Sadly local hero George Russell gets a three-place grid penalty for this incident with Carlos Sainz yesterday. I think it’s a bit harsh but, going by his race pace yesterday, he has a decent chance of scoring points but will need a good start.
And Sergio Pérez will start his Red Bull from the pit lane (as opposed to the last grid slot) as changes were made to his car, violating parc ferme regulations.
His brilliant lap moved him up six places from 11th to fifth. He finished seventh in the end and was one of a few drivers to use the soft compound tyres. It certainly worked. He is really finding his form now.
Welcome to our liveblog for the 2021 British Grand Prix, from Silverstone. It’s been a fairly strange weekend so far, what with the new format. Qualifying for the sprint race was on Friday evening, the actual qualifying sprint race itself was on Saturday afternoon so it has all been a bit mixed up. What happened in the Sprint (not a race, according to Formula One)? Here’s Phil Duncan with a brief recap.
A dejected Lewis Hamilton wished he could restart Formula One’s maiden Sprint race after his poor getaway allowed Max Verstappen to make history at Silverstone and deal a further setback to the Briton’s hopes of a record-breaking eighth world crown.
That allowed Verstappen to draw alongside and pass him before the opening right-handed Abbey bend.
Hamilton crossed the line 1.2 seconds behind Verstappen and then had to share a truck with his Red Bull rival for a final lap of Silverstone as the top three were paraded to the fans. Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished third in the other Mercedes.
Verstappen claimed three points – and Hamilton two – for his “victory” in the Sprint Qualifying, which means he extends his championship lead to 33 points. Starting on pole ahead of Hamilton should be the bigger thing for him, though.
Was F1’s first sprint race a success? Yes and no is the short answer. There will be a longer answer coming up shortly. Today’s business is the usual Grand Prix and it is often an interesting one around Silverstone. Hamilton might, however, have his work cut out to win it if Verstappen keeps his lead off the start line. If not then it could be up to Mercedes to try something interesting.
If Mercedes fail to beat Red Bull to victory here, then you have to question Hamilton’s realistic hopes of claiming the drivers’ title, even with a potential 13 races left. All will not be lost, but going without a win in six races is a very bad sign indeed. The small comfort for the defending champions is that Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Pérez will start in last place after spinning in yesterday’s sprint qualifying, so that offers a good chance of making ground in the constructors’ championship.
The race begins at 3pm BST and we will be here for all of the build-up, live action and reaction from a packed Silverstone.