Grand Prix 2020 British Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

The Stone.
Old Stoney.
El Silverado.
Names used for Silverstone by the types of people who say "pot-ah-to" rather than "pot-ay-to".

It is the “Home of British Motor Racing”.

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There's one thing that's a sure bet for the British Grand Prix - the expectation of fans in anticipation of the race will be colossal, what we need is for that anticipation to be met.
But of course, the local roads and villages won’t be jammed with fans; the stands won’t be throbbing with flags, cheers and smells. There’ll be a Formula 1 corona bubble (reminds me of fizzy pop) making the sensation different, a peculiarity, a “one-off” (until the following weekend’s rerun).

I thought I'd take a little look at the long-lasting corners on this circuit, the ones steeped and fermented in the motor racing ecstasy of the dozens of F1 races the former RAF training base has hosted.
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Today's first bend is Abbey, a right hander which is taken super-fast, entertaining for lap one as the cars get there fairly soon after the lights...those out of usual grid position will need to have sharp senses but for the rest of the race it's a challenge but not manic.

Considering Abbey was foot to the boards the rate at which cars arrive for Woodcote used to be startling - today they'll still be flat out and this is where aero and grip are king, allowing the speed to be carried down to Copse, which used to be turn one but now...

...drivers will be smashing it at top speed, a downshift and downforce pushing the car to scraping point as it turns in - topping 180mph for some. A balancing act though, and the runoff area's going to see some rubber for those who're really up for it.

Then Maggots, which used to also be a fast flash down into Becketts but now begins a swooping descent which shows racing nicely from the right camera angle, but it's processional nowadays rather than an overtaking opportunity, Chapel's not really worth mentioning but what comes next?

Stowe has always been a great turn, the Hanger Straight allowing drivers to give it the beans, and until the radical changes of this century was the fastest turn-in/braking point on the circuit. Overtaking? Well, a big set of conkers and perfect timing might help, especially as the track's wide, early in the race there might be some fun but later on most drivers will be focusing on a good exit to carry to the end of the lap...

...which is preceded by Club (my favourite spot to watch on a general entry ticket), back in "the day" this was yet another full throttle face bender but now it's a narrow tricky one which needs to be done right so as not to compromise the next lap.

So that was a little wander through the longer-serving corners, is the circuit improved? No – it’s different, just like the sport is different.
It's always been a power circuit, and that's something the BRDC were committed to retaining...it will be challenging on engines and tyres, limited testing and racing might cause retirements for mechanical reasons and if the right rubber isn't available well - we can only wait until practice & qually - weather currently looking breezy and cool for August.

So who's going to benefit this weekend? Here's what I think...
Mercedes to continue their domination.
Racing Point to be second runners.
Ferrari to have found a "miraculous" ;) engineering fix to their woes.
The others? No idea.

I haven't been to a race in its present guise, but when I was a frequent visitor in the 90s it was Brooklands/Luffield/Woodcote that gave me the greatest pleasure (with many thanks to Camel owner RJ Reynolds and Williams F1 for the freebies), every race I saw there was great and I always loved the event. I hope this one is something to relish.
 
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cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
It's just depressing. You can't knock Mercedes for the job they've done but a second faster than everyone else is just rediculous.

Toto was in the press in mid week complaining that everyone had been saying Mercedes should just go to Paris and pick up the trophy now. We'll, they should. Then they can sit out the rest of the season and let everyone else have a go.

It was no real surprise that the false Friday times were there to drum up a bit of weekend press in the "oooh look, Red Bull and Tracing Point have caught up with Merc" style.

Come Saturday its situational normal.

Time to do the rain dance.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
...
Russell was 1 second faster in Q1 than last year
Raikkonen and Giovanazzi were 7/10s slower than last year in Q1
Grosjean was 1.3 seconds slower in Q1
Magnussen was 0.5 seconds slower
Kvyat matched his time in Q1
Ricciardo was 1/10 faster in Q3
Vettel was 6/10 slower in Q3
Leclerc was 3/10 slower in Q3
Sainz was 4/10 faster in Q2
 

Johnny Carwash

Champion Elect
Contributor
The sustained excellence of Mercedes is something else. This season and next season are a right off for all the other teams as they have no hope of catching them.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Is anyone else watching C4's Mercedes love in and feeling a bit sick?

if the trailer for mercedes bit from FP3. with Matthew Syed looked impressive but yes it weird when you think Mercedes are killing the sport. currently mercedes in early 24s & most of the remaining Q3. are in the mid 25s
 

Johnny Carwash

Champion Elect
Contributor
Mercedes aren’t killing the sport F1Brits_90 as it’s not up to Mercedes to go slow for the benefit of the other teams. Every other team on the grid would love to be in Mercedes’s position. Other sports teams have been dominating for longer than Mercedes currently have been. Sometimes I think F1 fans always prefer nostalgia to the present day.
 

