British Grand PrixView

By on Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Williams-F1

Williams will celebrate their 600th race

As the Mercedes/Pirelli test saga hopefully comes to an end Formula 1 moves on this week with round eight of the championship, the 2013 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Silverstone was the venue for the first ever World Championship event and a race has been held in Britain annually since the sport’s inception, with Silverstone remaining a permanent fixture on the calendar ever since 1987.

The new circuit layout, introduced in 2010, is one of the toughest challenges for the engine and requires a lot of downforce in order to be quick through its high speed corners. Silverstone has the second highest average speed of any track this season - behind Monza - while the average corner speed is the highest of any circuit on the calendar.

Because of the demands of the circuit, Pirelli will bring its medium and hard compounds and expects between three and four stop strategies on Sunday.

There will be two DRS zones at Silversone with the first detection point before Turn 3 and the activation point after Turn 5, on the Wellington Straight. The second detection point is after Maggots and the activation point after Chapel, on the Hangar Straight.

The FIA driver steward this weekend is four-time winner of the British GP, 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell.

History

2012 British Grand Prix - SundayThis will be the 64th time British Grand Prix, the inaugural event being held on 13 May 1950 at Silversone. Contested over 70 laps, the first ever Formula 1 race was won by Guiseppe Farina in an Alfa Romeo. The event was attended by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the first time a Monarch witnessed a British motor race.

The race alternated between Silverstone and Aintree in the late 1950s and early 1960s and then between Silverstone and Brands Hatch from 1963 to 1986, but relocated permanently to Silverstone in 1987. Silverstone will stage its 47th British GP this year and has a contract to host the race until 2026.

In previous editions the race has been won by twelve Britons, while Jim Clark and Alain Prost have the most British GP wins with five each. Ferrari is the most successful team with 16 wins, the team’s most successful driver being Michael Schumacher.

Of the current drivers only Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber have won the race twice. Having started in 13 British GPs Jenson Button is the most experienced driver on the grid. Despite that he’s never managed to get a podium finish here.

The track

2012 British Grand Prix - SundaySilverstone was built on the site of a World War II airfield and hosted its first formal racing event in 1948. The circuit has been modified several times but despite the facelifts it remains one of the fastest tracks on the Formula 1 calendar. Today, seven of Silverstone’s 18 corners are taken at over 250 km/h.

The track underwent a major redesign between 1990 and 1991, transforming the ultra-fast track into a more technical circuit. Other revisions to reduce speed came in the aftermath of the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenburger at Imola. The flat-out Abbey kink was modified to a chicane with only 19 days before the 1994 British GP.

2009 winner Sebastian Vettel believes that Silverstone has some of the best corners in the sport. “No other track on the calendar has such a sequence of superfast corners like Silverstone does. Copse Corner, Maggots, Becketts and Chapel are amongst the four best corners in Formula One - they belong together.”

“You have to catch the first one perfectly, otherwise the rhythm is off for all of them and at the end, Chapel is so insanely fast. If you have driven properly in the previous three corners and the car is well tuned then you can drive through full throttle. You go through at roughly 270km/h, really amazing! You don’t have long to think about it, so just give it full throttle and go. In the end, apart from all the technique, it’s about driving the car as fast as you can,” the Red Bull driver added.

Facts

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Silverstone was first used for motorsport by a group of friends who set up an ad hoc race in 1947. The event was nicknamed “The Mutton Grand Prix” after one of the drivers ran over a sheep.

In 1954, Alberto Ascari, Jean Behra, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, Mike Hawthorn, Onofre Marimon and Stirling Moss all set the equal fastest lap time of 1:50. The drivers took home one seventh of a point each after sharing the point given for the fastest race lap.

The 1965 event was a real joy for the British fans when the race finished with British drivers occupying the first five positions.

Since 2000 every winner at Silverstone has started from fourth or better. The race has never been won by anyone starting outside the top 10.

If you lined up the amount of sausages eaten during the Grand Prix weekend they would measure the length of Silvestone’s Stowe Circuit.

F1Zone.net will cover the British GP this weekend. Keep an eye on our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates from the paddock.

Timetable: (GMT+1)

Friday 28 June

  • Practice 1: 10.00-11.30
  • Practice 2: 14.00 - 15.30

Saturday 29 June

  • Practice 3: 10.00-12.00
  • Qualifying: 13.00-15.00

Sunday 30 June

  • Race: 13.00

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