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British GP, Silverstone: How to be Great in Britain

An engineer's guide to Silverstone, venue for next weekend's British Grand Prix - the eighth round in the 2013 F1 World Championship
The Circuit

Turn 1: The bump at Abbey was 'addressed' in 2011 after drivers complained of its severity, making this a much simpler corner than previously.

Turn 7: Minimising understeer through Luffield is essential to ensure good speed down the straight, as this leads on through Copse, then subsequently into the Becketts complex and on to Stowe.

Turn 9: Taken almost flat out, Copse is one of the most daunting corners of the season and a real test of nerve for the drivers.

Turns 11/12/13: Overall car balance is essential through the high-speed Becketts complex, which is entered at over 300kph with only minor throttle lift through the entire series of corners.

Turn 16: Vale is one of the slowest corners on the track – taken at around 100kph – and precedes the final right-hander of Club before the drivers pile down the start / finish straight.


The Car

Front Wing: The cars may carry a little bit more front wing here than at other circuits to balance the car through the high speed corners. This also helps minimise understeer through Brooklands and Luffield, which is vital to maintain good speed down the following straight, then on through Copse and into the Becketts complex.

Rear Wing: After two street courses, the focus changes from maximising mechanical grip to maximising aerodynamic efficiency, with downforce levels appropriate to this aim.
Suspension: There isn't a great deal of kerb usage or anything which relies on a particular aspect of the suspension here. You need a stable car through the high speed corners like Copse, Maggots, Becketts and Chapel, which is achieved through a combination of aerodynamic balance and suspension settings.

Brakes: In complete contrast Canada - where we battle to keep the brakes cool - here we fight to maintain enough heat in them. Silverstone is very easy on the brakes, which get relatively little usage due to the quantity of high speed corners. On occasions when the drivers actually need the brakes they can be quite cold, so the key is to ensure they stay warm enough to function correctly.

Tyres: Silverstone is not dissimilar to Barcelona in that the high speed corners make it quite a tough circuit on tyres. Pirelli will bring the original 2013 specification tyres - albeit with some changes to the manufacturing process - to this race.

Engine: The layout of Silverstone is reasonably hard on the engine due to the high average rpm used over the course of a lap.


Feature provided by the Lotus F1 Team




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
07.07.2012- Free Practice 3,Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
07.07.2012- Free Practice 3, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
07.07.2012- Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus Renault
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus Renault
06.07.2012- Free Practice 1, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus Renault
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus Renault

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