Can Mercedes keep the pace?

Lewis Hamilton (File)

Cape City – The System One championship lead has modified arms thrice in three races and there’s each indication that it’ll achieve this once more at Silverstone this afternoon except, in fact, Mercedes botch one other one.

Final day trip in Austria, Sebastian Vettel was gifted a one-point benefit in the championship race as he got here from sixth on the grid to complete third at the chequered flag.

The Ferrari driver’s afternoon was boosted by a double retirement from Mercedes, with Valtteri Bottas going out first after which Lewis Hamilton.

The annoyed Brit left the circuit after a public apology from Mercedes’ strategist James Vowles, who had made a pricey error when the digital security automotive got here out for Bottas, costing Hamilton the victory.

It ought to have been a straightforward Mercedes 1-2.

As an alternative, it was a day wherein the cracks – in reliability, on the pit wall and one may say in the cockpit – confirmed.

It was additionally a day wherein Vettel and Ferrari grabbed the lead in each championships.

Nonetheless, it could not final for very lengthy.

Half three of System 1’s triple-header sees the sport head to Silverstone for spherical 10 of the championship.

It’s a race that has belonged to Mercedes lately, with the Brackley squad chasing their sixth successive UK Grand Prix win and Hamilton his sixth at dwelling – fifth in a row having triumphed there final season, comfortably forward of Bottas and Kimi Räikkönen.

Ought to the Brit take the win right now, he’ll tie together with his racing hero Ayrton Senna as solely the second driver in F1 historical past to have received 5 consecutive editions of the identical Grand Prix.

Senna did it in Monaco from 1989 to 1993.

However the place have we stated earlier than this season that Mercedes will likely be dominant?

They have been meant to win in Canada, so stated the historical past books, and so they have been scripted to win in Austria.

They didn’t in both.

The turnaround on this 12 months’s kind guide has Ferrari and Purple Bull feeling hopeful about their probabilities, however, at the identical time, downplaying it.

Ferrari workforce boss Maurizio Arrivabene has predicted a “difficult” Grand Prix for the Scuderia as all the pieces about the Northamptonshire observe, from its energy straights and quick corners to aerodynamic necessities, fits Mercedes.

However with Mercedes demonstrating at the Purple Bull Ring that they aren’t bulletproof, there’s a lot to play for at the entrance – revenge for Mercedes, championship lead for Ferrari and satisfaction for Purple Bull as they give the impression of being to comply with up Max Verstappen’s Austrian victory with their first UK triumph since 2012. For Ferrari, it’s a must to return to 2011 to seek out the final time they received in enemy territory.

As at all times, although, it’s the midfield battle that’s more likely to yield the finest racing, with Renault, Haas, McLaren and Drive India all searching for most factors and to select up any items ought to the massive three get it improper.

Tyres – this 12 months, Pirelli is bringing the laborious, mediums and smooth compounds to the race – may additionally play a task.

Many keep in mind Tyregate in 2013 when there have been 4 similar Pirelli left-rear tyre failures. Extra just lately, final 12 months in actual fact, Vettel suffered a tyre failure with two laps to go, in the end ending seventh.

As for the British climate, it is going to be summer season right now with temperatures reaching 28°C. The warmth may but trigger havoc and blistering on these Pirelli tyres. – TEAMtalk Media

Source link