Prixview – British Grand Prix

Prixview Testing & Race Reports

Round eleven sees Formula One return to its spiritual home of Silverstone. The circuit built on an old world war two base first hosted the British Grand Prix in 1948 and has been the home of the race on and off since hosting the first world championship race in 1950.

The race is one of the worlds oldest Grand Prix’s first being held in 1926 at Brooklands near London before moving to Donington Park. The 1938 race was dominated by the predecessor to Mercedes, Auto Union before the decade-long hiatus due to the outbreak of war.

The race then returned to the RAF base at Silverstone which would over the next seventy years would hold the majority of races. The first race was won by Italian Luigi Villoresi in a Maserati. In 1949, the circuit was heavily modified and made very fast; and it remained in this configuration for decades on.

Silverstone also played host to the first F1 Grand Prix, which was won by Guiseppe Farina in an Alfa Romeo. The following season the circuit saw huge modifications after the government leased the old airfield to the RAC, from 1955 the race began alternating with Aintree.

Aintree was used to horse racing, with the circuit being built within the Grand National course. That race was dominated by Sir Stirling Moss with Mercedes taking a dominate one-two-three-four. The last race at Aintree was in 1962 when Briton Jim Clark won his first of five British Grands Prix; Aintree was later decommissioned in 1964.

Silverstone has been hugely adapted over the last eighty years, however, the thing which remained throughout is its high speed and fast nature. The origins of the circuit are based on a classic WWII triangle format, lie within the outline of the present track. This means that drivers need good downforce and speed, also creates great overtaking opportunities.

It may not have the prestige of Monte Carlo, but its one of the most important races of the season. It acts as the home Grand Prix for all but two of the teams, who are all based in the local area. The closest team is Force India, who are based just over the road from the pit lane.

The current layout known as the Arena Grand Prix Circuit opened in 2010, the race had been due to return to Donington but the contract collapsed. Despite it being the height of summer,  the windy climate can cause wet weather to move in quickly. But that has thrown up great racing over the years.

Facts and figures

Race        

Formula 1 2018 Rolex British Grand Prix

Venue

Arena Grand Prix Circuit, Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom

Circuit Length

5.891km (3.661mi)

Laps

52

Race Distance

306.291 km (190.32 mi)

Lap Record

01:30.621 (Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2017, F1)

Most wins drivers

Jim Clark (5)

Alain Prost (5)

Lewis Hamilton (5)

Most wins manufacture

Ferrari (15)

Fast facts

  • The race is informally known as the Mutton Grand Prix, after a local ran over a sheep during an impromptu race in September 1947.
  • The British Grand Prix was the first ever Formula 1 race and along with the Italian Grand Prix is the oldest race on the F1 calendar. The debut race was held in 1950 and was attended by King George VI, who remains the only reigning monarch to have attended the British Grand Prix.
  • the British Grand Prix one of the biggest races of the Formula 1 season, it’s also one of the booziest. It’s estimated that over 10,000 bottles of wine will be drunk over the course of the weekend, as well as over 6,000 bottles of Champagne!
  • Ferrari’s first F1 win came at the British Grand Prix in 1951, since then they’ve bagged a further fourteen victories at the British Grand Prix making them the most successful team at the event.
  • The British Grand Prix is one of two races, along with Italian Grand Prix, which has been held every season since the formation of the championship in 1950.
  • Silverstone normally has a population of 2,176 people, but during the race week that grows to 147,645, which is the same has the population of the Dorset town of Poole. (Based on 2011 census)

Event timetable

Session

BST

Friday

P1

10:00-11:30

P2

14:00-15:30

Saturday

P3

11:00-12:00

Qualifying 

14:00-15:00

Sunday

Race

14:10

What happened in 2017?

Lewis Hamilton took his fifth win at Silverstone to equal Jim Clark to be the most successful British driver at his home race. It was another dominating win from the Englishman, who took the led on the first lap and then led every single lap and build the gap over teammate Valtteri Bottas.

It was a great recovery from the Finn who started ninth before inheriting second with two laps to go, after his fellow Finn suffered a puncher. Things got worse for Ferrari, as on the following lap Sebastian Vettel suffered a tyre failure promoting Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to fourth.

While it was a disaster for Jolyon Palmer, a break by wire issue and hydraulic problems on the formation lap, took him out of his home race before it had even begun.

What to watch for?

Silverstone is another circuit which rewards high downforce and good top speed. Like Austria, it’s a circuit which Mercedes have dominated since 2013 and following what happened at the weekend, they will hope to recover the points they lost.

This race could be more difficult for Red Bull and Ferrari, as they long straights and fast corners are a strength for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton will want another win at home, this is a circuit which favours his driving style, but he has a stronger challenge from Ferrari this weekend.

2017 vs 2018 Race Data

 

P1 Fastest

P2 Fastest

P3 Fastest

Q1 Fastest

Q2 Fastest

Q3 Fastest

Race Time

Fastest Lap

2017

01:29.106

01:28.496

01:28.063

01:30.069

01:27.893

01:26.600

01:21:27.430

01:30.621

Diff

-2.548

-3.597

-2.841

-0.670

-1.350

-2.687

-13:32.400

-4.927

2016

01:31.654

01:31.660

01:30.904

01:30.739

01:29.243

01:29.287

01:34:55.831

01:35.548

Data Profile

A lap of Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton knew he had to do it in one lap if he was to take pole he went across the line on the way to Abbey where he hits the inside kerb before heading through the curve at Farm. Heading nicely through the Arena section good through five going for the outside along the straight

He goes close to the kerb and beautiful exit from Brooklands before nicely through the long Luffield corner. On the old start finish he drives nicely at Woodcote. To the inside a Copse where he lets his car run to the outside.

The run down to Maggots and Becketts a good into part one of the section and gets a perfect exit into Chapel nicely through and on to Hangar Straight. Drives straight thought with ease at Stow and into Vale where he slows to low speed. Gets a good exit from Club and crosses the line with a 01:29.287.

Tyres

Driver

Team

Soft

Medium

Har

L. Hamilton

Mercedes

8

4

1

V. Bottas

8

3

2

S. Vettel

Ferrari

8

4

1

K. Raikkonen

8

4

1

D. Ricciardo

Red Bull – Tag Heuer

8

3

2

M. Verstappen

7

4

2

S. Perez

Force India – Mercedes

9

3

1

E. Ocon

9

3

1

S. Sirotkin

Williams – Mercedes

9

3

1

L. Stroll

9

3

1

F. Alonso

McLaren – Renault

8

4

1

S. Vandoorne

8

4

1

P. Gasly

Toro Rosso –Honda

10

2

1

B. Hartley

10

2

1

R. Grosjean

Haas – Ferrari

9

3

1

K. Magnussen

9

3

1

N. Hulkenberg

Renault

10

1

2

C. Sainz

10

2

1

M. Ericsson

Sauber – Alfa Romeo

9

3

1

C. Leclerc

9

3

1

 

Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

2 thoughts on “Prixview – British Grand Prix

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.