2008 British Formula 1 GP – Wolf’s Race Preview

Silverstone 2007

The future of the Formula 1 race at Silverstone remains very much in doubt, but 2 things are certain. This is the venue of the first ever Formula 1 race back in 1950, and this will be the venue of British Formula 1 Grand Prix this coming weekend :-) .

Most of the teams sound confident following last week’s test at the same track but the fight for the win will likely be between Ferrari and McLaren. Felipe Massa will start the race as a championship leader for the first time in his career. Kimi Raikkonen won here last year and his Ferrari will be fitted with a fresh engine for this race following his troubles in France. Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position at Silverstone in 2007, the race however did not go that well for him. He dropped back behind both Raikkonen and Alonso after not setting up his car too well for the race. As this is his home race he may fuel light for the qualifying and go for pole position glory. But with high per lap fuel consumption at Silverstone going too light may compromise his race. Heikki Kovalainen will want to build on his solid race performance 2 weeks ago…


It will be interesting to see if BMW Sauber can bounce back from their Magny Cours disapointment. Kubica would sure like to get back to the podium but besides thinking about Ferrari and McLaren the BMWs now have to watch their backs too. Trulli, Webber, Alonso are not that far behind.

Force India tested several new major aero developments last week, including the Red Bull style shark fin engine cover. They hope to close down the gap to Honda. They would need to do better than that if they are to finally break into Q2 …

But then all the predictions may get washed away. As it is becoming a habit this year, the rain is again predicted for the F1 weekend. Currently there are 60% chances of rain for both Saturday and Sunday…

Track technical info (ING Renault data):

The challenge of racing at Silverstone has been transformed in recent years by the introduction of V8 engines and ever-increasing levels of downforce. The result is that corners previously requiring downshifts can now be taken with just a lift of the throttle, and indeed the first half of the lap, all the way to Vale, requires very little braking at all. The engines are therefore under prolonged load with a full throttle percentage of 66% per lap. Corners range from 180 mph sweepers to the long, slow complex at the end of the lap – and the car must also cope with the bumpy surface and capricious, gusting winds.

Aerodynamics
Downforce levels at Silverstone are medium to high – the same as those used at the last race in Magny-Cours. The downforce is required for the quick corners in the opening part of the lap, and the relatively short straights and short braking zones mean that any deficit in straightline speed is unlikely to see competitors overtaking you. The lack of heavy braking also means we run some of the smallest brake ducts of the year to optimise aerodynamic performance.

Ride
Ride is an important characteristic at Silverstone, where maintaining consistent aerodynamic performance is so critical for performance in the quick corners. The surface is quite bumpy, and nowhere more so than under braking for turn 8, where the uneven surface can unsettle the car. The drivers also tend to drift out onto the kerbs exiting the quick corners in order to take the fastest line, which can make the circuit seem bumpier than it is.

Suspension
We run the car with a forward mechanical balance at this circuit – essentially with a stiff front end and softer rear end. The stiff front gives the car a good change of direction in the high and slow speed corners, while the softer rear end gives better grip under traction, exiting turns 9, 11 and 16 in particular.

Tyres
Tyres are always given a hard time at this track, especially because of the numerous high-speed corners, and this means that Silverstone, along with Barcelona and Spa, is among the toughest tracks of the season for tyre wear. To cope with this Bridgestone will offer the ‘medium’ and ‘hard’ compounds.

Ambient conditions
As a former airfield, Silverstone is inevitably exposed to the wind – and this can have a big impact on car performance. Gusting wind alters the aerodynamic balance of the car and makes handling unpredictable, particularly in the high-speed corners. The driver must be able to judge the direction and strength of the wind, and adjust his driving accordingly.

Strategy
Fuel consumption is high at Silverstone, as is the time penalty for carrying extra fuel weight. This means that it is a circuit where strategies rarely vary from the norm, as two extra laps of fuel, for example, could cost nearly two tenths per lap. Expect to see most teams running a “standard” two stop strategy, which is generally slightly forward-biased for the front runners in order to ensure good grid position and clean air in which to race in the early stages. With overtaking nearly impossible at this circuit, track position is all-important.

Engine
The Silverstone circuit gives the latest generation of V8 engines a thorough workout with just under 66% of the lap spent at full throttle. This is slightly less demanding than in previous years, largely due to the advent of control tyres from Bridgestone, but the engine still needs to be responsive at high revs as the drivers take the quick corners on either full or partial throttle.

Here are the top 10 from past 10 British GP races:

2007
1) Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:21:43.074
2) Fernando Alonso – McLaren + 2.400
3) Lewis Hamilton – McLaren + 39.300
4) Robert Kubica – BMW Sauber + 53.300
5) Felipe Massa – Ferrari + 54.000
6) Nick Heidfeld – BMW Sauber + 56.300
7) Heikki Kovalainen – Renault + 1 laps
8)Giancarlo Fisichella – Renault + 1 laps
9) R. Barrichello – Honda + 1 laps
10) J. Button – Honda + 1 laps

2006
1) Fernando Alonso – Renault – 1:25:51.927
2) Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +13.9 secs
3) Kimi Räikkönen – McLaren-Mercedes +18.6 secs
4) Giancarlo Fisichella – Renault +19.9 secs
5) Felipe Massa – Ferrari +31.5 secs
6) Juan Pablo Montoya – McLaren-Mercedes +64.7 secs
7) Nick Heidfeld – Sauber-BMW +71.5 secs
8)Jacques Villeneuve – Sauber-BMW +78.2 secs
9) Nico Rosberg – Williams-Cosworth +79.0 secs
10) Rubens Barrichello – Honda +1 Lap

