Kimi Raikkonen previews the Silverstone Grand Prix

Max Verstappen

Second in the standings by just a point, the championship lead has bounced between Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel repeatedly during the opening nine races of the season.

Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 93 6. Daniel Ricciardo finished eight tenths adrift of Vettel in P5, but team mate Verstappen, hoping for an incident-free session after his RB14 crawled to a halt towards the end of FP1 after suffering a gearbox failure, ended up without a time after losing the rear of his auto at Luffield with less than 20 minutes on the clock.

"I'm not a fan of these penalties", said Vettel.

Mercedes endured its worst result since 2016 when Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas also failed to finish in the Austrian GP.

There was a strategy error on the part of the Mercedes team, who opted not to pit Hamilton during the Virtual Safety Car period that was necessitated by the fact that Bottas' car was beached at a slightly less and ideal spot. Bottas retired in the 14 lap due to a gearbox problem, sparking a virtual safety vehicle period.

But first, it is his home race where victory - which would also be a sixth at the circuit since his F1 debut in 2007 - would see him regain the lead in the drivers' standings.

Finishing in the top 10 were Romain Grosjean of Haas Ferrari (4), Kevin Magnussen of Haas Ferrari (5), Esteban Ocon of Force India Mercedes (6), Sergio Perez of Force India Mercedes (7), Fernando Alonso of McLaren Renault (8), Charles Leclerc of Sauber Ferrari (9) and Marcus Ericsson of Sauber Ferrari (10).

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The German was 0.187 seconds clear of Hamilton, whose Mercedes team appeared to be unexpectedly struggling for pace on the sweeping Silverstone track.

"What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger", said Hamilton, who fell one point behind title rival Sebastian Vettel after retiring in Spielberg with a fuel pressure problem.

"I think that if you look at Mercedes' history, the team is basically what Ross [Brawn] put in place several years ago".

Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO, Andrew Westacott, is thrilled that Melbourne will once again host the coveted first race of the FIA Formula One World Championship season. Chief strategist James Vowles acknowledged the blunder, telling Hamilton that it was his mistake. He eventually pitted on lap 25, which dropped him down to fourth place.

'Austria was a hard weekend, ' said Hamilton. "I'm going to keep it free because I'm going to be in Russian Federation that day, supporting them". I can't predict what will happen but that's not getting in my way'. On lap 53, he pitted again for super-softs, dropping a place to fifth behind Ricciardo, who nearly immediately slowed and stopped.

"Because Hamilton stayed out he lost more than eight seconds and immediately was out of the race", the journalist concluded.

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