George Russell says Formula One must learn lessons from the "scary" Zhou Guanyu crash that overshadowed Sunday's British Grand Prix.

The race at Silverstone was red flagged early on after Russell was clipped by Pierre Gasly on the first corner and subsequently caught Zhou.

Zhou's Alfa Romeo flipped over, rolled numerous times and only stopped when hitting the safety barrier in front of the spectators.

The 23-year-old was stuck upside down in the car due to being wedged below the fence, with safety crews struggling to reach him as the race was delayed by an hour.

While Zhou later provided an update to confirm he was "okay", Russell hopes governing body the FIA will thoroughly investigate the incident so a repeat can be avoided.

"Firstly, I'm glad to see Zhou's okay," Russell said. "It was an incredibly scary incident, not just for him but for everyone in the crowd as well. It's never nice to see.

"It was horrible. In that position he was stuck there, with nothing he could have done. We need to have a think to avoid a car being stuck in such a fine gap.

"The space between the barriers and the metal fence and he was just stuck in there, nowhere to go. Yeah, something to learn…"

Zhou, who is debuting this season in F1, was taken to a nearby hospital for checks and released later on Sunday.

He put his lucky escape down to the halo head-protection device that has been used since 2018.

"It was a big crash and I'm glad I'm okay," he said. "The marshals and the medical team at the track were fantastic with their quick response.

"I also owe my thanks to the FIA and Formula 1 for all the work they have done, and they keep doing, to improve the safety of our cars.

"The halo saved me, and it goes to show that every step we take in improving our cars has real, valuable results."

Williams driver Alex Albon also required medical attention following a separate incident in the early throes of an action-packed race that was won by Carlos Sainz.

Albon was catapulted into the pit wall after being rammed by Sebastian Vettel, though like Zhou he escaped without any physical injuries.

"I'm very glad that everyone else involved in the first-lap incident is okay," he said. "Thank you to the medical staff at the track and Coventry hospital.

"It's a shame the race ended before it began today but we are already fully focused on Austria [this coming weekend]. Bring on the next one."

Lewis Hamilton snatched third place at the British Grand Prix and hailed his Mercedes team for making another positive stride after their difficult start to the Formula One season.

The seven-time world champion has secured back-to-back podium finishes for the first time this season, with Mercedes utilising upgrade packages to alleviate the issues they encountered in the first chunk of the campaign.

While they remain off the pace of the title-fighting Red Bulls and Ferraris, Hamilton believes the performance at Silverstone was another significant step in the team's recovery.

"I gave it everything today, trying to chase down those Ferraris. Congratulations to Carlos, they were too quick for us today," he said.

"In the end, I was in amongst that battle with Checo [Sergio Perez], those guys were just too quick on the straights for me today.

"I'm so grateful for the hard work all the team did to make an upgrade here, we got a step closer to them, so we need to keep pushing."

Hamilton, who was congratulated after the race by Hollywood star Tom Cruise, said: "We lost a bit of time in the pit stop, then I was chasing and chasing and chasing, but the pace was great on both sets of tyres. At the end, it was a little bit difficult; once you get a Red Bull behind you, they are so fast on the straights. 

"We've got some improvements to make, but this is a huge bonus for to be on the podium."

Hamilton paid tribute to the home fans at Silverstone following what has been a record-breaking attendance for the British Grand Prix, with over 400,000 attending across the four days.

"I have to give it up for this crowd, we've had the biggest show in history for an event in the UK, so I really have to say thank you to everyone for incredible support," he added.

"We don't see this anywhere else around the world, this is literally the greatest group we get to see."

Carlos Sainz secured the first win of his Formula One career in a dramatic British Grand Prix at Silverstone, where Zhou Guanyu was involved in a huge crash.

The 10th race of the 2022 F1 season saw another significant swing in the title race, with Max Verstappen's lead over Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez taking a dent after the defending champion sustained floor damage.

