Teams up and down the pitlane are looking forward to the British Grand Prix taking place this weekend with some noticeable achievements being celebrated over the weekend.
One of these achievements is the celebration of Williams’s 600th Grand Prix, formed in 1977 by Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head the team have scored 16 world championships and 114 race wins. This race makes the celebrations even more significant – Williams took it’s first win at Silverstone in 1979 with Clay Regazzoni.
Sir Frank said about the achievement: “For an independent team like Williams to reach 600 races at the pinnacle of motorsport is a remarkable achievement. 78 teams have come and gone or changed ownership since our foundation and our longevity is a testament to the thousands of people who have sacrificed so much to keep us here. It seems only right to mark this milestone at the home of British motorsport alongside our loyal British fans.”
Pirelli are another group hoping for a good weekend – they are hoping to continue development of slower wearing tyres with prototype sets being run during Friday practice, with hards and mediums being used for qualifying and the race. Silverstone is regarding as one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and it’s flowing nature means the tyres are subject to high forces for the majority of the lap.
“Silverstone, with its very high average speeds and flowing series of corners, presents an extreme contrast to Canada three weeks ago – which was much more stop and start. Like Canada, it’s a circuit that takes a lot out of the tyres, but for very different reasons. We’ve brought the two hardest compounds to the British Grand Prix because of that, with a new bonding process connecting the tread to the steel belt, which is designed to eliminate the isolated delamination issues to reach a unanimous agreement about this: however, we do still have that possibility on stand-by should it be required in future.” Stated Pirelli tyre chief Paul Hembery.
Also hoping for improvements is Caterham – they have been running simulator drills in the factory at Leafield and Giedo van der Garde is hoping that will mean he can have as strong a showing as he did when he raced in Formula Renault 3.5, he took a win then but the Caterham probably won’t provide him the sane opportunity.
Their aim at the minimum is to keep ahead of Marussia and British driver Max Chilton who states the British Grand Prix will be his race of the season.
A thought echoed by Paul Di Resta: “It’s always a highlight of the year. When I was young I dreamed about coming to Silverstone as a Formula One driver so it’s always a very special weekend. As a venue it’s spectacular with some of the greatest corners of the year and the atmosphere is just incredible. The place is packed all weekend and the buzz from the fans gives you so much energy.”
The race this weekend is live on both the BBC and Sky Sports F1 – qualifying starts at 13:00 as does the race on Sunday.