Silverstone: The Inside Line

Silverstone: The Inside Line

28.06.2014: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 - British Grand Prix 2014 Lewis Hamilton: Silverstone is a track that really suits my style. It's a seriously fast

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 - British Grand Prix 2014

Lewis Hamilton:

Silverstone is a track that really suits my style. It's a seriously fast circuit and making sure you have a stable car through the high-speed corners is crucial. You're almost flat-out through the left-handed Turn One, then switching direction into Turn Two and back once again for the tight hairpin of Turn Three.

 You're hard on the brakes into here but it's important to maintain speed through the corner and to quickly get back over to the right side of the track for Turn Four. This leads you out through Turn Five and down the first DRS straight of the lap.

You're then into to the old part of the circuit, starting with Brooklands (Turn Six) and then Luffield (Turn Seven). Luffield is quite a long corner that just seems to roll on and on, but the best feature is that you can see all the fans in the stands on the outside of the corner which is fantastic.

Next, you're heading down the original pit straight and into Copse (Turn Nine) which is one of the coolest corners around the track. It's a quick downshift then back on the power, using all the available space on exit for maximum speed.

The Maggotts / Becketts sequence (Turns 10 - 12) is next, which is just so fast. You need so much downforce and grip from the car to be quick through here. A good exit from Chapel (Turn 13) THEN sets you up for the second DRS zone down the Hangar straight and into Stowe corner (Turn 15). It's quite bumpy, but you can carry a lot of speed through here - using every bit of room on exit once again.

Finally, you're hard on the brakes into the Vale / Club complex (Turns 16 - 18) which is quite slippery, with low grip compared to other sections of the track. It's hard on the power across the line once again, and that's a lap!

Nico Rosberg:

Silverstone is such a fantastic circuit. It's seriously quick and watching from the outside you can really see what makes Formula One cars so special in terms of the speed, the downforce and everything else.

This year, with the new Turbocharged V6 Hybrid engines, we'll be arriving into the fast corners at higher speeds, which is even more exciting. For the fans too, there will be more sideways action thanks to the reduced downforce in the cars. It should be pretty spectacular as you see the drivers really show off their car control.

For me, Copse (Turn Nine) is one of the toughest corners and of course Stowe (Turn 15) which comes after the Hangar straight. Both are pretty good overtaking opportunities, especially with the DRS zones, so that makes them even more of a highlight around the lap. There aren't many heavy braking zones, so it's all about maintaining momentum through the medium and high-speed corners.

It's a circuit that we drivers know well, as it's been on the Formula One calendar pretty much every year in the history of the sport and also features in many of the junior racing categories. The thing about Silverstone, though, is it can be very unpredictable - no matter how many times you may have raced there.

The weather is always changing, with wet conditions usually affecting at least one of the sessions. The wind, too, is a big factor. It can be really strong and can change direction during the weekend, so it can have a significant effect through the high-speed sections and you have to adjust your braking points for the slower corners too. It's a great challenge and one I'm really looking forward to tackling in this car.

On the Pit Wall

The Circuit

Silverstone is one of the longest standing circuits on the calendar. Although it has been modified over the years, it has been a near-constant feature since the Formula One World Championship began. In terms of track layout, there are very few low-speed corners, with medium and high-speed turns prominent.

This represents a different challenge to most venues visited so far this season. One of the interesting features of the current configuration is the new pit lane, which will see its third year of action in 2014. This is unusual in that it is slightly quicker to come through the first section of the pit lane to the timing line - even at the 80 km/h speed limit - than it is to stay out on the circuit, as the three corners of Vale, Club and Abbey are negated.

Of course, the overall time through this sector is still higher when conducting a pit stop, but it is rare to see such a narrow differential in lap time between coming in and staying out. The circuit itself is frequently used throughout the year, making track evolution less of a feature than seen at many other venues over the course of a race weekend.

There is some evolution during the Friday practice sessions as rubber is laid down on the surface, but from Saturday onwards this is reasonably consistent - provided conditions remain dry.

The Drivers

Lewis has always been quite exceptional around Silverstone. Along with Montreal, this is a track at which he has traditionally shone, with the high-speed nature suiting his style very well. It is, of course, his home race - something that affects different drivers in different ways.