Sainz's victory – in his 150th grand prix start – was not as comfortable as he would have liked, with the opportunity seemingly having passed as Ferrari ordered him to relinquish his position to team-mate Charles Leclerc as he lacked pace but then benefited from a late safety car, retaking the lead after changing to soft tyres.

A terrifying crash on the opening lap involving five cars left George Russell, Alex Albon and Zhou out of the race and a red flag waving, with the latter left upside down and stuck inside his Alfa Romeo for a lengthy period before being taken away on a stretcher, though thankfully the message from the team was that he was okay.

Under the red flag restart, the initial grid order was reinstated and Verstappen, who had overtaken Sainz, was unable to repeat his feat, while Perez had contact with Leclerc that resulted in the Mexican driver tumbling down the order after an early pit stop.

An error from Sainz on lap 10 saw the Spaniard run wide and onto the grass, with Verstappen taking the opportunity to seize the lead, but his advantage lasted just two laps as he ran over a piece of debris and suffered floor damage, resulting in a significant loss of pace even after a pit stop.

Sainz pitted at the end of lap 20, with Leclerc following suit six laps later to leave Hamilton in the lead, but a slow pit on lap 34 left him adrift of the two Ferraris, putting Leclerc in the lead after Ferrari swapped positions prior to Hamilton's stop.

Esteban Ocon's breakdown on the old pit straight on lap 39 resulted in a safety car, with Leclerc, who did not pit for soft tyres, overtaken by Sainz – leaving Leclerc, Hamilton and Perez fighting for a podium finish and exchanging positions multiple times.

Perez's promising push

Perez's early pit stop looked to have ended his hopes of a podium finish, but he was a major beneficiary of the safety car as it allowed him to take his required pit stop without losing time, sitting fourth for the restart.

A thrilling battle with Hamilton and Leclerc saw him go wheel-to-wheel with both drivers before taking them both, securing a second-place finish that moved him 34 behind Verstappen in the championship standings. 

Russell's record ends

Russell headed into his home Grand Prix with the tag of Mr Consistent, standing as the only driver in 2022 to finish all nine rounds in the top five, but that run came to an end at Silverstone following the collision that resulted in a red flag.

The early end to his race also means he finished behind Hamilton for the second race in a row – the first time since his move to Mercedes that he has been outperformed by his team-mate in back-to-back race weekends.

IN THE POINTS

1. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +3.779
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +6.225
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +8.546
5. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +9.571
6. Lando Norris (McLaren) +11.943
7. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +18.777
8. Mick Schumacher (Haas) +18.995
9. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) +22.356
10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +24.590

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 181
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 147
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 138
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 127
5. George Russell (Mercedes) 111

Constructors

1. Red Bull 328
2. Ferrari 265
3. Mercedes 204
4. McLaren 73
5. Alpine 67

George Russell has explained Mercedes' protest after they were unable to restart the British Grand Prix following a red flag after a "unique scenario" on the opening lap.

The British driver collided with Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu in a huge collision heading into the first corner, which left Zhou's car skidding off upside down into the barrier.

Zhou was retrieved from the vehicle and eventually stretchered away. It was later confirmed that the Chinese driver was conscious, with the incident leading to a delay of almost an hour as the barrier was repaired after the crash.

Zhou, Williams' Alex Albon and Russell were all unable to take to the grid however, though Mercedes tried to protest with the FIA by arguing that Russell had only exited his car in order to check on Zhou.

"I jumped out of the car to see if he was okay, I saw it was red flagged. When I came back to the car, I couldn't get it started, so I ran down to the team to check, I told the marshals to leave it but when I got back the car was on the back of the flatbed," he explained to Sky Sports F1.

"Apparently when you get assistance, you can't restart. The car just had the puncture and there was no doubt that we had the pace to come back to P6 today. 

"We were trying but the FIA were pretty adamant, it's one of those unique scenarios I guess. I can't really think about it too much at the moment."

