As the British Grand Prix weekend approaches, we take a look at the British drivers taking part in the grand prix weekend at Silverstone across Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 3, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and the Masters Historic Formula 1 races.
FIA Formula 1 World Championship
Written by Paul Hensby
#44 Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport / Wins: 6 / Podiums: 8 / Standings: First (197 Points)
Six wins in the opening nine races has seen the five-time World Champion ease to a thirty-one-point lead over Mercedes AMG Motorsport team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the Drivers’ Championship, although Hamilton saw his run of consecutive podium finishes end with a fifth place finish in the Austrian Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Hamilton only has three pole positions in the opening nine races, equal to that of Bottas, but despite this he has taken two-thirds of the victories available, with only second place finishes in the Australian and Azerbaijan Grand Prix and his fifth at the Red Bull Ring ruining his impressive record.
At Silverstone in 2018, Hamilton found himself facing the wrong way early after contact with then-Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen but was still able to climb his way up to second at the chequered flag, and he will be firm favourite for the victory this weekend, as well as the firm favourite of the fans.
#4 McLaren F1 Team / Wins: 0 / Podiums: 0 / Standings: Eighth (22 Points)
The teenager has been an impressive addition to the Formula 1 grid in 2019 and has already proved the decision from the McLaren F1 Team to promote him to a race seat was the right thing to do despite only one year and a solitary win in the supporting FIA Formula 2 championship last year.
Partnering Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr., Norris has finished inside the points on four occasions in the opening nine races with a pair of sixth place finishes – in Bahrain and Austria – his best results to date. His Qualifying performances have also been strong, and he has lined up on the third row of the grid in the past two Grand Prix in France and Austria, and on merit too.
Heading into Silverstone with form, Norris will be hoping for another top ten performance in Qualifying and a third consecutive points finish as he looks to consolidate his eighth-place in the Drivers’ Championship – he is one point ahead of veteran Kimi Räikkönen of Alfa Romeo Racing – and McLaren’s fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
#23 Scuderia Toro Rosso / Wins: 0 / Podiums: 0 / Standings: Fifteenth (7 Points)
The final addition to the Formula 1 grid, Alexander Albon gave up the opportunity to race for FIA Formula E frontrunners e.DAMS alongside Sebastien Buemi in order to join Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2019, and his performances have more than justified not only his decision, but the choice by the team to bring back into the Red Bull fold a former Red Bull Junior.
The Anglo-Thai driver has found the going tough at times but has more than held his own against his more experienced team-mate Daniil Kvyat, and has put in some strong performances to date, particularly his drive from the pit lane to the points in the Chinese Grand Prix after a practice crash.
His eighth place finish in the Monaco Grand Prix is currently his best result but the recent rounds in Canada, France and Austria have been a struggle, and on a power track such as Silverstone, it will be hard to see Albon in contention to match his best, although it would not be a surprise should be break into the top ten on race day.
#63 ROKiT Williams Racing / Wins: 0 / Podiums: 0 / Standings: Nineteenth (0 Points)
It was always going to be tough making your debut with a team with only distant memories of being a front runner; it is unfortunately the truth that Williams Racing are not where the team everyone who follow Formula 1 wants them to be, trailing as they do right at the back of the pack.
Despite this, the 2017 GP3 Series champion, 2018 FIA Formula 2 champion and current Mercedes-Benz protégé has shown himself to be an integral part of the Grove-based team, and he can hold his head up high as his performances have completely run team-mate Robert Kubica into the ground. He has beaten the Polish driver in eight of the nine races to date, failing only to do so in France, and the qualifying battle is equally impressive.
Russell continues to be held in high regard, and should Williams find that downforce that is severely lacking, it is not inconceivable that the Briton can secure his first points in Formula 1. However, his home race might just be too soon for that and he could be destined to be in another scrap to avoid being last.
FIA Formula 2
#15 Campos Racing / Wins: 1 / Podiums: 4 / Standings: Fifth (86 Points)
In his second season in Formula 2, Jack Aitken has overcome the slump that heavily affected his 2018 season with ART Grand Prix. Now with Campos Racing, the Anglo-Korean driver is within a shout of becoming a title contender. His season started out strongly with a commanding drive to a Feature race win in the streets of Baku – followed by a third place in the Sprint race. A second place in Spain put him among-st the top end of the points table, before a shaky weekend at Monaco pushed him down the order. Two podiums at Circuit Paul Ricard followed and after a challenging weekend at the Red Bull Ring, leaves him fifth overall.
