2010 British Grand Prix Preview

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Round 10 - Silverstone Circuit

Summary
Following long-standing tradition, mid-July sees the British Grand Prix at the legendary Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire.

Sixty years ago the former Wellington bomber base hosted the first world championship Grand Prix, in front of a crowd of 100,000 and the royal family. As sole host of the British GP since 1987, Silverstone has seen numerous layout changes down the years, and this season sees the biggest change to the track since the creation of the complex in 1991. Gone are the Abbey Chicane, Bridge and Priory corners, replaced by an infield loop using parts of the International and National Circuits.

Given such a long history Silverstone can lay claim to many famous races, from Ferrari's first world championship victory in 1951, to Jackie Stewart's great battle with Jochen Rindt in 1969, the massive pile-up triggered by Jody Scheckter in 1973, torrential rain in 1975, and great home wins for Jim Clark, James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert, David Coulthard - and last but not least, Lewis Hamilton's dominant rain-mastering victory in 2008.

Despite the many revisions, the character of the circuit remains fundamentally similar to that faced by the original F1 pioneers of 1950 - long straights linked by super-fast corners. Whilst corners such as Stowe and Club have been emasculated, others like Copse and Becketts are actually considered more challenging today than previously. The new Arena Layout will almost certainly result in Silverstone surpassing Spa as the second-fastest average lap speed of the championship. To be successful a car will need prodigious power and ample downforce produced with the minimum of drag. Further complications will be provided by the surface changes between the new and old sections of asphalt, and the removal of most of the high kerbs (changed for the motorcycle GP that is also now hosted there).

The overall finishing rate at Silverstone is somewhat higher than most of this year's circuits.
The likelihood of a driver-related retirement is about average.
Mechanical failures in the British GP occur more rarely than at any of the other current tracks.
Finally, the circuit ranks as slightly above average for first-lap retirements in the past five years.

The Last Five Years
200520191009 - Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren)
2006221813211 - Jarno Trulli (Toyota)
2007221651017 - Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2008201307213 - Rubens Barrichello (Honda)
200920180107 - Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
Overall104847124
[td]Year[/td][td]Starters[/td][td]Finishers[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Lap 1 retirements[/td][td]Most places gained[/td]

Circuit Ranking (of all 18 circuits)
Finishing Rate
...
5th Istanbul 83%
=6th Shanghai 81%
=6th Silverstone 81%
8th Sakhir 80%
...

Mechanical Failures
...
16th Suzuka 8%
17th Valencia 8%
18th Silverstone 7%

Driver-related Retirements
...
8th Sepang 12%
9th Silverstone 12%
10th Shanghai 10%
...

First lap Retirements
...
5th Spa 4.9%
6th Silverstone 3.8%
7th Sepang 3.8%
...

Five former winners will be lining up on the grid this weekend, with a sixth driver, Heikki Kovalainen, having taken pole position at Silverstone in 2008 (it now seems incredible to recall). Michael Schumacher, despite his three wins, had a variable record and only took one pole position, in 2001. Conversely Sebastian Vettel qualified a creditable eighth for Toro Rosso in 2008 and won from pole in dominant fashion last season. Team-mate Mark Webber followed him home, and will be looking to further improve a poor finishing record this time.

Ferrari and McLaren have thoroughly dominated the British GP through the past decade; the Italians have the edge in total points, but the Woking team have managed a higher average points per finish. Williams have struggled in recent times but last season qualified well at Silverstone in fifth and seventh. The circuit has also been comparatively kinder to the Renault team than most. Force India will need to improve their dire finishing record to pick up some points this weekend.

Current Drivers' Records at Silverstone
Michael Schumacher14101st (3)64223.47
Rubens Barrichello17141st (1)46227.94
Fernando Alonso871st (1)29108.25
Lewis Hamilton331st (1)16007.67
Jenson Button1074th (1)152112.1
Felipe Massa774th (1)13009.29
Sebastian Vettel211st (1)10014.5
Mark Webber852nd (1)91210.5
Jarno Trulli1386th (2)8239.54
Heikki Kovalainen325th (1)6017
Robert Kubica324th (1)5019
Nico Rosberg445th (1)40014
Timo Glock229th (1)00010
Pedro de la Rosa4211th (1)02018.25
Vitantonio Liuzzi2213th (1)01014.5
Adrian Sutil3117th (1)01119.33
Sebastien Buemi1118th (1)00019
Jaime Alguersuari0------
Karun Chandhok0------
Lucas di Grassi0------
Nico Hulkenberg0------
Kamui Kobayashi0------
Vitaly Petrov0------
Bruno Senna0------
[td]Driver[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]

