Formula 1 returns to one of its most iconic circuits this weekend for the British Grand Prix. For multiple drivers and over half the teams, Silverstone is their home track and perhaps the spiritual home of F1. Last year’s British Grand Prix saw a massive flashpoint between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in what proved to be a season made for TV drama.
But so much has changed in the year since. Max Verstappen now dominates the standings while Red Bull looks on course to take their first Constructors’ Title in nine years. And it’s not Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes they are battling, but a resurgent Ferrari. While they’ve drifted recently, Silverstone should be a track Charles Leclerc sees success. Mercedes enters with a pair of British drivers for the first time and hoping new upgrades see them challenging not only for the podium but the top step.
Earlier this week reports broke that ESPN will secure a new contract with F1 at the end of this season. The growing popularity in America is expected to see the annual fee jump from $5 million to $75 million.
Where Things Stand
Verstappen (175) controlled the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago, extending his lead to 46 points. The gap grew thanks to his teammate’s breakdown (Sergio Perez, 129) and the nearest rivals behind the Red Bull pair — Charles Leclerc (126) and George Russell (111) — finishing off the podium. With Austria up next, a Verstappen stronghold, Ferrari and in particular Leclerc need a big response at Silverstone on Sunday.
While Ferrari technically gained in Montreal by three points thanks to Perez’s issues, Red Bull maintained a solid lead, 304 to 228. Mercedes continued to occupy third rather comfortably (188), with the interesting battle back in 4th. McLaren’s (65) top four spot looks under considerable threat this season with Alpine’s (57) impressive straight-line speed and Alfa Romeo’s (51) new and productive driver pair.
The 5.89 km (3.66-mile) circuit surrounds the old Royal Air Force Silverstone airfield and has been the home of British racing for over 70 years. First used as the opening Grand Prix of the 1950 season, the current version of the track features 18 turns and two DRS zones. Known for its high-speed corners and multiple passing opportunities, Silverstone often offers up a thrilling race. Lewis Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix a record eight times and is one of 10 English drivers to win the home event.
How To Watch (all times ET)
- British GP Preview Show: Thursday 6/30 – 1:00 pm – ESPN3/WatchESPN
- Practice 1 – Friday 7/1 – 7:55 am – ESPNU/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
- Practice 2 – Friday 7/1 – 10:55 am – ESPNU/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
- Practice 3 – Saturday 7/2 – 6:55 am – ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
- Qualifying – Saturday 7/2 – 9:55 am – ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
- Grand Prix Sunday (Pre-race Show) – Sunday 7/3 – 8:30 am – ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
- Grand Prix Race – Sunday 7/3 – 9:55 am – ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
DraftKings Sportsbook is offering odds on the race. Max Verstappen remains the overall favorite at -105 after winning five of the last six Grand Prix events. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc follows at +220, but then rather than the Red Bull or Ferrari teammates, it’s Lewis Hamilton at +900. Back at his home track boosts his odds beyond what the Mercedes has been able to deliver so far this year. If you are looking for longer odds, but an inspiring story, could George Russell (+1,200) or Lando Norris (+10,000) pick up their first-ever F1 wins at the British Grand Prix?
What to Watch For
- Silverstone’s smooth surface was repaved a few years ago and the fast corners will give Mercedes the first chance to retest their upgraded car floor since Barcelona. They are bringing several upgrades this weekend which should improve their bouncing issues and increase their pace. For a team used to winning consistently, it’s been a difficult season, and how they would love to return to the front at the British Grand Prix.
- Can anyone stop Red Bull? Seven wins from nine Grand Prix events. When they’ve finished a race, they haven’t been out of the top four. And while Perez’s issue last time out raises Red Bull’s reliability issues for the first time since Australia, at the moment it seems only they can prevent a potential double-championship.
- Ferrari needs to halt their slide. Silverstone’s track characteristics should play to Ferrari’s strengths, much like Barcelona. After three straight rounds of errors and failures from the Italian side – Spain (Leclerc retirement), Monaco (pit strategy blunders costing them the 1-2), & Baku (another Leclerc retirement) – they began to regain their footing in Montreal (2nd and 5th). It’s time for a full response to reignite the driver and team championships.
- Lando Norris is still searching for his first F1 victory. After finishing 6th last season in the Drivers’ Championship, McLaren has not provided a consistent ride in this new era of regulations. Norris’ best F1 finish at Silverstone was 4th last season, but he won the event back in 2017 as part of his F3 Championship season. Finishing well outside the points in Montreal (15th), Lando will be hoping for a home bounce on Sunday.
- While Alpine finished a distant 5th last season, based on potential alone they would easily land in 4th ahead of McLaren. The Alonso-Ocon duo have resulted in 12 top ten finishes from a possible 18. With a multi-time World Champ and race-winner, along with the top F1 prospect in Oscar Piastri, Alpine’s future looks bright.
- Could Alfa Romeo end up as the surprise team of the season? Last year the Italian team finished in 9th place with just 13 points. They surpassed that by the fourth round of the season thanks to a strong car and a wise decision to reshuffle their driver lineup. Valtteri Bottas’ experience and Zhou Guanyu’s impressive runs for a rookie have Alfa Romeo on pace for their best finish in a decade.