The final leg of Formula 1’s first-ever triple header of race weekends sees the sport return to where it all began back in 1950 as Silverstone once again hosts the British Grand Prix. In a season full of twists and turns, few were expecting the curveball in Austria this past Sunday as, after dominating throughout, Mercedes would suffer a first double retirement in over two years, allowing Max Verstappen to claim a fourth win of his career and Sebastian Vettel to once again inherit the championship lead.
For Lewis Hamilton though, victories in front of an adoring home crowd have become standard with the last four races at Silverstone going to the man from Stevenage. Will he make it five in a row this Sunday?
Here’s our preview and form guide.
About the race
The remains of a World War 2 airfield, Silverstone is celebrating 70 years as a racing circuit in 2018 and has is placed alongside the likes of Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Monaco as a venue that epitomises all that is F1.
The fast, flowing corners also make it a different challenge from recent races with no significantly long straights and a greater emphasis on downforce. However, following the introduction of the faster cars last year, engines have become much more important with several key corners now taken flat-out.
Hamilton has a total of five wins at the British GP, from his epic drive in the wet in 2008 to his recent domination and another success on Sunday would see him pull ahead of Jim Clark and Alain Prost as the most successful driver in the race’s 68-year history.
Red Bull also has tasted success on three occasions since 2009 while Ferrari only has once in the last decade, that being Fernando Alonso’s win in 2011.
The Scuderia is the most successful team of all-time though with 15 wins in Britain but it is Mercedes that head just down the road from their Brackley base looking to continue their five-year streak alive, with Nico Rosberg also taking victory in 2013.
Top driver picks
Lewis Hamilton ($30.2m)
Driven by the disappointment of seeing a 33-race points scoring run end in retirement and based on his recent run of results, anything other than a home win for Hamilton would be another major shock.
The Mercedes car is stronger than Ferrari in high-speed corners, as was shown in Sector 3 last weekend, and the team also has the safety of the thinner-treaded tyres which were used when the 33-year-old dominated in Spain and France. So, providing the British weather behaves, there really is nowhere else to look for the top step on the podium.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull ($20.8)
Fresh from a remarkable win for Red Bull at their home track and in front of thousands of Dutch fans, Verstappen will be riding a wave of confidence going to Silverstone. The Anglo-Austrian team also has a strong chance of battling with Ferrari for the second best team, so with the 20-year-old very much the man in form, he is very good candidate for another fourth straight podium at least and remains at decent value just under $21m.
Carlos Sainz, Renault ($10.4m)
While it went wrong for Renault in the race in Spielberg, with Nico Hulkenberg’s fiery exit and Sainz slipping outside the top 10 after a bad pit-stop, the Spaniard should be the leading midfield driver this weekend.
The French manufacturer should be well-suited to the high-speed layout and Haas, who dominated at Spielberg, are still an unknown on downforce-orientated circuit, particularly after Monaco. Sainz is also the second highest scorer of points outside the top six in the fantasy game with 100, yet still a relative bargain at $10.4m.
Worst driver picks
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari ($19.3m)
Though a second place at the Austrian Grand Prix signaled his best result of the season, Raikkonen could well face a weekend of finishing sixth at Silverstone.
At the very highest level in F1, the Finn is now lacking that extra tenth of level of fight to compete with those around him and could well have finished fifth in Spielberg if neither Mercedes had failed nor Daniel Ricciardo suffered his blistered tyre. The 2007 world champion was passed on track by both Red Bulls during Sunday’s race on a circuit which least suited the RB14, so his chances of keeping them at bay at a venue that is one of Ferrari’s weakest is very unlikely indeed.
Sergio Perez, Force India ($11.9m)
The Mexican was somewhat fortunate to turn around a disastrous qualifying, going out in Q1, into a seventh place finish at the Red Bull Ring last Sunday. It would also appear Force India is again just starting to struggle compared to those teams around them in terms of outright speed and that possible weakness could be exaggerated at what is very much the team’s home race with the factory just outside the circuit gates.
So with Perez struggling for form at a team that looks to be standing still, that is not a great combination, particularly at a cost of $11.9m.
Top team pick: Red Bull ($22.5m)
Even though Mercedes are the clear favourites for the win and probably even a 1-2, it is the value that continues to make Red Bull a more attractive choice as they sit with just nine less points than the German manufacturer but cost $9m less.
Once again looking like possible contenders and ready to capitalise on any problems ahead, the Milton Keynes outfit is pretty dependable and allows you to have a budget left over for better drivers.
These are our picks and preview for the British Grand Prix, now all you need to do is sign up and play. Good luck!