Formula 1 returns to Silverstone, once more on the Arena Grand Prix Circuit after an action packed race last Sunday. The 2020 Britsh Grand Prix saw a chaotic ending, with drivers encountering various issues with tyres, and with both categories running softer, and less durable compounds this weekend, it could prove to be an exciting race to watch…
Formula 1 – Things to Watch Out for:
Lewis Hamilton crossed the line on Sunday in epic fashion, with 3 Tyres and a trail of sparks in his wake. His teammate Valtteri Bottas, was not so lucky after the duo had been pushing each other throughout the race, with Bottas eventually finishing down in 11th from 2nd as a result of the puncture. Bottas was not the only driver to lose positions as a result of a puncture, with Carlos Sainz Jnr also being another victim.
The British Grand Prix saw drivers run the harder C1, C2 and C3 tyres. This weekend, however, drivers will be running the softer C2, C3 and C4 tyres. This could give drivers a challenge during the race when trying to manage the tyres….
The Battle for 3rd (& Points in the top 10) on Sunday
Last weekend saw Max Verstappen in 3rd for most of the race, before Bottas received a puncture, promoting Verstappen for 2nd and Leclerc to 3rd. Racing Point had been seen as a podium contender throughout the weekend, only to falter in the race with Hulkenberg failing to take the start, and Stroll falling to 9th at the end of the race. McLaren also demonstrated pace last weekend, with Lando Norris coming home 5th.
This weekend, expect a close fight from Red Bull, Racing Point, McLaren, and possibly Ferrari over that final podium spot…
Ferrari & Leclerc
Charles Leclerc made it onto the podium last weekend, and managed to qualify 4th for Ferrari. However, Leclerc would be the only driver driving a Ferrari powered car to break into the Top 6, with teammate Vettel 10th, while the remaining Ferrari powered cars failed to break into Q2.
Leclerc revealed that Ferrari had opted for a low downforce setup in a bid to negate their top speed disadvantage, which led to Leclerc comfortably running in the top-five runners throughout the weekend. Vettel was nowhere near Leclerc throughout the weekend once more, and while another podium for Ferrari is unlikely this weekend, there will be much attention placed on Leclerc, to see how far he can bring the SF1000 up the grid on Saturday & Sunday.
Alex Albon’s streak of torrid weekends continued last week, with him being involved in a collision with Kevin Magnussen that triggered the first Safety Car Deployment. This weekend presents yet another opportunity for Albon to shine once more, and without a doubt, many eyes will be watching him in the Red Bull garage, including that of Helmut Marko, who had promoted him to Red Bull nearly a year ago…
It is unsurprising that the pressure is mounting on Albon, and he needs to pick up the pace quickly, or he could find himself back at AlphaTauri (formerly Toro Rosso)…
After Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID-19 last Thursday, numerous names were tipped to be replacing him at Racing Point. With “Primary” Mercedes Reserve Driver Stoffel Vandoorne away from the track due to duties with the Mercedes EQ Formula E Team, Mercedes’ other reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez had originally been expected to fill the seat, until he was unable to acquire a Super License, caught out by a new 2020 rule. As such, Racing Point made a last-minute call to Nico Hulkenburg, who had previously driven for the team, prior to his stint at Renault.
The German driver performed admirably across the weekend, considering he had not driven a 2020 Formula One car prior to Free Practice, and his physical fitness had declined since his last Grand Prix outing in Abu Dhabi last year. While he competed in all sessions prior to the race, barring Q3, he was unable to take the start of the race due to an issue with the car.
Last weekend saw him beaten by Stroll in every session, an outcome which was expected, given the large differences between the Renault RS19 and Racing Point RP20, alongside the pointers mentioned earlier. This weekend is yet another opportunity for Hulkenberg to impress the paddock, and to make a second return to F1, and many eyes will undoubtedly be placed upon him in each session.