What next in F1’s jewellery row? 

Amid the fallout from F1’s ongoing bouncing row as well as the recent on-track drama, it is easy to forget about another paddock spat. 

Since his arrival, new F1 race director Niels Wittich has made a point to enforce elements of the FIA’s International Sporting Code more strictly, including the wearing of jewellery in the car. 

Can Verstappen Get REDEMPTION At Silverstone? | 2022 F1 British Grand Prix

Drivers were issued with an initial warning in Australia before a further clampdown followed in Miami. After a stand-off with the FIA over the matter, Lewis Hamilton agreed to remove his earrings in the car from the Miami race, and was given a two-race exemption to remove his nose stud, which cannot easily be removed. 

A push back from some drivers resulted in a further exemption being granted until the end of June while discussions continued between the drivers and the FIA’s medical staff. 

The exemption is due to expire ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and it remains to be seen what steps the FIA will take next. 

In Miami, Hamilton said he would be willing not to race if the FIA decided to properly enforce the rule. 

Can Verstappen and Red Bull be stopped?

Red Bull have won the last six races on the bounce, with Verstappen winning five of them. Out of the nine races to have taken place so far this season, Verstappen has won six of them and retired from two others. 

Verstappen’s recent run of supremacy has seen him build a commanding 49-point championship lead over main rival Charles Leclerc. Leclerc boasted a similar 46-point buffer after the third round in Australia but has retired from the lead twice in the last four races. 

A strategic blunder from Ferrari threw away a potential win for Leclerc in Monaco, while he had to start from the back of the grid in Canada for taking on a new engine as a direct result of Ferrari’s recent reliability woes. 

Going into the British Grand Prix, it is hard to see past Verstappen on current form, but Ferrari really need to halt Red Bull’s momentum to stop them running away with both world championships. 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Ferrari will hold the advantage at Silverstone on “pure form” but stressed his side are “fired up” to win the British Grand Prix after missing out last year when Verstappen was wiped out in a controversial first-lap collision with Hamilton. 

A more competitive showing from Mercedes? 

Mercedes hold an enviable record at Silverstone, winning eight of the last 10 British Grand Prix. While it is likely to need something special to continue that successful streak this weekend, the Silver Arrows arrive feeling cautiously optimistic about their chances. 

Mercedes are hopeful of a more competitive showing, similar to their performance in Barcelona, due to their W13 car being strongest in fast corners and on smooth tracks. Although it is not the smoothest circuit on the calendar, Silverstone should provide Hamilton and George Russell with a much smoother ride compared to recent events, while the lack of slow-speed corners should also help. 

After a torrid start to the 2022 season, could Silverstone be the race where Mercedes ends its winless streak stretching back to last year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix? 

“I’d like to think the high-speed nature should suit us slightly more, but there’s no guarantees,” Russell said. “Every single track we have gone to has thrown an unknown at us.

“We are facing different issues every single race weekend, so I’d like to think we’ll be more competitive. But I don’t know.”

Mercedes have already confirmed new parts will be introduced to the car at Silverstone. 

Upgrades expected 

Several teams including Mercedes are expected to bring a raft of upgrades for the British Grand Prix. 

Alpine are set to bring a new floor as part of an upgrade package at Silverstone, while Aston Martin will introduce further parts following on from their first major update in Barcelona as they attempt to turnaround a difficult start to the year. 

McLaren are expected to bring some small new parts to help boost their fortunes at their home race, although the team have suggested there will be no more major upgrades before the end of the season. 

There will also be a sizeable upgrade for Williams as the British outfit looks to move further up the grid. Williams will trial a new aero package for Alex Albon’s FW44 only. It has been mooted that the update will be similar to Red Bull’s concept and, if it works, could result in significant lap time gain.