From a Montreal venue that hasn’t been on the calendar since 2019 to one that has hosted races regularly throughout the pandemic, here are some of the topics we’re looking forward to as the paddock heads to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.
1. Leclerc on the attack
It hasn’t been the easiest time to be a Ferrari fan, as Charles Leclerc has seen a number of potential wins slip away due to reliability and strategy issues. But there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s an exciting prospect as the British Grand Prix approaches.
Although his recovery through the pack in Canada to finish fifth was impressive, he was unlikely to be in the game after starting 19th, and it was a race where damage limitation was the name of the game.
TREMAYNE: Why age continues to be nothing but a number for the masterful and mischievous Fernando Alonso
Going forward, however, Leclerc is in a much better position. He now has a new power unit that he can push a bit harder over the next few races, and no grid penalties to worry about this weekend at Silverstone.
It’s a track he’s done well on in the past, having come close to winning in 2021 before finishing second, and it shouldn’t be forgotten that Leclerc was in position to win each of the three races ahead of Canada. It was team-mate Carlos Sainz who actually had the fastest car in Montreal, so Ferrari’s form is still good, although the results haven’t reflected their potential in recent weeks.
2. The promise of a stronger Mercedes
Optimism from the Spanish Grand Prix seems a long time ago for Mercedes, but there were some very positive signs in Canada, where Lewis Hamilton was a solid third and George Russell just behind him in fourth place.
It looked like Mercedes had learned from Baku’s struggles and taken a step forward, which can only bode well towards Silverstone, where similarities to Barcelona in terms of track flow and high-speed cornering suggest that they should be even more competitive than them. were in Montreal.
READ MORE: Mercedes says they ‘really want to win’ Silverstone – but Wolff warns team need to ‘really walk away’
There will likely be upgrades too, and it will be music to the ears of both riders wanting to put on a show for their audiences. Britain’s dream team formation of Hamilton and Russell was only recently matched by the McLaren duo of Hamilton and Jenson Button, but they last raced together in 2012, so it’s been a decade since fans locals could not encourage an all- British composition.
Team principal Toto Wolff was keen not to let expectations get too high, but whether or not they can battle Red Bull and Ferrari, Silverstone at least has the potential to give Mercedes their weekend. -the most competitive end of the season. nowadays.
3. Teams get technical with the FIA
Mercedes had an off-track distraction to fear in Canada, however, after the FIA issued a technical guideline aimed at establishing a threshold for acceptable levels of rebound. The catalyst was driver safety, but rival teams claimed it was a move that was more about solving Mercedes’ problems than anything else.
WATCH: The 10 best moments coming out of the perilous pits with Hamilton, Raikkonen, Maldonado and Berger
It’s a subject that has been regularly discussed in the Montreal paddock and is unlikely to be resolved by the time the teams get to work at Silverstone, although further meetings and discussions are scheduled between the two. races.
The sticking point could be how changes are applied, as a technical guideline is not intended to be used to change existing regulations. The British Grand Prix is where teams are likely to talk about the latest developments – and it’s rare that they all quickly find common ground on such a topic…
4. McLaren vs. Alpine
Fernando Alonso’s superb qualifying performance in Canada really captured the imagination, with so many fans arriving on the track on Sunday morning delighted to see what the Spaniard could do from the front row.
Unfortunately, that didn’t quite go to plan, as a power unit issue around lap 20 saw Alonso lose performance and drop back into the field, ultimately down to ninth after a late penalty for changing gears. direction in a straight line more than once when defending Valtteri. Bottas on the last lap.
BEYOND THE GRID: Zhou Guanyu on his heroes’ run as China’s first full-time F1 driver
But that shouldn’t detract from the potential shown by Alpine and the results they have achieved in recent races. Seventh and tenth in Baku were followed by two points from Alonso and sixth for Esteban Ocon in Montreal, while McLaren failed to score.
It has reduced the gap between the two teams in the fight for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship to just eight points, and Alpine are confident they have a more consistent car than McLaren, which could see them overtake the race again. Andreas Seidl’s team at Silverstone.
5. A special track and crowd
McLaren enjoys great support at its home race, but the Silverstone crowd tends to have the ability to get behind all teams and drivers. This should perhaps come as no surprise given that it is often one of the busiest races of the year, and this season should be no different, with another sold-out crowd on the historical site.
A good atmosphere is guaranteed, but we could also ensure that the race is up to par, because the high-speed circuit – with radical changes of direction that always show the spectacular performance of a Formula 1 – is perfectly suited to the new generation of cars.
PALMER: How Haas left Canada without points despite Magnussen and Schumacher’s qualifying exploits
Silverstone’s curbs aren’t too harsh for the drivers to attack, and the number of fast corners will really allow the ground effects cars to be pushed to their limits. Barcelona have also suggested it’s easier to follow even in these fast sections this year, which means this weekend has all the ingredients to be a cracker.
Oh, and Britain being Britain, chances are the weather will change to spice things up even more!