Russell's collision with Zhou came after a bold decision from Mercedes to start on the hard-compound tyre, which he conceded was ultimately not the right call.

"Ultimately, we took a risk starting on the hard because I made a mistake in qualifying, we started out of position and we thought the risk gave us the best opportunity later in the race but there was no grip on the hardest compound, it's cold out there, I got swamped by all the cars," he said.

George Russell wants to better Lewis Hamilton this season, but the Mercedes man claimed he will not view his Formula One campaign as a success if he does so.

The Mercedes pair have failed to match the pace of rivals Red Bull and Ferrari this year, effectively confirming an end to the team's monopoly on the Constructors' Championship.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton in particular has struggled after his controversial last-gasp title loss to Max Verstappen last year, who is on course to defend his title.

That has led to questions over whether Russell is emerging as Mercedes' nominal first-choice driver, with the 24-year-old having nabbed three podiums to Hamilton's two so far in 2022.

But Russell will not view beating his team-mate as the bar for success.

"Obviously, I want to beat my teammate and I’m not going to take offence if he says the same," he told The Guardian ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

"But I would not see my season as a success purely because I've finished ahead of him more times than he had finished ahead of me.

"I would see it as a success if I was standing at the top step of the podium."

Russell grew up idolising Hamilton, who has been one of the sport's dominant forces since he broke through in 2007, and the Briton has nothing but respect for his team-mate.

However, the nature of their competition makes it difficult to form a friendship that would not get in the way, much in the sense Hamilton's bond with former Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg deteriorated amid a testy title tussle.

"I guess if you took an average look across F1 team-mates, that is probably the case," Russell added.

"There are a lot of people who get along in this paddock but overall, we are all fierce rivals. We are all here to be competitive and to try and win. You are in a battle."

Hamilton will start fifth on the grid at Silverstone, while Russell had to settle for eighth in qualifying.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has warned the FIA set a dangerous precedent with regulations, after a progress update on their bouncing technical directive was issued ahead of the British Grand Prix.

The technical directive was controversially added at the Canadian GP to tackle the "safety issue" of aggressive bouncing drivers experienced at recent street circuits in Baku and Miami, as a result of aerodynamic changes to this season's cars.

Formula One's governing body analysed data captured in Montreal in order to devise a metric that measures vertical acceleration loads to ultimately limit oscillations, something Horner has been outspoken against.

While safety is the FIA's primary concern in limiting the porpoising experienced so far this season, the Red Bull principal believes it is wrong for the FIA to overtly dictate how the cars are set up.

"It is too late in the day to be introducing changes for next year," Horner said. "We haven't governed for that and the cost involved, sometimes the unintended consequences for changing philosophies, it will affect what you carry over and it will affect the design and development.

"The most important thing and biggest way to achieve stable costs is stability. The cars will converge. You can see that already, the cars are certainly looking more familiar and that will continue over the next six-to-nine months.

"The most important thing is don't d*** with it, leave it alone and the teams will sort it out."

Mercedes have experienced significant 'porpoising' issues which have in turn affected their performance, with Horner previously suggesting they are trying to make as much of an issue out of it as possible.

It is understood, however, all 10 teams performed within the metric's parameters in Canada.

Meanwhile, Red Bull lead both the driver's and constructor's standings coming in Sunday's race at Silverstone.

"I understand on the grounds of safety that this is being introduced because the porpoising on a limited amount of cars is obviously at an extreme level," Horner added.

"They [the FIA] are keen to have a mechanism to control that but hopefully it is only something that will be there for this year as it is something that hopefully all the teams will be on top of and cars will converge next year.

"It is certainly not a precedent that we want to set otherwise setups will be dictated by FIA directives."

Lewis Hamilton was angered to see sections of the Silverstone crowd booing Max Verstappen during qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

Reigning Formula One world champion Verstappen was greeted by a chorus of jeers before conducting a post-qualifying interview on Saturday, having had to settle for second on the grid after being pipped by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, who claimed the first pole position of his career.

