Silverstone (dpa) - Formula 1 is back at Silverstone. At today's fifth race of the season (3.10 p.m. / RTL and Sky) anything but a success would be a big surprise for one of the two Mercedes drivers.
A German could astound again in England - but this is not the four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
NICO HÜLKENBERG: For the second time, the Corona case from Rhineland replaces Sergio Perez and suddenly starts from third place. Driven by the powerful Mercedes engine, the Racing Point driver can even hope for his first career podium after 177 unsuccessful attempts. “I'm just a guest, so the expectations are different,” said the 32-year-old, who was not given a cockpit at the end of last year. "For me, it's about delivering a good race and scoring points." On the grid, however, Hülkenberg has the aggressive Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on his neck.
SEBASTIAN VETTEL: Ferrari's decline this season is amazing. The fact that Charles Leclerc only finished eighth in qualifying and Vettel started eleventh in the Grand Prix is a disgrace for Scuderia. The four-time world champion tries to somehow maintain his composure in his Ferrari farewell season and the fall into Formula 1 insignificance. "It will be difficult to fight for points in the race, but I'll do my best," he said, adding: "We're just not fast enough." After all, Vettel is free to choose his tires for the start of the race after he was eliminated on the softest tire compound in the second knockout round.
THE MERCEDES DUO: Valtteri Bottas grabbed pole position shortly after his contract was extended until 2021, it is the 13th of his career. The Finn does not give up his dream of winning the world championship, but his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton is racing towards his seventh championship. The Briton is only second on the grid, but one week after his first win at Silverstone, he wants to follow suit. It would round off Hamilton's weekend, on which Formula 1 can look back on 70 years of Grand Prix history.
THE TIRES: Last weekend several left front tires burst. Exclusive supplier Pirelli was alarmed and examined the damage. This weekend even softer tire compounds will be used, but an increase in air pressure was prescribed to relieve the pressure. Pirelli also advises against a one-stop strategy and, last but not least, excessive use of the softest rubbers, which degrade very quickly. Instead, the Italians recommend two tire changes over the 52 laps and applying the two harder compounds.
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Formula 1 driver field
Pirelli on the blowouts
Timetable in Silverstone
Information about the Silverstone course