The British Grand Prix got of to a dramatic start this weekend with the news that Sergio Perez will not be able to compete after testing positive for coronavirus, meaning Racing Point will have to draft in a replacement on theo morning of first practice in order to still field two cars.
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Perez tested positive for Covid-19 late on Thursday night after an initial coronavirus test returned inconclusive, meaning a second test was needed that confirmed he had contracted the virus. The Mexican is now in isolation and will miss both legs at Silverstone, with a replacement set to fill his seat for the next two races.
The news was a wake-up call for F1 that they are not out of the woods yet, with coronavirus still a genuine threat to the 2020 season. All things well, the weekend should still go ahead providing that Perez has not been able to spread the virus through the paddock.
It means that Lewis Hamilton will attempt to win a seventh British Grand Prix of his career, with the Briton holding a five-point lead in the championship battle with Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in what already looks like a two-horse race. The British Grand Prix is also the only round of the season that will be shown live entirely on terrestrial television, with Channel 4 showing every minute of every session across the weekend.
Here’s everything you need to know about the British Grand Prix.
When is it?
The British Grand Prix takes place across 31 July – 2 August 2020.
What time does each session start?
Free practice 1: 11am – 12:30pm BST
Free practice 2: 3pm – 4:30pm BST
Free practice 3: 11am – 12pm BST
Qualifying: 2pm – 3pm BST
Race: 2:10pm – 4:10pm BST
How can I watch it?
All European races will be held behind closed doors, meaning that the only way fans will be able to see the action is on television.
In the UK, Sky Sports continue to hold the exclusive rights for F1, but Channel 4 is able to show every session from the British Grand Prix live this weekend.
If you’re not a Sky customer you can purchase a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription.
Here’s how Sky and Channel 4 plan to show the British Grand Prix:
Free practice 1: 10:30am – 12:50am BST – (Sky Sports F1 + Sky Sports Main Event), 10:55am – 12:35pm BST (Channel 4)
Free practice 2: 2:45pm – 4:45pm BST (Sky Sports F1 + Sky Sports Main Event), 2:35pm – 4:35pm BST (Channel 4)
Free practice 3: 10:45am – 12:10pm BST (Sky Sports F1 + Sky One), 10:55am – 12pm BST (Channel 4)
Qualifying: 1pm – 3:35pm BST (Sky Sports F1 + Sky One), 1pm – 4pm BST (Channel 4)
Race: 12:30pm – 5pm BST (Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky One), 1pm – 6pm BST (Channel 4)
Highlights: 6:30pm – 7:30pm BST (Sky Sports F1 + Sky One), 11:45pm – 12:45am BST (Channel 4)
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With Sergio Perez ruled out of action, Racing Point will have to make a decision on who to replace the Mexican with as they intend on racing two cars this weekend. Esteban Gutierrez is one option, with the Mercedes reserve driver the allocated back-up for Racing Point this weekend as Stoffel Vandoorne is unavailable. But Gutierrez has not raced an F1 car since leaving Alfa Romeo (formerly Sauber) at the end of 2014.
A more recent and likely option is Nico Hulkenberg, with the German missing out on a seat in 2020 after being replaced at Renault by Esteban Ocon. Hulkenberg drove for the Racing Point team in their former guise as Force India in 2012 and from 2014 to 2016.
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