After claiming a record-breaking eight victories on this iconic circuit, it’s no wonder that Formula 1’s greatest-ever driver Lewis Hamilton feels at home at the British Grand Prix – so it’s no surprise then that he’s been spotted alongside a special furry friend for this weekend’s race.
Spotting a celebrity at a Formula 1 circuit is like playing the world’s easiest version of Where’s Wally. They arrive at each event without fail, securing front-row seats to the action as easily as a group of climate activists. Such is the enduring allure of the world’s premier motorsport, that it’s not uncommon to see A-listers such as Neymar Jr. in the paddock before the race or actors such as Brad Pitt filming the latest Hollywood blockbuster in the Mercedes garage. It’s probably why Ryan Reynolds also wants a piece of the F1 action…
And this weekend will be no different, as the travelling F1 festival arrives at Silverstone for the oldest – and one of the most impressive – weekends of the calendar. But Formula 1 fans hoping to spot some special guests were treated to more than just the drivers and celebrities descending on the track, as seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton brought along his beloved dog Roscoe for the first time this year.
Hamilton has had his furry companion since 2013, with Roscoe becoming something of a celebrity himself in recent years. The English Bulldog has almost 800k followers on Instagram and a professional modelling contract, where he’ll audition and get paid $700 a day for jobs. In 2022, Roscoe starred in an advert for the food delivery app, Zapp.
WATCH Lewis Hamilton brings his dog Roscoe to the Mercedes garage at Silverstone below.
Whenever possible, Hamilton always likes to bring Roscoe along to a number of the tracks throughout the year, especially at Silverstone when the British Grand Prix comes around, stealing the show with his signature smile.
In 2021 Hamilton revealed that he had transitioned Roscoe to an all-vegan diet to help him with his plethora of health problems, including breathing difficulties and skin conditions, saying: “I decided to transition him to a vegan diet. It has changed his life. He now doesn’t have any breathing issues. His throat is no longer restricted, and he doesn’t overheat like he did before and he loves to run. He also has no allergy issues.”
A Hamilton masterclass would add to his record Silverstone wins
Away from the fanfare of the travelling party, attention turns to Silverstone, and it’s fair to say that results this year have been away below the high standard set by Hamilton and Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff.
Although there appeared to be a potential upturn in results following two podium finishes in Barcelona and Montreal, progress was halted through a number of performance-related issues in Austria, where both Mercedes drivers finished 7th and 8th respectively.
“The car is bad, we know that… Please drive it.”Toto Wolff, Mercedes Team Principal
The British Grand Prix is Hamilton’s home track and historically, one of his best-performing circuits, claiming victory here in seven of the last nine races. In front of a sold-out Silverstone crowd, Hamilton will be enamoured by the home support and keen to put on a show on home soil.
Although Max Verstappen and the high-flying Red Bulls are seemingly out of reach for this season, a trip to Silverstone could prove to be the potential calamity for a calendar clean sweep this year. Just as Hamilton has won here, Red Bull has lost, claiming victory in only one out of the last ten races on this iconic circuit, with the Silver Arrows hoping Silverstone will host another Hamilton masterclass.
It’s Red Bull’s time
It’s evident that Mercedes’ car this year has simply been unable to compete with the relentless speed and power of Red Bull’s RB19, with Hamilton himself even suggesting that Formula 1 should adopt new rules to allow the chasing teams to catch up – suggestions that have been quickly dismissed by the FIA.
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said: “It is [Verstappen’s] time, it’s Red Bull’s time. What do we do… Punish the good kid? No, let’s go and make the other teams good. Nobody’s stopping the other teams from being better. We cannot punish people for being better, for trying harder. That is unfair.”
This is Red Bull’s time, much like it was Hamilton and Mercedes’ time prior. And having won the opening nine races of this season, and claiming victory in the closing track of 2022, Red Bull has the chance to equal a long-standing record set by McLaren’s legendary drivers Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in 1988, by winning 11 consecutive Formula 1 races.
If Red Bull and Max Verstappen can shake the bogey track tag and take this race to the finish line for another famous victory at Silverstone, then they’ll all but tie up this 2023 season, and etch their name in the history books. And no amount of rule changes can change that.