- Round five of the 2020 Formula 1 season takes place this weekend with 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone
- Lewis Hamilton seeks to complete British double, as Nico Hulkenberg deputises for Sergio Perez once more
- GP commemorates 70th year of F1 championship at first race venue
SILVERSTONE, UK – Lewis Hamilton will look to complete an unprecedented home double this weekend in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Hamilton at the double?
Just days after sealing his seventh British Grand Prix victory last weekend at Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton will look to claim an 88th Formula 1 victory at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday.
As the quaint Northamptonshire environs welcome the F1 fraternity for the second weekend on the bounce, the Briton now leads the World Drivers’ Championship by 30 points, after his third successive win and will seek to complete a British double this weekend.
Set to follow his teammate home at the British GP before his late drop out of the points following a puncture, Valtteri Bottas races this weekend fresh from signing on for 2021, that will likely see him once more partner Hamilton next season.
Whilst in truth there is little between the Mercedes duo, as the Briton looks to complete Silverstone’s two weeks in the limelight at the top once more, the knowledge that just four wins separate the 35-year-old from Michael Schumacher‘s 91 F1 career wins, will be the driving force behind further home success for Hamilton.
Eyes on Pirelli
In the wake of the dramatic finale of last weekend’s GP, all eyes on will be on tyre performance at Silverstone after the tyres of both Mercedes and Racing Point’s Carlos Sainz suffered near-catastrophic left-front failures.
The inquest has been lengthy this past week in the build-up to the Anniversary GP, but Pirelli will still supply the softer C2, C3 and C4s for the race.
In a statement released in midweek – quoted by BBC Sport – F1 Pirelli boss Mario Isola suggested that the unprecedented wear suffered by the tyres late on in the British GP was due to the faster car speeds this season, resulting in greater pressure to the left-front wheel:
“The second safety-car period prompted nearly all the teams to bring forward their planned pit stop and so carry out a particularly long final stint: around 40 laps, which is more than three-quarters the total race length on one of the most demanding tracks of the calendar.
Combined with the notably increased pace of the 2020 F1 cars this made the final laps of the British Grand Prix especially tough, as a consequence of the biggest forces ever seen on tyres generated by the fastest F1 cars in history.”
Both Mercedes and Racing Point appear satisfied with the reasons offered for such a spectacular conclusion last weekend, but with temperatures forecast in the thirties this time around, Pirelli will be under the microscope.
Hulkenberg stands in again
A week on after Sergio Perez missing the British Grand Prix, the Mexican will again sit out the Anniversary GP after a further positive test for coronvirus on Thursday.
As BBC Sport reported on Friday morning, Perez remains physically well and was recovering.
Based on a technicality, Racing Point were hoping to exploit a change in health and safety guidelines between his initial first and second tests, allowing Perez to compete this weekend.
In his stead, Nico Hulkenberg will step in once more after being denied a race-day return following mechanical failure. Impressing in practice seven days ago in the heat, the German will be eyeing this weekend’s forecast keenly in what is arguably the best performance car he has raced in.
The 32-year-old has never achieved a podium during his ten-year career but however, does have a P1 to his name. Though Perez may not compete in Barcelona for Round six either, can Hulkenberg grab his moment in the limelight at the second opportunity?
Silverstone revels in nostalgia
As F1 prepares for a second trip around what many regard as the home of motorsport, this weekend will be flooded with memories of the very first season in 1950, as Silverstone staged the first race of the World Championship of Drivers as it was then known.
Won by Alfa Romeo’s Giuseppe Farina, the circuit has laid the foundations for F1 in the modern era, through the break-neck and peril of the 1970, ’80s and ’90s, into the current, more watered-down incarnation.
In its’ 70th anniversary year, this weekend’s race gets a fitting bill despite the most uncertain of times in sport with hopes that Sunday’s final British leg of the season, sees the appropriate send-off for F1’s trip to Spain in a week’s time.
The 70th Aniversary Grand Prix takes place at Silverstone this weekend, with lights out Sunday afternoon, 14:10 UK time.
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