Verstappen, who recorded a time less than a hundredth of a second slower than Sainz in treacherous conditions, spent the 2021 season locked in a dramatic and at times ill-tempted title tussle with Hamilton.

The duo were involved in a collision on the same course last year, before Verstappen clinched his first title at Hamilton's expense in contentious circumstances in December.

Verstappen also courted controversy earlier this week when he suggested Nelson Piquet's alleged use of a racist slur to describe Hamilton had been "blown out of proportion."  

Speaking after qualifying in fifth, Hamilton suggested last year's battle with Verstappen may have antagonised the Silverstone crowd as he refused to condone the reception afforded to the Red Bull driver.

"I think we are better than that and I definitely don't agree with the booing," Hamilton said.

"We should be here pushing everybody and it doesn't make any difference.

"But I do really appreciate the support I have. Maybe some of them are feeling the pain from last year. Either way, I appreciate it."

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff echoed Hamilton's sentiments, asserting: "That is unsportsmanlike. If you’re not into the other guy, just remain silent. 

"I don't think any of the drivers deserves booing, whatever happened last year. Being booed is abusive and there is a certain limit which we shouldn’t overstep."

Meanwhile, Verstappen, who is targeting a third successive race victory on Sunday, insisted the hostile atmosphere did not faze him.

"It was a bit disappointing because I couldn't really understand [interviewer] Billy [Monger]," he joked.

"If they want to boo, they [can] do it. I'm always happy to be here, it's a great track and a great atmosphere in general.

"Maybe some of them don't like me, they're all entitled to their own opinions. I don't care."

Carlos Sainz expressed his surprise after he secured the first pole position of his Formula One career for Sunday's British Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver pipped championship leader Max Verstappen and team-mate Charles Leclerc to first on the grid, putting him at the front for what will be the 150th start of his career.

A wet session at Silverstone left everything to play for heading into the final minute of qualifying, but none were able to better Sainz's time of 1:40.983, finishing less than a hundredth of a second ahead of Red Bull's Verstappen.

While it was enough to secure a landmark result for the Spaniard, he did not believe his lap would be top of the pile.

"It was a good lap, I was struggling a lot with the standing water with the intermediates. It was very easy to get snaps and lose the lap, also very easy to lose the tyres," he said.

"In the end, I put in a lap that I thought was nothing special, I just put it on the board and see how it is and it was pole position, which cannot be a bad surprise."

Sainz will now be seeking the maiden win of his career and, having shown improvements in Canada with a second-placed finish behind Verstappen, believes he has the potential to do exactly that.

"The base has been there all weekend. We had some issues that we think we have corrected. If I base myself on my FP2 pace, I think we will be in a good position. I'm sure Max and Charles will put on a lot of pressure but I will try my best of course."

Verstappen had consistently set the fastest laps in qualifying, but with the weather playing a part, he ultimately could not do enough to get the job done.

Nevertheless, he feels he is in a good position as he looks for a third consecutive win.

"It was quite a tricky qualifying with the rain, you have to be on the track at the right time, but overall the car was working really well. In Q3, it's a bit of a lottery sometimes when you have to put in the best lap," he said.

"To be on the front row, it's very good for us and we have a good race car I think both in the dry and in the wet."

Leclerc, on the back of some difficult race weekends, starts on the second row after spinning on his final flying lap – though he still believes he is in a position to mount a challenge.

"I spun on the last lap, I knew it was the lap where I had to put everything together, but I didn't as the driver, so I didn't deserve to be on pole," he said.

"It's a good position to start in for tomorrow's race and hopefully we can put everything together and come back.

"I think the pace is there, if we have a clean race and everything goes well, a good start and tyre management, the strategy will be a bit mixed between one or two stops so it will be interesting to see. Hopefully we make the right choice and come back to where we want to be."

