The home favourite does not have the normal support of the British fans as the Grand Prix takes place this weekend without fans due to the coronavirus measures, which has also seen Sergio Perez ruled out of the race after he tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday evening.
It means a return for Nico Hulkengberg in the Racing Point, who despite appearing to have enormous pace in the car disappointed in qualifying as Max Verstappen took third behind the two Mercedes, with the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in fourth ahead of another British driver in McLaren’s Lando Norris. Follow the live action below.
Looking at more recent news, it was a third straight pole position for Lewis Hamilton, who set a blistering new track record to clinch top spot ahead of Valtteri Bottas in yesterday’s qualifying session.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Hamilton though as a spin in Q2 not only showed home much the drivers were battling the track, but also put him in jeopardy of needing a second run on the medium tyres to make it through to Q3.
If strategy plays out as expected, Hamilton shouldn’t suffer too much from using an extra set of medium tyres, though he does not have a brand new set of medium compound tyres should a two-stopper come into play, unlike Bottas.
Here’s how qualifying played out.
It is the first British Grand Prix since the death of Sir Stirling Moss, who passed away on the 12 April at the age of 90 following a short illness.
Moss was one of the most-loved figures within the sport and the original British gentleman driver, who remains arguably the greatest to have never won the world championship.
Despite the absence of fans, F1 have paid tribute to Moss as well as Sky Sports and Channel Four, who have run their own tributes to the great driver.
It’ll be a British Grand Prix like no other, with drivers like Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and George Russell admitting Silverstone just does not feel the same without the fans.
An empty Silverstone greets the 20 drivers this weekend in the first of two back-to-back races, with the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix next weekend to also take place at the famous British circuit.
While the action continues though, this weekend has really hit home how the sport is missing one of its greatest aspects.
Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the British Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton bids to win a seventh race at Silverstone of his career in an effort to increase his world championship lead.
When is it?
The British Grand Prix takes place across 31 July – 2 August 2020.
What time does each session start?
Free practice 1: 11am – 12:30pm BST
Free practice 2: 3pm – 4:30pm BST
Free practice 3: 11am – 12pm BST
Qualifying: 2pm – 3pm BST
Race: 2:10pm – 4:10pm BST
How can I watch it?
All European races will be held behind closed doors, meaning that the only way fans will be able to see the action is on television.
In the UK, Sky Sports continue to hold the exclusive rights for F1, but Channel 4 is able to show every session from the British Grand Prix live this weekend.
If you’re not a Sky customer you can purchase a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.
Here’s how Sky and Channel 4 plan to show the British Grand Prix:
Free practice 1: 10:30am – 12:50am BST – (Sky Sports F1 + Sky Sports Main Event), 10:55am – 12:35pm BST (Channel 4)
Free practice 2: 2:45pm – 4:45pm BST (Sky Sports F1 + Sky Sports Main Event), 2:35pm – 4:35pm BST (Channel 4)
Free practice 3: 10:45am – 12:10pm BST (Sky Sports F1 + Sky One), 10:55am – 12pm BST (Channel 4)
Qualifying: 1pm – 3:35pm BST (Sky Sports F1 + Sky One), 1pm – 4pm BST (Channel 4)
Race: 12:30pm – 5pm BST (Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky One), 1pm – 6pm BST (Channel 4)
Highlights: 6:30pm – 7:30pm BST (Sky Sports F1 + Sky One), 11:45pm – 12:45am BST (Channel 4)
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With Sergio Perez ruled out of action, Racing Point will have to make a decision on who to replace the Mexican with as they intend on racing two cars this weekend. Esteban Gutierrez is one option, with the Mercedes reserve driver the allocated back-up for Racing Point this weekend as Stoffel Vandoorne is unavailable. But Gutierrez has not raced an F1 car since leaving Alfa Romeo (formerly Sauber) at the end of 2014.
A more recent and likely option is Nico Hulkenberg, with the German missing out on a seat in 2020 after being replaced at Renault by Esteban Ocon. Hulkenberg drove for the Racing Point team in their former guise as Force India in 2012 and from 2014 to 2016.
1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 24.303secs
2 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:24.616
3 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:25.325
4 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:25.427
5 Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:25.782
6 Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:25.839
7 Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:25.965
8 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:26.009
9 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Renault 1:26.209
10 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:26.339
11 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:26.501
12 Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:26.545
13 Nico Hulkenburg (Ger) Racing Point 1:26.566
14 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:26.744
15 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:27.158
16 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:27.164
17 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:27.366
18 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:27.643
19 Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:27.705
20 George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:27.092 + five-place grid penalty