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|Carlos Sainz Jr.
After winning his seventh pole at Silverstone in his 144th start with Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton will claim a record seventh British Grand Prix title on Sunday.
Our Pick: Lewis Hamilton (-304).
|British Grand Prix Race Information
|F1 British Grand Prix
|Sunday, August 2, 9:05 a.m. EST
|How to Watch
Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone is the first leg of a doubleheader fortnight at the iconic layout in Northamptonshire, U.K. The Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix will follow on August 9.
For the second time in the revised F1 calendar, the series will race on consecutive weekends at the same track. The season opened with back-to-back races at Red Bull Ring in Austria.
The British Grand Prix is contested over 52 laps at 3.661-mile circuit, which features 18 turns. Lewis Hamilton has won five of the last six Grand Prix at Silverstone, including the 2019 edition.
After a critical mass of penalties and mistakes kept Lewis Hamilton off the podium in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, the six-time world champion won his next two starts, in Austria and Hungary, to take a five-point lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas in the championship standings.
In an adventuresome qualifying session on Saturday at Silverstone, including a spin in Turn 7 in Q2, Hamilton was second to Bottas until the final session. After some tweaks to his car following the spin, Hamilton ran a blistering track-record 1:24.303 in his final attempt in Q3 to secure the 91st pole position of his career, extending his own series record.
“Valtteri is pushing me right to the end, to the very limit, and he’s been doing such a fantastic job all weekend,” Hamilton said of Bottas, who led final practice on Saturday morning. “I made some changes going into qualifying, and it worked. It was a real struggle out there.”
From the top starting sport, Hamilton (-304) is a heavy favorite to add to his record six British Grand Prix victories.
On Thursday, according to multiple reports, former F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg got an unexpected call from Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer. Racing Point driver Sergio Perez had tested positive for COVID-19, and the organization needed a last-minute replacement.
Hulkenberg jumped at the chance afforded by the absence of Perez, his former teammate at Force India, an organization that has grown in stature under its new Racing Point nomenclature. The German driver advanced to Q2 on Saturday and will start 13th in Sunday’s race.
No, Hulkenberg (+20000) won’t win the British Grand Prix. In fact, Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll has a much better chance to finish in the points from his sixth-place starting position. But Hulkenberg, who still has F1 ambitions, was impressive in what could be a one-off appearance this season.
Starting 1-2 on Sunday, the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas clearly are the class of the British Grand Prix field. Leading the “best of the rest” behind them is Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who edged Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for the third starting spot on his final flying lap in Q3.
Verstappen was more than a full second slower than pole winner Lewis Hamilton, who covered the 3.661-mile distance in 1:24.303 to Mad Max’s 1:25.325. Nevertheless, Verstappen (+700) has the best chance among the pursuers to unseat one or both of the Mercedes drivers.
Bluntly, though the British Grand Prix is just the fourth race of the season, Verstappen needs a victory to stay within shouting distance of the championship leaders. Max is third in the standings with 33 points, but he’s 30 points behind Hamilton and 25 behind Bottas—and in dire danger of losing touch.
Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]More info on Reid Spencer
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