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Your guide to the British Grand Prix support races

Tuesday 28 June 2022

This weekend, motorsport fans will descend on Silverstone in their hundreds of thousands to soak in the atmosphere and action at the Formula 1 Lenovo British Grand Prix. 

Every year, the world-famous Northamptonshire circuit hosts an undisputed jewel in the crown of the Formula 1 calendar. But the entertainment on track spans far more than just the main event on Sunday afternoon, with a packed schedule of support race action for fans to enjoy. 

Including some of the brightest British talents to emerge in recent years, here’s a whistlestop tour of what to expect this weekend, whether trackside or enjoying the action from the comforts of home: 

FIA Formula 2 Championship 

Practice 10:45 Fri, Qualifying 17:30 Fri, Sprint Race 17:00 Sat, Feature Race 10:05 Sun. 

FIA Formula 2 is the established final step on the ‘Road to F1’ for rising stars looking to graduate to the highest rung on the FIA single seater ladder. 

Re-branded from GP2 back in 2017, the series utilises identical Dallara F2 2018 chassis, powered by a 3.4-litre, V6 single turbocharged Mecachrome engine capable of producing 620 BHP and accelerating from 0-100km/h in just 2.9 seconds. All cars run on one of three controlled compounds of Pirelli tyre, with two slick and one wet option available. 

The grid is currently composed of 10 teams, each running two cars with a line-up jam-packed with rising stars from all four corners of the grid. Representing the UK on the global stage are three teams – Carlin, Virtuosi Racing and Hitech GP – as well as two drivers, Olli Caldwell and Jake Hughes.  

Brazilian Felipe Drugovich is the runaway leader at the top of the standings, his nearest rival Theo Pourchaire some 49 points adrift with 12 of the 28 races in the books.  

Action begins with a 45-minute practice session and half-hour for qualifying on Friday. That qualifying session sets the grid for Sunday’s longer Feature Race, which awards points to the top ten on a 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 basis, plus two bonus points also awarded for the driver setting pole position.  

The top ten qualifiers from Friday’s session are reversed to form the grid for Saturday’s Sprint Race, which awards points to the top eight on a sliding scale of 10-8-6-5-4-2-1. In both races, there is a bonus point for setting the fastest racing lap. 

FIA Formula 3 Championship 

Practice 09:35 Fri, Qualifying 14:55 Fri, Race 1 09:55 Sat, Race 2 08:35 Sun. 

A merger between the GP3 and European F3 series’ back in 2019 gave birth to the FIA Formula 3 Championship, an established third rung of the ‘Road to F1’ ladder and an opportunity for the stars of tomorrow to impress the sport’s top brass in their own back yard. 

Formed of 30 identical Dallara F3 2019 machines, powered by a 3.4-litre Mecachrome engine delivering 380 HP and running on controlled Pirelli slick and wet tyres, the series spans 18 races on the support bill at nine Grand Prix events, including Silverstone this weekend.  

As in FIA Formula 2, Carlin and Hitech GP represent the UK among the 10 teams. The former runs Zak O’Sullivan, one of three British entries, the reigning GB3 champion and already a Williams junior at the age of just 17.  

The second is Oliver Bearman, the Ferrari protégé racing for their affiliated Prema outfit, having taken the Italian and German Formula 4 championships by storm in 2021. 

And last, but by no means least, is Jonny Edgar, who after a Crohns disease diagnosis earlier this year will compete for the first time since the Sakhir season opener. 

FIA Formula 3’s weekend format mirrors that of F2, the exception being the reversal of the top 12 – rather than 10 – drivers from Friday’s qualifying format to set the grid for the Sprint Race.  

W Series 

Practice 08:40 Fri, Qualifying 18:25 Sat, Race 13:25 Sun. 

W Series, the groundbreaking, all-female single seater series, was formed in 2018 to provide equal opportunities for women and eliminate the financial barriers that have historically prevented them from reaching the upper echelons of the sport. 

Utilising the Tatuus F3 T-318, a car homologated to the latest FIA F3 specification, the championship runs all its cars centrally for its 18 rising stars, ensuring a level playing field that puts driver talent front and centre in the pursuit of success. 

Six drivers – over a quarter of the grid – hail from the United Kingdom, including two-time and reigning champion Jamie Chadwick, who arrives at Silverstone with a 37-point advantage having won each of the opening three races in Miami and Barcelona. 

Her closest rival is Abbi Pulling, who joined the series as something of a revelation midway through 2021 and scored a pole position and maiden podium in four outings to earn her spot on the 2022 grid full-time. 

Her mentor (and housemate) Alice Powell is third overall and looking for a repeat of her victory on home soil in 2021. Jessica Hawkins enjoyed her first visit to the W Series podium in Miami and will be keen for a repeat showing, with Sarah Moore and Abbie Eaton also on the hunt for silverware at Silverstone. 

Practice and qualifying are both 30 minutes in duration and take place on Friday, the latter setting the grid for the race on Saturday. Points are awarded on a scale of 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 to the top ten finishers. There are no bonus points for pole or fastest lap. 

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup 

Practice 19:20 Fri, Qualifying 18:15 Sat, Race 12:05 Sun. 

The highest tier of international Porsche competition features identical, seventh-generation 911 GT3 Cup cars, each capable of producing 485 HP, and some of the world’s best sportscar talents. 

Among them are three British entries, including 2020 and 2021 Porsche junior Harry King. A dominant champion in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at the first attempt, the 21-year-old is still in search of his maiden win in the Supercup but would dearly love it to be in front of a home crowd at Silverstone. 

The same is true for Lorcan Hanafin and Aaron Mason, both of whom also enjoyed a silverware laden domestic career before making the switch to international competition. 

If you can’t make it to Silverstone this weekend, live coverage of all the support race action is available exclusively live on Sky Sports F1.