What to watch for: British Grand Prix (CNBC, NBC Sports app from 7:30am ET)

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In the week that has followed the Austrian Grand Prix, much has been made of the brewing rivalry between Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Following their clash on the last lap at the Red Bull Ring, we’ve had stewards decisions, accusations of destroyed dressing rooms, comment retractions and even rules of engagement.

But the simple facts remain unchanged: Rosberg leads the championship by 11 points, Hamilton is on pole for his home grand prix at Silverstone, and the duo are set to fight it out yet again on Sunday from the front row of the grid.

You can watch the British Grand Prix live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 7:30am ET on Sunday. Here’s what to watch for in the race.

2016 British Grand Prix – What to watch for

Can Lewis and Nico behave?

It is the same question we asked in our GP preview on Thursday, but remains the big talking point for Sunday. Hamilton and Rosberg have made the conditions clear following their clash in Austria – yet there is still a title to fight for. Who will be able to push the boundaries and gain the upper hand without going over the limit?

Great British weather to play a part

As we saw in Austria last weekend, rain has a great habit of drawing the field close together. Max Verstappen said after qualifying that it could bring Red Bull into the fight for the win should Silverstone be hit with some seasonally-drab British weather, and after a shower in the GP2 race this morning, all eyes will be on the sky this afternoon.

Ferrari, Red Bull’s battle to continue

The momentum between Ferrari and Red Bull has swung back and forth in recent races, but Silverstone appears to be too close to call. Sebastian Vettel will have to fight back from 11th after a grid penalty, but takes confidence in his race pace, while Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo locked out the second row of the grid.

If it remains dry, Mercedes should sweep to victory. The battle to complete the podium is far harder to predict, though.

Any home joy for Button?

Today marks Jenson Button’s 17th British Grand Prix. In 16 previous attempts, he has never finished on the podium, making Silverstone something of an anomaly throughout his impressive career. Starting P17, he is unlikely to break his top-three drought, but fighting back to score points would undoubtedly feel like a victory to the McLaren driver.

Ericsson set to race following Saturday shunt

Marcus Ericsson and Sauber may rarely feature in our ‘what to watch for’ pieces, but seeing him line up on the grid today will be a big achievement. His frightening shunt in FP3 on Saturday morning left him in need of a hospital check-up and his car requiring a total rebuild. Both man and machine have been declared ready to race, keeping the grid at 22 cars for Sunday.

Pirelli strategy prediction

QUICKEST – Two-stopper: two stints on soft of 12 laps each + one 28-lap stint on medium
SECOND-QUICKEST – Three-stopper: three stints on soft of 12 laps each + one 16-lap stint on medium
THIRD-QUICKEST – Two-stopper: one 12-lap stint on soft + one 14-lap stint on new soft + one 26-lap stint on hard
SLOWEST – Two-stopper: one stint on soft of 12 laps + two 20-lap stints on medium

2016 British Grand Prix – Starting Grid

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Max Verstappen Red Bull
4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
6. Valtteri Bottas Williams
7. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso
8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
9. Fernando Alonso McLaren
10. Sergio Perez Force India
11. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari*
12. Felipe Massa Williams
13. Romain Grosjean Haas
14. Esteban Gutierrez Haas
15. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
16. Kevin Magnussen Renault
17. Jenson Button McLaren
18. Jolyon Palmer Renault
19. Rio Haryanto Manor
20. Pascal Wehrlein Manor
21. Felipe Nasr Sauber
PL. Marcus Ericsson Sauber

* Vettel drops five places on the grid after receiving a penalty for a gearbox change
** Ericsson to start from pit lane after Sauber broke parc ferme conditions overnight

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.