F1 British Grand Prix
Sunday July 3, 15:00
Sky Sports F1
After much intrigue at the start of the new season, Red Bull have established themselves as the front-runners once again with six wins on the bounce. Meanwhile, the mere mention of bounce continues to give old rivals Mercedes nightmares given their porpoising issues.
That opened the door for Ferrari to emerge as their biggest threat, but a combination of reliability issues and strategic mishaps have seen both the Scuderia and Charles Leclerc surrender championship leads.
Heading to Silverstone this weekend though, both Ferrari and Mercedes are expected to bring upgrades to their packages that could help them ramp up the pressure, and it's Leclerc who seems best poised to deny Max Verstappen a sixth win in the last seven races, as he looks to close a 49-point deficit to the Dutchman.
This high-speed track with its fast corners should allow the drivers to follow more closely with this year's regulations taking effect. It will also give them plenty of room and opportunity to attack and make this a thrilling race.
Verstappen is the race favourite at 2.01/1 and deservedly so given his recent form on the track, but Leclerc is available at 3.259/4 and is in with a strong chance.
Leclerc primed to attack
Fresh from an excellent drive in Canada, where despite incurring a grid penalty and subsequently starting 19th on the grid only to run through the field and finish fifth, Leclerc will be itching to get back amongst the pack at the front with a fresh power unit which he'll push with as well as upgrades from Ferrari.
Team Principal Mattia Binotto revealed last week that he expects the Monegasque driver to attack over the next few races before the summer break. While this isn't necessarily 'must-win' territory for Leclerc yet, he could do with giving his title aspirations a major boost by going one better than his second-place finish here in 2021.
Having been in a strong position to win the three races before Canada while teammate Carlos Sainz had the quickest car in Montreal, Ferrari just need to put it all together here and cut out the mistakes. Leclerc has been through all the emotions on the team radio in recent weeks, and so he'll be desperate to have as stress-free a Sunday as possible.
Mercedes looking for success at happy hunting ground
Having won eight of the last nine races at Silverstone, Mercedes have enjoyed themselves on this track over recent years, with Lewis Hamilton winning seven of those during a dominant period.
However, their issues have been well documented this season as they've struggled to get to grips with their porpoising problem which in turn has seen them fall short in trying to close the gap to Red Bull and Ferrari.
This problem has at times made driving the W13 for Hamilton as enjoyable as a Christian Horner interview for a Mercedes fan, but while 'Mr. Consistency' George Russell has impressed, the seven-time champion looked a lot happier in Montreal too.
This is being touted as potentially Mercedes' most competitive weekend yet. After a strong performance on race day in Canada, coupled with similarities between Silverstone and Barcelona, where the Mercedes impressed, Hamilton and Russell will be a threat.
Barring any reliability woes, points finish for the pair looks almost certain, top six is undoubtedly in play andm depending on what happens ahead of them, they'll be pushing for a podium spot.