Dartman

Podium Finisher
Is it really Mercedes fault, there are two other manufacturer teams, well three if you count Red Bull who are supposed to have the best chassis and a fairly powerful engine, a red car with an apparently unlimited budget but not a team really, party in a brewery come to mind, as well as apparently having a veto over most other manufacturers. There is a team with a yellow and black car who can't even beat their engine customers and have been in since the begining of the hybrid era. So is it cash, or engineering? The Mercedes engine is British heavily suported by German money, Ferrari's engine is Italian and designed and built in Italy in house as is Renault's, the top two teams have both bought in engines, one has bought their supplier and the other engine supplier only supplies them and their B team.
The answer is another engine supplier with very clever engineers and an unlimited budget, only two other teams could benefit from this McLaren and the pink team whatever their name is next year.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
It's a culmination of the whole problem of F1. There were always cars that were dominant but over the years the sport has become so sterile there's nothing to randomise the results.

Take a look at Silverstone today, the most recent alterations to parts of the track were to add huge patches of concrete on the outside of some of the corners. 99 percent of the cars that go off track now, return to it with almost no penalty.

These days we have to talk about "track limits" and scrubbing lap times if all four wheels go over the white line. In the old days if you put 2 wheels over the edge of the track you would be done for. No need to worry about track limits when you're nuts deep in gravel.

Because engines and components have to be reusable they aren't dialled up to 11 as they were in the old days. 80 to 90 percent of the field finishing every race would be unthinkable 30 years ago.

The design restrictions are so tight that no one can find a big enough leap forward to catch up. Also, because the car designs are so "on a wire" a revolutionary change in one area could compromise the car in 4 others and cause more harm than good.

Finally, the teams themselves have become too good. There's no guesswork anymore. Scores of people try and calculate every single component of a race weekend. The cars are adjustable in a hundred different ways from the steering wheel. Very little is left to chance.

So nope, it's not Mercs fault, the dominance of teams has always been there but the factors that lead to unpredictable and some times exciting racing have gone.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Well, there is the fact that decisions seem to Always go Mercedes’ way...


  • russell has got a 5 place grid penalty for setting his fastest time going through double waved yellows for Latifi
  • when Hamilton fell off the track in Q2, the marshalls didn’t even bother waving the yellows (in an identical, and possibly more dangerous situation - given that he reversed back onto the track) - manning that Bottas was not penalised for setting his fastest lap of the session at that moment...
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Johnny Carwash i think i described on the Hungary thread that they are depressingly impressive. we are watching 1 of the most dominant cars with 1 of the great drivers. yeah its not their fault its ferrari & red bull fault for building dreadful cars at worst possible time. alot like phil taylor in darts when he lost 1 game at world championships from 1995 to 2006. it up to them to get to his level not otherway around but back then the real competion was who make the final in the other half to lose to Phil Taylor. it struggles to get any jeopardy when like F1. they do advertisements "who will win the ...... GP" when we all know Barring some incredible freak of nature its Mercedes this week, next week, Mercedes in spain & highly likely every week. thats not good for the sport. watching the battle for 3rd

but i disagree on longer periods. people have been as dominant as mercedes but this is unprecedented period of success. ill just do since 88 otherwise i might make a mistake. McLaren (prost senna) was 3yrs, Williams (mansell prost) was 2 yrs, Williams (Hill Villeneuve) was a yr, Ferrari (Schumacher) was 4 yrs ish 2001 - 2004 but 2003 very close. Red bull was 4 yrs ish 2010 - 2013 but 2010 & 2012 were very close. bar Prost Senna. i dont believe any of consistently race after race, outqualifying the rest of the grid by over a second

Mercedes breaking all records until this year nobody had won 7 consecutive constructors. last year nobody had won 6 consecutive team drivers titles. mercedes in 2 seasons (barring some freak soon to be 3 seasons) have a bigger percentage of podiums than McLaren 1988 Ferrari 2002 & 2004 . whereas i am appriachive of incredibly talented mercedes team. this is sport i want to watch a battle not a forgone conclusion
 
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Johnny Carwash

Champion Elect
Contributor
I meant other teams in different sports have been dominating longer than Mercedes currently are F1Brits_90 . I understand that if you not a Mercedes fan or a Lewis Hamilton fan then it is tedious and boring. The standards that Mercedes are setting though at the moment are McLaren 1988 , Ferrari in the early 2000’s and Red Bull in the early 2010’s all rolled into one.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
irony is im technically a Lewis Hamilton fan. because i want to see British success & always support every british driver. but you cant take any joy from it as it like beating a 5 yr old at football :D
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
irony is im technically a Lewis Hamilton fan. because i want to see British success & always support every british driver. but you cant take any joy from it as it like beating a 5 yr old at football :D

I think the reason I’m so down on Mercedes is that they haven‘t really given Hamilton any competition. By having Bottas as a teammate, Mercedes are setting Hamilton up to be the champion each year. At least when Rosberg was teammate, there was a genuine challenge, rather than an occasional non-challenge!

Get Verstappen into the team, or Leclerc, or even Norris, and we’ll see a proper battle!
 
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