The Formula 1 circuit returns to Silverstone on Sunday, where the series has been competing since 1950 at a track that was originally a RAF bomber base back in World War II. The permanent home of the British Grand Prix since 1987, Silverstone is considered the home track for many of the competitors on the grid — McLaren, Williams, Haas, Aston Martin, Alpine, Red Bull and even Mercedes — in an area nicknamed Britain’s Motorsport Valley.
The track has undergone many updates over its history, and what was once considered a high-speed track with many elevation changes now also boasts some very technical corners, which is perhaps the reason Lewis Hamilton compared racing at Silverstone to flying a fighter jet.
How to watch the F1 Grand Prix of Britain
- Date: Sunday, July 3
- Location: Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
- Time: 9.55 a.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
- Stream: fuboTV (try free)
What to watch for
Drivers will run 52 laps on the 18-turn, 3.66-mile circuit, covering a distance of 190.346 miles. There will be only two DRS Zones (with detection at the entrance of Turn 3, called “Village,” activation at Turn 5 known as “Aintree,” and detection at Turn 11, or “Maggotts,” with activation at Turn 14 called “Chapel”).
A one-stop strategy has worked best in recent races at Silverstone, and Pirelli will be bringing its three hardest compounds to the track with C1 “whites” being the hardest of those, C2 “yellows” the medium tire and C3 “reds” the softest. In that scenario, teams would race on the tires they qualified on medium “yellows” then switch to the hard “whites.” That would open the pit window around Lap 18 or so. With the cars heavier on a full fuel load, is unlikely teams will start on the soft “reds” at the start.
As for weather, which played no small part at Montreal, some rain is expected for Friday and Saturday, but Sunday Race Day is expected to be sunny and bright. There is the possibility that teams start on the hard “whites,” especially if the weather forecast holds out as that would make for a hotter track temperature, which plays to the “whites” well.
On the back foot
Ferrari: In an interview with Formula 1’s official website, Charles Leclerc said he views the next four races as crucial for Ferrari to challenge for silverware in 2022. Leclerc has put the reliability issues the team has recently suffered to pushing the limits on the car, and he knows that a balance must be found between reaching for the top and overreaching. “There have been some reliability problems that we need to fix as quickly as possible,” Leclerc admitted. “On that, again, I trust fully the team to get on top of these things as quickly as it can be done.”
Running in place
Alpine: Fernando Alonso (ninth place) and Esteban Ocon (sixth) had a great weekend in Canada, but those results may be harder to replicate at Silverstone. They are likely to fall down the grid a bit, but be solidly in the middle pack.
Best foot forward
AlphaTauri: The big news came off the track, as AlphaTauri and Pierre Gasly came to terms on a contract that will keep him in the seat through 2023. With that out of the way, Gasly and AlphaTauri can be fully focused on attacking the remainder of the season. As for teammate Yuki Tsunoda, he likely can’t wait to get the images from Montreal out of his mind, as he had a lost weekend and finished 22nd, completing only 47 of the 70 laps.
Mercedes GP: A third (Hamilton) and fourth (George Russell) for Mercedes have them brimming with confidence ahead of Silverstone, where a technical upgrade is promised. It is also thought that the smooth Silverstone surface — with few bumps — will help Mercedes and its porpoising issues. Will they be enough to keep Hamilton and Russell in the top half of the field? Stay tuned.
Red Bull Racing: It is no surprise that Max Verstappen is the favorite to win at Silverstone. His dominance of late has led many to believe he will take his first official Silverstone pole on Saturday, which would be amazing as Red Bull Racing has not captured the pole at Silverstone since 2011. In case you are wondering, 20 of 56 Silverstone winners have done so starting on the pole, so it’s not the be all, end all.