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F1 2017 – British Grand Prix Preview

We are at the halfway point in the season with the British Grand Prix coming up in a few days. Round 10 of the Formula One World Championship takes place at the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire, England.

Silverstone has been one of the tracks that have been ingrained in Formula 1 history. It has always been linked in one way or another to Formula One since the 1940’s.

The new Arena Grand Prix Circuit configuration has been used since 2010 and features the new inner field section of the Abbey, Farm, Villiage, The Loop and Aintree corners.

A lap around Silverstone consists of fast and medium speed sweeping corners that demand good grip from the front end on turn-in and then good traction out of the corners. Because of the fast sweeping nature of the track, a mistake small mistake can easily translate to a big loss in lap time.

The track is very quick, even so, teams run quite high down-force levels as the straights are not that long. The longest straight on the circuit is the Hangar Straight coming in at 770m long.

Pirelli have dropped the Orange-marked hard compound tyre for this weekend and have gone one step softer on the tyre compounds compared to last year. The super soft tyre makes is debut at Silverstone this year. The high energy loads through the fast corners and the abrasive surface makes degradation high. Pirelli say that they’re expecting a two-stop race, possibly three.

Coming into the race Sebastian Vettel holds a 20 point lead in the championship standings over Lewis Hamilton. It’s a nice little cushion for the German and he’ll be looking to extend his lead coming into the race. Vettel fancies his chances this weekend and feels that the track suits the characteristics of the SF70-H. On the Kimi Raikkonen side of the Ferrari garage things are looking a bit tough. Raikkonen has come under fire for being a “laggard” by Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne. Many feel that a sweeping statement like that is quite unfair to the Finn. What ever may be plaguing the Ice Man he has to start showing some performance and needs to start taking points off Bottas and Hamilton if Ferrari want to secure the Constructors Championship as well.

While everyone was focusing on the Vettel-Hamilton Championship battle, Valtteri Bottas has been quietly plugging away on his side of the Mercedes garage and has brought himself into contention for the championship. After his victory at the Austrian Grand Prix, Bottas is now just 15-points behind Hamilton in the Championship standings.

Mercedes have been quite dominant at Silverstone since the new generation of 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engines have been introduced. It’s tough to see how they will not continue with the run of success they’ve had at Silverstone.

It’s been a tale of contrasting stories at Red Bull. Max Verstappen has been suffering through a very bad patch of unreliability at the moment. He’s had a DNF in 5 out of the 9 races so far this season. His latest DNF at the Austrian Grand Prix was not his fault but it will weigh on him. As a racer there is nothing more frustrating.

Daniel Ricciardo is enjoying a very good run of form as a regular visitor of the podium. Be it through luck of the draw, strategy, or through a brilliant performance. He’ll be hoping for some good points and another podium this weekend. Although the it’s no secret that the Red Bull car is down on power, they’ve closed the gap and have improved the car in other areas and they are able to mix it up with Ferrari and Mercedes up front.

Watching an F1 car around Silverstone is always something special. Like with Spa and Monza it’s listed under the classic track banner. The new 2017 cars with the wider tyres and bigger wings will be insanely fast through the corners like Copse and Stowe and will be equally as impressive through the Maggots and Becketts. A good drive out of Becketts can setup a pass into Stowe or just before Vale.

The racing at Silverstone rarely disappoints and with a three way battle for the championship emerging it looks like it will go down to the last race. But for now lets just enjoy the British Grand Prix.


We thought we’d try something different. We’ve got our very own Natalie having a go at a hot lap around Silverstone. Leave your best time in the comments below.

About Ritesh K Bhana

Ritesh likes to think he is a true Tifosi, but he still remains fair to other teams. He supports two other teams which are not Red Bull and McLaren. Follow Ritesh on twitter @Humanshield_1

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