2022 Formula 1 British Grand Prix: The Big Preview

Formula 1 heads to the world-famous Silverstone Circuit this weekend for the 2022 British Grand Prix.

Championship leader Max Verstappen has unfinished business at Silverstone with the Dutchman hoping to avenge last year's infamous Copse corner crash that saw him sent hurtling towards the barriers following contact with championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

Reliability issues have plagued Ferrari this season after a rapid start to the season, but Charles Leclerc recovered well from the back of the grid in Canada and will be hoping to dig into Verstappen's championship lead this weekend.

With the stage set for a dramatic British Grand Prix, RealSport101's Harry Smith is on hand to preview the weekend's action.

Last Time Out: Canadian Grand Prix

F1 returned to Canada for the first time since 2019 last time out and the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve delivered on its return.

Fernando Alonso grabbed the headlines in a wet Qualifying session, taking P2 on the grid while Verstappen started from pole position. The Spaniard defended well off the line but would lose out to the onrushing Carlos Sainz in the opening laps.

Sergio Perez saw his championship hopes dashed on Lap 8 when a mechanical issue forced him to retire, bringing out the virtual safety car and splitting the strategy of the frontrunners.

A second VSC would soon be produced when Mick Schumacher, who was running in the points following a tough run of results, saw his afternoon end early due to another mechanical issue.

The race ran quietly until the latter stages as Leclerc continued to climb the order, rising to P7 by the end of Lap 21, but the Monegasque driver was far from happy in his Ferrari, complaining of a lack of grip over the radio.

On Lap 47 the race sparked into life when Yuki Tsunoda crashed at the pit exit on cold tires, bringing out a safety car that allowed Sainz to pit for fresh tires, coming out just behind the race leader.

The Spaniard toiled away at Verstappen for the remaining laps as he went in search of his maiden F1 victory, but the flying Dutchman was unflappable at the front and took the chequered flag to seal a priceless victory for his championship hunt.

Classic Race: 2008 British Grand Prix

It's impossible to talk about Silverstone's history without revisiting the 2008 British Grand Prix.

Questions were raised over Lewis Hamilton's commitment to the sport heading into a wet British Grand Prix weekend, but the future seven-time world champion responded with one of the all-time great Formula 1 drives.

While his championship rivals struggled in the intense rain, Hamilton remained calm as he set the timing sheets alight. The unstoppable home hero took the chequered flag and claimed victory in his home race.

Nick Heidfeld would come home in second but finished a staggering 68 seconds behind the race winner, while Rubens Barrichello rounded off the podium.

The Championship Lowdown

Max Verstappen extended his lead at the top of the Driver's Standings with his win in Monreal with the gap to teammate Perez now sitting at 46 points.

Leclerc closed to within three points of the Mexican but still dropped points to the championship leader, while both Mercedes drivers enjoyed strong weekends.

In the Team Standings, Red Bull's lead has been cut down somewhat with 76 points now separating them from second-placed Ferrari.

Alpine have climbed up to fifth in the Constructor's Championship thanks to Esteban Ocon's composed drive, while Lance Stroll's P10 finish sees Aston Martin move clear of Haas in the battle for P8.

Storylines and Predictions

Package upgrades have been the talk of the F1 paddock heading into the British Grand Prix with Williams, Alpine and Mercedes all expected to bring major upgrades to their cars this weekend.

Williams are hopeful that their upgrades could be worth up to a staggering one second per lap. Alex Albon has been regularly battling for the lesser points-paying positions this season and could be thrust into the upper midfield battle if Williams' upgrades have the desired effect.

Alpine will be hoping to battle for the podium places again this weekend following on from Alonso's epic Qualifying performance in Canada. The inbound upgrades could establish Alpine as the fourth fastest car ahead of the British Grand Prix race weekend.

While Ferrari and Red Bull are focusing on reliability at the moment, Mercedes are expected to bring upgrades to Silverstone. Given their car performs better in tracks with medium and high-speed corners, Silverstone could bring plenty of joy for the Silver Arrows' all-British driver lineup.

RealSport101's British Grand Prix predictions

Pole Position: Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

Podium: P1: Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), P2: Max Verstappen (Red Bull), P3: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Weekend Schedule

The schedule for this weekend's British Grand Prix is listed below:

FP1: Friday, July 1st (1pm BST)

FP2: Friday, July 1st (4pm BST)

FP3: Saturday, July 2nd (12pm BST)

Qualifying: Saturday, July 2nd (13pm BST)

Race: Sunday, July 3rd (1pm BST)

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