LEWIS HAMILTON and Sebastian Vettel continue their title battle this weekend at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The German holds a 20-point lead in the standings, but Hamilton has won three in a row at his home race and will be eager to extend that streak.
Here, Sky Sports’ Natalie Pinkham guides you through the weekend’s seven big talking points.
1. Is Valtteri Bottas the real deal and can he win the title this season?
Absolutely. He’s understated and unflappable. He is calmly getting on with the job.
After his win in Austria you saw a twinkle in his eye, and a spring in his step – he seems to have realised winning the title this year is not beyond the realms of possibility.
2. Does Lewis Hamilton’s dejection post-Austrian GP show that he is struggling to cope with this season’s title race?
Only Lewis can answer that.
He did seem low after the race, but he has coped with bigger set backs than these and has come out fighting so I’m sure he’ll do the same again.
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3. How much would a victory at Silverstone reignite his season?
The drivers all say winning their home race is the ultimate.
Silverstone is a track Lewis thrives at, and the fans obviously love him; so hopefully he can have a strong weekend and get a strong haul of points, bringing the title race alive.
4. Does Silverstone have a future past 2019 as the host venue for the British Grand Prix?
I certainly hope so.
It’s a place very close to my heart as I grew up just twenty minutes from the circuit, and got the F1 bug after being taken there by my folks back in the late 80’s.
Plus my Dad cooks a curry every year during the race weekend for the Sky team, so that’s a tradition that we have to keep up if nothing else!
5. Have Red Bull now shown that they are back up to speed and capable of challenging Mercedes and Ferrari for more wins?
They are certainly closer. The drivers seem to believe more in the car now.
Obviously Max has had some bad fortune lately – 5 DNFs from the last 7 races… surely his luck will change and we’ll start seeing some of those great overtakes that we know he’s capable of.
Daniel has been brilliant at capitalising on situations when they haven’t quite gone the way of Ferrari and Mercedes- which is great for the fans – it’s certainly not just a two horse race.
6. Will Sebastian Vettel receive a barracking from the British fans at Silverstone?
No, we British fans are far too classy for that!
Besides the British fans are a well informed bunch, we know a good racing rivalry when we see one.
There may be a bit of pantomime- but it’s all in good humour.
7. Is there any light at the end of the tunnel for long-suffering McLaren fans?
Absolutely – but only when a new engine supplier is confirmed.
Looks like it’s getting closer, and then hopefully all the hard work but the team will start paying off.
Natalie Pinkham is part of Sky Sports’ F1 team.
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