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F1: Adam Scriven's British GP Tips

Formula 1 returns 'home' for the British Grand Prix - scene of the first ever world championship event in 1950 - this weekend and Racing Post tipster Adam Scriven gives his best bets for the race.

WhatFormua 1 British Grand Prix
WhereSilverstone, Northamptonshire, England
When15:00, Sunday 3rd July, 2022
How to watchSky Sports F1
OddsMax Verstappen 10/11, Charles Leclerc 9/4, Sergio Perez 9/1, Lewis Hamilton 11/1, Carlos Sainz 12/1, George Russell 12/1

As was the case last year, Max Verstappen arrives for the British Grand Prix with such a commanding lead in the championship that he is guaranteed to still be at the head of affairs when he leaves Silverstone.

However, the Red Bull driver will be hoping for a better outcome in the race than last season, when the first in a series of high-profile clashes with Lewis Hamilton saw Verstappen pitched into the wall at high speed on the first lap.

Verstappen strolling towards second title

After a stuttering start, everything has been going right for Verstappen as he seeks to defend the title he won in controversial circumstances in the final race of last season.

The Dutchman has won five of the last six races, and finished third in Monaco behind his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez on a rare weekend where Verstappen never looked in contention for victory.

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The 24-year-old has a better record at Silverstone than the formbook suggests. He won the sprint qualifying race last year to earn pole position before that tangle with Hamilton on the opening lap. He brilliantly won the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in 2020 when there were back-to-back races at the track. A week previously, Verstappen had opted for a late pitstop to help him set the fastest lap, but that ended up costing him victory as Hamilton limped across the line with a puncture less than six seconds ahead of the Dutchman.

Leclerc looking for redemption

Verstappen is not the only driver arriving at Silverstone rueing what might have been last year. The first-lap incident allowed Charles Leclerc to take a lead which he held until three laps from the finish. Hamilton overcame a 10-second penalty for his part in the crash to pass Leclerc and take his eighth victory at the circuit.

That would be Leclerc's only podium of 2021 and the early championship leader has reason to be hopeful going into this weekend after a series of misfortunes sees him trailing Verstappen by 49 points.

There's no doubting the pure speed of the combination of Leclerc and Ferrari. The man from Monaco has taken six pole positions from this season's nine races and under other circumstances might have won all of the last four.

An engine issue robbed Leclerc of a certain victory in Spain and if that wasn't bad enough, that gremlin had further-reaching consequences. A related problem caused Leclerc to retire again in Azerbaijan - again while leading the race - and a complete change of power unit last time out in Canada meant he had to start from the back.

A slow late pitstop cost Leclerc the chance of a podium finish in a race that saw his underperforming team-mate Carlos Sainz finish right on the tail of winner Verstappen.

Leclerc looked in a class of his own in Monaco inbetween times, storming to pole position and building up a healthy early lead in the race. However, some dubious strategic decisions from the team as the wet track dried up condemned him to a fourth-place finish.

Clearly that kind of luck can't last forever. There's no real reason to be concerned over Ferrari's reliability - Red Bull have suffered more mechanical issues over the season than Ferrari have.

Meanwhile, a lack of straight-line speed, which left the Prancing Horses vulnerable in races earlier in the season, seems to have been rectified, and he looks a decent bet at 9/4 to bounce back.

Hamilton the hero of Silverstone

Seven-time world champion Hamilton has a great record at most tracks but none comes close to his love affair with Silverstone. Sir Lewis has won seven races at the circuit in the last eight years - fighting his way from the back to finish second in the other.

It has been a miserable season by Hamilton's standards as his Mercedes team have still not found the sweet spot with the new car, while he has struggled to keep pace with his hotshot young team-mate George Russell.

However, Hamilton gave a reminder not to write him off with a podium finish in Montreal last time, following fourth place in Azerbaijan.

A top-three finish is the best Hamilton can realistically hope for in front of his adoring fans this year, but Russell could be the better bet in that market. The Canadian result ended a run of seven races in which Hamilton finished behind his colleague. And Russell would probably have extended the sequence had he not taken a gamble and used dry tyres on a wet track in qualifying, leaving him to start eighth on the grid.

Russell has finished in the top five in every race this season, including three podiums in his first year at Mercedes.

Alonso hoping to realise Alpine's potential

It has been a frustrating season for veteran Fernando Alonso. The Spanish two-time world champion felt he should have been fighting for a podium in Australia but crashed in qualifying. A fantastic Saturday performance in Canada saw him line up on the front row for the first time in a decade, before it all unravelled in the race and he wound up ninth after a penalty for weaving.

The Alpine team are bringing significant upgrades to Silverstone and while Alonso has not yet managed a top-six finish this season, that is the market to back him in this weekend.

Zhou aiming to build momentum

Rookie Zhou Guanyu ended a run of terrible luck with eighth place in Montreal. Experienced team-mate Valtteri Bottas has shown the potential of the Alfa Romeo with seven points finishes and Chinese star Zhou, who won the Formula 2 feature race at Silverstone last year, is worth a small bet to contribute more points this weekend.

By Adam Scriven.

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