F1’s coming home as the season nears its halfway point. Despite the on-track action being exhilarating in the first nine rounds, this weekend is hotly anticipated for a number of reasons. Sit back and relax as I take you through everything to look for this weekend.
The controversial Sprint Qualifying makes its debut this weekend with the concept still dividing the fanbase. Things may get a little confusing as this is the first major format change since 2006. The traditional qualifying session moves to Friday evening follow Free Practice 1. FP3 becomes FP2 but remains in the usual Saturday morning slot. The results from qualifying set the grid for the 100km Sprint Qualifying. The result of which will set the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
To preserve the prestige of the Grand Prix, no podium will be held after the sprint race with the ‘winner’ becoming the pole-sitter for the record books. Points are handed out for the top three – 3 for the winner, 2 for second, and 1 for third. Drivers will be allowed a free tyre choice for the Grand Prix allowing for a multitude of strategies to spice things up.
The jury will be out from the start, although the weekend will have an element of mystery and freshness about it. I’m sceptical but excited nonetheless.
F1’s new era
Thursday will see F1 take to YouTube to usher in the new era with the 2022 cars being the focus. Many different artists impressions have appeared in recent months so it will be good to see how close they appear in comparison. The 2022 rule changes are the biggest in a generation with the aim to make it easier for cars to follow.
If you’re interested, head over to the official F1 YouTube channel to see the new look cars. A capacity crowd of 140,000 will also be able to see the models in the flesh as fans return to Silverstone for the first time in two years. It won’t be until March 2022, however, until we see if the changes have paid off.
George Russell to Mercedes?
Silverstone is being touted as the place where George Russell will be officially unveiled as a Mercedes driver for 2022. The Brit has looked a shoe-in for the Silver Arrows drive since his exemplary performance in Sahkir last year. Even if he isn’t announced this weekend, it’s surely only a matter of time.
Until that date, he will be continuing to drive the Williams and there would be no better place to secure his first points for the Grove team than at his home race. His performances in Austria mean it can’t be long until he does.
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