2019 British GP Tips And Preview By James Punt
It took a while but the Mercedes winning machine finally malfunctioned in Austria. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Ferrari that spoiled the Mercedes party. It was Red Bull and Max Verstappen. Leclerc was best of the rest for Ferrari in 2nd with our race tip Bottas filling the final podium place. Lewis Hamilton will be eager to bounce back this weekend on his home track. James Punt thinks he will, check out his 2019 British GP tips and preview below…
2019 British GP Preview
The Austrian GP was breath of fresh mountain air. Real racing, drama, lights to flag action and no silly driver penalties. It was massively helped by the fact that the conditions, very hot and thin air, found a crack in the Mercedes armour.
They couldn’t effectively cool the car and had to run the power units at a lower setting and open up the bodywork on the car which hurt them aerodynamically. Sadly that is likely to be a one off, with perhaps the exception of Mexico later in the season.
Normal Service To Resume At Silverstone
Normal service is likely to be resumed at Silverstone this weekend. In the turbo-hybrid era Mercedes have dominated with five pole positions (one for Rosberg, four for Hamilton) and four race wins for Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel won in a Ferrari last year but he benefited from a poor start from Hamilton. That was then compounded by him being hit by Raikkonen and putting him at the back of the field. Perhaps the fact that Hamilton then fought back to finish 2nd, just a couple of seconds behind Vettel, shows how much quicker he and the Mercedes were.
We will not see the kind of conditions which hurt Mercedes in Austria this weekend. The forecast is for largely dry weather, mostly cloudy, temperature around 20 degrees all weekend.
Some forecasts say there is a 50% chance of showers on Saturday around noon but most say it’s more like a 5-10% chance. As normal for Silverstone it will be breezy which can unsettle the cars balance. This must be the driest Formula 1 season that I can remember and there seems little chance of the wet stuff spicing up the show.
2019 British GP Tips: New Surface An Unknown
The one big unknown for the weekend is the fact that the track has been completely re-surfaced. It was also done last year but it seemed they employed one of those dodgy characters who turns up and offers to tarmac your drive for £50 but ends up leaving it in a mess and nicking all your garden furniture.
New tarmac is potentially a curve ball and I guess some teams will struggle and blame the surface but we can only wait and see.
The track is fast with a lot of fast and medium speed corners and curves. Around 60% of the lap is taken flat out which plays to Ferrari’s power advantage but the team themselves are talking down their chances say that the track will not be the best fit for this year’s car.
Ferrari has made some progress in qualifying and has been the fastest qualifier in two of the last three races this season. It was very close for pole last year so it may not be a given that Hamilton will be on pole, just most likely.
Home Comforts For Hamilton
For the race itself it is very, very hard to see past a 6th home GP win for Hamilton. He has the best track record by far and he loves performing in front of his adoring fans. His turbo-hybrid era record is four wins and a 2nd place. He has won six of the nine races in 2019 and not surprisingly he is the 1.80 favourite having opened up at 2.00.
Despite being odds on, he is still the value bet. Even if Ferrari find some improvement and nicked pole position can anyone have any faith that they could actually win a race? They had a great chance in Austria but picked a poor strategy and threw away the win. Yes the Verstappen/Red Bull combination was the best in the race but Ferrari gave Verstappen every assistance possible.
2019 British GP Tips: 10 points Lewis Hamilton to win the British GP @ 1.80 with William Hill, Betfair, Paddy Power
Some people might be hoping that Red Bull can follow up their Austrian win with another. After all Austria is a power sensitive circuit as is Silverstone. However Red Bull has not done well here in the turbo-hybrid era. No wins and a best place of 2nd for them from Verstappen and he needed some assistance for the stewards for that to happen. Just two podiums in five years tell the story. They remain underpowered compared to Ferrari and Mercedes and while Verstappen can’t be ruled out of a podium finish he will need a little luck to do so and a lot of luck to win.
It is not such a great track for Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. Despite the car being the one to have around Silverstone he has failed to qualify in the top 3 in two attempts (both 4th place on the grid). He was 2nd last year and 2nd for Williams in 2015 but it is far from his best track.
Sebastian Vettel has two wins, one for Red Bull 10 years ago and last year’s fortuitous one. Charles Leclerc retired in his Sauber last year having qualified 9th.
Who Can Be Best Of The Rest?
