As we return to Silverstone, we return to the home of motorsport; and a race that most drivers would dearly love to win alongside Monaco, Spa, Monza and Suzuka. Recently, track developments have seen an increase in overtaking, but without sacrificing the speed and precision that still sees Silverstone rise over the 2nd-gear ‘Tilke-ien’ deities that have devoured the Formula One calendar in recent years.
Laps – 52
Track Length – 5.9km
Race first held – 1948
Most wins – Jim Clark (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967) Alain Prost (1983, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1993).
2012 pole position – Fernando Alonso 1:51.746
2012 race winner – Mark Webber
2012 fastest lap – Kimi Raikkonen 1:34.661
The first segment of Silverstone has remained much the same, but the last few years has seen much change with Abbey chicane, Bridge corner and Priory all making way for a new section of race track. Whilst some have bemoaned the loss of these exciting turns, the new Brooklands corner after Wellington straight has not only increased spectator access, but radically improved an area of the circuit that was previously confined to club racing.
Nevertheless, the mighty run into Copse will always remain one of the best displays of Formula One performance as the cars barrel through at 190+ kilometers without so much as a lift. A sublimely fast slalom then follows as the most aerodynamically efficient cars tackle Maggotts and Becketts; any teams suffering balance issues will then be exposed on the run out of Chapel Curve and then Hanger Straight. KERS can thern be implemented for an attack down inside of Stowe at 150km/ph and a tightened section on exit otherwise known as Vale corner and a short blast towards Club.
The adjusted club corner leads onto a fast right-hander at Abbey (replacing the former left-hander at Bridge) that should be taken flat in 7th gear, but with a quick change of direction at Farm Curve the crest isn’t so much blind but difficult to gauge a braking point, so some teams may opt for a compromise in ratios to help stabilize the car under the 4G load through Abbey.
The new tighter area that follows into Village corner provides another passing opportunity in front of a fantastic spectator area, however on exit, provides the overtaken driver to potentially regain position with a very tight left-hander at Loop. The flat out kink at Aintree leads onto the long Wellington Straight into the aforementioned left-hander of Brooklands. Again, anyone making a pass at Brooklands could find themselves exposed to a re-pass.
through the following right-hander at Luffield. Then it’s who gets the best drag through Woodcote where DRS should assist for a pass over the line.
Silverstone comparison lap F1/GP3/WEC
Image copurtesy of Guardian.co.uk