By Neil Leverett
- Lewis Hamilton looks to win on home tarmac for a record sixth time at Silverstone this weekend
- As F1 rolls into Northamptonshire, Briton holds 31-point Drivers’ Championship advantage despite finishing fifth in Austria
- Teammate Valtteri Bottas looking to close gap, as Max Verstappen goes for consecutive wins this season
SILVERSTONE, UK – Lewis Hamilton goes for a record sixth win at Silverstone this weekend in Round 10 of the 2019 Formula campaign, the British Grand Prix.
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Hamilton homes in on history
As Formula 1 makes the short trip from the European continent to the United Kingdom on its seven-leg 2019 trip, Round 10 this weekend rolls in Northamptonshire for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Following Max Verstappen‘s win in Austria a fortnight ago, McLaren-Mercedes could only manage third on the podium, as the German manufacturer was denied the slim possibility of a season-long 100% win record heading toward the final third of the campaign.
Despite Valtteri Bottas closing the gap on teammate Lewis Hamilton, after the defending World champion could only manage fifth behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in Spielberg, the Briton nevertheless still holds a 31-point advantage after nine races.
As Hamilton arrives on home tarmac in front of his adoring public however, the Briton will be keen to bounce back with the chance of winning at Silverstone for a record sixth time in his career.
Currently tied on five British GP wins with Scot Jim Clark and France’s Alain Prost, the 34-year-old can this Sunday further cement his name as a Formula 1 great, standing alone in crossing the chequered flag first on six occasions in the East Midlands.
Winning for the first time at Silverstone in 2008 during his second season in F1, Hamilton won four years running between 2014 and 2017, with Vettel denying his fifth on the bounce 12 months ago.
Standing between the Stevenage driver and yet another record this weekend stands the probable figure of Red Bull’s Verstappen, who after a consistent season of results, finally converted seven out of eight top four finishes into a win in Austria – despite an anxious two-hour wait for a post-race steward’s decision.
Going head-to-head – or wheel-to-wheel as was the case – in the final two laps in the shadow of the Styrian mountains last time out, the Dutchman forced Charles Leclerc off the road in his move for victory, diving underneath the Monagesque driver’s wheel on the right-handed third bend, which after much deliberation was ruled fair.
As a potential watershed moment in F1’s new stance on aggressive but safe driving, Leclerc was the first to congratulate his rival despite finishing runner-up, and having been on the end of a positive ruling, will Verstappen now be a force to rival Hamilton this weekend at his home GP?
74 up for Britain
As the British GP approaches a landmark 75th race next year – having ended months of speculation as reported by BBC Sport over its’ ongoing participation on the Formula 1 calendar, due to a break clause in its’ contract – 2019 sees the ninth race around Silverstone’s evolved circuit.
Having introduced a more modern ‘arena’ style layout in 2010, a new pit area was constructed for the following year, as the start/finish line was moved for the first time.
With the British race’s immediate future set until at least 2024, having had two other venues at Aintree and Brand Hatch in its’ past, the 52 laps of Northamptonshire’s environs are set to test once more.
As still one of the fastest tracks on the globe, Silverstone’s 5.891 km circuit houses some of the most iconic turns in Copse, Brooklands, Stowe and the redesigned Club, which leads into the home straight.
Arguably one of the most infamous race’s in British GP history took place back in 1999, when Michael Schumacher sustained a broken leg following a crash at Stowe, after brake failure saw the German crash at high speed and end his Drivers’ Championship hopes that year.
The 2019 British Grand Prix takes place this weekend at Silverstone, Northamptonshire, with the race on Sunday at 2.10pm BST.
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