For the fouth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, Formula One returns to Silverstone’s Arena Grand Prix Circuit.
Formula 1 – The Things to Watch Out For
The Battle for 3rd – Is it even a battle this weekend?
Yesterday’s qualifying session saw Max Verstappen finish 3rd, just a tenth over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. McLaren’s Lando Norris trailed Leclerc by over 2 tenths, while FP2 leader Lance Stroll came in a tenth slower than the Brit. Ferrari’s long-run pace has looked questionable thus far this season, and with Norris trailing Verstappen by 3 tenths in Qualifying, and Stroll 4 tenths behind Verstappen, a question looms ahead of us coming into the race. Will Verstappen be cruising to the podium unchallenged after the opening laps?
Verstappen may face competition from Stroll, who has long lacked qualifying pace but demonstrated strong race pace. However, all this is dependent on Stroll being able to clear both Norris and Leclerc out of his path, minimising time lost for the Canadian, in order to mount an attack on Verstappen. Both Norris and Leclerc are known to be strong when it comes to defending a position, which could lead to the Canadian easily losing time while duelling the pair.
2009 GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg made a shock return to F1, replacing Sergio Perez, who is currently undergoing isolation, having contracted COVID-19. Hulkenberg performed admirably in practice, given his lack of experience in the car. However, the German was unable to make it into Q3 on Saturday, finishing 13th in Q2. All eyes will be on the German, and a good points finish could potentially see Hulkenberg make a full-season return to F1 in 2021..
Albon’s troubles came back to hit him again this week, with the Anglo-Thai driver struggling in Qualifying, failing to make it to Q3, while teammate Verstappen qualified 3rd in Q3. Albon also saw himself out-qualified by the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly, who he had replaced at Red Bull the previous year. Last weekend’s drive to 5th was an impressive recovery, but the Anglo-Thai driver will need to repeat that feat once more, or he could find himself under the same pressure that his predecessor Pierre Gasly came under…