Formula One British Grand Prix preview

Silverstone Circuit, home of the Formula One British Grand Prix

Silverstone Circuit, home of the Formula One British Grand Prix

The 2017 Formula One World Championship fight continues with Round 10, the British Grand Prix, which is on this weekend at the legendary Silverstone Circuit.

The British round is consistently one of the favorites on the F1 calendar. It’s a combination of the history of Silverstone, the knowledge and racing culture of the fans, unpredictable weather conditions, and the fact that numerous teams are based nearby.

Silverstone held the very first F1 race back in 1950, and though in later years hosting duties were shared with Aintree and Brands Hatch, today Silverstone remains the British Grand Prix’s official home. The layout of the track has seen constant revision since the inaugural race, with the most significant change coming in 2010 when the old perimeter layout was altered to create a new infield section.

The 3.66-mile track consists of sweeping, high-speed corners and fast straights, making it one of the quickest laps on the calendar and a popular place for drivers. In dry conditions, pole position is taken at an average speed of about 150 mph, and the power units are made to work hard because there are long periods of full throttle.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel tests Formula One’s proposed Shield cockpit protection system

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel tests Formula One’s proposed Shield cockpit protection system

And because of all the high-speed corners, not to mention a highly abrasive surface, the tires also get a thorough workout. Pirelli has nominated the medium, soft and supersoft compounds, a softer combination than originally planned. It means drivers will likely have to make more than one pit stop during the race.

As mentioned, the weather can also be quite changeable. Looking at the weather forecast, some rain is expected during both Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.

After Friday’s practice, Mercedes AMG’s Valtteri Bottas was the quickest. He was followed by fellow Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and then Ferrari duo Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel. During practice, Vettel took some time out to trial the new Shield cockpit protection system F1 organizers are looking to introduce next season.

Going into the weekend, Vettel leads the 2017 Drivers’ Championship with 171 points. Hamilton is second with 151 points and Bottas is third with 136 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 287 points, Ferrari is second with 254 points and Red Bull is third with 152 points. Hamilton was the winner of the last three British Grands Prix.

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