15 July 2021

Football isn't... but Formula 1 is coming home

By Road Runner

Could Sunday’s nationwide heartbreak from football not coming home be replaced by jubilation with a British winner at this weekend’s Grand Prix? It could happen, but only if the likes of Lewis Hamilton or even Lando Norris can stop a seemingly unbeatable Max Verstappen in the best form of his career.

Where it all began

13th May 1950, 26 cars from the likes of Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Talbot and so congregate at Silverstone race circuit for the very first Formula 1 World Championship race; 71 years later, the British Grand Prix has become a staple of the calendar. Corners such as Stowe, Copse, Becketts and Club remain, joining Maggotts, Chapel and Farm Curve to produce one of the most entertaining tracks on the calendar.

It’s not just the track that causes the drama. The British Summer can only mean one thing, unpredictable weather. In 2012, a weekend-long monsoon looked to have cleared for race day, but a sudden downpour on the parade lap shocked the grid. In 2008, a soaking track led to one of the greatest drives in recent memory when Lewis Hamilton claimed his first of seven Silverstone wins.

2021 – the season of surprise… so far

Over the first four races, Lewis Hamilton had already claimed three race wins and was in prime position to claim his record-breaking 8th championship. But after a nightmare 7th place finish for the Brit in Monaco and a dominant win for Verstappen, the momentum began to swing in Red Bull’s favour. Despite Verstappen crashing out of the Azerbaijan race following a puncture, Hamilton couldn’t take advantage. An uncharacteristic mistake whilst battling for the lead led the Brit to tumble down the order to 15th and gave Sergio Perez a first Red Bull win. Verstappen bounced back immediately, won the next three races and heads to Silverstone with an enviable 32-point lead in the championship standings.

Further down the standings, McLaren’s Lando Norris continues to impress. Coming off the back of his 3rd podium of the season in Austria, he heads to Silverstone full of confidence. Fellow Brit George Russell agonisingly lost 10th place and the final points scoring place on the last lap at the Red Bull Ring, so will be desperate to score his first points for Williams at his home event this weekend. Rumours do however continue to circulate about his future and potential Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes for 2022.

Time to shake things up?

Formula 1 will be following a similar race format to the preceded F2 and F3 championships this weekend, with the introduction of a 100km sprint race on Saturday replacing the standard qualifying format. This new format is being run as a trial across three race weekends in 2021 and will follow this schedule:

Time New Format Original Format
Friday: 2:30-3:30pm 60-minute practice session Two 90-minute practice sessions
Friday: 6-7pm Three session qualifying format
Saturday: 12-1pm 60-minute practice session 60-minute practice session
Saturday: 4:30-5pm 100km Sprint Qualifying (sets grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix) Three session qualifying format
Sunday: 3pm Grand Prix Grand Prix
On to Silverstone

Max Verstappen now holds a 32-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the championship after his run of great form. But Lewis is strong at Silverstone, even winning last year on three wheels, after a puncture half-way round the last lap. Further to his advantage, this year’s race is being run as a Government COVID test event, allowing a full capacity of 140,000 fans to attend.

Will Formula 1 be coming home?

Follow the Road Runner Facebook page for updates from the race.

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