Aitken’s season has seen positives, but a lack of consistency has hindered his title aspirations, allowing the likes of fellow Renault Academy drivers Guanyu Zhou and Anthoine Hubert to catch up. But the Brit in the Spanish squad has made improvements to his race craft and speed that has seen him made more trips to the rostrums. A possible title charge could come, but more wins will need to occur in order for that to happen.
#16 MP Motorsport / Wins: 0 / Podiums: 1 / Standings: Tenth (40 Points)
After spending 2018 racing in America in the IndyCar Series, Jordan King made a return to Formula 2 in 2019 with the Dutch team MP Motorsport. The Brit has been the leading driver in the team throughout their 2019 campaign as he consistently has outscored team-mate Mahaveer Raghunathan. His return to F2 in Bahrain started out with a point in the Sprint race, before achieving his first trip back to the podium for the first time since the Feature race at Spa-Francorchamps in 2016 in Baku, passing then championship leader Nicholas Latifi with three minutes to go. King missed the Monaco Grand Prix to compete in the Indianapolis 500, which clashed with the F2 round. He handed the keys to his Number 16 machinery to Artem Markelov. King returned in France and scored points with sixth and further points at Austria with eighth and seventh.
King is currently MP’s leading point scorer this season and has performed well in his return to the championship. A podium finish in his return and continued points after missing a round has put King within the top ten of the championship, behind the likes of both Carlin drivers’. Silverstone will be a special track for King, having won the Sprint race here back in 2016, one of two wins he has achieved in the series so far. A similar result like that in 2019 could give himself and MP a boost in the standings heading into the final half of the season.
#11 Sauber Junior Team by Charouz / Wins: 0 / Podiums: 1 / Standings: Fifteenth (15 Points)
The 2018 GP3 Series third place driver has faced a somewhat challenging debut season in Formula 2. The Cambridge-born driver racing for the re-branded Sauber Junior Team by Charouz started his 2019 campaign on the back foot, crashing heavily in his first qualifying session in Bahrain. His season started to turn around with a strong comeback drive in Baku from the back of the grid, to ninth place. Ilott picked up his first points of the season with eighth in the Feature race at Barcelona, setting him up for reverse grid pole in the Sprint race. Ilott was able to keep hold of the cars behind him to earn his first trip to the podium in F2 with third place. Monaco saw a high and low moment for the Brit, as he was fastest overall in his qualifying group, earning him a front row start alongside Nyck de Vries. But an electric fire on the grid before the race ended his race on the spot, ending any chances of a potential result.
Ilott has faced some hurdles along the way in his rookie F2 season, but the Brit has shown potential pace that was displayed throughout his GP3 season last year. Whilst clinching a front row start and a podium finish ticks some boxes off in his rookie season, Ilott will hope Silverstone will be the turning point to his season.
FIA Formula 3
Written by Chloe Hewitt
#2 ART Grand Prix / Wins: 0 / Podiums: 1 / Standings: Fifth (37 Points)
Currently sitting fifth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, Max Fewtrell is currently the best placed Briton with 37 points to his name. Last time out he claimed second place in the Feature Race at the Red Bull Ring which marks his best result so far this season, which came from his best qualifying result of second.
The Renault Academy Driver followed that up with fourth in the Sprint Race for a strong points haul. At his home round of Silverstone, he will be hoping for another strong weekend to close the seventeen-point gap to Marcus Armstrong, who currently sits fourth in the standings, as well as gain an advantage over Pedro Piquet, who is just two points further back.
#11 HWA Racelab / Wins: 1 / Podiums: 1 / Standings: Seventh (29 Points)
After a disappointing opening weekend in the FIA Formula 3 Championship at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya where he left without scoring a point, Jake Hughes would have been keen for a strong weekend at Paul Ricard. The Brit did just that, by snatching pole position away from Jehan Daruvala in the dying moments of qualifying to take the four bonus points. The race did not go his way, after an incident with Armstrong that resulted in a grid penalty the next day. Hughes recovered to score two points in the Sprint Race.
The Briton’s best result this season came at the Red Bull Ring, where he was able to take advantage of Robert Shwartzman being handed a penalty for a collision with Armstrong, to claim the Sprint Race victory. Now he will be wanting to build on that strong result at his home round.
#9 Sauber Junior Team by Charouz / Wins: 0 / Podiums: 0 / Standings: Twenty-Fourth (0 Points)
It has been a difficult start to the season for the South African born Briton, whose best result thus far has been thirteenth in the second race at Paul Ricard. It has been a tough baptism of fire for all three drivers in the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz, with only Lirim Zendeli troubling the points in the opening three weekends, and then it was only in the last round at the Red Bull Ring where the German breached the top ten.
