• Matthieu Piekarski

#16 British Grand Prix Preview

Welcome to Britain, welcome to Silverstone! This track is one of the few truly iconic venues, where every F1 driver are unanimous, starting with turn 9 the ultra-fast Copse (taken at 300 km/h) followed some of the sport’s greatest corners Maggotts and Becketts (Turn 11 and 12). But before we go any further, I want to start with the news! ( I sound like James May on Top Gear when saying that).

The GPDA Fan Survey results are in, what is truly amazing, is the amount of individuals that took part to put forward their view of F1, hopefully you are part of the 217,756 people across 194 countries that took the survey. We learnt numerous vital information’s:

Starting with the global audience

  • 50% of F1 Fans are between the age of 25 and 44, with an average of 37.

  • 75% of the respondent have been following F1 for more than 10 years.

  • 90% watch on TV F1

Fans still view F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport. However, it is evident from the result that fans want more competition, with a higher emphasis on driver skills.

Favorite Teams:

1. Ferrari

2. McLaren

3. Williams

Favorite Drivers:

1. Kimi

2. Alonso

3. Jenson Button (JB is the most followed driver on Twitter)

Now onto Silverstone, the 9th Grand Prix of the Season. Hopefully, after two disappointing races, we, Fans, hope that this weekend will provide us with the necessary drama, action to make 2015 a vintage year in F1 history.

Sunday’s race is sold out and the weather will be perfect throughout the whole weekend, dry with warm temperatures. So we have the foundation for a good weekend.

Numerous upgrades will be brought by the team this weekend as 7 of the total 10 teams competing in F1, as their HQ are located within a 104 miles (167 km) radius of Silverstone. The closest is:

1. Force India (0.3 miles away from the track)

2. Mercedes (8.5 miles)

3. Red Bull (20.4 miles)

4. Lotus (24.9 miles)

5. Williams (40.7 miles)

6. McLaren (77.7 miles)

7. Manor (104 miles)

And also for Pirelli, has their engineering centre of excellence is based nearby. Let’s resume the tyre choices for this weekend.

  • Medium (White marked) and Hard (Orange Marked) tyres are back after three successive GP with soft and supersoft tyres.

  • Performance gap between the two compounds: 1.0-1.2 seconds/lap.

  • With warm temperatures, expect significant levels of degradation

  • Added to the fact that Silverstone is a circuit where speed and tyre energy are high, due to fast and flowing corners that take a lot out of the tyres.

  • In 2014, Pirelli states that the tyres endured the highest lateral energy loads of the season with 5G of force.

Silverstone in itself is a 5.890 km track composed of 18 corners, where the driver is 65% of the time at full throttle. Ranked 3rd in the all time F1 GP host, the only tracks that hosted more GP’s than Silverstone are Monaco (62 GP) and Monza (64 GP), so this is truly one of hallmark tracks of F1 and hopefully will remain for another 49 GP in the future.

Things to watch out for:

  • Wind is an important aspect for Drivers to take into consideration at this track, especially in high speed corners.

  • The key to the quickest lap is for the teams to find an aerodynamically stable car.

  • Silverstone is a circuit that rewards bravery and commitment, confidence in the car is crucial.

  • This is one of the longest GP on a single lap of all season with almost 6 km long.

  • 50% likelihood of a safety car

  • In 2014, the race was Red Flagged due to Kimi’s crash.

  • Target pit stops: UBS F1 strategy state 1 pit stop, I will go with 2 this weekend as the temperatures are going to be very warm.

  • 28 seconds is the time gap needed to retain a position when in the pits.

  • Brake wear is light, so no worries for Mercedes.

  • Average speed is 227 km/h

  • Fuel used per lap 2.8 kg

  • 17 of the 48 previous races at Silverstone have been won by British Drivers.

  • 300,000 fans will attend the event this weekend

  • The total numbers of sausages ate during the weekend would stretch out over 1.08 miles and alos 10,000 litres of ketchup will be consumed within 72Hours.

  • Jenson Button and Felipe Massa always struggle in Silverstone, never scoring a podium.

  • Pole sitter has won 15 times out of the last 48 GP’s here. 31.25% chance of the pole sitter of winning.

  • Interesting fact, Silverstone used to be a World War 2 runway.

Predictions for the weekend:

Without a doubt it will be a Mercedes AMG weekend. What we can look forward to is a newly revamped battle between Nico and Lewis. Nico following Austria, is now 10 points away from Lewis. Last year, Nico dominated Lewis in Qualifying but failed to finish the race due to mechanical issues. So my money is on Nico once again this weekend, numerous reasons why:

1. Nico seems much more confident in the car, whether its clutch wise or setting up the car than Lewis.

2. Nico did more than 100 laps in the Mercedes AMG during the Austrian testing last week, he managed to fine tune the car more to his style ahead of Silverstone.

3. The winning momentum is with Nico at the moment.

4. Nico has a revenge to take from failing to complete the GP last year, he was clearly going to win it, as he did in 2013.

The best of the rest will in my opinion be Williams, this is a track that particularly suits the car well.

Ferrari can play something interesting, since this weekend its Sebastian Vettel’s birthday (turns 28 on the 3rd of July). That remains to see, we have too much expectations about Ferrari being the best of the rest, let’s wait and see Sunday.

Bet Quotes for the winner of the #BritishGP:

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Nico Rosberg

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Kimi Raikkonen

Enjoy the British Grand Prix!

Don’t forget to follow me throughout the weekend for pics and roundup of the weekend’s paddock gossip on my Twitter: @m_piekarski

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