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Preview: British Grand Prix - race preview, prediction, driver standings

Sports Mole previews Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, including predictions, driver standings and constructor standings.

Up to 400,000 spectators are expected to descend upon Silverstone for three days of Formula 1 action that will culminate in Sunday's British Grand Prix.

Championship leader Max Verstappen will be looking to claim a third consecutive victory after winning in Azerbaijan and Canada.

Race preview

Max Verstappen atop the podium on June 19, 2022© Reuters

After a first lap collision ended his chances of winning the British Grand Prix last season, Verstappen will be looking to experience a successful weekend this time around.

Having won six of the nine races this season, the Dutchman will be regarded as the favourite for victory at Silverstone, with the Championship leader currently 46 points clear of team mate Sergio Perez.

The reigning world champion held off a late attack from Carlos Sainz to win in Canada two weeks ago, ensuring that a Red Bull driver has won the last six races.

While Red Bull have stamped their authority on the championship, the early season success for Ferrari has drifted away as a result of reliability issues which have hampered the team of late.

Charles Leclerc has retired from two of the last three races due to mechanical issues, while Sainz also suffered reliability problems in Azerbaijan as Ferrari recorded a double DNF.

Although confidence may be at a premium in the prancing horse garage, Sainz will at least take some encouragement from the fact that he finished in second place in his last two finishes.

Lewis Hamilton pictured on June 12, 2022© Reuters

As for Mercedes, they are hoping that the smooth asphalt of the Silverstone track will help them counteract the bouncing and porpoising issues that has been prevalent at street circuits this season.

Hamilton has struggled in the Mercedes this season, with the seven-time world champion currently 34 points adrift of his team mate George Russell.

The 37-year-old would have at least taken confidence from his third-placed finish in Canada, although he could go 11 races without a win if he is unable to finish on top spot on Sunday.

Despite Mercedes struggling to compete with Red Bull and Ferrari, team boss Toto Wolff will be pleased with Russell's form this season.

In his first season as a silver arrows driver, the 24-year-old has finished on the podium on three occasions, and he is also the only driver to finish in the top five of every race this season.

As well as Hamilton and Russell, McLaren driver Lando Norris will also be aiming to perform well in front of home crowd, especially after finishing in fourth place at Silverstone last season.

Track Guide

After racing on the streets of Monaco, Baku and Montreal, Formula 1 returns to the relative comfort of a purpose-built race track.

Silverstone is regarded as one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, with the circuit offering numerous overtaking opportunities, which will allow any drivers that are out of position after qualifying to make up ground on race day.

The first sector contains a couple of twisty corners before the cars head through the first DRS zone down the Wellington straight as they move into sector two.

After negotiating Brooklands, Luffield and Woodcote, the drivers will carry great speed into Copse corner where Hamilton and Verstappen came to blows on lap one of last year's British Grand Prix.

Perhaps the most entertaining section of the track awaits as the cars dance through Maggotts and Becketts, while they will be aiming to get a good exit out of Chapel to set themselves up for the second DRS zone on the Hangar Straight.

The final sector includes the Stowe and Vale sections before the cars make their way around Club corner as they wind themselves up for the short dash to the line.

Mercedes are hoping that the track will suit their car, with Hamilton looking to collect a fourth consecutive British Grand Prix win.

While Hamilton currently holds the record for the highest number of wins (eight) at the British Grand Prix, the Englishman is one of only three active drivers that have won at Silverstone.

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are the other two current drivers that have won in Northamptonshire - both winning on two occasions - which suggests that there is a good chance that there could be a first-time winner on Sunday.

Qualifying Results

Carlos Sainz pictured on March 26, 2022© Reuters

1. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
6. Lando Norris (McLaren)
7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
8. George Russell (Mercedes)
9. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
10. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
11. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
12. Valterri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
13. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
14. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
15. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
16. Alexander Albon (Williams)
17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
18. Sebastien Vettel (Aston Martin)
19. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
20. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

Sainz collected his first pole position as a Formula 1 driver, pipping Verstappen in a wet qualifying session.

Both Aston Martin drivers Stroll and Vettel were among those who were eliminated in Q1, while Latifi out-qualified his team mate Albon after reaching Q3 for the first time in his career.

With the track drying in the final qualifying session, lap times continued to tumble and while Leclerc spun on his final lap, his team-mate produced a time of 1.40.983 to squeeze out Verstappen, who had to settle for second position.

While Sainz will look forward to starting at the front of the pack, Hamilton and Russell may be slightly underwhelmed with their final runs in qualifying.

Hamilton will start in fifth place, with his team mate Russell in eighth position and the only other British driver Norris will line up in sixth spot for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Driver Standings

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 175
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) - 129
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) - 126
4. George Russell (Mercedes) - 111
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) - 102
6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - 77
7. Lando Norris (McLaren) - 50
8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) - 46
9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) - 39
10. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) - 18
11. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) - 16
12. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) - 15
13. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) - 15
14. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) - 13
15. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) - 11
16. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) - 5
17. Alexander Albon (Williams) - 3
18. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) - 3
19. Mick Schumacher (Haas) - 0
20. Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) - 0
21. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) - 0

Constructor Standings

1. Red Bull - 304
2. Ferrari - 228
3. Mercedes - 188
4. McLaren - 65
5. Alpine - 57
6. Alfa Romeo - 51
7. AlphaTauri - 27
8. Aston Martin - 16
9. Haas - 15
10. Williams - 3

SM words green background

We say: Max Verstappen to win

Although there is an expectation that Mercedes will fare well on the smooth Silverstone track, we cannot see past a Max Verstappen win on Sunday, although the Dutchman will have to find a way past Sainz, who claimed pole position in qualifying.

If Ferrari can avoid any reliability issues then we expect Leclerc and Sainz to challenge the Red Bulls, with Mercedes also in the mix for podium places, but given his recent form, we believe that Verstappen will have the pace to clinch a third consecutive victory.

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix on June 18, 2022.
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