The 2021 F1 grid in full

The opening races of this campaign have told us much about the potential of this year’s field, but what do the drivers need to achieve at Silverstone? Mark Hughes gives his verdict

F1 grid at the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
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Lewis-Hamilton-Mercedes-side

 Lewis Hamilton

Key to extending that record of British victories will likely be in qualifying and using his Merc’s speed through Maggotts/Becketts.

Valtteri Bottas Mercedes side Valtteri Bottas

Historically he’s been able to engage Hamilton in battle here and he needs to remind the world of his speed after a difficult early season.

Max Verstappen Red Bull side

Max Verstappen

Getting the Red Bull on the Merc pace in the high-speed sections where drag is dominant might be a tough ask.

Sergio Perez Red Bull side Sergio Pérez

After his breakthrough in Baku it’s all about not getting tagged behind slower cars so that he can be used as part of Red Bull’s race strategy.

Charles Leclerc Ferrari side Charles Leclerc

On paper Silverstone isn’t a Ferrari track, with high sensitivity to power and drag, so all he can do is squeeze every last drop from the car.

Carlos Sainz Ferrari side Carlos Sainz

Rekindling the momentum that was interrupted in Baku and staying on or about Leclerc’s pace will be a good achievement.

Lando Norris McLaren side Lando Norris

Taking the ball and continuing to run with it after emerging as McLaren’s cutting edge will require focus and steel.

Daniel Ricciardo McLaren side Daniel Ricciardo

Silverstone is the sort of flowing track at which Ricciardo’s difficulties with the McLaren may be minimised, so he has to make it count.

Fernando Alonso Alpine side Fernando Alonso

Not here to make up the numbers but his prospects of returning to the front probably lie exclusively with this team’s ability to break through.

Esteban Ocon Alpine side Esteban Ocon

Carried a lot of momentum into the season after a strong late-’20 but his challenge is to retain such form against an improving Alonso.

Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri side Pierre Gasly

Consistency and speed are there on demand these days but there’s a glass ceiling and he needs to attract interest from outside Red Bull.

Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri side Yuki Tsunoda

Sometimes startling speed is not yet evident everywhere but Red Bull have major plans for him and the challenge is to avoid repeat errors.

Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin side Sebastian Vettel

Seb’s Aston career entered a sweet phase from around Monaco and Baku and recapturing that every time out would fully re-establish him.

Lance Stroll Aston Martin side Lance Stroll

He’s made progress and he can put in very convincing performances, but just needs to join up the dots.

Nicholas Latifi Williams side Nicholas Latifi

Up against one of the fastest drivers in the field as team-mate; not letting his head drop amid a regular drubbing is a tough ask.

George Russell Williams side George Russell

Keeping focus in a car which is always going to struggle when there’s a career-changing chance on the horizon is his challenge.

Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo side Kimi Räikkönen

Silverstone’s fast sweeps are Kimi territory and his popularity here would make this a sweet race to remind people he can still turn it on.

Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo side Antonio Giovinazzi

Finally looking like a convincing prospect, speed more consistently accessed, and errors much reduced. Just needs more of the same.

Mick Schumacher Haas side Mick Schumacher

Within the limitations of his car he’s doing everything that could be asked. Must be ready to pounce if circumstances offer a chance to star.

Nikita Mazepin Haas side Nikita Mazepin

Given his form in F2, something has not been quite gelling here and he shouldn’t be finding F1 quite as tough as he is.