Montoya gives his British Grand Prix picks

As Silverstone gets ready to host the F1 grid on Sunday, we had chat with 2005 British Grand Prix winner Juan Pablo Montoya who gave his thoughts on what we can see at the race.

Anything that the current grid can note from your win at Silverstone in 2005?

"The Silverstone race is very intriguing. It's a really cool race track."

"Most of the teams have extra pressure and the reason for that is that 90 percent of the teams are based in the UK. So, it's their home race."

"The teams will give a lot of employees tickets. So there will be a lot of employees there. A lot of the sponsors are based in the UK. The main office of F1 is in London, everything is based there."

"It is a huge deal, it is a huge event."

"There's always extra pressure, there's always extra motivation for a team like Ferrari, for example, that are not based in the UK."

"It is a good race for people based in the UK to try to put on a good show."

"In F1, you have your home race where you grew up. I always looked at Brazil being my home race as it was the closest to Colombia and being in Latin America. And then you had the team race, the British Grand Prix. And when I did F1, both my teams were on German power, so the German Grand Prix was always a big deal."

What do you expect to be some key factors that’ll determine both qualifying and the race?

"I think the race will really suit the Ferraris. I think they are going to be really, really strong. I think it is a good race track for them. They seem to be really quick right now."

"The question is, can they put it together?"

"And I think that's what everyone is wondering. Do they have what it takes or does Red Bull keep getting away with wins."

"It's incredible to see. Max is doing an incredible job and Checo this year has really stepped it up. You got to give him kudos for that."

"Last year he did a really good job as a No. 2. Some of the races this year, Checo has been on pole and won. He looks really, really strong. It's good to see."

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Looking at the track and how the cars have performed, who do you think has the advantage at Silverstone?

"From what you see you got to say it's either gonna be a Ferrari or a Red Bull."

"One of the key things here is that this is probably one of the fastest tracks they go to."

"Cornering wise, you have the biggest amount of high speed corners and if you look at a race like Barcelona, a lot of teams had issues with porpoising at Turn 3. That is the long, long right-hander and when you're going through it, the rear is bouncing around and it's making it really difficult and it's always a limiting factor."

"Here you have, what they call the Beckett's complex, it is one of the fastest complexes you do in a race car. And you're going to see people struggling and whoever gets it right."

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"Red Bull seems to be always the team to get it right. Even if they don't get it right, they're probably the most consistent car."

"I think Ferrari is the quicker car but I think Red Bull might be easier to drive."

"The way it is, you would say this track most likely would be a Max win and if Ferrari can put it together then it's a Charles win."

"I think Ferrari are struggling a little more."

Why do you think Max Verstappen is the favorite right now?

"I think the biggest thing for him right now is that he's been winning a lot of races lately."

"When you start winning races, everything starts coming together."

"You got to think like this, you go into the race weekend, even when you haven't been the quickest, you're winning the races. The team has been doing the strategy to win the races. When he didn't win, his teammate won."

"Ferrari, only Charles has won."

"Their (Red Bull) mindset, everything is right. Ferrari is going into the race weekend thinking what do we need to do to close this deal. Even if we have the faster car, how do we win this race because we're throwing away wins."

"You look at Monaco, Charles had a 5 second lead and they made the wrong call, they went too conservative and Checo and Red Bull outsmarted them and beat them."

"That's where it gets difficult. Red Bull on strategy right now, it's head and shoulders ahead of Ferrari. Red Bull in the past few years had to really step up their game because they were going against Mercedes and they were the inferior car until last year."

"When they were close they really had to outsmart Mercedes for the wins. So I think their understanding of the race strategy, how to call the races, they're not afraid of being more aggressive."

"Ferrari, they've been off the pace for so long that right now when they're winning, they're like - 'let's not touch anything, let's not screw up'."

"When you're doing well sometimes, and you still got ways to go, and you're like - 'aah, let's not screw up' and everytime you think let's not screw up, you end up screwing up."

Mercedes, and Lewis Hamilton specifically. Do you think they can be on the podium on Sunday?

"The big question mark is being the British race, I'm pretty sure there are going to be big updates coming to the cars."

"We had one when they came back to Europe a few races ago and in this one we'll see another jump in upgrades."

"The cars might look very similar every week but every race, every couple of races, there's something new in the car. And when you have new things in the car, you have new performance."

"You don't know, you could be looking at, like McLaren they started very strong, but lately they've been losing a little bit of pace but they're right there."

"They were ahead of Mercedes, Mercedes made a huge jump."

"The question is who will make the next big jump that we don't see."

"I know everybody is supposed to have their own 'evolution' of things but you can take pictures, you can see what everybody else is doing. You can go and try it in the wind tunnel and come up with your own solution and you're gonna make your car better." 

"The question is how much better can you really make it."

"They are unknowns into the weekend and for the betting side I think it's really cool. You look at Lewis' pace at Barcelona after the incident, he was racing fast enough to fight for the win. His qualifying pace was not there but the race pace was unbelievably quick. He genuinely had pace to go for the win."

"If they have another step and they can keep solving their issues with their car - I think the car has enough speed - if they can solve their issues, you might see Lewis on the podium."

"He is one of those guys for whom the home race is a big deal. He's won it a number of times and that race for him for some reason, even when things go wrong, he's got the luck on his side so many times."

Do you think George Russell can finish ahead of Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, the way he’s driving?   

“They’re both at a home race. I think in over a lap, I think he can pull it off.” 

“I think in race pace, Lewis still got the knowledge and experience to, especially, if it’s a hot day to do a better job with the tires and maximise the pace with the tires.”

Winner on Sunday?

"Max. My money is on Max."

"If I wanted to take a small gamble it would be Charles and big gamble, with Lewis."

"Lewis could surprise and Mercedes could surprise. If anybody could surprise in Silverstone, it would be Lewis."

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Photo by Carl Jorgensen