British GP 2017: Hamilton v Vettel

Agusta 109eBeatrice Zamuner with McLaren-Honda’s rookie Stoffel Vandoorne at the Monaco GP

In a few days our VIP arrivals lounge opens at Silverstone and to preview 2017’s British Grand Prix we’ve invited F1 blogger Beatrice Zamuner to give us an insight to the potential clash between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel following the events in Azerbaijan.

Hamilton and Vettel Turn up The Heat

A fiery statement has been made in Azerbaijan by Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. The fight became personal starting from Vettel’s controversial move on the Mercedes rival and his callous attempts of denying the faulty deed while facing the media. The German claimed Hamilton was brake-testing him at the race restart, but Mercedes have provided the stewards with a strong alibi: telemetry.

Race director Charlie Whiting decided to hand Vettel a 10 secs stop/go penalty, causing him to abandon his winning chances. However, karma acted evenly by forcing Hamilton to relinquish the leadership of the race due to his unsecured headrest. Such error was a costly team’s blunder, that prevented the triple world champion to gain significant advantage on Vettel.

Will Hamilton Surf His Strong Silverstone Streak?

Looking ahead to Hamilton’s home race, the British GP at Silverstone, the behaviour of both drivers needs to be watched closely.

It is no secret that Lewis feels extremely confident and strong at home, having won the race four times and having started a successful streak in 2014. Can he go crowd-surfing there in 2017 as well? He cannot afford any mistakes and the team has to be on point all week-end.

Hospitality options available at Silverstone after your flight inTrackside hospitality options available at Silverstone

The Mercedes team has been working hard to stay safe and sound in the title fight, which has been particularly enhanced by Hamilton’s debacle in Russia and the strong comeback he made in Spain. However, their performance cannot be fluctuating any longer: no precarious head protections, no wrong strategy calls, no set-up errors are permitted.

As far as Lewis is concerned, he is doing great by pushing the car to the limit and delivering outstanding performances. Extending his streak at Silverstone is a massive opportunity, which also feels emotionally meaningful to the champion himself. Undoubtedly, winning at Silverstone is what Hamilton is looking forward to every season and he always shows his fighting spirit at its fullest there.

The car seems to be better at qualifying than in races, but the driver is making a solid difference which shows much promise ahead of the British GP. Therefore, all team members will have to come up their best in order to seize and maximise all opportunities.

Lewis Hamilton’s First Helicopter Flight to the British Grand PrixWe’re very proud that Lewis Hamilton flew to his debut British GP with Atlas Helicopters (click for more)

Or Will We See a Fiery Ferrari?

On the contrary Ferrari is fierce in 2017. Binotto’s work turned out to be a concrete title threat, giving Vettel the chance to win any race at any time. Lately Mercedes has been leaping forward and successfully managed to steal the spotlight from the Pracing Horse in qualifying as well as in races. However, what Ferrari has not been lacking is consistency, which is key to keep Vettel on the lead of the chart.

The behaviour of the German driver needs to be addressed anyway. Vettel has been living dangerously throughout his whole career by making himself recognisable from shady acts and unique radio rants. His latest potentially dangerous move was made in Azerbaijan, when he ploughed into Hamilton twice and denied it was on purpose.

Not only did the FIA give him a penalty, but they also deprived him from 3 license points. By doing that, the race direction indirectly stated a harsh ultimatum, as he is now 3 points away from a race ban. Therefore, the Baku shenanigans need to be maturely put aside and be replaced with an evenly-matched fair fight.

How are the Teams Coping with The New F1 Rules?

This newly-bred Formula 1 is still struggling in an identity crisis and what it desperately requires is clean action. The retro-inspired car designs according to the 2017 technical rules suggest a collective will of going back to real racing roots. To stay true to that, there is simply no room for unfairness, even though it can induce the development of useful drama.

It has to be the case of Force India, which has seen its two drivers clashing twice in a row. Perez and Ocon have to bring their A-game and professionalism to their home race, in order not to fail to score precious points. In fact, the Indian team has been on a positive learning curve; the result year by year flamboyantly show it and the line up cannot interfere in such important achievements.

Agusta 109eBeatrice at the Ascari corner, Monza, 2015 Italian GP, supporting her hero Fernando Alonso

Another team that needs to keep the expectations high is Williams. Having scored a podium finish with 18-year-old Lance Stroll, their confidence boost will allow them to be aware of having two reliable drivers. At the same time, the Canadian youngster will have to prove himself once again and the pressure is high, especially because he is a pay driver and is commonly seen as an undeserving wonder.

Hopefully Honda will not be a one hit wonder as well in the point zone. McLaren has been facing a hard time due to Honda’s unsatisfying promises and results. Moreover, rumours of the Woking-based outfit exploiting break-clauses from the Japanese manufacturer have been circulating and deal opportunities have come into Zak Brown’s path. However, McLaren-Honda is no longer at 0 in the constructors’ championship and cannot disappoint at its home race in the United Kingdom.

Red Bull wishes for a more stable range of competitiveness and does not need to impress after Ricciardo’s victory in Baku. Max Verstappen seems to struggle more due to unfortunate reliability issues but the British GP might be his chance to bounce back and make an impact.

Beatrice Zamuner is a high school student of classical literature who collaborates with Rach F1 is the English website. You can follow Beatrice on her very active Twitter feed @ZamunerB

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