 Where some struggle with the additional pressure of performing in front of their native crowds, Lewis revels in this scenario and will do his utmost to put on a good show. The psychological effect of having a crowd behind him undoubtedly makes him stronger.

What makes this all the more interesting is that, historically, a stronger Lewis brings out the best in Nico. The battle between the two should be as close as ever this weekend.


Weather conditions at Silverstone have historically been very inconsistent. Rarely has there been a race weekend here that has not had rain-affected sessions at some stage during the weekend. In 2013, for example, both Friday sessions were wet, with Saturday practice starting dry and ending wet.

Qualifying was also wet, but the race itself remained dry throughout. This makes judgement calls, on tyres in particular, difficult to predict. Going into the race last year, knowledge of how the dry tyres would perform and was a relative unknown. Variations in temperature can also be quite significant.

It is not unusual to see ambient temperatures range from a low of 18 to a high of 27 degrees from one day to the next - similar to the scale of fluctuations often experienced in Melbourne or Montreal, for example. With that in mind, cars cannot be setup and run as close to the limits as teams would ideally like in terms of cooling and so on.

Weather forecasts are usually quite reliable here, to within a few degrees in terms of temperature, but aspects such as cloud cover can have a notable effect - leading teams to err on the side of caution. Being, as it is, based on an airfield, wind is another key factor - particularly for the drivers.

As a benchmark, winds of up to eight km/h are can be experienced at most circuits. At Silverstone, however, it is not unusual to see base winds of around 22 - 23 km/h, with gusts of up to 40 km/h. The direction can also change quite radically from day to day, with 180 degree shifts commonplace.

In the past, this meant re-assessment of gear ratios - trying to run the best configuration possible for the day while considering a margin of error for the following day. With set ratios as used today, this is no longer a factor. However, wing settings and general car setup are still affected.

Safety Cars

Safety cars have not traditionally been prevalent at Silverstone. It's a wide circuit with a good amount of run-off around most corners, so there is generally plenty of space for stricken cars to pull off the track without interrupting running.

On top of that, the marshals here rank amongst the very best in the world. Motorsport is part of the heritage and culture of Great Britain, and will clear away most incidents both quickly and effectively.


Although not quite as straightforward as circuits such as Montreal, Silverstone sits amongst the top circuits on the calendar in terms of overtaking opportunities. The high-speed nature of the layout means that drivers must be bold, but there are several key areas around the track which lend themselves to passing manoeuvres.

There are many corners where the drivers can carry plenty of apex speed, but also take a variety of lines - both through the turn itself and on exit. This is, essentially, what leads to overtaking.


The hard and medium compounds have been nominated for this race. As demonstrated in 2013, this is one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar in terms of the energy being put through the tyres. It's therefore necessary to have the hardest allocation available.

There were a number of failures last season which, if they were going to happen anywhere, would always occur at Silverstone due to the nature of the track. We're confident, however, that there will be no repeat this year. The 2014 compounds are more conservative than those of 2013 and have been proven to work well at other circuits already this year - Sepang being a good example.

Energy Recovery

Unlike circuits such as Barcelona, there are very few heavy braking zones where energy can be recovered quickly. This means that, the more efficient a Power Unit is at both recovering and deploying its energy, the better it will perform.

Therefore, although not quite at the top end of the scale in terms of 'Power Circuits' such as Montreal, a strong Power Unit package will nonetheless come to the fore due to the requirement for good energy efficiency.