Predicting best of the rest is always an interesting puzzle. It is almost like the midfield teams take turns at it. In recent races McLaren have started to get a firm hold of the leadership of the midfield. They are now 20 points clear of Renault in 5th place in the constructor’s league table. Back to back double point’s finishes and back to back top 6 finishes. Their two drivers have been rewarded with contract extensions and deservedly so.
It hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Carlos Sainz however with three retirements and an 8th place. Lando Norris makes his F1 debut on home soil but he has raced in in F3 and F2 winning one race and 3rd in another. With the McLaren being good in fast corners they should be looking forward to their home race, more points and perhaps another top 6.
The two Mercedes and Ferrari drivers should fill the top 4 places, Verstappen will be up there as well but Pierre Gasly continues to struggle. He was ahead of Verstappen on the opening lap in Austria but ended up being lapped by his teammate. That is a sackable offence in my eyes but Red Bull is sticking with him for the meantime.
Hulkenberg Could Go Well
Gasly has manged just three top 6 finishes this season from the nine races so there could be an opportunity for one of the midfield drivers to get a top 6 finish. Norris and Sainz are both 3.20 to do so which is about right and not great value.
Renault has not been impressive in recent races. Just one 8th place from the last two races. Although, Ricciardo lost his points in France in the steward’s room. This is a track on which Nico Hulkenberg goes well at. In eight starts he has failed to finish in the top 10 just once and he has enjoyed back to back 6th places in the last two seasons for Renault.
He is getting his arse kicked by teammate Ricciardo in qualifying but they are tied on points. I fancy the German to have a good weekend. He will be penalty free on the grid this weekend. While the McLaren’s will be tough to beat, he should be looking at points and maybe more.
2019 British GP Tips: 3 points Nico Hulkenberg to finish in the points at 2.10 with Ladbrokes, Coral, Betvictor
2019 British GP Tips: 1 point Hulkenberg to finish in the top 6 @ 7.50 with Skybet
Alfa Romeo has had a bit of a midseason renaissance. The season started well for Raikkonen with points in the first four races but then nothing for three. However, some car improvements have seen him back in the points in the last two.
Even Giovinazzi scored a point in Austria which is the big pointer as to the upturn in their form. Kimi Raikkonen knows the circuit well and has one win and six more podiums in his long career. He is 1.73 to finish in the points and it is a toss-up between him and Ricciardo in the other Renault as to who gets the vote for a top 10 finish.
I think that Renault have the better race car. However, they will be giving up some horse power to the Ferrari powered Alfa Romeo’s. However it would no disaster if Raikkonen reaches Q3 and has to start on the tyres used in Q2. If Renault just miss out on Q3 then they get to choose their tyre strategy and that could be very useful on a track with a bit of an unknown track surface. There is a little more value on Ricciardo and he gets the nod.
2019 British GP Tips: 2 points Daniel Ricciardo to finish in the points @ 2.00 with Hills, Betfair
Racing Point continues to struggle and is currently in 7th place on 19 points. This is their home race with the factory just outside the gates of Silverstone. However they have had just one point’s finish from the last five races. You have to wonder if they have just given up on this season. Qualifying is a big problem with Stroll averaging 17.11 place, Perez 13.22. With a very close and competitive midfield that makes scoring points very hard.
Toro Rosso has also struggled in recent races with no points from the last two. Like Red Bull, Silverstone probably isn’t going to be a great track for Toro Rosso. The Honda power unit is better but still down on power compared to the Ferrari and Mercedes powered teams. They have failed to score a point here for the last two years. With McLaren, Alfa Romeo and Renault on the up they may well be squeezed out of the points again.
Haas Have Lost The Plot
Haas have just lost the plot completely. They don’t understand the tyres at all. With a newly re-surfaced track and all the fast corners I can see then cooking their tyres in no time. From having the fastest ‘best of the rest’ car at the start of the season they are now 9th in the constructors’ table.
I would like to see what they could do on a wet track so if we do get a wet session we might learn something and perhaps get a Haas shaped surprise. However in the dry they are going to suffer once again. They have failed to score any points in the last three races and just one from the last four.
2019 British GP Tips: 3 points Grosjean and Magnussen not to score a point @ 2.75 with Betfred (pickyourpunt)
Williams will be celebrating 40 years since their first win so at least they will have something to celebrate because they will be last again.