Racing doesn’t stop, and next up is Silverstone.
While Max Verstappen looks untouchable, Mercedes might be finally getting into their groove, and with Ferrari and Aston Martin also looking strong, there are plenty of storylines at play ahead of the 2023 British Grand Prix.
Silver lining at home
Heading into the Austrian Grand Prix, Mercedes were upbeat about the upgrades they were bringing. Lewis Hamilton was on the pace in the Free Practice sessions and qualified a respectable P5, while his teammate George Russell qualified a lowly P11. The pace was missing for Hamilton in the Sprint Shootout, however, as he was eliminated in Sprint Shootout Qualifying 1, while Russell was eliminated in the second qualifier.
The Silver Arrows showed good race pace in the Sprint, with their drivers finishing P8 and P10. On Sunday, while Mercedes weren’t able to keep up with Ferrari, they were able to finish ahead of one Aston Martin racer and just behind the other. Post-race penalties due to track limits saw Hamilton get demoted, but that doesn’t take away the fact that Mercedes are taking steps towards moving to the front of the grid.
While Hamilton had a rough time in Austria with the car and was vocal about his feelings on the matter, the Silver Arrows should be more at home at Silverstone. Expect them to be much more competitive and with home support for both Hamilton and Russell and even challenge for the podium places.
Dark Horses for the podium: Mercedes
McLaren on the charge
McLaren are making a comeback to the top of the midfield after a poor 2022 and a less-than-inspiring start to the 2023 season. While the likes of Aston Martin have made the move to the front of the grid, McLaren have been struggling and lie sixth in the Constructors’ Standings, involved in a tight scrap with Alpine, Haas and Alfa Romeo.
However, the team have been on an upward trajectory. They introduced upgrades in Austria for Lando Norris, which saw him finish fourth ahead of the two Aston Martin and Mercedes drivers and one Ferrari driver. Norris was strong throughout the weekend, and while his teammate had a tough race, Oscar Piastri in his debut season has shown tremendous promise, even overshadowing Norris at times.
Piastri will be running his upgrades at McLaren’s home race at Silverstone, and with the Woking-based team taking positive steps towards moving up the midfield, expect another strong race from them in Silverstone.
Surprise Package of the race weekend: McLaren
Ferrari fighting back
It’s been another terrible start to the season for the Italian heavyweights. While Ferrari came into the new regulations era with lots of promise and hope, they have let themselves down once again.
Ferrari have a car that, although it isn’t as fast as the Red Bull one, should easily be the second-best on the grid. That said, Ferrari lie fourth in the Constructors’ Standings, behind Mercedes and Aston Martin. They’re yet to win a race this season and have struggled with reliability and strategy early on.
Ferrari did, though, show promise in Austria. Charles Leclerc almost stole the pole from Max Verstappen in Qualifying and finished a strong second, ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Pérez.
Ferrari’s strong race and Qualifying pace should bode well for them. If they can have another clean weekend, the Italian team may even give Red Bull a run for their money.
- Circuit: Silverstone Circuit
- Venue: Northamptonshire, UK
- Practice Session 1 time: 17:00, July 7
- Practice Session 2 time: 20:30, July 7
- Practice Session 3 time: 16:00, July 8
- Qualifying Session time: 19:30, July 8
- Main race time: 19:30, July 9
- Where to watch: F1 TV Pro