F1 returns to Silverstone for the 2023 British GP this weekend in a season that has proven to be a bit of a surprise. Heading into the season, no one would have expected Red Bull to dominate the way they have. The team has won every race this season, and the lack of competition at the front of the grid is such that the rivals have been forced into submission because of the level at which the Austrian team is performing.
In all of this, we head to Silverstone this weekend, a track that has produced some breathtaking races in the last couple of years. Who can forget the battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in 2021? Or the stunning late-race battle for the podium between Leclerc, Hamilton, and Perez last season? Could we have something similar on our plates this season? Can Red Bull break their British GP curse and secure their first win at the track since 2012? Let's take a look at our preview and predictions of the 2023 F1 British GP.
2023 F1 British GP: Preview
#1 Upgrades for Mercedes and Ferrari
Mercedes suffered a lot in Austria and partly blamed the track layout for their poor performance. Ferrari, on the other hand, had a very strong race last weekend. The track layout and demands for Silverstone are much different from what we had in Austria, and they should tilt the balance more in favor of the German team.
To add to this, however, Silverstone is the track where Mercedes is claiming to bring its next big upgrade. If that upgrade works and helps the team make another substantial step, we're looking at exciting possibilities at the 2023 F1 British GP.
Similarly, Ferrari is bringing a few upgrades to the race and will be hoping that the car sustains or surpasses the level it showed in Austria.
#2 How will McLaren fare?
Lando Norris surprised everyone in Austria when he secured a P4 finish in the race by showing consistent race pace. The upturn in speed was attributed to both the driver and the upgrades. The massive jump in performance shown by McLaren on the track had fans and pundits raising their eyebrows.
The 2023 F1 British GP will be a race where McLaren will be hoping to confirm that the kind of performance it showed in Austria was no fluke and that the MCL60 has what it takes to compete at the top of the grid.
#3 The 'Anti-Max Verstappen' crowd
The last two F1 British GPs have seen Max Verstappen being the target of relentless boos. While the 2021 F1 season could be rationalized, the fact that it happened in 2022 started raising a lot of questions about how driver abuse has become a large part of the sport.
What began in Silverstone against Max was carried on in Austria against Lewis Hamilton and resulted in a lot of controversies. This season, we've not seen anything in Austria, and the organizers will be hoping that the sport remains respectful in Silverstone as well.
Lando Norris will enter his home race on the back of a P4 result in Austria. The race gave the team a lot of confidence, although there's still some trepidation over how the MCL60 will fare at Silverstone. For Norris, however, he dominated his young teammate last weekend and will be hoping to carry that forward his form this weekend as well.
Out of Form
George Russell has been forced to answer quite a few questions about his form recently, and most of them have come in comparison to his teammate. Ever since the race in Monaco, where Mercedes introduced upgrades, Russell has struggled to keep up with Lewis.
Not only that, his qualifying has struggled as well. At his home race in Silverstone, he will be hoping to bounce back and capitalize on the competitive pace that the car is expected to have this weekend.
2023 F1 British GP: Predictions
Who wins the race?
It's hard to look beyond Max Verstappen at this stage. The Red Bull driver's biggest strength has been his ability to not make a mistake. Mind you, there have been far too many scenarios where he could have in the last few races, but didn't. The track at Silverstone has not been the most friendly for Max. He's faced boos from the crowd in the last two seasons.
This time around, with Lewis and Mercedes off the pace, the Dutchman driver will be hoping he can pick up his 6th win in a row and secure Red Bull's first win at SIlverstone since 2012.
Surprise of the weekend (Team)
The performance levels put together by Mercedes in Barcelona should be a good indicator of how the car could work in the 2023 F1 British GP. The fast-speed corners are where Mercedes appears to excel, and Silverstone has plenty of them.
To add to this, the team is bringing what would be its second installment of a major upgrade to the track. With the way Mercedes seemingly operates, expect the German unit to make another dent in Red Bull's advantage and have a competitive weekend this time around.
Surprise of the weekend (Driver)
George Russell has had a few lackluster weekends heading into the 2023 F1 British GP. The driver has been outperformed by his teammate in terms of performance, and there are a few that have questioned how well Russell is performing this season.
In all of this, Russell will get his hands on the upgrades from Mercedes this weekend, and we're backing him to be in podium contention this time around.
Disappointment of the weekend (Team)
McLaren's surge in form surprised a lot of people in Austria, and many are keeping a close eye on how the car performs at the 2023 F1 British GP. Unfortunately for the team, a lot of the gains that were made in Austria appeared to be a function of track-specific characteristics and Aston Martin and Mercedes' lackluster show.
Expect McLaren to take a step back this weekend and contest in the midfield.
Disappointment of the weekend (Driver)
The 2023 F1 British GP will be another opportunity for Sergio Perez to show the world that he can still produce the goods. The Mexican has not had the best of runs in the last few races. Qualifying has been a concern for him, and this could come into play in Silverstone as well.
With teams like Mercedes and Aston Martin expected to be challengers in qualifying, we could see the two teams pushing Perez down the order as well. Sergio's Achilles heel has been his qualifying form, and the track in Silverstone might end up exposing it once again.