F1 2019 Great British GP Preview: Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport looking to bounce back
Written by Chris Winterburn
There remains uncertainty over the future of both Silverstone and the British Grand Prix as part of the Formula 1 calendar, yet the racing roadshow returns to one of the most iconic circuits in the sport with Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport desperate to bounce back from their Austrian slip-up.
Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton both slipped out of winning contention at the Red Bull Ring as Max Verstappen took the first victory of his season, bringing to an end the German team’s hopes of living through an undefeated campaign. Lewis Hamilton will want to win his home grand prix, and the team will be desperate to provide him with a car to do so, even if it’s unlikely they won’t win both championships from this point.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing looking to start battle with Hamilton and Bottas:
Christian Horner has taken a number of headlines ahead of the sport’s arrival in Britain on Friday by claiming that Max Verstappen is a better driver right now than Hamilton. This is quite the sensational claim, especially with the British driver being the defending F1 champion and he looks likely to win it yet again this term.
However, the team’s victory in Austria has given Aston Martin Red Bull Racing confidence that they have cracked the German team’s dominance of the season so far and can begin to regularly feature on the podium from now until the end of the year. Verstappen is a monumental talent, but in a sport as individualistic as motor racing, Horner’s comments have effectively thrown down the gauntlet to Hamilton.
The two drivers, through no fault of their own, will now be compared and watched together for the remainder of the year. With the championship all but decided, this is a nice subplot to proceedings and could make for an exciting race on Sunday.
Silverstone will be one of the quickest races of the year:
A newly relayed Silverstone circuit is a mouth-watering prospect for speed demons among us. The fresh track will allow for greater straight-line speed, as well as reducing the breaking required for corners and chicanes. With that being said, the hardness of the surface will greatly increase tyre wear, especially in the corners. With this is mind we could see quite the spectacle of racing on Sunday.
Now you may see the mention of tyre wear and immediately be concerned about a snooze-fest with drivers worrying about their tyres, but this isn’t simply the case for a number of cars in the field, this will impact everybody.
If everyone is affected then the consequences will hit everyone, we won’t see some teams being able to last longer on tyres by much, we’re going to see out and out racing on the new surface, with the quickest driver set to be the best placed to win.
Don’t sleep on Charles Leclerc to take his first F1 victory on Sunday:
You’d be forgiven for wondering just when it’s going to happen for the Monaco-born Leclerc this season. Twice he has been in a position to win a race this term and twice he’s failed to get the car over the line and secure the triumph.
Misfortune has followed his brightest moments with Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow, but don’t sleep on the young star with regards to the British GP on Sunday. The Italian team are concerned over how well their car will suit the Silverstone circuit, and when messages such as that are coming from within the team itself then word quickly spreads throughout the paddock.
Expectations are low, but this could suit Leclerc, who has shown time and again this year that his driving acumen is up there with the very best the sport has to offer at this time. Qualifying will be difficult for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow, that much is clear, but if Leclerc can put himself within touching distance of the frontrunners by the time the lights go out on Sunday afternoon, the newly resurfaced track could play into his hands.
Verstappen and Hamilton will be the pace-setters, but Leclerc will be able to take advantage of any slight mistake they make, and Sunday could well be the time for the youngster to finally stand atop of the podium, rather than in one of the side plinths.