Hands up who did a double-take after reading the first line of this banner?
Max Verstappen is getting his bally on. I’m sure he could’ve waited a few seconds longer, but perhaps he’s playing a mind-game like Derartu Tulu did at the 1992 Olympics, wearing a t-short under her vest even though it was a million degrees in the stadium.
Lando Nozzer says this is the biggest buildup to a race he’s ever known, and is excited. He describes “a cool feeling inside” that’s a consequence of how much support he’s getting, which is “awesome”.
It’s so great to see such packed stands. Let’s hope is continues.
Various representatives of the NHS are being honoured, and the crowd rise to applaud them prior to the playing of God Save the Queen which is accompanied by a fly-past.
Michael Douglas is knocking about chatting to people. He’s wearing a shirt that’s ripe for showing perspiration, but looks immaculate.
George Russell talks well, and being British, he wants to talk about how hot it is. Apparently it’s very hot.
The band are marching down the grid, furry hats and all. Now they must be hot.
On Sky, the presenters are wearing jeans – tightuns, at that. I find this impossible to grasp, even before they say you can feel the heat rising through the tarmacadam.
Carbs are the order of the day, apparently, to keep the drivers going through a gruelling race. I’d also recommend a Mr Whippy.
And today today being that hot, there’s obviously loads of sport to encourage you to draw the curtains and stay indoors.
The track temperature is 52 degrees, apparently. I hope none of the drivers are fasting.
So what do we make of this new qualifying situation? I’m loth to judge something without having seen it a few times, but I’m not sure what a race that’s a less good version of the real thing adds. Finding one fast lap seems like a slightly different challenge, and that’s a good thing. It’s also worked nicely for a fair old while.
Giles Richards, our F1 correspondent, shares some thoughts on Hamilton.
In the Jewish calendar, today is a fast day. It was also a fast day – a different one, but one nevertheless – for the British Grand Prix in 1995. That race was won, incredibly, by none other than Johnny Herbert.
A complete and utter mood.
1. Verstappen (Red Bull-Honda)
2. Hamilton (Mercedes)
3. Bottas (Mercedes)
4. Leclerc (Ferrari)
5. Norris (McLaren-Mercedes)
6. Ricciardo (McLaren-Mercedes)
7. Alonso (Alpine-Renault)
8. Vettel (Aston Martin-Mercedes)
9. Russell (Williams-Mercedes)
10. Ocon (Alpine-Renault)
11. Sainz Jr (Ferrari)
12. Gasly (AlphaTauri-Honda)
13. Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari)
14. Stroll (Aston Martin-Mercedes)
15. Giovinazzi (Alfa-Romeo-Ferrari)
16. Tsunoda (AlphaTauri-Honda)
17. Latifi (Williams-Mercedes)
18. Schumacher (Haas-Ferrari)
19. Mazepin (Haas-Ferrari)
20. Perez (Red Bull-Honda)
Afternoon all, and welcome to the 76th British Grand Prix! It feels like we know what’s going to happen next: Max Verstappen leads from lights to flag, extends his lead in the overall standings, and on we go.
Except starting behind him on the grid is Lewis Hamilton, and if there’s one thing sport teaches us, it’s not to underestimate genius – never mind genius with 140,000 fans to agitate it. We’ve already seen this weekend – again – that Verstappen’s Red Bull has the legs on Hamilton’s Mercedes, but that alone won’t be enough for the win. Verstappen will need his head and his heart working at full throttle too.
You can only admire the way Hamilton has embraced this season’s mechanical inferiority – just wait until next! – but people like him aren’t built to accept second. If there’s a way, he’ll find it, and if there isn’t, whoever beats him will still have to earn it.
Start: 3pm BST