British Grand Prix: Four talking points

Richard Hazeldine Richard Hazeldine

All eyes will be on Mercedes this weekend as the Formula 1 circus descends upon Northamptonshire and Silverstone.

FOX Sports Asia looks at some of the main talking points ahead of the 10th race of the 2018 F1 season.

Hamilton’s home comforts
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes head to Silverstone in the middle of a mini crisis following their disastrous showing at the Red Bull Arena last weekend. From locking up the front row in qualifying to a double mechanical failure, the Silver Arrows were brought down to Earth with a dramatic bang at Spielberg following their success a week earlier in France. Throw yet another tactical disaster into the mix and it was no wonder Mercedes team supremo Toto Wolff labeled it the “worst race in his time at Mercedes.”
The defending champions have been working round the clock to ensure there will be no repeat performance this weekend. The one saving grace is that this is Silverstone and Lewis Hamilton’s race. The darling of British race fans has won the last four years in Northampton and Mercedes will be hoping he can pull it off once again – reliability issues permitting.

Red Bull at the double?
It goes without saying that Red Bull were extremely happy with Max Verstappen following his victory in their home race last weekend. It was a third consecutive podium for the young Dutchman and with his new-found maturity following his early season troubles, Christian Horner and the Red Bull team will want more of the same.
With three wins from nine races (the same as both Mercedes and Ferrari) Red Bull are enjoying a decent season, but a failure to consistently finish both cars has hampered their challenge for the constructors title. While admitting a win at Silverstone will be difficult on a track not entirely suited to their car, a double finish and a podium would be a very satisfying result.

‘Haas-ta’ la vista, Romain?
The American team enjoyed their best ever weekend in Formula 1 in Austria with a P4 and P5 earning them 22 points in their 50th race. Romain Grosjean also managed to record his first points of the season so it was smiles all round for Gene Haas, or so you would think. Apparently not, as the team owner went public with his congratulations before dishing out a dose of reality to the team by saying the record points haul was down to racing’s ‘randomness’. Nevertheless, both team Haas and Grosjean will be keen to build on last week’s success as they wrap up Formula 1’s first ever triple header. Grosjean, more so, given that Haas is soon to make its mind up on who will be driving for them next season.

McLaren look to the future
There was a big shake up in Woking this week ahead of the British Grand Prix as McLaren parted ways with Racing Director Eric Boullier after failing to live up to their confident pre-season predictions. The switch to Renault didn’t prove as successful as predicted and blew apart the claims that the MCL33’s chassis was one of the best. Heads had to roll and it came as no surprise that Boullier’s was first on the chopping block.
The restructuring will not provide immediate results so don’t expect this weekend to be any different from the last four since the upgrade. Indeed, the changes are expected to improve things in the long, but whether the upheaval will be enough to ensure Fernando Alonso signs on again is anyone’s guess.

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