6 Talking Points ahead of the 2019 British Grand Prix

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Silverstone signs a new deal, Hamilton searches for a record-breaking British win and are Red Bull overtaking Ferrari in this year’s development race? Here are the talking points ahead of the 2019 British Grand Prix!

A new deal for Silverstone

The future of the British Grand Prix had been in doubt since Silverstone activated a break clause in their contract to host the event back in 2017. However, in the run up to the 2019 race, a new five-year deal has been announced, meaning the British Grand Prix will remain on the calendar at Silverstone until at least 2024. The deal comes following speculation last month that plans for a new London Grand Prix had become a stumbling block in negotiations. Chase Carey commented on the importance of the British Grand Prix:

 “We have always said that, if it is to have a long-term future, our sport must preserve its historic venues and Silverstone and Great Britain represent the cradle of this sport, its starting point back in 1950. Today, Formula 1 is a global sport, held on five continents, watched by an audience of over 500 million fans around the world and our aim is to grow this number by bringing the sport we love to new countries, while also maintaining its roots: Silverstone and the British Grand Prix are an integral part of that vision.”

Silverstone is one of the oldest and most iconic F1 circuits, with this weekend marking the 53rd round of the championship to be held there. The British Grand Prix is one of only two events to have appeared on the calendar in all 70 F1 seasons, the other being the Italian Grand Prix (which also had its future confirmed earlier this year).

A record attendance

One element which makes the British Grand Prix a success is the huge crowd which the event draws each year – and 2019 will be no exception. Silverstone are expecting a record attendance this year, up on last year’s weekend figure of 340,000 – the most attended race of the 2018 season. Organisers have confirmed that General Admission tickets for the weekend have sold out, as has on-site parking and Park & Ride tickets. You can read more about what to expect at this year’s event here.

A record-breaking home win for Hamilton?

On track, Lewis Hamilton heads to his home race seeking a sixth Silverstone victory – and there are a number of records which he could equal or beat on his way to a win this weekend. The Mercedes driver has taken pole at all of the last four British Grands Prix. Another pole position this weekend would be his seventh in total at the event, surpassing Ayrton Senna’s current record for most poles at a driver’s home race.

Hamilton is tied on five British Grand Prix wins with Jim Clark and Alain Prost. A sixth win at Silverstone would see Hamilton equal Prost’s record of most wins at a drivers’ national event. Michael Schumacher has had more wins on home turf, though. He won eight races in Germany, but five of those wins were at the European Grand Prix. Will Hamilton make history with a home win this weekend?

Are Red Bull overtaking Ferrari?

Hamilton’s streak of four home wins was ended by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari last year. Ferarri Team Principal Mattia Binotto is not expecting a repeat performance this year. The team will bring some new aerodynamic parts for the British Grand Prix, but Binotto says the track will not suit the car particularly well.

After the opening races were dominated by Mercedes, Max Verstappen finally ended the reigning champions’ winning streak at the Austrian Grand Prix. Red Bull took their first victory since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix, as Verstappen made his way by Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari in the closing stages. Could that be a sign that Red Bull are pulling ahead of Ferrari in the 2019 development race?

In recent years, Silverstone has suited Ferrari much better than Red Bull. Ferrari have taken four podium finishes at the track in the last four years, Red Bull only one. That was for Verstappen in 2016; will he make it into the top three again this weekend?

The future British stars

Hamilton won’t be the only driver with fans cheering him on this weekend. Lando Norris and George Russell have had impressive debut seasons so far.

Lando Norris has had his 2020 drive with McLaren confirmed this week, and he’ll be looking for more points this weekend to solidify the team’s fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship. In F2 last year, Norris performed a superb two-in-one overtake in the Sprint Race. Another move like that would surely be welcomed with a large cheer from the partisan crowd.

Meanwhile, scoring points is likely to be a very difficult task for Williams this weekend. George Russell continues to impress however, having beaten his team-mate in every qualifying session and all but one race so far this year. Williams will run special messages on their livery this weekend, commemorating Sir Frank Williams’ 50 years in the sport. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the team’s first win. Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams hopes that “major upgrades” coming for the next round in Germany will send the team in the right direction pace-wise.

The Great British weather

Following problems with the relaid tarmac at Silverstone last season, the track has been resurfaced once again ahead of the 2019 race, which could lead to some unpredictability. And just as unpredictable is the British weather. The forecast has been ever-changing in the past week. While current forecasts suggest a dry weekend, the threat of rain is never too far away. Toto Wolff reckons cooler weather could aid Mercedes to victory this weekend, after the team struggled with overheating issues in Austria.

Are you happy to see the British Grand Prix remain on the calendar? Will Lewis Hamilton win at Silverstone this weekend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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About the Author ()

Nicky Haldenby is a Formula One writer from Scarborough, England. Having grown up with F1 often on the TV on Sunday afternoons, Nicky has been following the sport avidly since 2006. After graduating from University in 2015 with a First Class degree in English Language and Literature, he founded his own F1 website and now regularly writes articles about both the sport's history and current affairs.

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