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 1:40.983
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.072
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.315
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.633
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.012
6. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.101
7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +1.133
8. George Russell (Mercedes) +1.178
9. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) +1.736
10. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) +22.112

Lewis Hamilton was pleased with the "small step forwards" taken by Mercedes after setting the second-fastest time in practice ahead of the British Grand Prix.

The Briton was 0.163 seconds slower than pace-setter Carlos Sainz in FP2, while compatriot Lando Norris was third and championship leader Max Verstappen in fourth.

Hamilton has yet to win a race this season, but he offered plenty of promise heading into a big weekend on home soil at a packed Silverstone with his performance in practice.

However, the seven-time world champion offered a word of caution over the ongoing porpoising issue that has dominated recent races.

"It's bouncing still, quite a bit," he said. "Not necessarily on the straights but through the corners it's pretty harsh – not physically harsh but in the car on the tyres and everything.

"So we still have work to do but it feels like a small step forwards.

"Our long run pace isn't as good as the other guys but it's not miles off. We've definitely made an improvement. I'm sure overnight we can work and improve the car a bit more."

Hamilton may have endured a difficult campaign to date, lagging as he does 98 points behind leader Verstappen, but he boasts an impressive record on his home turf.

The 37-year-old has won the British Grand Prix eight times and could become the driver to have won the most races at a single Grand Prix with victory this weekend.

Mercedes, meanwhile, have recorded eight of the last nine wins at Silverstone, while also taking eight of the last nine poles.

McLaren driver Norris looks good value to challenge for a second podium of 2022 after a surprising rise up the timesheets, having finished 15th last time out in Canada.

"As good as it looked, it is still difficult to put things together and be consistent but I am happy," he said.

"The car seems to be in a decent place, at least a little better than we were expecting."

Friday was rather unimpressive for Red Bull's Verstappen, who has won six of the nine races this year, including five of the last six.

But the Dutchman – who is out to surpass Valtteri Bottas and equal Rubens Barrichello as the driver with the eighth-most podiums ever (68) – is confident of finding improvement.

"It's always a bit tricky, of course, after not driving in FP1 and then FP2 becomes a bit of guessing, let's say it like that," Verstappen said. 

"It was maybe not ideal, but also not a big issue. I think we know what we have to work on and that's what we'll try to do overnight. 

"But, again, tomorrow probably it's raining so you have again different kinds of conditions. This time probably was not amazing, but it was also not really bad."

Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton believes the United States and the United Kingdom have "gone backwards" following a number of political decisions.

Last week, the Supreme Court in the US overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade case and removed the constitutional right to abortion – with individual states now able to make their own laws.

Meanwhile, the UK is still adjusting to its exit from the European Union and faces a cost-of-living crisis

Speaking ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix, F1 superstar Hamilton condemned the state of affairs in both countries.

"America has gone backwards. Everything happening in the UK has gone backwards. People are struggling. We have to pull together," he told a news conference.

Hamilton had previously addressed the matter of abortion ahead of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix earlier this year, where he made his feelings on the matter clear.

"I love being in the States. But I can't ignore what's going on right now and what some in the government are trying to do to the women who live here," he said.

"Everyone should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies. We can't let that choice be taken away.”

Bernie Ecclestone has sparked outrage by declaring he would "take a bullet" for Vladimir Putin and saying Volodymyr Zelensky should have done more to stop the war in Ukraine.

Ex-Formula One supremo Ecclestone on Thursday described Russian president Putin as a "sensible" and "first-class person", who has made "mistakes" like "a lot of business people."

When it was put to Ecclestone in an interview on ITV's Good Morning Britain that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has resulted in thousands of innocent people being killed, Ecclestone replied that "It wasn't intentional."

The 91-year-old also stated that he had not spoken to his "friend" Putin since Russia started the invasion of Ukraine in February.

"I'd still take a bullet for him [Putin]. He's a first-class person." said Ecclestone.

"Unfortunately he is like a lot of business people, certainly like me, we make mistakes from time to time."

