British Grand Prix: News round-up

Ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix, here is a round-up of the major talking points and news.

British Grand Prix: News round-up
Romain Grosjean, Pascal Wehrlein, Valtteri Bottas, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Jolyon Palmer answered questions from the media (Image credit: Formula One.com)

Nine races into the 2016 Formula One season, with the exception of the European Grand Prix, it has been a memorable season, and this weekend, for the 50th time ​Silverstone ​holds the ​British Grand Prix.

​Here is a round up of some of the major talking talking points and news ahead of round 10.

​Mercedes' final warning

​Where else to start? Going into lap 71 of the Austrian Grand Prix, Mercedes ​were all set to claim yet another 1-2 finish. Yet, through a combination of a brake-by-wire fault, a mistake in the first turn and a need to finally hold his own against his teammate, Nico Rosberg ​ran into Lewis Hamilton​, handing the latter the win and himself a 10s time penalty. But where does Rosberg's need for defeat Hamilton in close combat stem from?

Over their time as teammates, since the beginning of 2013, with the exception of ​Bahrain 2014 - ​even then finishing second to Hamilton, Rosberg has never overtaken the Brit, whilst both cars have been running cleanly. Instead all too often, it has been Hamilton who has held the mental advantage in sister Mercedes close combat.

In Belgium 2014​, Rosberg hit Hamilton whilst attempting a clumsy move, causing a DNF for the Brit. In Japan and the United States that year, Hamilton made moves around the outside and up the inside of the German. But it doesn't end there, last season, ironically in the same two events, Hamilton's moves to claim first on the opening laps were met with much disgust by the German, claiming them to be overly aggressive.

Things all came to a head for the rivarly in Barcelona this year, when the duo decided to try their hand at Total Wiepout, ​Toto Wolff ​declared that he expected it to happen evantually and thought the pressure valve would be released as a consequence of the collison. Instead, two races later in Canada, they made slight contact at the first turn and then came Turn 2 on the final lap in Speilberg.

On Thursday it was announced, in a team statement, that the "​Rules of Engagement"​ had been strengthened with much "​greater deterrents"​ now in place to hopefully, for them avoid a third costly collison.

When asked about the deterrents in the Thursday Press Conference, Hamilton knowingly replied "​Yeah"​, when asked if he knew what they involved, before responding to a follow up by adding "I should say Yes"​ - the question being 'Are they scary deterrents?

It is more essential for Rosberg to prove himself in close combat, as it is he who really needs to win this championship, and show Hamilton how mentally resilent he is. For if, Hamilton wins a third successive title as teammates, the German, whose contract is up at the end of the season, could start looking elsewhere.

​McLaren upgrades

​Jenson Button​, in the press conference announced that "​we have some upgrades, aero-wise and engine-wise". ​Honda ​have spent two tokens upgrading their Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). Austria proved to be perhaps the McLaren-Honda relationship 2.0's best weekend since they reunited in 2015. A faultless weekend for Button saw him haul eight points for a sixth placed finish, at a track were 12 months previously, a collosal amount of grid penalties were racked up by the team.

However, despite the shoots of recovery, the likelihood of Button claiming a maiden British GP podium during his 17 year career is slim, "​unless we get some really good British weather and a downpour" Despite the massive improvement in the power unit, the team have scored 32 points already, they managed 27 all last season, it still lacks outright performance to the Mercedes, ​Ferrari and ​Renault.

The ex-airfield's long straights and high-speed flicks left and right could prove a difficult com​bination for the ​MP4-31's of Button and ​Fernando Alonso, but the possibility of points is very real. ​​​​ 

​Bottas targets Red Bull

Williams ​racer Valterri Bottas​ is confident that if the team can chase down the improving ​Red Bull Racing and "​if we can understand things better and use really use those tracks that are good for us" there is no reason why "​we can't put pressure on them". ​The Finn also believes that the team, if this is not possible, "​should aim to finish ahead of Force India"​.

With similar seasons so far, Williams have just one podium, whilst Force India have two. In the most likely scenario it will be the two Mercedes powered teams who are fighting for fourth in the World Constructors, and every point makes a difference.

Over the last two years, Silverstone has been a happy hunting ground for the Finn, claiming a podium in 2014 and believing he should've won the 2015 edition, after being told he could not overtake teammate Felipe Massa​ and then being jumped by Hamilton in the pit-stops.

​Stability and promise for Manor

Pascal Wehrlein's ​P10 in Austria was potentially a great job advertisement, if things continue to get frisky at Mercedes. The composed, quiet German was placed at Manor ​to learn the F1 ropes, and in gaining one point he could have secured the team a place in the top 10 of the constuctors, if Sauber ​continue to struggle. If that's the promise for Manor, then the news about Rio Haryanto's ​funding is the stability.

Originally the Indonesian's funding ran out after the ​Hungarian GP, ​but it has been reported that new funding has been found to secure his future for the rest of the campaign. Originally expected to be rountinely beaten by Wehrlein, Haryanto was acquited himself excellently, with some assured performances in the ​MRT05, ​the German just holds the advantage in qualifying 5-4, but Haryanto has more than held his own.

​Brits thirve off the home support

​Alongside Button and Hamilton, Renault rookie ​Jolyon Palmer​ is gearing up for a maiden British GP. The trio explained, when asked by ​Channel 4, ​what they love about the British GP, all mentioned the "​support you get here" (​Button), "​the pretty awesome fans"​ (Palmer) and how all the drivers use "​powerful energy" and "​absorb as much of it as you can" (​Hamilton) to inspire them to put in a stellar performance in front of the non-partisan crowd.

Lights out is on Sunday at 13:00pm