Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. It’s the second half of a back-to-back at the British circuit following one of the most dramatic finishes to a race in recent memory last Sunday.
Hamilton Strong Favourite to Repeat
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas seemed to be cruising to another dominant 1-2 finish for Mercedes with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull a distant and lonely third.
But punctures for Bottas, Hamilton and Carlos Sainz in the final two laps created a chaotic climax with Hamilton hanging on for victory despite driving most of the last lap on three wheels.
That win, Hamilton’s sixth at the circuit in his last seven appearances, saw him surge into a 30-point lead at the top of the championship. The Briton is a red-hot
5/14 favourite to follow up and score his fourth win in a row on Sunday.
Bottas is the only other man to have won a race this season – taking victory from pole position in the season opener in Austria.
The Finn kept Hamilton on his toes last week and will be in a good mood having signed a contract extension during the week to stay at Mercedes for another year.
Bottas, who wound up 11th and out of the points last week, is
7/2 to bounce back with a win, but Hamilton has been in peak form in recent weeks.
Verstappen Can Capitalise in Hot Conditions
Verstappen was unable to lay down a meaningful challenge to the Silver Arrows last weekend, but was miles clear of the chasing pack, making for a lonely afternoon for the Dutchman.
Verstappen had time for casual chat over the radio with his mechanics and joked afterwards that he was planning to count the sheep in the field next to the track this weekend.
However, with much hotter temperatures expected on Sunday and softer tyres being used this week, the mighty Mercedes may prove vulnerable for once.
Overheating has caused reliability problems for Mercedes in the past and Verstappen could be of interest at
15/2 as the driver much the most likely to take advantage of any chinks in the Silver Arrows’ armour.
Hulkenberg Gets Second Chance
Nico Hulkenberg returns for a second week with Racing Point after regular driver Sergio Perez again tested positive for Covid-19.
The German veteran of 177 F1 races was unable to start the race last week due to late mechanical issues, while his teammate Lance Stroll finished ninth. The team were hit with a 15-point deduction and a €400,000 fine on Friday morning for copying parts of last year’s Mercedes on their 2020 car.
Norris Holds Podium Chance
Racing Point have struggled to replicate their single-lap pace over a race distance, but the same can’t be said of McLaren.
The Woking team sit third in the constructors championship and Lando Norris picked up his third top-five finish in four races last week.
All of those efforts saw the Englishman gain places on the final lap. Norris’s Sunday afternoon heroics have been set up by solid qualifying performances, and there may be some interest in the
8/1 available that the 20-year-old can pick up a podium finish on home soil this weekend.