Sky F1 broadcaster David Croft reckons Lewis Hamilton is set to break a special record this weekend at his home race at Silverstone.
Hamilton heads to his home Grand Prix at Silverstone with an updated Mercedes for this weekend, as his team attempt to unlock more performance from their troublesome W13.
While the results of the first nine races of the season suggest Hamilton isn’t likely to challenge for outright victory, a podium finish isn’t out of the question. If Hamilton manages to claim a podium this weekend, he’ll claim a new F1 record.
“This is a massive weekend for Mercedes,” Croft wrote in his preview for the British Grand Prix on Sky.
“We went to Spain and they had a handle on the bouncing, but then we went to street circuits – Monaco, Baku, and Canada – which were a lot bumpier.
“Silverstone should be a lot smoother track, and should reward the characteristics of the car. If the upgrades they’ve brought are working well, then they should be set for a strong weekend.
“Whether that means they’ll be in contention for the win, we have to wait and see. But, I’ll make a bold prediction and say Lewis Hamilton is going to break a record.
“Not necessarily the record for most wins at a single circuit – although that’s not to say he can’t – but I expect to see him on the podium, and therefore breaking the record for most podiums at a single event.”
Hamilton is currently tied with Michael Schumacher for that record. Hamilton has finished on an F1 podium at Silverstone on 12 occasions (which includes the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix in 2020), while Schumacher claimed 12 podium finishes at Imola, Barcelona, and Montreal. A podium this weekend at Silverstone would move Hamilton to 13 podiums, and clear of Schumacher.
But while Mercedes haven’t been much trouble for Ferrari and Red Bull so far this season, there are signs of clear improvement from the team as they have got a handle on the porpoising issues that plagued their car early in the year.
Croft believes this weekend could be an extra-special one for Hamilton, in a year that isn’t likely to yield much in terms of championship success.
“[Lewis] thrives off the adoration he gets from the home fans,” he said.
“That’s not to say they don’t support all the other home favourites, but they save a special something for Lewis and he saves a special something for them. Over the years he’s produced the goods for the people who have come to Silverstone and they expect to see him perform to the highest standards.
“Lewis adores Silverstone, and I’m sure he’s itching to get out in a car with upgrades, which might just be a little bit more reflective of his driving talents, rather than one he’s had to try and make the best out of so far this year.”