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Red Bull chasing F1 record at Silverstone

The Red Bull of Max Verstappen
The Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Formula One champions Red Bull can equal McLaren's 35-year-old record of 11 wins in a row at Silverstone this weekend and once again Max Verstappen is set to be the man of the moment.

The runaway championship leader is chasing his sixth successive win, and eighth in 10 races, at the British Grand Prix.

With a lead of 81 points over team mate Sergio Perez, the equivalent of more than three races, a third title for the Dutch 25-year-old looks inevitable.

In Austria last weekend he had enough of a lead to pit at the end for fresh tyres to seize fastest lap, telling reporters he had enjoyed reading about how Red Bull's rivals were closing the gap.

McLaren won 11 successive races in 1988 with Brazilian Ayrton Senna and Frenchman Alain Prost. Red Bull have won all nine so far this year after the 2022 Abu Dhabi season-ender - the first time they have won 10 in a row.

Although Ferrari effectively won 14 in succession in 1952-53, the Indianapolis 500 which they did not enter was counted as a round of the championship.

"Silverstone next weekend is going to be epic ... but who knows what obstacles there could be," Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports television.

"We saw what happened there last year (when Ferrari's Carlos Sainz won), it's a race we haven't won since I think Mark (Webber) back in 2012, so that's a big race for us on this calendar."

Red Bull F1 driver Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Rivals will be ready to pounce if anything goes wrong, even if Verstappen has won 16 of the last 20 races.

Ferrari mark the one-year anniversary on Monday of their last success - Charles Leclerc in Austria a week after Sainz at Silverstone.

"I'm already looking forward to Silverstone. It's a very different track and the team has done an incredible job," said Leclerc after finishing second in Austria.

Lewis Hamilton holds the record of eight British GP wins, and will have the crowd behind him, as Mercedes regroup after their seven-times world champion finished eighth in Austria with George Russell seventh.

"We have taken the result on the chin and will aim to recapture the momentum we had built up across previous races," said team boss Toto Wolff.

"With the next upgrades and experiments coming in Silverstone, there are reasons for optimism."

McLaren's Lando Norris could be best of the British drivers for the second race in a row after finishing fourth in Austria with an upgraded car.

Aston Martin are the most local of the seven British-based teams, with a new factory over the road, and Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll will be keen to reclaim second place overall from Mercedes.

Only three points now separate the two after Austria's results were revised following a slew of track limits violations.

Pirelli are bringing a new slick tyre construction using materials that had been due to be introduced next year.

"This change in specification was made necessary due to the increased performance of the cars seen since the start of the season, both in terms of outright speed and loadings," said motorsport director Mario Isola.

Security at Silverstone has been increased after 'Just Stop Oil' protesters ran onto the track after an opening lap crash at last year's race.

"I hope people are smart enough not to do it. There are much safer ways to get just as much attention," said Norris.

Scuderia Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr takes the chequered flag at Silverstone in 2022.
Carlos Sainz takes the chequered flag at Silverstone in 2022. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

- Reuters