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Verstappen vengeance as Mercedes upgrades spark promise - What to expect at the British GP

Verstappen vengeance as Mercedes upgrades spark promise - What to expect at the British GP

F1 News

Verstappen vengeance as Mercedes upgrades spark promise - What to expect at the British GP

Verstappen vengeance as Mercedes upgrades spark promise - What to expect at the British GP

After a weekend break, F1 returns to the British Grand Prix as the sport enters an intense period of racing through July.

Silverstone plays host to the first of four races in a five-week period before the traditional summer break when teams close their factories and personnel take time off.

Max Verstappen enters the weekend with a 46-point lead over team-mate Sergio Perez in the drivers' standings after his recent victory in Canada.

Can anyone stop the Dutchman and Red Bull this weekend? Here is what to expect.

Verstappen out for redemption as Red Bull charge for magnificent seven

Last year's British GP is already an iconic moment in F1 folklore given the magnitude of the events that unfolded on lap one.

Then championship protagonists Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at Copse after an intense battle through the first sector and a half of the race.

Following a 65g impact into a barrier that left the Dutchman winded, he was later taken to hospital and left angry by his rival's victory celebration.

Fast forward 12 months and it seems Hamilton will not be a factor come race day. Instead, Ferrari looks to be the lead contender but after winning six in a row, Red Bull is the favourite to make it a magnificent seven.

Verstappen will be eager to gain revenge for last year's events, especially in front of Hamilton and Mercedes' home crowd.

Should he manage the win, questions will be asked as to whether the championship challenge from Ferrari has any legs left in it.

Leclerc to challenge after PU penalty pain

Charles Leclerc's Canadian Grand Prix challenge was effectively over before it started with Ferrari taking a grid penalty by changing the Monégasque's power unit.

After a strong opening to the year when Leclerc took a commanding lead at the top of the standings, a string of reliability and strategic failures have left the team floundering.

Leclerc led both the Spanish and Azerbaijan Grands Prix, so there is no doubt the pace is there to challenge Verstappen.

On a positive note, Leclerc will be back at the sharp end of the grid for this weekend's event, and with Carlos Sainz finding form in Canada, Ferrari has been provided with hope of a two-pronged attack against Red Bull.

Mercedes upgrades to kickstart season

Mercedes arrives at its home race with upgrades aimed at pushing the team towards a Red Bull-Ferrari challenge.

Despite the groans coming from the team over its lack of performance and discomfort for the drivers, the results for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell haven't been bad at all.

Russell is the only driver to have finished each race in the top five, whilst Hamilton clinched his second podium of the season in Canada.

With the adoration of the British crowd assisting them, both drivers will be hoping to be competitive at the sharp end of the weekend, even if those hopes seem far-fetched after the opening stanza of the campaign.

McLaren to find form under high speed

The high-speed challenge afforded by Silverstone should play into McLaren's hands after a difficult non-scoring weekend in Canada.

Other than The Loop and Vale, corner speeds will be higher than the average on the calendar which could provide McLaren with a chance to mix with the top 10.

Lando Norris has gained a healthy following during his time in the sport and with the home support, there is no reason to suggest the Briton cannot put in a strong performance.

The promising news for the Woking-based team is that Daniel Ricciardo has found a degree of performance again after his difficulties at the start of the year.

A small momentum shift should see McLaren back at the top of F1's midfield, ahead of Alpine.

Jewellery exemption period ends

Sorry to be the one to bring the jewellery ban back up, but the exemption period expires this weekend.

The situation spiralled out of control after the FIA issued a reminder at the Australian Grand Prix that jewellery would not be permitted to be worn when in the car.

Hamilton was defended by fellow drivers, notably Sebastian Vettel, when it was suggested he was being unfairly targeted by the clampdown, with the Mercedes driver turning up to his press conference in Miami wearing an assortment of accessories.

The ban had been delayed until the end of June but will now be put into effect, with drivers being scrutineered before racing.

This is a case of 'let's see how this one plays out'. Unfortunately, it is likely not the last we will hear on the subject.

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