The fight between Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton resumes at Silverstone this weekend, and while the rest of the 22 car field will likely again jostle for the minor placings, it’s this headlining tussle that continues to dominate Formula One.
After losing to his team-mate in the last few races Hamilton would like nothing more than to start clawing back the 29 point deficit on his home circuit, at the very venue he frequented as a kart-racing boy.
Two non-finishes for Hamilton (Nico’s scored in every round so far) have resulted in more than a race win’s worth of points between the two team-mates.
Nico, who led the Mercedes one-two last time out in Austria, will also be aiming for the podium’s highest step in Sunday’s British Grand Prix but he knows that second place will be good enough to retain his points lead.
There have been signs of mechanical achilles heels here and there for Merc but certainly no more so than for Renault-powered reigning champs Red Bull whose star driver Sebastian Vettel has limped to halts three times this year - including the embarrassing outing at the team’s home race in Spielberg two weeks ago.
Red Bull still lies second in the Manufacturers’ log, but most of the haul has come from new signing Daniel Ricciardo who seems to be coping with this year’s package a little better than his esteemed colleague, and has also had no mechanical maladies. Ferrari trails in third place with a similar situation, as Fernando Alonso is continuously able to milk more from his car than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. Alonso’s scored at all eight races so far, chalking up 79 points to Raikkonen’s 19.
The Martini-liveried Williams team sprang a surprise turn of speed with a front row qualifying lockout and a third place finish in Austria, so it will be interesting to see if its Mercedes-engined cars will again challenge at the sharp end of the grid. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa currently sit in lowly seventh and ninth places in the standings, but if there’s staying power in their newfound speed, a serious championship reshuffle could be coming over the season’s remaining 11 races.