He added: "It wasn't intentional. Look at the times America has moved into different countries which has nothing to do with America. Actually in America it's their business, they like wars because they sell a lot of armour so it's good for them."

Ecclestone also claimed Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, ought to have made more of an effort to engage with Putin.

He said: "I mean, the other person in Ukraine, I mean his profession I understand, he used to be a comedian and it seems he wants to continue that profession because I think if he had thought about things he would have definitely made a big enough effort to speak to Mr Putin, who is a sensible person and would have listened to him and could have probably done something about it."

Ecclestone added: "I'm quite sure if Ukraine would have wanted to get out of it properly they could have done."

Asked about the Russian Grand Prix being removed from the calendar and Russian drivers from being banned, Ecclestone replied: "I'm not in the position now to have done anything about that.

"I'm not sure I would have stopped that, and I certainly now wouldn't, and I think it's wrong, to stop Russian athletes, including obviously drivers, in taking part in their sport.

"They didn't get involved in this in the first place. They shouldn't be punished."

Nelson Piquet has apologised to Lewis Hamilton for his "ill-thought-out" comments, although the three-time Formula One champion denied his words were racist.

Media outlets in Brazil have this week highlighted an interview conducted with Piquet following the 2021 British Grand Prix, with the 69-year-old alleged to have used racist language when assessing the collision between Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Piquet's daughter, Kelly, is world champion Verstappen's partner.

Mercedes have come out in support of their man Hamilton – F1's only black driver – as have several rival teams and F1 itself, with the series reportedly set to ban Piquet from its paddock for life.

But the Brazilian, while apologising, has said his comments were mistranslated.

"I would like to clear up the stories circulating in the media about a comment I made in an interview last year," he said in a statement.

"What I said was ill-thought-out, and I make no defence for it, but I will clarify that the term used is one that has widely and historically been used colloquially in Brazilian Portuguese as a synonym for 'guy' or 'person' and was never intended to offend

"I would never use the word I have been accused of in some translations. I strongly condemn any suggestion that the word was used by me with the aim of belittling a driver because of his skin colour.

"I apologise wholeheartedly to anyone that was affected, including Lewis, who is an incredible driver, but the translation in some media that is now circulating on social media is not correct.

"Discrimination has no place in F1 or society, and I am happy to clarify my thoughts in that respect."

Hamilton has been active on his Twitter page since the reports emerged.

"It's more than language," he posted. "These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport.

"I've been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action."

Charles Leclerc is confident Ferrari will be fighting for the win at Silverstone – as long as the team can avoid any further reliability woes.

Power unit issues have led to recent retirements in Spain and Azerbaijan, the last of which resulted in a back-of-the-grid start for the Canadian Grand Prix after taking a third unit of the season.

Those troubles, accompanied by a wrong strategy call in Monaco, have seen Max Verstappen and Red Bull take a commanding lead in both championships – with the defending champion winning four of the past five races.

Ferrari's potential is undeniable, with six pole positions out of nine, but only two have resulted in race wins and the last came in Australia almost three months ago.

In his career overall, Leclerc's 15 poles have returned just four wins for a 27 per cent winning percentage – the second lowest in F1 history among drivers who have won at least one race, behind only Jarno Trulli (25 per cent, one win from four pole positions). 

Despite a 49-point deficit in the driver's championship, third-placed Leclerc remains upbeat and believes reliability will be an issue for all teams to contend with this season.

"No, I'm not worried. I mean, it's a big gap but, but I'm just focusing on the job, and I'm confident that we can take that back," he told Motorsport.

"I think reliability seems to be a concern for everyone this season. And yeah, if we fix our reliability, the performance is there to come back. So already from Silverstone we'll try to get a few points back.

"I really like Silverstone. And hopefully we will be competitive enough to be starting on pole and finally win from pole."

