Racing at home without the crowds is something world champion and current championship leader Lewis Hamilton will have to get used to, but it probably won't affect the outcome.

Hamilton has won five of the last six British grand prix, and was second to Sebastian Vettel in the other one. Given the way Mercedes has dominated the first three grand prix since the revamped 2020 season got underway, adding a sixth win in seven years seems academic.

Another victory would give him seven in total, including his first win in the race back in 2008, the year he won the first of his six world titles.

The only driver who might deny Hamilton another victory in the event, is his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who won the first race in Austria, but was a distant third in the Hungarian GP.


Hamilton's two wins so far from three races gives him a five-point lead over Bottas in the championship. Max Verstappen is third, already 30 points behind Hamilton, while Mercedes leads Red Bull by a massive 67 points after just three races in the Constructors' championship.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff correctly says it is not his team's fault that, as has been the case since 2014 when Mercedes won the first of six consecutive championships, it has dominated the F1 scene. Before 2014, Red Bull won four consecutive titles, with Sebastian Vettel the beneficiary.

Before that, Ferrari and Michael Schumacher won for five consecutive seasons from 2000 through to 2004. That dominance was broken by Renault and Fernando Alonso, who won back-to–back titles in 2005-6. Alonso, incidentally, will return to F1 in 2021 with Renault, his third stint with that team.

Ferrari bounced back in 2007, allowing Kimi Raikkonen to become world champion, but Ferrari has been unable to win a title since, although Alonso was runner-up for three years on his five-year stint with the team, and Vettel has been second twice. He is now in his sixth, and last, season with the team, and is woefully only 10th in the championship.

Wolff believes while one team dominating is not good for the sport from an entertainment point of view, the winning team can't be blamed, and nor does he take it for granted they will get the job done again this year.

"If we would take the 2020 season for granted, as a walk in the park, and it's basically just about picking up the trophy in Paris in December, we wouldn't have won these championships," Wolff told

"There is not one fibre in us that thinks this championship is done. It's something that can really catch you out."

"On the other side, dominance from a single team, whether it is us, whether it is Red Bull in the 2010 years, or whether it was Ferrari in the early 2000s, is something that is always a bit odd for the championship."


"But it is not up to the team that has made steps to be seen as responsible for the predictability of the championship."

This weekend Silverstone will play host to the British GP and the following week the race will be known as the 70th anniversary event, given the first-ever F1 race was held at Silverstone in 1950.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to play havoc with people's lives internationally, and this is affecting where F1 can race, without the fans, and keep safe the limited personnel allowed into the paddock. So far just two people involved in the current F1 scenario have tested positive, but although no details have been disclosed, it is said they didn't travel to Austria.

Since July 17, 1461 tests have been conducted on drivers, teams and personnel, and none were positive. Nonetheless, through fear of travelling to countries outside Europe to countries struggling to contain the virus, F1 has now confirmed that the Canadian, US, Mexican and Brazilian GPs have all been cancelled. They will be replaced by races at the Nurburgring in Germany, Portimao in Portugal and Imola in Italy. Of those three venues, the Portuguese event will be a first for F1.

The promoter of the Brazilian GP at Interlagos, Tamas Rohonyi, is furious that his event, which has been on the F1 calendar since 1973, has been cancelled, yet the race in England, has not.

"First of all, this cancellation caught us not by surprise, but I must say the justification, the reasoning behind it, we cannot accept," he told


"They talk about the virus infection rate in Brazil, which is of continental dimensions. We have all the numbers for the state and the city of Sao Paulo. This data has been submitted to the FIA Medical Commission by our own medical officer, who is by the way, its vice-president. And they are very good figures. In fact, if you look at the figures of Sao Paulo, even Brazil, in a proportional base, compared to England it's much better."

It is hard to understand how Rohonyi can make an argument based on numbers. Brazil has more than 2.4 million cases, with 87,000 deaths, second only to the US. The UK has 299,000 cases and 45,752 deaths.

With the US, which has 4.37 million cases and nearly 150,000 deaths, there can be no argument. In announcing the cancellation of the US GP along with the events in Canada, Mexico and Brazil, F1 CEO Chase Carey sent them an encouraging message.

"We want to pay tribute to our incredible partners in the Americas and look forward to being back with them next season when they will once again be able to thrill millions of fans around the world," Carey said.

Bobby Epstein, the boss of the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, conceded that F1 had made the right call.

"The cancellation is prudent, but painful," Epstein said. 'I'm disappointed for the fans, COTA employees, and everyone in the Formula 1 paddock, as I believe we all look forward to what has become a wonderful annual tradition."


McLaren driver Lando Norris has never raced at the Portuguese circuit but is excited to race at the Nurburgring and Imola.

"Nurburgring and Imola are two amazing tracks," Norris says. "Nurburgring is one that I love. I remember watching F1 back in 2007, maybe a little bit later. Its just a really cool track which I've enjoyed driving in in several different categories."

"Imola I did in Italian Formula 4 so one that's quite famous and I remember watching F1 there too."

Vettel is another driver pleased to see F1return to the Nurburgring, where F1 last raced in 2013, as it means there will be a German GP and home race for Vettel after the event at Hockenheim was cancelled.

"I've driven three times therein Formula 1 so far. With Red Bull, I have won it twice. Once I was second and the last time in 2013, I managed to win the race."

This weekend Norris will join his fellow Brits, Hamilton and George Russell, racing at their home grand prix, and repeat the feat a week later.


Norris says although it's their home track "the reason we call it and we're excited about the home race is because of the fans, not because it's just a track where you can travel back home and sleep in your own bed in the evening".

Russell, on the other hand, is not that excited because although the Williams car has pace in qualifying, he doubts it will do well in the race.

The British race is always a sellout, so for Hamilton, racing without fans at Silverstone, given he went crowd surfing to celebrate his victories in2017 and 2019, will be an unfamiliar occurrence. In May, he said it would be like pre-season testing.

Although he thrives on the crowd's attention, he has endorsed the calls from the race organisers for fans to stay away from the Silverstone area.

The concern is that some fans will gather near the Silverstone circuit in Northampton, to try and catch a glimpse of the drivers heading to the circuit or even try to sneak into the venue. The police have warned they will arrest anyone who is not authorised to be there.

"It's not my job to come up with rules and tell people what to do," Hamilton told "I always try to encourage people to keep their distance and remain at home."


"I can understand people will want to go and watch from a distance, just to get the sound of the car or to get a sneak peek of the car. But if that means that you're in a crowd of other people, that's definitely not a good thing and I wouldn't advise that."

Should Hamilton win the race as expected, it will be interesting to see how he celebrates it. Crowd surfing is out, but a Black Power fist salute is likely, given Hamilton's goal, apart from another championship, is stamping out racism.