By Jessica Borrell
- Silverstone preview
- Only 10 points separate Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
- Is Hamilton taking his foot off the gas?
Lewis Hamilton the hot favourite for the British Grand Prix as the Drivers’ Championship heats up
The hot and humid conditions aren’t familiar to those descending down to Silverstone this weekend for the British Grand Prix, but the weather isn’t the only thing heating up in F1.
The drivers’ championship battle is shaping up to be another final race decider if Nico Rosberg or Sebastian Vettel have anything to do with it. We give you the lowdown on the talking points coming in to this weekend.
Changing momentum at Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton is the favourite going into this weekend in front of his home crowd, and who would bet against him, right? But underneath the calm and collected exterior Hamilton likes to force upon the media (going to dinner with the worlds biggest celebrities and being snapped with the hottest supermodels), there is increasing evidence that a lack of concentration is resulting in his rivals recent success.
Has Hamilton become complacent? BritWatch Sports doesn’t think so, but his recent behaviour does suggest Hamilton has more on his mind than racing…
The dominance Hamilton showed in the early races of 2015 has softened, there are only 10 points in the drivers’ championship race, and Rosberg has won three of the last four races. The in-season test in Austria last week that Hamilton strangely decided to opt-out of gave his team-mate (and closest rival) crucial hours in the car over him.
Coming into this weekend Rosberg must feel he has all the tools to create an upset, if only for revenge after last years crowd jeered him after his gearbox blew up. That led to Hamilton only winning his home race last year when unreliability issues struck his teammate, not through his own challenge.
Who will be on the third step of the podium?
Realistically there are only two teams who could prove a threat to another Mercedes 1-2 but Ferrari’s race day pace is far from what we see in practice or even qualifying. Their drivers are even more unpredictable with Kimi Raikkonen rarely threatening his team-mate and Vettel just not having the power through the straights to capitalise on any improvement made throughout the lap.
Instead, Williams must be in with a chance to make up more points on the prancing horse and close up the gap to them in second. Valterri Bottas is revered by all as a future F1 champ and the reliability issues cramping Felipe Massa’s form last year have disappeared, with the pair regularly bagging solid points for the team.
More misery at McLaren
It can’t get much worse for the Woking-based team can it? Unfortunately, yes it can. They have had numerous power failures, engine blowouts, plain lack of speed, and for many home supporters, Jenson is King.
To watch him have another miserable race, when only 12-months previously they were campaigning for him to retain his seat at McLaren, and to see him watching from the pit wall would be even worse than not racing at all for many.
The only saving grace for Button and Spanish compatriot Fernando Alonso is that neither can be upset with the way they are publicly addressing McLaren’s problems, remaining (at least in public) optimistic about the continual improvements being made to the MP4-30, even if they are yet to been seen on track.
Above all the drama and tension in the paddock, Silverstone and the sold-out crowd are expected to see an action-packed race with battles all through the grid, even if 50-grid penalties make another appearance. After all, it is fun to watch a four-time world champion compete with a troubled Manor Marussia isn’t it?
The British Grand Prix starts at 1pm and is live on the BBC and Sky Sports F1.