British Grand Prix 2020 LIVE
- Lewis Hamilton chasing seventh win from pole
- Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen in 2nd and 3rd
- Sebastian Vettel starts 10th on the grid for Ferrari
- F1 stars to stage anti-racism protest at Silverstone
1.50pm: The drivers are gearing up to take a stand against discrimination on the grid. The show of solidarity will be followed by a Spitfire flyover to honour the NHS.
1.47pm: Nightmare for Hulkenberg. He’s going to have to start from the pits if Racing Point can get his car started. He’s missed the cut-off to make it to the grid.
1.45pm: Hulkenberg appears to have a problem here with his RP20. Fingers crossed the Racing Point mechanics and engineers can get to the bottom of that.
1.44pm: We’re less than half an hour away from the start of this year’s British Grand Prix! Who are you backing to win today?
1.41pm: Who’d win a race around Silverstone in Mercedes GTRs out of Hamilton, Bottas and team principal Toto Wolff? Well, Sky Sports F1 just gave us our answer. Turns out it’s Bottas.
1.37pm: Norris will be desperate to make his mark at his home Grand Prix but he thinks McLaren are in for a tricky race today. “I think it’s going to be a tough race for us,” said Norris. “The Racing Point looks extremely quick, much quicker than us.”
Norris is currently fourth in the F1 standings, 11 points and four places better off than team-mate Sainz.
1.32pm: The cars are out of the garages as they make their way to the grid. Let’s hope Verstappen doesn’t suffer a repeat of last month’s mishap in Hungary! Credit to those Red Bull mechanics. They worked wonders following the 22-year-old’s crash into the barriers.
1.30pm: Mercedes set the pace in qualifying and their W11s look nigh-on unbeatable this season. Technical expert Karun Chandhok gave his verdict on how the 2020 car respresents a step up from last year’s W10 earlier this week.
“If you look at the lap-time gain, I think in Hungary it was about three tenths [from] last year to this year for Mercedes,” Chandhok told Express Sport on Tuesday. “Red Bull stayed the same and, obviously, Ferrari’s gone backwards.
“But it seems to be medium-slow-speed [corners] that this year’s car seems to be better. They’ve not gained a huge amount in the high speed.
“In fact, when you look at [Sergio] Perez and [Lance] Stroll in high-speed corners, on the GPS you could see in Hungary Stroll was not far away from the Mercs. In fact on some of them of the corners he was quicker than the Mercs, at Turn Four for example. It seems to be medium-slow-speed [corners].”
1.25pm: Renault’s Ricciardo starts eighth today and yesterday said he was pleased to have booked a place on the fourth row at Silverstone. “I’m happy with eighth place today, especially in quite tricky conditions,” Ricciardo said. “It was a clean lap, no mistakes, nothing too spectacular, but good enough for eighth and just short of seventh.
“It was pretty close there with a few of us within half a second of each other. We’ve been in and around the top 10 all weekend, so we can be pleased with today’s performance.
“Tomorrow’s race will be interesting, especially in the battle for sixth or maybe fifth position. We’re starting on the softs, as are most people around us, so we’ll see what we can do. Taking home good points is the target.”
1.20pm: Hamilton and co. are set to make a united stand against racism ahead of this afternoon’s British Grand Prix. The F1 champion demanded senior figures do more to give a platform to calls for change following last month’s race in Hungary.
And, yesterday, it was confirmed there will be a protest against racism and all forms of discrimination before today’s race gets underway. A statement from the FIA said: “The FIA, Formula 1, Teams and Drivers stand united as a sport in the fight to end racism and full support equality, inclusivity and equal opportunity for all.
“The FIA supports any form of individual expression in accordance with the fundamental principles of its Statutes, and as a mark of respect each driver, as an individual, may choose to mark this moment with their own gesture.”
1.15pm: Leclerc might be starting in fourth today but Ferrari chairman John Elkann has written off the team’s hopes of winning races until 2022. So, how will the Monegasque by feeling about that assessment? Martin Brundle offered us his take earlier this week.
