Ah yes, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Perhaps the least glamorous of all the Grands Prix on the Formula 1 circuit – and certainly the drizzliest – but one of its best tracks and a fixture on the British sporting calendar.
This year it’s all eyes on Lewis Hamilton, the snapchatting enfant terrible of the F1 pack.
For a variety of reasons, Hamilton tends to find his way into the spotlight, most recently as a result of his failure to show up for a pre-race promotional event in London. Hamilton was the only driver who chose to absent himself, preferring to spend the time on holidays, leading to a critical response from pundits and the sport’s administrators.
This comes hot on the heels of the latest escalation of his feud with his equally petulant rival, Sebastian Vettel. So enraged was Vettel with the Briton brake-testing him in Azerbaijan that he rammed Hamilton’s car in a fit of pique.
Rumours abound that Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal, may be tapping up the German for his outfit, adding further fuel to the flames. Wolff attended Vettel’s 30th birthday party, and refused to condemn him in the aftermath of the Baku bash. These acts can only have raised even further Hamilton’s deadly ire.
The two square off again this weekend in Northamptonshire, with Hamilton under severe pressure from all sides – including from the stands – but remaining the hot favourite to win at 5/6. He is a Silverstone master, having won the last three British Grands Prix.
Vettel heads into the race with a 20-point advantage over Hamilton, but the Mercedes driver’s expertise on this track makes him a strong contender.
Vettel will have to be at his very best to challenge his nemesis.
At first glance, it appears to be a shootout between these two, but looking to make an impact will be Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate, Valtteri Bottas. The Finn is on strong form following runner-up places in Canada and Azerbaijan, along with a win in Austria. He sits just 15 points behind Hamilton, and 35 in arrears of Vettel.
Bottas will hope that the duelling duo can occupy each other’s attention to the extent that he is able to capitalise on any slipups. He could well outflank Hamilton and Vettel if they get bogged down in trying to outdo one another.