The “home Grand Prix” has in recent years been reduced by the preponderance of new Formula One races occurring outside of Europe.
With the British and German Grands Prix coming up in the next two weeks, eight of the 22 drivers on the grid will have their chance to race in front of their home fans. Three Englishmen and a Scot have the honor this weekend at Silverstone (Sunday, 7:30 a.m. ET, CNBC and live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra), while four Germans will race at the Nurburgring on July 7.
We’ll take a look at the English drivers in their home races first, then the Germans next week.
PAUL DI RESTA AND MAX CHILTON: FIRST REAL CHANCE TO MAKE THEIR MARK ON HOME SOIL
Lewis Hamilton’s a former winner and Jenson Button notorious for his hard luck in the British Grand Prix. The other two home drivers – Scotland’s Paul di Resta (Force India) and England’s Max Chilton (Marussia) – will attempt to write their first chapter of memorable history at the race this weekend.
Di Resta’s raced at Silverstone twice previously but was only 15th in his first start in 2011, and retired a year ago. Chilton has a less-than-distinguished GP2 record at Silverstone, with only two top-10 finishes in six races.
Car-wise, Di Resta’s Force India has been good in the races but he needs a solid qualifying effort after consecutive races being bounced out in Q1. The best Chilton can expect to do, as ever, is shade teammate Jules Bianchi and perhaps get ahead of one of the two Caterhams.
Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 9th
Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.
Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.
Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.
Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.
Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.
Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.
Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.