2018 British GP Preview – Mclaren

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2018 British GP Preview – Mclaren

British Grand Prix – preview

Silverstone

6-8 July 2018

Start time 14:10hrs local (BST)/15:10hrs CET

Race laps 52 

Tyre choice Blue Hard, white Medium, yellow Soft

The essentials

Toughest corner Turn Nine (Copse). Taken in eighth gear, with an apex speed of 295km/h (183mph), this right-hand corner requires total commitment from the drivers. In qualifying it’s possible to take it flat-out, depending on your car’s set-up, while in the race – when the car is heavy with fuel – it usually requires a slight lift of the throttle.

Focus points High-speed balance. With an average speed in excess of 240km/h (150mph), Silverstone is one of the fastest circuits on the Formula 1 calendar. Ten of the 18 corners are taken at speeds in excess of 160km/h (100mph) and Turns 10-14 (Maggotts-Becketts) make up one of the most iconic sections of track in the world. All of the corners – three left, two right – are taken in sixth gear or higher and the drivers don’t use the brakes.

Biggest challenge New asphalt. The track has been re-laid since last year, using the same asphalt that’s used in Barcelona and Paul Ricard. The teams don’t yet know how it will affect tyre wear or grip levels, but experience at the Spanish and French Grands Prix suggests lap times will be much faster. For that reason, Pirelli is bringing its hard compound rubber to a race for the first time in 2018.

Engineer’s lowdown

Braking Low. Silverstone is one of the easiest circuits of the year on brakes, which are used in only nine of the 18 corners. That equates to just 10 per cent of the lap – the lowest of the season. Still, over the course of the 52-lap race the drivers will apply 56 tonnes of brake pressure, equivalent to four times the weight of Big Ben’s bell.

Power The cars use 2.2kg of fuel per lap, which is just above average.

Aero Medium downforce. There are a lot of high-speed corners at Silverstone, which encourages the engineers to take off downforce, but they can’t go too low with aero grip, because the car still needs to perform at low-speed through the Arena, Luffield and Club sections.

Fernando Alonso

“It’s always special to race at the British Grand Prix – the fans are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about the sport, and as a McLaren driver we always receive massive support from the British crowd.

“It’s also one of the best tracks of the year, a hugely exciting challenge for the driver, and a great amount of history that has made it one of the classic grands prix on the calendar. It has some of the best corners of any circuit in the world, and it’s mega when you get it just right – even more special when you can push lap after lap.

“We managed to maximise everything we could in Austria to bring home some points and, although Silverstone is a tough track, I hope we can put together everything we’ve learned and do the same at the British Grand Prix. Hopefully the support from the home crowd will also give us an extra boost to end this trio of back-to-back races.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

“I’m really looking forward to returning to Silverstone for the team’s home race. I love driving this circuit, and the famous Maggotts-Becketts section really is one of the best sections of track, that all the drivers love to drive to the limit. The weather is always a little bit unpredictable, and both the fast, flowing first sector and also the tighter, twisty infield sections feel very rewarding when you get them right.

“Everyone in the team has worked incredibly hard during this tough triple-header and it’s nice to be able to finish it with a race closer to home. We’re pushing hard to get new components ready for this weekend so we can get the most out of our package. It’ll be interesting to see how these tyre compounds behave on the new surface so it’s important we get a read on that as soon as possible.

“I’m hoping for a better weekend in front of our home crowd after a difficult race in Austria. We showed there was good potential for Sunday but after a tough start we were then hampered by car problems, which hopefully we can iron out for the final race of the triple-header, in front of the British fans.”

2018-07-17T22:55:19+00:00July 5th, 2018|British Grand Prix, Formula One, Mclaren|