FRIDAY 11 – SUNDAY 13 JUNE
SILVERSTONE, GREAT BRITAIN
RACE 9 OF 19
Silverstone hosted the very first round of the World Championship in 1950 and it’s home to eight of the 11 teams on the grid, so its links with F1 are extensive. Its history is also inextricably linked to Williams, for it was here in 1979 that the team scored its first grand prix victory and in 1997 Jacques Villeneuve racked up our 100th win. The track has undergone several facelifts over the years, but it has always retained its high-speed challenge. Efficient aerodynamics and a good car balance are as crucial today as 20 years ago, but irrespective of lap time, the drivers love the Copse-Maggotts-Becketts section, believing it to be one of the most adrenaline-fuelled series of high-speed corners in the world.
Rob Smedley: Silverstone is a very interesting circuit. It poses a real challenge to the engineers and drivers as we have to set the cars up for such high speed corners like Abbey, Copse and the Maggotts-Becketts complex. The car does have to be set up differently from other high speed circuits. The layout has high power and drag sensitivity which should suit our car this season. Depending on the temperature we can suffer from rear tyre graining, however, the hard tyre we have for the weekend could also suffer from low-temperature issues which we will have to manage. The weather always plays a huge part in the weekend as it can change from session to session. The circuit is old-school in terms of spectators as the layout allows the fans to get a good view, which makes for a great atmosphere; there is always a full house which makes it a pleasure to go there.
Felipe Massa: Silverstone will be a special race, not just because it is the team’s home race, but also because I shall celebrate my 200th Grand Prix. British fans are passionate about Formula One and it will be great to see the support for the team. Silverstone is a very quick track and good downforce is needed. I really like the Maggotts-Becketts complex; it’s a really fast part of the track and very important to get right. It will be interesting to see if we can maintain the pace we had in Austria, but the main focus will be on getting some good points.
Valtteri Bottas: I am really looking forward to Silverstone. It’s always a great event and means a lot to us as it’s the team’s home Grand Prix, so hopefully some of the guys from the factory can come up and support us as well. We are hoping for a good result again, but will have to wait and see how the track suits us. We are aiming to be strong and to build on the momentum we have coming from Austria.