If you have read my articles before, you will know that I'm not a big fan of flat tracks. I believe that good elevation changes really give a circuit that extra thrill for drivers. However, Silverstone bucks this trend and drivers universally enjoy driving here.
This is because of all the sweeping, fast corners that make up most of the track. The middle part of the circuit from Copse to Maggots/Becketts and then down Hanger Straight to Stowe is incredibly fast. So fast that Pirelli has said that they believe Silverstone has the largest lateral Gs of any of the tracks on the calendar. For this reason, they will bring their two hardest compounds – the Hard and the Medium – to deal with the extra cornering forces.
Silverstone is also very easy on the brakes and add that to the fact that they need to run high down-force for the quick corners here and you have a track that is in complete opposite to Canada and Austria.
It should allow some of the teams that struggled a bit with their low down-force setups in the last two Grand Prixs to be a little stronger. I'm thinking of Red Bull and McLaren mostly. But don't expect too much of an upturn in fortune from them because power is still very important here.
Another reason why Silverstone is so popular with the F1 fraternity is because that it's a home race for seven of the ten teams. It's also well received by the British public with as many as 140,000 people expecting to show up over the weekend this year. With their hometown hero, Lewis Hamilton, still leading the Championship, expect this Sunday's race to be heaving with excitement.
Hamilton's Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, will be out to try and stop that party though. He drove magnificently in Austria two weeks ago and there is a real feeling in the air that he just might be back to his best.
Until Austria, I had started to feel that Rosberg might not have had the stomach for the Championship fight this year. The question is, was it just a bad weekend for Hamilton or has Rosberg really turned the corner? A win here in Hamilton's backyard would really tell us all that we have a proper championship battle in our hands.
Other than the battle at the front of the grid, I'll be keeping a close eye on Kimi Raikkonen. He is the driver on the grid under the most pressure right now. I don't think he has been able to up his game this year and unless he turns things around quickly, I can't see Ferrari keeping him for next year. Sorry to say Kimi, I have loved watching you over the years, but might it be time to let another driver have a go at such a coveted seat?
If he were to go, I'd love to see someone like Nico Hulkenburg given a chance. For me, Hulkenburg has one of the most impressive junior CVs I've ever seen. He has now won Le Mans and it would be such a shame not to see him ever get a chance in a top line seat.
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