Lewis Hamilton has won six of the last seven races at Silverstone but is hard to fancy ahead of Max Verstappen in this year’s British Grand Prix predictions.
Red Bull made it five straight victories when dominating the Austrian double-header and there seems little Mercedes can do to redress the balance.
Mercedes do have an upgrade planned for this event but Hamilton is sceptical over whether it will be enough to bridge the current gap.
“Not really,” commented the 36-year-old. “It is definitely not going to make up the time.
“There is a long way to go but we cannot match Red Bull at the moment. We will do our best but it is definitely going to be tough.”
The seven-time world champion will arrive for the 10th round of a scheduled 23 trailing Verstappen by 32 points in the title race.
“These past five races have been so difficult,” added Hamilton, who was a distant second at the Styrian Grand Prix and only fourth in the Austrian Grand Prix.
“Obviously, I have lost a lot of ground in the championship, so it has been pretty painful.”
How the Austrian Grand Prix finished
1 Verstappen (Red Bull), 2 Bottas (Mercedes), 3 Norris (McLaren), 4 Hamilton (Mercedes), 5 Sainz (Ferrari), 6 Perez (Red Bull), 7 Ricciardo (McLaren), 8 Leclerc (Ferrari), 9 Gasly (Alphatauri), 10 Alonso (Alpine Renault), 11 Russell (Williams), 12 Tsunoda (Alphatauri), 13 Stroll (Aston Martin), 14 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 15 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 16 Latifi (Williams), 17 Vettel (Aston Martin), 18 Schumacher (Haas), 19 Mazepin (Haas), DNF Ocon (Alpine Renault)
Verstappen has now won the last four races he has completed and confidence is sky high at the Milton Keynes-based Red Bull set-up.
Team Principal Christian Horner told the F1 website: “We’ve now won the last five races, a first for us in the hybrid era, but we cannot get complacent and need to keep that momentum going.
“There’s a long way to go in this championship, we don’t take anything for granted and we have to keep doing what we’re doing, session by session, race by race.
“We know Mercedes have been so strong at Silverstone over the last seven years, so they’re going to be mighty around there.
“And, of course, with the British fans supporting Lewis, that’s going to be more petrol in his tank.
“It’s the first of the Sprint races as well, so it’s going to be a different dynamic – but if we can carry this momentum into Silverstone, then there isn’t really anything we should fear.”
Team-mate Sergio Perez took advantage of Verstappen’s sole DNF of the season to prevail in Azerbaijan last month.
The Mexican continues to be inconsistent but could be seen as a value alternative to the big two at 12/1 in some British Grand Prix betting tips.
Valtteri Bottas will take heart from being runner-up last time out, putting his recent form figures at 4-3-2.
The Mercedes driver is 12/1 to extend that progressive sequence by claiming a first victory of the 2021 season.
McLaren’s Lando Norris further enhanced his growing reputation with a podium finish in Spielberg and is 22/1 to oblige on home turf.
Past British Grand Prix winners
2020 Hamilton (Mercedes), Verstappen, Leclerc
2019 Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas, Leclerc
2018 Vettel (Ferrari), Hamilton, Raikkonen
2017 Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas, Raikkonen
2016 Hamilton (Mercedes), Verstappen, Rosberg
2015 Hamilton (Mercedes), Rosberg, Vettel
2014 Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas, Ricciardo
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