Mercedes' hunting ground

Eight of the past nine British GPs have been won by Mercedes, with the only exception being Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari in 2018, and improvements shown in Canada will provide encouragement for the Silver Arrows.

Lewis Hamilton's second podium finish of the season in third was the highlight in Montreal, but George Russell's consistency continues to stand out, with the British driver finishing in the top five in all nine races in 2022.

A win for Hamilton would be the ninth of his career at Silverstone, setting a new record for the most wins in a single GP – overtaking his eight victories in Hungary and Michael Schumacher's eight wins in France.

Driver market

Away from the track itself, the F1 driver market is starting to heat up as teams outline their plans for the 2023 season, and there are a number on the grid who could be under threat of losing their seats.

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are both out of contract at the end of the season – although each could still extend – while Daniel Ricciardo has work to do to impress McLaren to retain his seat despite being tied down for a further year.

Nicholas Latifi at Williams and Mick Schumacher at Haas are also under pressure, with F2 champion and Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri expected to get a chance in 2023. Antonio Giovinazzi has been touted for a return to the grid, too.

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 175
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 129
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 126
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 111
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 102

Constructors

1. Red Bull 304
2. Ferrari 228
3. Mercedes 188
4. McLaren 65
5. Alpine 57

A racial slur allegedly used by Nelson Piquet towards Lewis Hamilton has been condemned in statements from Formula One and Mercedes, following significant backlash towards the former world champion.

Reports in Brazil have highlighted an interview conducted with Piquet following the 2021 British Grand Prix, where the 69-year-old allegedly used racist language when assessing the collision between Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

That collision was one of a number between the two title rivals last season and led Verstappen to retire from the race, with Hamilton going on to secure victory.

Footage alleges that Piquet used a racial slur towards seven-time world champion Hamilton, which has led both F1 and Mercedes to issue statements condemning the language – although both have faced social media backlash for not identifying Piquet.

The statement from F1 read: "Discriminatory or racist language is unacceptable in any form and has no part in society. Lewis is an incredible ambassador for our sport and deserves respect."

"His tireless efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are a lesson to many and something we are committed to at F1."

Mercedes stated: "We condemn in the strongest terms any use of racist or discriminatory language of any kind.

"Lewis has spearheaded our sport’s efforts to combat racism, and he is a true champion of diversity on and off track.

"Together, we share a vision for a diverse and inclusive motorsport, and this incident underlines the fundamental importance of continuing to strive for a brighter future."

Mercedes are "cautiously optimistic" of competing at Silverstone with a car that, according to their chief technical officer, is "definitely on the mend".

It has been a difficult Formula One season for Mercedes, who sit third in the constructors' standings, 116 points off pace-setters Red Bull.

While new boy George Russell has performed well and sits fourth in the Drivers' Championship with 111 points – 64 behind leader Max Verstappen – seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is down in sixth.

Hamilton has struggled to adapt to Mercedes' new car and often been unable to hide his frustration with the vehicle's performance, though he did manage a third-place finish in Montreal last time out.

Third is the best Mercedes have achieved in any race in 2022, with Russell achieving it in Spain, Azerbaijan and Australia, and Hamilton clinching the final podium place in Bahrain as well as Canada.

Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Mercedes' CTO James Allison believes the team are finding a way to be competitive following two successive podium finishes.

He told Sky Sports: "Everyone in our factory doesn't dare say it, but we're cautiously optimistic of having a more competitive weekend than some of those we've had of late.

"I think some of the characteristics of this circuit will suit the car. We don't have a car capable of winning from the front yet. But I think as long as we can get the car tamed through Maggots Becketts and around the faster of the corners, then I think we have a decent chance of a competitive showing, and maybe if the Red Bulls stumble, who knows, but I'm hopeful of a better weekend."

When it was put to him that victory at Silverstone would be an emotional one, Allison quipped: "Absolutely, well I'd cry!

"It'd be a fantastic thing. I've just got my fingers crossed that we'll have a creditable showing with a car that is definitely on the mend."

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