Copse, Maggots, Becketts, Chapel, and the Hangar Straight. Welcome to one of the old-school, legendary tracks in Formula 1, the home of British Motorsport, and Formula 1’s British Grand Prix: Silverstone. Formula 1 fans around the globe hold a special place or reverence for tracks like Silverstone. In fact, Formula 1 would feel entirely different without a trip Silverstone.
With many Formula 1 teams headquartered or having production facilities in England, and the drivers being extremely familiar with the Silverstone circuit, most of the paddock will feel like they’re at a second or third home. We will focus on Formula 1’s British driver’s contingent and their potential for home race success. Maybe a little home cooking will provide that extra boost to F1’s British drivers. Nigel Mansel believed racing in front of a home crowd gave drivers more speed per lap. Perhaps a pro-British crowd, in one of autosport’s most famous and revered circuits, can find that home race magic Mansel believed to be real.
A Little About the Silverstone Circuit
Silverstone has hosted Grand Prix since 1950, across various circuit layouts. One lap around Silverstone will have drivers navigating 18 turns over 3.67 miles (5.891 km) before crossing the Hamilton straight. The Hamilton Straight? Silverstone’s start/finish straight was named after the circuit’s most successful driver, Lewis Hamilton, who has 8 victories on the legendary track. Hamilton has described driving an F1 car around Silverstone like driving a jet fighter. It seems fitting for the former World War 2 Royal Air Force airfield.
The Constructors in focus: Mercedes and Aston Martin
While we focus on the British Drivers, we would be remiss to not speak about two of the British constructors: Mercedes and Aston Martin.
Mercedes comes to Silverstone with an all-British driver line-up. More importantly, however, are the upgrades that Mercedes is bringing to Silverstone. Mercedes has been playing with new front and rear wings, along with changes to the w-13’s floor, planning on deploying these upgrades during the British Grand Prix weekend. Could these upgrades bring them closer to the Red Bull/Ferrari fight at the front?
Aston Martin’s factory is literally located at Silverstone. There is no more of a home race for any team in Formula 1 than Aston Martin at Silverstone. Sebastian Vettel is listed as high as 80-1 to land on the podium at Silverstone, while Lance Stroll is as high as a 175-1.
While a podium finish is super unlikely, Aston Martin will probably land at least one car in the top 10. Unless they have made great strides on their new Aerodynamic concept, Aston Martin is unlikely to reap the home race benefits.
The British Drivers: Lewis Hamilton, George Russel, and Lando Norris
Formula 1 currently has three British drivers on the grid, the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, and McLaren star Lando Norris.
As previously mentioned, Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver to race at Silverstone. Hamilton’s 2022 pace has been shrouded by a problematic car, an adventurous testing regime, and a consistent teammate. Hamilton and Mercedes believe they will win a race in 2022.
If the Mercedes upgrades bring them closer to the front, it is entirely possible for Hamilton to earn a podium. Hamilton may be listed with 2-1 odds to finish on the podium, but the safer bet may be for Hamilton to finish in the top 6, currently listed at 4/9. While Hamilton usually has something special for Silverstone, he may not have the car that permits Hamilton home race magic in 2022.
Hamilton’s teammate and fellow countryman, George Russel, has been consistent all year for Mercedes. Russel has landed in the top 5 in every race this year. Therefore, the safe bet is to pick Russel to finish in the top six. Russel’s current odds to finish in the top 6 range anywhere from 1/3 to 4/9.
Russel has maximized a substandard Mercedes in 2022, meaning he could maximize any home race magic to its fullest extent. Mercedes finishing on the podium may seem adventurous, however, Russel’s odds – listed anywhere between 9/4 and 21/10 – may entice some betters who believe in the magic of hometown cooking and Mercedes’ continued development toward the front of the grid.
Lando Norris has been excellent throughout the 2022 Formula 1 season, fighting through reliability and physical issues, resulting in Norris ranked 7th in the driver’s championship. Norris will need to remain consistent if he and McLaren want to ward off the hard-charging Alpine and Aston Martin’s of the mid-field.
Norris might be the driver who stands to benefit the most from any chaos at the front of the grid, potentially landing inside the top 6. Lando is currently listed anywhere from 6/4 to 11/8 to finish in the top 6. The McLaren is not the third-fastest car on the road in under any metrics, however, with the right set of home race magic, Norris might be the driver to squeeze into any vacancy in the top 6.
Next Up: A Full Preview and Lights Out
We’ll have our full British Grand Prix preview available here on Friday. The British Grand Pix takes place from the home of British motorsport, Silverstone, from July 1st-3rd, 2022. Lights out for the British Grand Prix is Sunday, July 3rd, at 10 a.m. EDT.
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