This week brings a welcome respite from travelling for the majority of teams as Formula One heads to Northamptonshire for the British Grand Prix on 8th July. The classic Silverstone track, one of the few remaining truly traditional drivers' circuits, is the stage for the AT&T Williams team's home Grand Prix. Quietly celebrating their 30th anniversary in the sport, the team will be determined to mark the occasion with a favourable conclusion to Sunday afternoon's race.
Nico Rosberg "Silverstone is a great track, I really enjoy driving it and our car should go well there. We had a productive test there before France, so we should have a good chance of scoring points this weekend. In addition, it's always a good race because it's the team's home GP. There's a lot of history for us at Silverstone, having taken our first ever win back in 1979, so it also holds a lot of good memories. And I hope the atmosphere will be fantastic due to Lewis."
Alex Wurz "Silverstone is our home GP, so that's exciting for everyone in the team, but I also love it because it's a cool track. There's no braking in the high speed first sector and lots of gforces for the drivers to contend with. It is quite a difficult track to get right though because of the different wing types required and the changeable conditions. Getting a good set-up is tricky and often has to be a compromise between top speed and downforce for the corners. As we saw in France, it's going to be a hard fight again because everyone is very close, but we'll be on the maximum attack to get some points. I'm travelling to the UK a bit early and will get there on Tuesday night for an RBS function before I go to Hamleys on Wednesday. There, I'll meet the winner of the competition to create a new helmet design for me which I will be racing with on Sunday."
Sam Michael, Technical Director "Silverstone Circuit has a bit of everything for the drivers and the engineers. A high speed first sector, combined with a slow speed third sector, forces a set-up compromise. Aero efficiency is a key factor because, unless a driver makes a mistake or there is a very large differential in car performance, overtaking is extremely difficult here. We tested at Silverstone just two weeks ago which gave us the opportunity to work on significant set-up changes and sign off the systems that we would normally spend Friday checking. During Friday’s practice sessions, therefore, we should be concentrating on tyres and fine tuning the cars’ balance for any changes that may be needed since the test. For example, there was quite a lot of gusting wind at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago which there may not be this week and that would inevitably make a difference.
Most teams will run with a two stop strategy at Silverstone. Bridgestone will bring the hard andmedium compound Potenza tyres for us to choose from, and both are good tyres here."
Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire
A sixty lap race, the British Grand Prix is a punishing 191 mile endurance test. The blend of high and slow speed corners, connected by three long straights, creates an uncompromisingly fast circuit, one that inevitably rewards engine power but one which also demands a delicately balanced set-up to cope with the high speed directional changes. Aerodynamic efficiency and harder compound tyres will therefore be crucial to sustain pace and position through the faster corners, such as Copse, but also through the slower corners, particularly into the Complex at the end of the lap. Not only are the drivers presented with one of the most technically demanding circuits, they are also forced to contend with the unpredictable weather conditions common to Silverstone's micro-climate. Prevailing winds are a concern at the old airfield and can affect the car's drivability, so must be carefully considered in the set-up process. A traditional track, Silverstone naturally boasts several areas which promote overtaking, principally Vale and Abbey, which will undoubtedly encourage some exciting racing action on Sunday afternoon.