“He’s going to be very disappointed, because it all looked so glorious last year,” Brundle told Express Sport. “Quite clearly they were pushing the spirit of the regulations in quite a forceful way.
“I think with the way it’s now structured and compressed, the end of this season almost becomes the beginning of next season. The cars are pretty static. They’ve got a limit of tokens to improve the car. It’s fair to say, whatever you’re running now, you’ll be running next year, by and large. That doesn’t bode well.
“All the Ferrari-engine runners are back down the road a second a lap, with clearly less power. That’s another one that makes my heart sink. We need Ferrari in there but in there in way that’s within the regulations.”
1.10pm: Racing Point stand-in Hulkenberg has got the backing of Bottas as he gets set to compete in a Grand Prix for the first time since last November. “I’m sure he will be sore and, he’s probably not been prepared, physically, to drive a Formula 1 like we all did for the first race,” said Bottas.
“But I think he’s done really good, I think it’s a big challenge for him, with such short notice, he was setting some good lap times but obviously big experience from the past. I hope he has a good race.”
1.05pm: The British Grand Prix goes ahead in front of empty grandstands this year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 1995 winner Johnny Herbert admits it will make for an unusual experience but he can’t see it damaging the on-track spectacle.
“What’s the word? Different,” Herbert told Express Sport. “When I was in Hungary, the only time I noticed there being no fans around was actually when there was the build-up on the grid itself because, when you looked up into the grandstand, it was empty.
“But the rest of it all works. So for F1 drivers in the bubble, nothing has changed. It’s just a little bit different where Martin [Brundle] would normally go through the grid and the flag-waving of Lando or Lewis or whoever it may be and the driver parade as well.
“But overall the racing will be the racing that we all love to watch. I know everyone’s going to be sitting at home, but I think the entertainment will still always be there. You just haven’t quite got that live element. We’ve just all got to realise it’s a – hopefully – short time before we can get back to having fans in football stadiums and, of course, at F1.”
1pm: Lando Norris is sporting a fantastic helmet especially made for today’s race. The McLaren driver picked a design from six-year-old Eva Muttram, so watch out for that as he starts from fifth, a place better off than Lance Stroll.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz is seventh on the grid today, with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon eighth and ninth respectively for Renault. Pierre Gasly is 11th after being squeezed out of contention for a place in Q3 by Stroll.
12:45pm: George Russell made it into Q2 for the third consecutive race but he’ll start from the back after being handed a five-place grid penalty. The Williams driver failed to slow down under yellow flags after his team-mate Nicholas Latifi spun out yesterday.
Joining Russell on the back row is Daniiel Kvyat, who also took a five-place grid penalty. The AlphaTauri driver, however, moves back because he took a new gearbox for this weekend’s meet in Northamptonshire.
Haas and Alfa Romeo’s 2020 qualifying struggles continued on Friday, with Kevin Magnussen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean filling the spots from 14th to 17th after being bumped up by Russell and Kvyat’s respective penalties. Like Ferrari, the two teams are struggling with the engines supplied by the Italian big guns.
It’s worth watching out for Nico Hulkenberg today. The German came in as a late replacement for Sergio Perez following the Racing Point driver’s positive coronavirus test result and starts 13th on the grid at Silverstone.
12:30pm: Good afternoon and welcome to Express Sport‘s live coverage of the British Grand Prix! Lewis Hamilton starts on pole for a record seventh time at Silverstone after putting in a stunning performance in qualifying yesterday afternoon.
The Mercedes driver spun off the track at Luffield as team-mate Valtteri Bottas set a new record lap time in Q2. But he made a remarkable recovery to smash that record and underline why he’ll be the man to beat out there today.
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Max Verstappen was more than a second off the pace of Hamilton, but the Red Bull driver says he’s given himself a “fighting chance” of taking on the Mercedes by qualifying in third. The Dutchman’s team-mate Alex Albon starts down in 12th and finds himself under mounting pressure.
One man who’s driving with the weight of expectation of his shoulders this season is Sebastian Vettel. The departing Ferrari driver said, though, that his weekend “couldn’t get much worse” after he qualified in 10th – six places back from team-mate Charles Leclerc.
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