Who will win the F1 Silverstone crown?

2012-07-07 16:33

The course is technically demanding

Today’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone will be the ninth round of the season.

This track is the home of British motor racing as well as home to eight of the 12 Formula One teams and next to Monaco, remains one of the world’s premier motor-racing events of the season.

The experience of watching a race here is breathtaking for newcomers as well as those who have been around the block. Fans here are incredibly knowledgeable, passionate and enthusiastic.

Few sporting occasions match the intensity, glamour and drama of the race, and spectators are treated to a host of additional entertainment including the ever-popular post-race party, air displays and the F1
trade mall.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the winner of last year’s British GP and recent winner of the Valencia GP will be relishing the opportunity to retain the crown at Silverstone, one of the season’s fastest and most challenging circuits.

Drivers are presented with one of the most technically demanding circuits but are also required to contend with the unpredictable weather as it can be sunny one moment and lashed by torrential rainfall
the next.

This can change strategies, of course, not forgetting the strong winds which can surface at any time.

All this makes for an exciting afternoon of racing.

Silverstone has several areas which encourage overtaking, primarily at Vale and Abbey, a far cry from the other fast-sweeping corners, as they are taken in first or second gear.

The track has a unique blend of high- and slow-speed corners, connected by three long straights, which creates the spectacle of a no-nonsense fast circuit.

The Hangar straight is one such high speed part of the circuit, exposing cars with any deficit of engine power, as the roaring power of the machines enter the straight at 250km/h and effortlessly hit top speeds of about 300km/h.

The Hangar leads the drivers to the Vale corner in which you must turn slowly in second gear from a top speed straight.

The car must be properly set up to deal with the high speed directional change.

The Brits will be hoping one of their drivers manages to take the chequered flag, the most recent British winner at Silverstone being Lewis Hamilton back in the 2008 season. Hamilton would have to be utterly focused to get back among the points.

The team that seems to have made the biggest improvement in their cars, however, are Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel dominated the Valencia GP until his alternator was damaged.

Pirelli brought out an experimental set of hard tyres for testing and the teams had two sets each for Friday’s two practice sessions.

This was in addition to their usual allocation.

Despite the full-sized wind tunnels and vast computing power used by the aerodynamic departments of most teams, the fundamental principles of Formula One aerodynamics still apply.

This creates the maximum amount of downforce, which will definitely be experienced today due to the high speed corners.

Another first this weekend would have been female test driver Maria De Villota (32) but in a tragic accident this week the Marussia test driver lost her right eye.

De Villota is in a “critical but stable” condition in hospital after crashing into a lorry at a test on Tuesday.

An exciting race awaits the campers of Silverstone village, with hot dogs and fish and chips to sustain them, for the three days of the race.

» Follow me on Twitter: @zwelethunondumo

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