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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F1Brits_90

Race Winner
I'm not so sure, Verstappens tyres looked to have similar wear lines to Bottas and Hamilton's.

yes Horner on Sky F1. just confirmed that they are pretty sure verstappen tyre wouldve blown
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he was also talking about drivers babysitting the tyres again today. which i hate more than the lack of competition at the front. i would prefer less deg to more deg. lets have days back when drivers could push 100% in races instead 4-5 secs of qualifying times
 
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Dartman

Podium Finisher
TV coverage is what C4 get, Sky get options but whether they had the options on driver view, Sky knows, all footage is from F1 TV.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I wasn't particularly entertained or educated there. Gasly was good, Vettel not so much, that's about it?

Nice to see all the Pirelli logos on the podium.
 

Johnny Carwash

Champion Elect
Contributor
Next weeks race is on a softer compound tyre so at least it won’t be a one stop race.It’s getting to the stage now that the cars are almost to fast at Silverstone for the tyres to cope.
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner

i would say that tires cant cope with the prolonged G forces. this 2020 cars produce. i had sympathy for pirelli because I thought teams were trying to run the tyres to long but pirelli dont have that excuse. bottas did 32 racing laps. well in 30-34 lap range they say is the quickest

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but ill say this now. ive never liked pirelli the were given an excuse 1st few years but Bridgestone were in F1 for 13yrs & dont think we ever had issue with the tyres, you could push 100%, you race behind drivers without thermal degradation, dirty air wasnt so pronounced. pirelli have been here for 11seasons the wet tyres are still not fit for purpose. tyres are still not problematic & it might not be there fault but Bridgestone era of racing was better than pirelli. i still say Bridgestone wets would trounce pirelli wets even now
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
F1Brits_90 - the problem is that Pirelli have produced what they were asked to produce - tyres that fall off the cliff, and would originally need multiple pit stops...

I’d much rather see tyres that have a linear degradation pattern, with the soft having a significant advantage over the harder tyres, but much faster degradation - but the ability to keep consistently pushing them without the thermal degradation crap!

Bridgestone managed it, Michelin managed it, Goodyear managed it 30 years ago!
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
your last line sums it up for me. yes pirelli will always say they are doing what they were asked. but like i said Bridgestone wet tyres are still country mile better than pirellis after a decade.

pirelli are just not good enough. regardless of excuses
 

Dartman

Podium Finisher
Pirelli were asked to produce a tyre that degraded at their design life, not disintegrate, the first is planned the second is dangerous. This is not the first time at Silverstone and I believe it also occurred at Spa a few years ago
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Each of the Pirelli tyre failures look to have been the same - it looks like a weakening of the sidewall, followed by an abrupt, catastrophic tyre failure...

The failures that Pirelli have suffered in the British Grand Prix (this year and 2013) reminded me of Indianapolis - and the end of Michelin as a tyre supplier...

I do wonder whether the failures had anything to do with the teams running off track at Becketts... Lap after lap,drivers were hitting the dirt, which then leads onto a kerb - it was, if you remember, that kerb back in 2003 that destroyed Jenson Button's suspension

 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
stats are crazy :o

on 3 wheels mercedes telemetry have him doing 143mph down the hangar straight & 80mph through stowe on 3 wheels & broken front wing. it mental bravery
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Has anyone got the times for Bottas's lap?

He had to go almost twice as far.

I’m not sure that’s entirely true - the tv Coverage didn’t pick up on Hamilton until Woodcote - I’m not sure where the tyre let go though...

Bottas lap into the pits was 2:06
Hamilton’s lap to the finish was 1:56

part of the difference would be that Bottas had to decelerate to the pit lane speed limit...
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
So basically, Bottas went further on his busted tyre, had to go slower to get into the pits and even slower on the pit lane limiter and was still only 10 seconds slower than Hamilton.

I think we need to temper our enthusiasm a little.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
This smells hideously like Indy 2004 (Michelin), followed by Indy 2005...

It was fairly obvious in 2004 that Michelin's construction couldn't cope with the banking at Indy... In 2005, they showed up with the same construction, and low and behold... Brundle very quickly picked it up in 2004 that it was a Michelin problem...


I'm more concerned that nothing has been said about the Toro Rosso (or what ever Red Bull Junior are called nowadays... let's just call them Minardi..) accident - which was also a tyre failure... The only reason we didn't see more of those was that the safety car had come out and got everyone off those tyres!
 
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