F1 British Grand Prix form guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the race
All the key stats and facts you need before the cars take to the track at Silverstone
After an action packed race in Austria, F1 now moves on to the final race of the first back to back triple header: the iconic British Grand Prix.
The British GP is the oldest on the F1 calendar as the 1950 Silverstone race was the first in the inaugural championship. The 2018 race will be the 52nd time at Silverstone, with both Aintree and Brands Hatch having also hosted the event.
Mercedes had a race to forget at the Red Bull Ring last time out, but with Lewis Hamilton a five time winner and crowd favourite at Silverstone, the Brit will be hoping for a turn of fortune at his home race this Sunday.
WHAT HAPPENED HERE LAST YEAR?
As you can see from the graph, Lewis Hamilton was imperious last year and led from start to finish. Not only that, he achieved the grand slam by also taking pole and the fastest lap.
Other standout drives were Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo. Bottas started ninth after a five place grid penalty but managed to get second after passing both Ferraris.
Ricciardo started second last after a turbo failure in quali but from there the Aussie had a blinder, finally finishing fifth with an unusual two stop strategy.
Seb Vettel had a tyre blowout on the second last lap relegating him to seventh – the result was that Lewis closed the Championship lead to one point, coincidentally Seb’s current lead in 2018!
HOME TOWN HERO RULES THE PODIUM
Hamilton’s win in 2017 bought his tally to five – equaling the great Jim Clarke and Alain Prost with the most ever at the British GP.
With only one podium each at Silverstone both Red Bull drivers will hope the pace shown in Austria carries on to Britain.
UNUSUAL OVERTAKES STATS
There have traditionally been some fantastic overtakes at Silverstone. Some might remember Nigel Mansell’s deft dummy on his team mate Nelson Piquet in 1987 or Mark Webber’s brilliant dice and overtake of the Ferrari clad Fernando Alonso in 2012.
Webber stalks Alonso ahead of his move in 2012 (Pic: Sutton)
There is no doubt Silverstone can provide some brilliant racing but what is interesting is that over the last four years the number of overtakes in the race (as per our definition) has been the inverse to the average of all tracks.
Unlike many of the other circuits in 2017 Silverstone saw a healthy 37 overtakes. Lets hope that bodes well or another great race in 2018.
SO HOW IMPORTANT IS QUALIFYING?
As always pole will be important on Sunday but historically it has not been quite as critical at Silverstone. With over 50 races having been run at Silverstone the graph below includes a solid sample size.
Only five of the last 14 races have been won from pole. What must bring a lot of confidence to Lewis Hamilton is that he has achieved three of those five – starting from pole and winning in the last three GPs. The proportion of wins from outside the front two rows is a little lower than average but the 2nd to 4th grid positions have managed more victories here than is typical elsewhere.
The lowest grid position to go on and win the race was seventh, which was achieved by Emerson Fittipaldi in his McLaren in 1975.
WHO HAS THE QUALIFYING EDGE AT SILVERSTONE?
The two Ferrari drivers have the edge over their Mercedes counterparts in terms of quali bias at Silverstone. Both Ferrari drivers have on average qualified around one place better here than their career average.
Dan Ricciardo has the worst quali bias of all drivers at Silverstone at over three places worse than his career average. He will be hoping to turn this trend around after being let down by his car at the last outing in Austria.
Both Ocon and Vandoorne made Q3 in their first race at Silverstone last year giving them equal best figures in terms of quali bias.
RACE RESULTS: WHO PUNCHES ABOVE THEIR WEIGHT AT SILVERSTONE?
While the Championship leader Seb Vettel has won at Silverstone, he has has an unfavourable track bias of 0.7 places in the race results. This is in part due to the fact that he has failed to finish one in five races at the circuit – the worst percentage of retirements of all drivers who have raced here at least five times, except for Roman Grosjean who has retired twice from six starts.
In contrast Seb’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen has performed well here with a favourable track bias of 0.8 places. The Kimster’s strong second place in Austria tightened up the Ferrari head to head results so he will be hoping to make the most of his track bias.
For the first time this year the qualifying lap record wasn’t set in 2017! Well in fact it was… the 2009 record set by Seb Vettel was on the Bridge Grand Prix Circuit which is 750m shorter than the current configuration. Lewis’ 2017 lap smashed the previous Arena Circuit lap record by nearly 2.5 seconds.
It should be no surprise for regular readers of our Form Guides to see Michael Schumacher and his magnificent 2004 Ferrari holding the overall race lap record. What’s different this time is again this record was set on the shortened Bridge Circuit. Still, it’s a nice coincidence to see the German on the table again.
One stop was the dominant pit stop strategy last year. Of the 11 drivers making only one stop the pit lap ranged from lap 20 to lap 37.
TRACK SPEED AND CORNERS
Silverstone is a fast, flowing track with an average speed last year for the winning driver of 221.3km/h. This made it the third fastest track on the calendar in terms of average speed despite having a higher than average number of corners at 18.
WILL LEWIS MAKE IT 4 FROM 4?
Lewis Hamilton has been the dominant force at Silverstone over the past three years – three poles and three race wins is a dangerous precedent. Prior to the various issues Mercedes experienced at last week's race the team looked very strong. That combined with Hamilton’s love of Silverstone surely makes him odds on for a fourpeat!
Will Lewis do it again...?
Lewis Hamilton will be favourite to take another win at Silverstone this Sunday (Pic: Sutton)