- Wolfgang Schattling -  photos Mercedes


28.06.2014 / MaP

More News

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 British GP preview
F1 - British Grand Prix 2014Round Nine of the 2014 Formula One World Championship brings us to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, held at the Silverstone Circuit.   more >>
Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 Silverstone preview
F1 British Grand-Prix 2014  at Silverstone circuit Sebastian Vettel:I always like going to Silverstone, the track is incredible to drive and the British crowd that turns out to watch the weekend is always massiv more >>
Lotus celebrates Formula 1 provenance with limited edition ‘Exige LF1’
Fuelled by the excitement and anticipation of the 2014 Formula 1 season, Lotus gives its Exige S range a shot of race adrenaline with the Exige LF1 limited edition.This summer 81 Lotus Exige S cars will receive a Lotus F1 Team inspired more >>
Lotus F1 Team drivers Silverstone preview
Pirelli Tyre failures to be closely examined, new bonding process not at fault
2013 British Grand Prix – RaceNico Rosberg has given Mercedes its first victory in the British Grand Prix since 1955 with first place at Silverstone.The were a number of rear-left tyre failures during more >>
Infiniti Red Bull Racing secures podium in dramatic Silverstone F1 race
British Grand-Prix 2013 Silverstone•    Mark Webber takes second position, less than one second from race winner, Nico Rosberg•    Fifth consecutive year the Renault-powered Red Bull more >>
Red Bull Racing F1 Silverstone race
BRITISH GP – RACE Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Finish Position: 2nd, Start Position: 4th“What a day! I don’t think any of us expected it to unfold like this. The start was pretty bad, we have to look into that as we had had more >>
Lotus F1 Team Silverstone race review
Kimi Räikkönen set a new record for consecutive Grand Prix points placings [25] by taking fifth position in an eventful British Grand Prix at Silverstone today. The Finn ran as high as second place in a race punctuated by safety car periods and characterised b more >>
Sahara Force India F1 Silverstone race
2013 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix, RaceSahara Force India picked up eight world championship points as Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta delivered strong race performances to finish in seventh and ninth places respectively in today’s British Grand Prix.  more >>
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 Silverstone race
2013 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIXSilverstone, Sunday June 30“We were very unlucky today”JENSON BUTTONMP4-28A-03Started         &n more >>
Sauber F1 Team Silverstone race review
 Santander British Grand Prix – Race – Sunday, 30.06.2013Weather: sunny, 21-22°C air, 31-34°C trackThe result of the British Grand Prix in Silverstone was influenced by a series of tyre problems, which more >>
Caterham F1 Team Silverstone race
2013 BRITISH GRAND PRIX   Silverstone, UK - 28th June 2013  WeatherRace: Sunny, windy, air temp 21° / track temp 32° (start), 21° / 31° (lap 26), 22° / 34° (lap x) more >>
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 with Nico Rosberg victory in Silverstone
British Grand Prix 2013  Race Silverstone 30.6.2013 Nico Rosberg won an eventful British Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton finishing in fourth place after a battling drive. • &n more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Silverstone race review
2013 BRITISH GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY 30/06/2013  Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-04)RacePosition: 8th“That was a chaotic race, but for most of it I was in a reasonably strong position. more >>
Silverstone F1 Race classification 2013
FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIXProvisional Results1     9     Nico Rosberg     Mercedes     52     Winner     2     more >>
Hamilton sets fastest ever lap on new Silverstone on Pirelli P Zero white
2013 British Grand Prix – Qualifyingphoto caption:  Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) on pole for the 2013 British Grand Prix.Local hero Lewis Hamilton has claimed pole position at his home more >>
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Silverstone qualifying - Pole
QUALIFYING  Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the British Grand Prix with a stunning lap at Silverstone this afternoon. •    Lewis achieved the team's fifth pole posi more >>
Lotus F1 Team Silverstone qualifying 2013
Romain Grosjean will start from eighth on the grid and Kimi Räikkönen right behind him in ninth after today’s qualifying for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.After a promising Q1 session where the cars finished P3 and P4 more >>
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 Silverstone qualifying review
2013 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYINGSilverstone, Saturday June 29“I will drive my heart out tomorrow.”JENSON BUTTONMP4-28A-03FP312th  &nbs more >>
Sahara Force India F1 Silverstone qualifying review
