Silverstone. There’s always something special about Formula 1’s annual trip to the home of British motorsport. Whether it’s the crowds, the circuit’s high-speed corners, or the fact each corner has a name, each with its history, there is something magical about Formula 1 cars flying on an old World War 2 Royal Air Force Air Field.
2022’s new technical rules have successfully resulted in F1 cars following closer to each other. This should lead to better racing over 52 laps of Silverstone’s 3.66-mile circuit. Before we look forward, we need to look backward to the 2021 British Grand Prix.
A Look Back to 2021
The 2021 British Grand Prix is now a legendary chapter in the story of the Max Verstappen/Lewis Hamilton championship fight. Last year, Silverstone hosted an F1 Sprint Race, with Hamilton on pole, edging out Verstappen for pole position by seven-hundredths of a second. Verstappen won the Sprint qualifying, while teammate Sergio Perez slid off the track at Aintree (turn 5), falling from 5th to 20th and to the back of the grid.
The 2021 version of the British Grand Prix is legendary because of lap 1, at Copse (turn 9). Hamilton and Verstappen went wheel to wheel in their fiercest first-lap charge to take the lead in the 2021 championship battle. Hamilton refused to back down to Verstappen’s aggressive move around the outside, resulting in the Red Bull flying across, gravel, slamming into the barriers, destroying the car, and sending Verstappen to the hospital after a 51G impact. Hamilton eventually retook the lead from Charles Leclerc, winning his 8th British Grand Prix.
The 2022 British Grand Prix Preview – The Front-Runners
As Formula 1 heads from Canada to England, the World Championship fights are not as close or contentious, compared to the same point in the 2021 calendar. Red Bull, Verstappen, and Perez sit atop the championship standings and are seemingly in complete control of their championship futures. This has been repeated numerous times, but needs to be restated: Red Bull has the best car in race trim. Verstappen enters the weekend as the betting favorite to win the Grand Prix, listed at 9/4, while Verstappen landing on the podium is listed at 3/10.
Ferrari needs to build on both cars finishing the Grand Prix and positive points results in Montreal. Leclerc in the Ferrari is likely going to put in a cracking qualifying lap. This is what Leclerc in the F1-75 has done all year: win pole position. Ferrari, as a team, is listed as 4/5 to win qualifying. Carlos Sainz will be looking for back-to-back podium finishes. Both Ferrari’s drivers and the team (as a whole) will be hoping that Ferrari’s reliability woes don’t hurt their Championship pursuits further.
Mercedes’ all-British driver line-up will be looking to take advantage of the upgrades aerodynamic upgrades Mercedes is bringing to Silverstone. Lewis Hamilton’s odds are changing as more money is coming in on Hamilton to win. Hamilton’s best odds to win his 9th British Grand Prix are currently listed at 29/2 and 11/1. Mercedes’ upgrades should get them competitively closer to Red Bull and Ferrari but are highly unlikely to result in Hamilton winning the race. There’s likely a little British hype fuelling this move in Hamilton’s betting odds. If you are planning on betting on Mercedes and winning that bet, Hamilton and Russell are both listed at 9/4 to land a podium position, and 4/9 to finish in the top 6.
British Grand Prix – Our Predictions
Eventually, someone in a car without a Red Bull livery will win a race. Until that happens, and considering his masterful and dominant performance from Montreal, Verstappen has to be the pick to win the race. Mercedes aren’t close enough competitively, and Ferrari traditionally tends to get in their way on race days to stop Red Bull’s current run of dominance and warrant a bet.
1st – Leclerc (21/20)
2nd – Verstappen (7/4)
3rd – Russell (40/1)
British Grand Prix Top 6:
1st – Verstappen (2/9)
2nd – Leclerc (1/4)
3rd – Hamilton (4/9)
4th – Perez (1/3)
5th – Russell (4/9)
6th – Fernando Alonso (9/5)