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British Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen enters unknown territory - What to expect at the British GP

The Dutchman has opened up a commanding lead at the top of the table, but will that continue?

F1 returns to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix as the summer break draws ever nearer.

Max Verstappen secured another win in Austria last weekend as Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez returned to the podium, though Ferrari's Charles Leclerc separated the duo by finishing second.

With plenty of intrigue on and off track this weekend, here's what to expect at the British GP.

Verstappen into unknown territory

Verstappen's latest victory pushed him to an 81-point lead in the Drivers' standings after nine races.

This is a dominance not seen since Sebastian Vettel led the 2011 standings by 77 points after eight races, with Verstappen's streak looking unlikely to end anytime soon.

A promising sign for those hoping for a race-leading battle is that Perez looked back on the pace in Austria and was only hampered by the track limit nightmare during Q2 that left him 15th on the grid.

Whether Perez has the outright pace to challenge his two-time champion teammate is an entirely different question, but it would be good to see Verstappen push during a race.

Mercedes and Ferrari battle for second

The race for second in the Constructors' standings took yet another turn in Austria as Ferrari emerged as Red Bull's closest challenger.

The Scuderia finished second through Leclerc in the race with its recent upgrade package seemingly solving - at least partly - its tyre degradation issues that plagued the opening stages of the season.

Ferrari remains fourth in the standings but closed the gap on Mercedes and Aston Martin, with both teams taking a step back across the Sprint weekend.

Lewis Hamilton complained about a lack of balance throughout the race at the Red Bull Ring, though Mercedes has upgrades lined up for Silverstone this time around.

The Silver Arrows will likely join Ferrari in what recent trends suggest will become a two-horse race for second in the standings.

McLaren in a top five?

Lando Norris was handed new McLaren upgrades in Austria and put them to good effect.

The MCL60 was faster than both Mercedes and Aston Martin under the control of the Briton, who has provided hope that the Woking-based team can overcome a difficult start to the season.

An impressive improvement can be franked at Silverstone this weekend if Norris can again challenge the big four teams, with the help of teammate Oscar Piastri who finally gets the new parts added to his car.

McLaren was open with its issues early in the year and the new parts have provided a promised improvement. With a new technical team preparing to join next year and a raft of infrastructural upgrades almost complete, there could soon be an established top-five in F1.

APX GP filming

The F1 film overseen by Lewis Hamilton begins filming this weekend.

Brad Pitt plays the lead character, alongside Damson Idris, who will play his APX GP teammate in the Apple original blockbuster.

The team has been given its own garage in the pits, fitted out with top F1 tech for full authenticity, with scenes set to be filmed across the event.

A specially-modified F2 car, with work completed by Mercedes and Carlin, will be used for the APX GP team and Pitt will drive himself, though stunt drivers will also be deployed for some of the shooting.

As ever in F1, eyes will be drawn to off-track activities as much as the on-track action - though the extent of this truth has increased this weekend.

			© Scott Garfield, Apple Studios, F1
	© Scott Garfield, Apple Studios, F1

Protest threat?

Just Stop Oil protesters have wreaked havoc on the British sporting scene this year.

Disruptions have taken place during events in soccer, rugby union, and snooker, whilst the Ashes cricket series and Wimbledon tennis championship have been hit with invasions in the past week alone.

A group of people breached track security at the British GP last year, though this was overshadowed by Zhou Guanyu's frightening first-corner crash.

Any repeat would pose a serious safety concern for all involved, from the protesters themselves to the drivers and the marshals who volunteer their own time to ensure the event goes ahead smoothly.

Here's hoping there are no serious incidents.

F1 2023 British Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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