Chassis Records at Silverstone (since 2000)
Ferrari20191st (4)103104.45
McLaren20171st (4)99215.5
Renault20161st (1)37329.2
Mercedes GP20163rd (2)302310.9
Williams20182nd (1)29119.8
BMW Sauber20192nd (1)260111.45
Red Bull20161st (1)192211.35
Force India20126th (1)15414.95
Toro Rosso201211th (1)02517.28
Hispania0------
Lotus0------
Virgin0------
[td]Chassis[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for BMW Sauber include Sauber
Results for Renault include Benetton
Results for Red Bull include Jaguar
Results for Mercedes GP include BAR, Honda and Brawn
Results for Force India include Jordan, Midland and Spyker
Results for Toro Rosso include Minardi


Engine Records at Silverstone (since 2000)
Ferrari46381st (4)1104510.09
Mercedes-Benz24211st (4)108216.42
Renault24181st (2)55438
Cosworth28198th (1)15415.18
[td]Engine[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Ferrari include Petronas and Acer
Results for Cosworth include Ford


All ranking figures are expressed as a % of total starts.
"Retirements-Acc" are retirements where the reason has been listed as Collision, Accident or Spun Off.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
Cheers Galahad, interesting and informative as always.

Having seem the bikes go round, can't wait to see what the new section holds in store for the first Formula 1 race. Thinking it is going to be a very interesting race indeed. The fast flowing corners should be in the best interests of the RedBulls so if it is a dry race (fingers crossed) we should really be able to see what effect the new blown diffusers will bring to the rest of the field.


Will be firmly planted in front of the TV, and on chat for the first free practise session on Friday.

Cheers
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that, if we have a dry race, not a single one of the successful overtaking moves will be made in the new section of track. At Village the preceding corner (Abbey) is too fast a la Catalunya; at Brooklands there isn't enough braking going on.

I'll be happy to be proved wrong; I'm just feeling excessively confident about my predictive powers having tipped Holland for the World Cup six weeks ago... :D
 

cosicave

Banned
This is a 'Red Bull track', if ever there was one. However, it will be very interesting to see the result of McLaren's unending, sleepless nights.

I expect these two teams to lock out the front four places on the grid.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
I must say I am really curious about the level of development that has gone into the McLaren's new rear end ;)

A lot of the teams that have already introduced the blown diffuser have also been spending time in the early season designing the f-duct system. Namely Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes. Now we all know McLaren's rate of development and one would have thought that without having to completely design an f-duct system they would have been on the back of this pony from when they first noticed it along, sometime around the third race.

Granted, in recent races the murmurs coming form the McLaren camp have suggested that they have been concentrating on improving levels of mechanical grip in the recent races, but it is still a surprise to see them coming with the blown diffuser later than many teams.

Have they been developing this concept more so than say Ferrari? Who although had the exhausts blowing around the rear tyres, didn't manage to get the system going through the diffuser.

I would hope that with the extra time spent on it that they would bring an advanced version to Silverstone, but if they don't and its a similar effort to Ferrari and Renault, I would have to say they may have lost a small step somewhere along the way
 

cosicave

Banned
It is very rare for a team to make a giant leap by adopting someone else's technology. - A fact well illustrated by McLaren's 'F'-duct and all attempts to emulate it! - The thing about aero-dynamics is that it is modular, with every aspect of airflow affecting every other.

Adrian Newey incorporated the 'blown' concept into his basic design as a fundamental part of it; much as the 'F'-duct was a basic and fundamental consideration for McLaren. (And somewhat at odds with the fundamentals of the 'blown diffuser').

Properly integrated aero-dynamics are not 'bolt-on' extras. - Far from it: they are as much the 'egg' as the chicken itself. Therefore if McLaren get ahead of Red Bull, it will be an astonishing leap-frog.

It is more reasonable to expect a closing of the differences; an approach to some sort of evolutionary norm, in spite of the fact that they began as quite different animals…
 

Andrea_Moda_Rules

Podium Finisher
Here we go 4rd attempt!

Galahad said:
and the removal of most of the high kerbs (changed for the motorcycle GP that is also now hosted there).
I have a feeling they are going to be back in for the Formula 1.

If it wasn't in the plans in the first place then it could be after the MotoGP, Race Control spent all weekend issuing statements 'If you keep using the blooming run off areas, WE WILL PENALIZE YOU!' only to be followed by them having to scratching off what must of been +20 odd quali laps (some, repeat offenders) over all three classes.