Heading to his home round, Hyman, the 2018 F3 Asian Champion, will be hopeful of impressing in front of the fans and getting his season kick started with a first points finish of 2019.
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup
Written by Vince Pettit
With no full time entry for a British driver in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup this year, all four home heroes are guest drivers for the Silverstone weekend, the first of the four drivers should need no introduction.
Sir Chris Hoy
#911 Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG / Testing: Twenty-fifth
Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy is no stranger to the race track, this year he has taken part in FIA World Rallycross (securing a points finish on his debut) and British GT; He’s an LMP3 champion and has raced at the 24 hours of Le Mans.
While he may have retired from cycling, he is showing no signs of slowing down and will be applying his amazing work ethic this weekend behind the wheel of the Porsche 911GT3 Cup car, racing under the guest banner of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG.
In testing at Silverstone in May, he finished in twenty-fifth place, completing 105 laps. Expect his pace to be stronger this weekend after his Pro-Am victory at Donington Park in the Multimatic Ford Mustang GT4.
#37 JTR / Testing: Second
Dan Harper heads in to the British Grand Prix weekend off of the back of a busy four days at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The eighteen-year-old was one duty for Porsche driving a variety of machinery, both old and new, securing the fastest time in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car up the hill.
The 2018/19 Porsche GB Junior has had a stellar season so far in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, picking up four wins and a further two podium finishes. He currently leads the championship by twenty points at the halfway mark.
During testing at Silverstone for the coming weekend he stamped his authority to make the Supercup regulars pay attention, finishing the two-day test in second place with seventy-one laps of the Grand Prix circuit under his belt.
There will be no surprises from us if he finishes on the podium this weekend, he also has the potential to take the win and is definitely one to watch at Silverstone.
#39 JTR / Testing: Eleventh
2018 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Rookie champion George Gamble is currently third in the 2019 Carrera Cup GB championship and has taken two victories along with a further two podium finishes.
There has been promising pace from Gamble throughout the season so far and has had his share of bad luck, Croft was a complete write-off of a weekend, quite literally when a collision took him out of the first race of the weekend, damaging the chassis of his car, forcing him to sit out the second race.
Aside from the non-finish and non-start, Gamble has finished every race of the year within the top four positions, a consistent race that should be able to challenge for a top-ten position this weekend.
Gamble set the eleventh fastest time during the two day test session at Silverstone, lapping the circuit ninety-four time.
#38 JTR / Testing: Seventeenth
After starting the year on the podium, 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am champion Seb Perez has had a bumpy ride on his graduation to the Pro class of the series.
Perez will be hoping this weekend coming up will mark a change in form with his last race weekend at Oulton Park proving a character building weekend with his worse result of the year so far, tenth place.
With one-second covering the top fourteen drivers in testing, the Supercup is ultra competitive and every sector will count. A total of thirty-three cars will be taking part in the race weekend at Silverstone, as long as Perez can put together a consistent pace, there is every chance he could be leading the mid-field battle.
#24 Team Project 1 – FACH / Testing: No prior testing due to late deal
A late addition to the grid, 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Josh Webster returns to the Supercup for a one-off race weekend with the Team Project 1 – FACH team. A regular in the Supercup in the 2017/18 seasons, Webster switched back to Carrera Cup for 2019, joining the series from the second race weekend, picking up a win in the second race.
Webster has raced five times at Silverstone in the Supercup, with his best finish coming in 2016 with Team Project 1, ending the race in fourth place.
#18 MRS Cup-Racing / Testing: No prior testing due to late deal
Another last minute change on the entry list sees Porsche Carrera Cup GB Am class frontrunner John Ferguson on the grid with the MRS Cup-Racing team. Like Webster, Ferguson was not present at the earlier test session due to the lateness of the deal coming together.
Masters Historic Formula 1
A number of British drivers will be taking part in these races, showing off some of the fantastic Formula 1 heritage as it should be seen, on track at high speed.
There are a total of twenty-two provisional entries leading up to the weekend with one name likely to peak the interest of current Formula 1 fans, Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey, who will be racing the 1968 Red and Gold Lotus 49.
A full list of entries for this event can be found on the Masters Historic Formula 1 website.
The Checkered Flag will be reporting from Silverstone throughout the weekend, check back for updates over the next three days.