F1 British Grand Prix Preview

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F1 Grand Prix Preview: British Grand Prix

FORMULA 1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2015

Round: 9

Date: Sun 05 July

Circuit Name: Silverstone

First Grand Prix: 1950

Type: Purpose built race track

Circuit Length: 5. 891km

Laps: 52

Lap Record: 1:33.401. Mark Webber, Red Bull (2013)

Tyre Allocation: Hard and Medium

DRS Zones: Two. Wellington and Hanger Straights respectively.

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2014

Pole: Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:35.766.

Winner: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes. 1:37.176 on lap 26

Silverstone

The fans

“In English please”. Hello, and welcome to the British Grand Prix. One of the oldest on the calendar, the people of Britain have kept their flirtatious spirit with motorsport close to their hearts. Home to some of the most learned fans the world round; aside from the race, the whole spectacle is something that is totally remarkable. Along with their knowledgeable brains, the British crowds are among some of the toughest around. The Union Jack’s “Keep Calm and Carry On” attitude is a fierce part of their arsenal. Come rain, wind, sunshine, mud, snow, or a rogue meteorite crash, the fans will be there, and in their masses. On the darkest and squalliest of days, they take on forms that simply don’t seem human. Their skin almost seems to be fused with their waterproofs, hoodies, and wellies. Armed with a stiff umbrella and a hot cup of tea, they are a force unstoppable.

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The track

Just a stone’s throw from Red Bull’s factory in Milton Keynes, Silverstone is tucked away neatly in the Northamptonshire country side. While we are in the height of the hard, greyish “Tilke era” this type of setting is a part of a dying variety in Formula One. The lush grasses are alien to us – we are like caged tigers touching the green blades for the first time it. “What is it?”

The track has an interesting past. Its reputation as the home of British motorsport was never intended. Oh no. During the wrath and plight of the Second World War, the area was used as a landing strip for beautiful war machines i.e. British aircraft such as Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes just to name a couple.

Through the years it shared the F1 Grand Prix with Brands Hatch in Kent, as well as with “One Hit Wonder” Donnington Park. The race was hosted there in 1993 on a drenched weekend and played stage to one of the greatest laps driven in Formula One, made by none other than Brazilian legend, Ayrton Senna.

Mansell won here in 1987 and 1992 to make it two of some of the most reputable victories in racing’s history. Fans were so delighted that a British driver won the British Grand Prix in a British car, they invaded the track to share their excitement with their (you guessed it) British hero.

Over the years, Silverstone has become like putty. Remoulded and refined, it has lost some of its charm, but still manages to keep fans and drivers in total aw. It’s reasonably diverse and has a range of fast, medium and slow corners, a concoction that can test the toughest of them all.

Sector 1: Fast then slow. The newly renovated last sector has had a facelift unrecognisable to most fans. Once, where abbey took you steadily into the “under the bridge” section, it is now a brisk swerve to the right barely slowing, before hitting a slower complex of corners. The best view in this sector has to be the pit straight, facing the ASDA-like pit building.

Sector 2: The classic arena. This sector is Silverstone’s theatre stage where fans can watch cars enter Brooklands at speed and dance with the throttle around Luffield before being thrown around Woodcote. There is more time to appreciate the drivers here and a ticket for Luffield is money well spent. The National Straight and Copse bend is merely a prologue for the cars’ capabilities as they prepare for the infamous Maggots and Beckets turns, esses which bring the car too life.

Sector 3: The allies. This is home to the hanger straight where cars roar passed the Porsche Club House and make their approach steadily up the hill towards Stowe, the final fast bend before entering the vibrant complex at Club. Fans that sit high up and on a wet day can really get to see the drivers negating the car’s hostile efforts to flout the driver.

Predictions – Top 5 Teams

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton will be the keen favourite this weekend. Backed by a mass of British fans, the double world champ is sure to finish ahead of his German teammate Nico Rosberg. However his recent return to form seems to have hungry German back in the title fight.

Ferrari: In light of Mark Webber’s scathing remarks against Sebastien Vettel he will be proving his integrity this weekend to the Ferrari brotherhood – though he won’t have any trouble with this just as he seems to be set to bet Flying Finn Kimi Raikkonen.

Williams: Williams will be nagging at the heels of Ferrari has their fights with the Scuderia to fill the final spot on the podium at each race should continue into another round this weekend.

Lotus: Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado will be quietly confident this weekend and are expected to filter into the middle range of the top ten.

Red Bull: Who knows? Red Bull have made it quite obvious through the media and their results that they have erratic performances. It is difficult to place any driver inside or even outside the top ten.

Dane Hansen

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About dphansen24

I am an avid freelance Formula 1 writer and blogger. My writings are diverse and range from historical insights, to thorough and exciting analysis of the modern era and the topics that come with it. I am also able to take in requests from readers that wish to gain vision into particular stories. All are welcome. I encourage constructive criticism and conversation in comments or via email. My passion for the world’s fastest show consumes my daily efforts and I am always enthused to write about the sport I love most. Even as a pundit, I too have a curiosity and am always ready to learn more about an ever expanding sport.

Posted on July 3, 2015, in Grand Prix in Preview and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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