If the MotoGP race is anything to go by it should be a good race. I like the layout and unlike some people it seems I don't miss bridge corner, lets face it for F1 its a bit of a non-corner.

Hopefully both Red-Bulls engines will blow up, preferably the rest of there allocation too, Chis Horner will turn up at donington by mistake and EJ will brake Couthards enormous jaw, So then Couthard will have to be replaced and hopefully will need his jaw wired shut too!

Quite Frankly those two have been getting on my tits!
 

LifeW12

Podium Finisher
The new track has lots of fast corners :thankyou: , so should suit a well balanced car, like the Red Bull.

Andrea_Moda_Rules said:
I don't miss bridge corner, lets face it for F1 its a bit of a non-corner.
It was good before they put the Abbey chicane in as it was taken flat in 6th gear :D

The HRT cars are going to look nice through Abbey as they fight high speed oversteer :givemestrength:

Galahad said:
I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that, if we have a dry race, not a single one of the successful overtaking moves will be made in the new section of track. At Village the preceding corner (Abbey) is too fast a la Catalunya; at Brooklands there isn't enough braking going on.
 

cosicave

Banned
Andrea_Moda_Rules said:
…Hopefully both Red-Bulls engines will blow up, preferably the rest of there allocation too, Chis Horner will turn up at donington by mistake and EJ will brake Couthards enormous jaw, So then Couthard will have to be replaced and hopefully will need his jaw wired shut too!…

Quite Frankly those two have been getting on my tits!
Hahaha… LOL
 

snowy

Champion Elect
It seems quite remarkable that Silverstone has one of higher finishing rates! You'd have thought all that full throttle and fast corners would take their toll. I remember Damon Hill having an engine failure here in 1993 whilst in the lead of the race. You'd have thought there'd have been a lot more accidents than other circuits, the speed they run at... :dunno: Go figure.

McLaren have significantly closed the gap to Red Bull without an exhaust blown diffuser, they are on a par with them in race trim on point and squirt circuits. I suspect they don't actually need a fully functioning EBD to get ahead, it all depends on what upgrades Red Bull can pull out of the hat and how effective they are. They may well have got a better handle on the F-Duct, and Ferrari may well have a better handle on the F-Duct and the EBD.

All in all it is a very exciting season on and off the track, with all sorts of developments, technical, physical, emotional and personal. It is a real shame the fallout from Bahrain may well transform the series yet again next season... :bored:
 

cosicave

Banned
I'm going to stick my neck out and disagree with Galahad about overtaking for position in the new section. (I hope it is a dry race too).

__As an edit; what I mean is that I believe there will be at least one overtaking manoeuvre for position, within this section, even if it's dry.
 

cosicave

Banned
For a detailed analysis of the current forecast, and to avoid going into a permanent loop, I refer you to: somewhere earlier in this thread. As we get closer to the weekend, this scenario is becoming ever more reinforced with corroborative data. My apologies for contributing without reading every single comment in the thread.

This is an edit after reading Brogan's response (below). And I humbly ask to be forgiven by anyone who similarly went into a loop. LOL

P.S. Brogan: are you saying the weather forecasters are providing a link to this very thread?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
I've just gone in to a permanent loop as there is a link on that page cosicave to this very thread LOL
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
One Nigel Ernest Mansell Esq. is the drivers' representative on the stewards panel this weekend.

:moustache:
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
Galahad said:
One Nigel Ernest Mansell Esq. is the drivers' representative on the stewards panel this weekend.

:moustache:
That's if he can fit into the stewards room with out extensive modifications to the seat. LOL

(Otherwise Mark Blundell is on standby)
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
Galahad said:
One Nigel Ernest Mansell Esq. is the drivers' representative on the stewards panel this weekend.

:moustache:
Well that's it then, a British driver won't receive any help there LOL
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
cider_and_toast said:
That's if he can fit into the stewards room with out extensive modifications to the seat. LOL

(Otherwise Mark Blundell is on standby)
ROFL
 

cosicave

Banned
Well, that's very interesting. Thanks Galahad, I did not know Mansell was doing the honours this weekend.

I am going to make a statement which may not be popular, but I assure you that it is true:

Nigel Mansell still considers himself the greatest ever motor-racing driver and especially the greatest ever English driver (I think he acknowledges Jim Clark, but of course, he was a Scot).

I mention this because there is a certain British driver whom he resents, and has on many occasions, made outspoken and disparaging comments about; someone he clearly sees as a threat to his self-elected crown: Lewis Hamilton.

Wo-betide Hamilton if he gets into any sort of incident that invites a judgement from the stewards…
 
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