 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix, Qualifying 2013 Sahara Force India delivered a strong showing at its local track as Paul Di Resta qualified in fifth place for the British Grand Prix with Adrian Sutil in seventh.  more >>
Sauber F1 Team Silverstone qualifying
Santander British Grand Prix – Qualifying – Saturday, 29.06.2013Weather: partly cloudy 16-18°C air, 19-30°C trackQualifying for the British Grand Prix was disappointing for Sauber F1 Team drivers Nic more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Silverstone qualifying review
2013 BRITISH GRAND PRIX – SATURDAY 29/06/2013  Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-04)Third Practice Session Best lap: 1:32.440, pos. 6th, 19 lapsQualifyingBest lap: (Q1) 1:32.097, (Q2) 1:31.182, (Q more >>
Silverstone F1 qualifying result 2013
FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX Silverstone 29.6.20131     10     Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes     1:30.995    1:31.224    1:29.607 &nb more >>
Silverstone F1 Practice 3 results
FORMULA 1 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2013 at SilverstoneSaturday June 29th, 2013     1     9     Nico Rosberg     Mercedes     1:31.487 more >>
Teams test Pirelli prototype hard tyre after rain at Silverstone
2013 British Grand Prix – Practice Sessionsphoto caption: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) sets fastest time in FP2 on Friday in Silverstone on Pirelli medium tyres.After a wet start to the day, the drivers eventually got the ch more >>
Lotus F1 Team Silverstone practices review
British Grand Prix 2013Free Practice 1 & 2        Kimi Raikkönen: Wanted man#GodSaveOurTyres By lotus_F1team: “Last year it was Michael, now it’s Mark... don’t worry, more >>
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 Silverstone practices review
2013 SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE“A difficult day, but a step forward”Silverstone, Friday June 28JENSON BUTTONMP4-28A-03FP1        more >>
Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 Silverstone practices review
BRITISH GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE  CAR 1, SEBASTIAN VETTEL  First Practice Session: Position: -, Best Time: No time, Laps: 4Second Practice Session: Position: 3, Best Time: 1:32.680, Laps: 31 more >>
Sahara Force India F1 Silverstone practice review
2013 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix, Free Practice  A damp day at Silverstone saw limited practice running this morning for the Sahara Force India drivers. Conditions improved for the afternoon session as Paul Di Resta set the fourth fastest time, with Adrian Sutil in eighth place.  more >>
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Silverstone practices review
BRITISH Grand Prix 2013 Silverstone Friday Practices Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished the first day of the British Grand Prix weekend in first and fifth places today. •    Ni more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Silverstone practices
2013 BRITISH GRAND PRIX – FRIDAY 28/06/2013  Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-04)First Practice Session Best lap: 1:54.249, pos. 1st, 10 lapsSecond Practice SessionBest lap: 1:33.171, pos. 6th, 34 laps more >>
Sauber F1 Team Silverstone practices review
Santander British Grand Prix – Practice – Friday, 28.06.2013Weather: rain, then dry 17-21°C air, 16-20°C trackAs expected Silverstone lived up to expectations with bad weather and welcomed the more >>
Caterham F1 Team Friday practices review
BRITISH GRAND PRIX FP1 & FP2Silverstone, UK - 28th June 2013  Caterham F1 Team Partner InformationDell has been ranked in the top five of Newsweek’s Greenest Companies in America for the past three years more >>
Silverstone F1 Practice 2 results
SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX1     9     Nico Rosberg     Mercedes     1:32.248         332     2 more >>
Silverstone F1 Free Practice 1 results
SANTANDER BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2013 Weather: standing water overall on the track1     19     Daniel Ricciardo     STR-Ferrari     1:54.249       &nbs more >>
Vettel explores the future of Formula One and road car technology ahead of British GP
•    Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Vettel and Infiniti Red Bull Racing engineer visit Infiniti’s European Technology Center in the UK to discuss future power train and hybrid technologies•    Vettel tests the world’s fastest production hybrid vehicle on dyno and provides performance driving input& more >>
Felipe Massa gets drivers "pit stop ready" at Shell Towcester
On his way to the Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire, Massa joined forces with the Shell Towcester forecourt attendants to deliver a ‘pit stop’ service to Shell customers and share tips on performance driving. more >>
Renault Sport F1 Silverstone preview
Caterham F1 Team Silverstone preview
BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2013GeneralRace Laps: 52Pitlane altitude (m): 1022012 air / track temp (°c): 25 / 312012 ATM pressure (HPA): 9902012 humidity (%): 452012 wind (kph): NNE 20  more >>


2001-2022 full copyright