F1 Preview: 2016 British Grand Prix

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Formula 1 ventures to one of its most historic and well-attended circuits this weekend as Silverstone plays host to the British Grand Prix.

Despite there being a state of political disarray in the UK at the moment and the weather being unpredictable at best, over 100,000 fans will ensure Silverstone has a feel-good atmosphere over the coming days.

Lewis Hamilton arrives at his home grand prix with the championship lead once again in sight after his dramatic and controversial victory in last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

A final-lap clash with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg saw the fire between the Silver Arrows be stoked once again, leading to crunch talks on Thursday ahead of the race.

Mercedes has confirmed that its drivers remain free to race – for now – but that any future conflicts will be dealt with more severely.

Regardless, we now arrive at Silverstone with the title fight finely-poised, Rosberg’s lead now standing at just 11 points.

Here’s our full preview of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, live on CNBC and the NBC Sports App this Sunday from 7:30am ET.

Talking Points – 2016 British Grand Prix

Can Lewis and Nico behave?

There have been a number of major flashpoints in the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg during their time together as teammates.

However, the one in Austria is arguably the most important yet. Just when Rosberg appeared to be gaining momentum and getting on top in the intra-team battle, the momentum has swung back in his teammate’s favor.

This weekend, all eyes will be on Hamilton and Rosberg to see if they can keep it clean on-track and behave themselves. Mercedes has made clear that a repeat of Austria cannot happen. But we enter a weekend where both will be fired up and ready to prove a point.

Ferrari, Red Bull look to capitalize

Mercedes was somewhat fortunate that the Hamilton-Rosberg clash happened in Austria. Had it been Canada or Monaco, it would have cost the team a race win. Red Bull and Ferrari simply weren’t close enough last weekend.

Silverstone should be a good test to see just how far both teams have come. Engine power and speed through fast corners are both key traits, playing to the respective strengths of Ferrari and Red Bull.

A sprinkling of rain – almost guaranteed at some point over the Silverstone weekend – and who knows? Maybe the battle at the front will open up again.

Perhaps the man who has the most to gain is Kimi Raikkonen. His seat is coming under increasing scrutiny, and although the alternatives are hardly compelling, Ferrari will want some reasons as to why it should stick with him.

Button’s Silverstone podium hunt set to continue

There isn’t much Jenson Button hasn’t done in his F1 career – yet standing on the podium at his home grand prix is still a feat that eludes him. The Briton finished sixth in the 2009 British Grand Prix, the year of his title win, and has finished fourth on three occasions.

Button enjoyed arguably McLaren’s strongest weekend since rekindling its engine deal with Honda in Austria, starting third and finishing sixth, yet it was very much down to the conditions.

“In the wet we were pretty quick and in the drying conditions we made the best of it,” Button said of Austria. “Put it P5 and obviously got lifted up to P3 and was running P2 for a bit of the race, but we were quickly put in our place. To beat the cars that we did, we did alright.”

However, with the Silverstone layout set to play against McLaren, even with a repeat of Austria’s crazy race, scoring that elusive podium seems unlikely. Will this be the last chance JB gets though?

Grosjean, Gutierrez hope to continue Haas’ momentum

Haas has found the reality of racing in F1 biting back in recent weeks. After a stunning start to the season that saw Romain Grosjean score points in three of the opening four races, the top 10 eluded the American team in Spain, Monaco, Canada and Azerbaijan.

Grosjean put an end to the barren run in Austria last weekend, but should the race be a bit more stable at Silverstone, Haas may find itself battling outside the points once again. The British Grand Prix acts as one of Haas’ home races, given its factory is just down the road in Banbury, so it is an important one for the team.

Particular importance will be placed on Esteban Gutierrez’s race. The Mexican is still yet to score any points for Haas so far this season. Although he has been battling illness and has encountered some bad luck, the gulf to Grosjean may be cause for concern. Silverstone would be a good place to turn things around.

Keep calm and carry on

Being British at the moment is… interesting. The country has been in a state of flux since the vote to leave the European Union two weeks ago, particularly with the leaders of the Leave campaign slowly skulking away. Add into that the unpredictable weather and England’s embarrassment in EURO 2016, and everything seems a bit ‘meh’.

But us Brits never waver when the going gets tough. The old “keep calm and carry on” mantra rings true at the moment, yet the home fans may get something to get excited about this weekend at Silverstone. With Hamilton leading the charge and both Button and Jolyon Palmer flying the flag, the bulk of the fans at Silverstone will be hopeful of some home success.

Sport has a tremendous ability to unite people. Look how people in the Netherlands reacted to Max Verstappen’s breakthrough victory in Spain, or – away from F1 – how Iceland came together thanks to its own success at the EUROs.

At Silverstone on Sunday, you’ll see the hunger Brits have for racing on full display, come rain or shine.

2016 British Grand Prix – Facts and Figures

Track: Silverstone
Corners: 18
Lap Record: Mark Webber 1:33.401 (2013)
Tire Compounds: Hard/Medium/Soft
2015 Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2015 Pole Position: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:32.248
2015 Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:37.093
DRS Zones: Wellington Straight (T5 to T6); Hangar Straight (T14 to T15)

2016 British Grand Prix – TV Times

Free Practice 1: NBC Sports App 5am ET 7/8
Free Practice 2: NBC Sports App 9am ET 7/8 (encore on NBCSN, 3pm ET)
Free Practice 3: NBC Sports App 5am ET 7/9
Qualifying: NBCSN 8am ET 7/9
Race: CNBC 7:30am ET 7/10 (encore on NBCSN, 2:30pm ET)

World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws

The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)