F1 Raceweek: Hamilton eyeing record on home soil after Spielberg woes

Lewis Hamilton will be seeking a record sixth British Grand Prix this weekend after Mercedes endured a Spielberg nightmare.

Hamilton had a great opportunity to increase his lead over Sebastian Vettel at the Austrian Grand Prix last Sunday after the Ferrari driver was demoted three places to sixth on the grid for impeding Carlos Sainz in qualifying.

The Brit was seeing red at the Red Bull Ring, though, after retiring for the first time since the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix when he lost fuel pressure.

Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas also failed to finish the race due to a gearbox issue after starting on pole, with Max Verstappen taking the victory ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel filling the podium to take a one-point advantage in the title race.

Defending champion Hamilton has claimed four successive wins at Silverstone and will surpass the record of five in total which he shares with Alain Prost and Jim Clark if he wins on home soil.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff described the Austria setback as a "tremendously painful day" and admitted to a strategy blunder of keeping Hamilton out when he was leading under the Virtual Safety Car, while Red Bull pitted both drivers.

Not since Fernando Alonso's victory in 2011 have Ferrari topped the podium at Silverstone.

 

TALK OF THE PADDOCK

Vettel turned 31 on Tuesday, but Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene thinks it could be a big ask for the championship leader to give himself a late birthday present at Silverstone.

He told Sky Italia: "On paper, Silverstone looks quite difficult for us. Aerodynamics are very important and it will be a difficult race for us, so we have to stay focused."

Speculation over driver line-ups for next season continues to rumble on.

Hamilton was reportedly set to sign a new contract ahead of his home race, a development which Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said would set the ball rolling for other deals to be done.

Charles Leclerc has been strongly linked with a move to Ferrari to replace Kimi Raikkonen and the Frenchman outlined his promise again with a ninth-place finish last weekend.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo has made no secret of the fact that he wants his destiny to be resolved in the near future. 

 

STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 146
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 145 (-1)
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 101 (-45)
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 96 (-50)
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 93 (-53)

Constructors

1. Mercedes 247
2. Ferrari 237 (-10)
3. Red Bull 189 (-58)
4. Renault 62 (-85)
5. McLaren 44 (-203)

RACEWEEK SCHEDULE (all times local)

Friday

FP1 (10:00-11:30)
FP2 (14:00-15:30)

Saturday

FP3 (11:00-12:00)
Qualifying (14:00-15:00)

Sunday

Race (14:10-16:10)

F1 FACT

Mercedes have won the second-most points (246) in a single race in their F1 history in Great Britain. With five more points, they will exceed the 250 obtained at the Chinese Grand Prix.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2017: Lewis Hamilton
2016: Lewis Hamilton
2015: Lewis Hamilton

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS