MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: British GP

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The British Grand Prix has a reputation for one of the most electric atmospheres in Formula 1 as the home fans come out in droves to cheer on world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The Briton has won twice before at Silverstone – in his championship years of 2008 and 2014 – and has designs on a third victory on home soil this weekend.

However, Hamilton will have to overcome Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg if he is to do so. The German driver has plenty of momentum after claiming three wins in the past four races, and is also a former winner at Silverstone.

With the heatwave that Britain is currently experiencing also set to play a part in the running this weekend, it may be a matter of which Mercedes driver can keep their cool at Silverstone.

You can read our complete preview of the British Grand Prix here.

Here’s what the MST writing team is expecting to happen this weekend. As ever, let us know your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. It’s hard to bet against the British driver on home soil. Hamilton has experienced some problems with his clutch in recent races, but is now reverting back to his 2014-spec one. With 140,000 fans behind him at Silverstone, I’m tipping Lewis to extend his championship lead.

Surprising FinishMcLaren. In that I’ll be surprised if they finish. Too harsh? Perhaps. The team completed a good test in Austria last week, so could be set to get back up to speed this weekend. Don’t expect miracles, though.

Most to ProveKimi Raikkonen. After a miserable run of form, Raikkonen is now under scrutiny for his 2016 seat at Ferrari. The likes of Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg are being linked with a seat at Maranello, meaning that the Finn needs to up his game and prove to Ferrari he is worth retaining.

Additional Storyline to WatchForce India’s B-spec car. A raft of upgrades will appear on the VJM08 car this weekend as Force India finally launches its B-spec car. The team has performed admirably to rank fifth in the constructors’ championship despite being behind on development, and it will be interesting to see how it progresses with these changes.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Rosberg is riding the hot hand but it seems almost sacrilegious to bet against Hamilton on home turf. He’ll be particularly keen to get back on top after losing out to Nico in three of the last four grands prix.

Surprising FinishNico Hulkenberg. He already exceeded the disposal of his machinery in Austria, and now with an update package coming, perhaps the Force India-Mercedes can end top-five on merit. Without an Indian GP on the schedule this is as close to a home race as possible for the team, based right near the track, and a great opportunity for a good result.

Most to ProveMcLaren-Honda. As ever this season, reliability and possible grid penalties are the story for McLaren heading into the weekend. Even more than a points score, simply finishing for either or both of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button must be the single goal.

Additional Storyline to Watch: Brits on home turf. We know Hamilton will ride the tidal wave of enthusiastic euphoria but what of the other drivers who are more likely to be propping up the grid, in Button and Will Stevens? Here’s hoping those two can add to the local story and outperform the disposal of their machinery, as Button has done here in the past.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams

The British Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
Dan Mullan/Getty Images
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SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas paced both F1 practices Friday for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was slowed by damaged tires in the first session.

Bottas turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session that bettered Hamilton’s 1:33.786.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was more than a second behind Bottas in third at 1:34.577, followed by the McLaren Racing duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. (1:34.723) and Lando Norris (1:34.847).

In the first F1 session at Sochi, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 34.923 seconds, beating Ricciardo by half a second. Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Red Bull, a further 0.147 back.

Hamilton could only manage 19th fastest after locking up his tires and leaving them with a flat spot. Ferrari again struggled to find pace with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Charles Leclerc 11th.

HISTORY IN SIGHTLewis Hamilton aims to tie Michael Schumacher’s record

The first session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Carlos Sainz Jr. spun his McLaren backward into a barrier and broke off his rear wing.

Verstappen spun during the second session but avoided damage to his car.