Lewis Hamilton was all smiles after being quickest in qualifying but it all turned sour quite quickly. Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari got a better start and led into turn one, before Valtteri Bottas then passed him as well. What came next was much worse, though, as Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari locked up into turn three and hit Hamilton, spinning them both around and dropping him several places. Hamilton could only do his best to fight through the field, which he did, and put himself into contention. After a late safety car period we had a thrilling final 15 or so laps, with both Ferraris and both Mercedes fighting for victory, separated by only a few seconds. Bottas led the pack to begin but slipped back. It ended in a crucial victory for Vettel, with Hamilton finishing second.
What do we know about Silverstone?
- Circuit length: 5.891km
- First championship grand prix: 1950
- Laps: 52
- Race distance: 306.198km
- Race lap record: 1.30.621 (Lewis Hamilton, 2017)
- 2018 winner: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
- Number of corners: 18
- Overtaking chances: Quite good all-round, really. There are quite a few heavy braking zones and it’s quite a high-speed circuit that allows for a variety of lines. Probably the best chances are on the Hangar Straight and into Stowe towards the end of the lap and in the twisty complex at the start of the lap onto the Wellington Straight. Even Brooklands and Copse offer decent chances if you’re brave.
What are the odds (top six)?
- Lewis Hamilton – 8/13
- Valtteri Bottas – 5/1
- Charles Leclerc – 5/1
- Sebastian Vettel – 6/1
- Max Verstappen – 9/1
- Pierre Gasly – 750/1
What is our prediction?
Ferrari were quicker than Mercedes in Austria but the Red Bull Ring does not share similar characteristics with Silverstone. Downforce is important here, rather than straight-line speed. And that is where Mercedes have the edge over everyone else. Ferrari will be expected to fall back here relative to Austria. It’d be brilliant if Ferrari could compete but I cannot see it. A battle between the two Mercedes then? Probably. And with Lewis Hamilton to emerge on top, although I wouldn’t put him past a few problems at various points in the weekend.