2005
1) Juan Pablo Montoya – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:24:29.588
2) Fernando Alonso – Renault +2.7 secs
3) Kimi Räikkönen – McLaren-Mercedes +14.4 secs
4) Giancarlo Fisichella – Renault +17.9 secs
5) Jenson Button – BAR-Honda +40.2 secs
6) Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +75.3 secs
7) Rubens Barrichello – Ferrari +76.5 secs
8)Ralf Schumacher – Toyota +79.2 secs
9) Jarno Trulli – Toyota +80.8 secs
10) Felipe Massa – Sauber-Petronas +1 Lap

2004
1) Michael Schumacher – Ferrari – 1:24:42.700
2) Kimi Räikkönen – McLaren-Mercedes +2.1 secs
3) Rubens Barrichello – Ferrari +3.1 secs
4) Jenson Button – BAR-Honda +10.6 secs
5) Juan Pablo Montoya – Williams-BMW +12.1 secs
6) Giancarlo Fisichella – Sauber-Petronas +12.8 secs
7) David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes +19.6 secs
8)Mark Webber – Jaguar-Cosworth +23.7 secs
9) Felipe Massa – Sauber-Petronas +24.0 secs
10) Fernando Alonso – Renault +24.8 secs

2003
1) Rubens Barrichello – Ferrari – 1:28:37.554
2) Juan Pablo Montoya – Williams-BMW +5.4 secs
3) Kimi Räikkönen – McLaren-Mercedes +10.6 secs
4) Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +25.6 secs
5) David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes +36.8 secs
6) Jarno Trulli – Renault +43.0 secs
7) Cristiano da Matta – Toyota +45.0 secs
8)Jenson Button – BAR-Honda +45.4 secs
9) Ralf Schumacher – Williams-BMW +58.0 secs
10) Jacques Villeneuve – BAR-Honda +63.5 secs

2002
1) Michael Schumacher – Ferrari – 1:31′45.015
2) Rubens Barrichello – Ferrari +14.578s
3) Juan Pablo Montoya – Williams-BMW +31.661s
4) Jacques Villeneuve – BAR-Honda +1 Lap
5) Olivier Panis – BAR-Honda +1 Lap
6) Nick Heidfeld – Sauber-Petronas +1 Lap
7) Giancarlo Fisichella – Jordan-Honda +1 Lap
8)Ralf Schumacher – Williams-BMW +1 Lap
9) Felipe Massa – Sauber-Petronas +1 Lap
10) David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes +2 Laps

2001
1) Mika Hakkinen – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:25′33.770
2) Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +33.646
3) Rubens Barrichello – Ferrari +59.281
4) Juan Pablo Montoya – Williams-BMW +1′08.772
5) Kimi Räikkönen – Sauber-Petronas +1 Lap
6) Nick Heidfeld – Sauber-Petronas +1 Lap
7) Heinz-Harald Frentzen – Jordan-Honda +1 Lap
8)Jacques Villeneuve – BAR-Honda +1 Lap
9) Eddie Irvine – Jaguar-Cosworth +1 Lap
10) Jos Verstappen – Arrows-Asiatech +2 Laps

2000
1) David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:28′50.108
2) Mika Hakkinen – McLaren-Mercedes +1.477
3) Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +19.917
4) Ralf Schumacher – Williams-BMW +41.312
5) Jenson Button – Williams-BMW +57.759
6) Jarno Trulli – Jordan-Mugen-Honda +1′19.273
7) Giancarlo Fisichella – Benetton-Playlife +1 Lap
8)Mika Salo – Sauber-Petronas +1 Lap
9) Alexander Wurz – Benetton-Playlife +1 Lap
10) Jean Alesi – Prost-Peugeot +1 Lap

1999
1) David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:32′30.144
2) Eddie Irvine – Ferrari +1.829
3) Ralf Schumacher – Williams-Supertec +27.411
4) Heinz-Harald Frentzen – Jordan-Mugen-Honda +27.789
5) Damon Hill – Jordan-Mugen-Honda +38.606
6) Pedro Diniz – Sauber-Petronas +53.643
7) Giancarlo Fisichella – Benetton-Playlife +54.614
8)Rubens Barrichello – Stewart-Ford +1′08.590
9) Jarno Trulli – Prost-Peugeot +1′12.045
10) Alexander Wurz – Benetton-Playlife +1′12.123

1998
1) Michael Schumacher – Ferrari – 1:47′02.450
2) Mika Hakkinen – McLaren-Mercedes +22.465
3) Eddie Irvine – Ferrari +29.199
4) Alexander Wurz – Benetton-Playlife +1 Lap
5) Giancarlo Fisichella – Benetton-Playlife +1 Lap
6) Ralf Schumacher – Jordan-Mugen-Honda +1 Lap
7) Jacques Villeneuve – Williams-Mecachrome +1 Lap
8)Shinji Nakano – Minardi-Ford +2 Laps
9) Toranosuke Takagi – Tyrrell-Ford +4 Laps

Photo: ING Renault

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2013 Teams and Drivers

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2 Mark WEBBER
Ferrari
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McLaren
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6. Sergio PEREZ
Lotus
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