The circuit under went some changes in configuration which resulted in its present ultra fast layout. The most famous being the fast and flowing ‘esses’ in the final sector, and the wide track with plenty of run-off areas.

Both Alain Prost and Jim Clark have won the race 5 times each followed by Nigel Mansell and Lewis Hamilton who have won four times.

Valtteri Bottas in the previous race reignited his quest for the title with the second win of his season and career. Like his first win in Russia, he again faced pressure from championship leader Sebastian Vettel. Vettel now has a 20 point advantage over Hamilton, who is a further 15 points ahead of Bottas. Another win for Bottas, and he will be right in it. After the incident in Baku between Vettel and Hamilton, it looks like Hamilton has been affected more by it than Vettel. He endured a tough weekend in Austria after a gearbox penalty meant he started 8th on the grid and finished only 4th. Vettel, meanwhile secured another fine 2nd place and would have won the race if there had been more laps remaining at the end. Hamilton needs to get his head in it and concentrate or he is in danger of falling further back in the points.

It’s a home race for quite a many teams: Red Bull, Force India, Williams, and McLaren.

Red Bull have picked up 5 podiums in the last 5 races  with Daniel Ricciardo. The RB13 is very fast in the corners, but is hampered by the Renault engine. However, with Renault too bringing upgrades, it’s only a matter of 3-4 races before the Bulls are also in the fight for victories. McLaren’s race this weekend doesn’t look to be promising as Alonso is set to rack up more penalties for an engine change. The spec 3 engine that was brought to Austria developed an MGU-H leak and so had to be replaced with the earlier spec 2 engine. So, as the team is putting in a new MGU-H, penalties will be incurred. Alonso is the sole points scorer for the team this season, and Vandoorne needs to step up his game.

Williams endured a tough qualifying last time out in Austria, when both cars were knocked out in Q1, but still managed to finish in the points. They’re locked in a tight battle with Force India for 4th place and another double points finish will do them good.

Force India have made the most out of their package this season. They’ve made it a habit of punching above their weight. The car runs well on every track and another solid points finish here shouldn’t be a problem.

Just three more grands prix are set to be staged at the Silverstone circuit, with the BRDC opting to terminate their clause after 2019 due to recurring losses. This means that we’ll possibly have a race at another circuit from 2020 on wards, or a possible buyout of Silverstone.

An F1 live event on the streets of London was held last night, raising hopes of a grand prix on the streets of the English capital, after the government allowed motor sport events to be conducted on the streets of London. With not many options left for the British Grand Prix, we could do with a race on the streets of London.

 

 

 

 

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