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Hembery: Silverstone true test of new F1 cars

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has pointed to Silverstone as the optimum test of the changes both F1 and Pirelli faces in 2017.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has pointed to Silverstone as the optimum test of the changes both F1 and Pirelli faces in 2017 with the technical regulation changes plus new wider and fatter tyres.

F1 is set for a major technical overhaul this year to readdress the balance between engine and chassis superiority, with aerodynamic tweaks and an increase in tyre size destined to raise corner speeds and improve lap times by upwards of five seconds.

While the host of pre-season testing and the Spanish Grand Prix, Circuit de Catalunya, is pinpointed as the true test for teams given its unrelenting change of direction due to its layout, Hembery disagrees, picking Silverstone as the ultimate challenge for F1 cars.

“I am excited because it is a change, it is different and it is going to be more of a challenge for drivers, which they wanted,” Hembery said. “They are going to feel one extra G in the corners, 25mph quicker in some corners, flat out in six or seven corners at Silverstone, which will be the real event for the drivers.

“Silverstone is so quick and open and the corners are already big corners, it will be the one the drivers are excited about.”

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Hembery has also speculated F1 teams will substantially sand bag during pre-season testing in Spain to not reveal their full potential to rivals with a month between testing and the 2017 season opener in Australia.

Silverstone's immediate future on the 2017 F1 calendar is assured but the Northamptonshire circuit could give up hosting the British Grand Prix due to spiralling costs and failure to turn a profit.

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The British Racing Drivers Club in charge of Silverstone is aiming to hammer out a better deal with the incoming F1 owners Liberty Media.

F1 pre-season testing gets underway at Circuit de Catalunya on the 27th February.



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