Brendon Hartley has plenty of good memories of the Silverstone Circuit from racing there during his career, and he is looking to create more this weekend in his first British Grand Prix as a Formula 1 driver.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver is expecting the grip levels around the track to be much higher in 2018 due to the resurfacing work that has gone on since last years event, and he feels it will put extra pressure onto Qualifying on Saturday as overtaking will be difficult.
“I have good memories of living in Milton Keynes, not far from Silverstone, for seven years or so, which was a big chunk of my life,” said Hartley. “That whole area is in some ways the home of Formula 1, because a large percentage of the race teams are based close by and our own Toro Rosso aero facility is just down the road in Bicester.
“As for the circuit itself, I have raced there many times and have some good memories. Silverstone has so much history and it’s a very quick track where everyone loves Copse, Maggotts and Becketts corners.
“The track has been resurfaced for this year, so there will be even more grip than in the past. The fact there are a lot of high speed corners means it is very hard to overtake here, so qualifying will be a high priority.”
The last time the New Zealander tackled the circuit was in a LMP1 Porsche back in 2017 where he finished second alongside Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard in a close battle with Toyota Gazoo Racing, and he is eager to experience the track in a current-specification Formula 1 car this year.
Hartley is hoping for some luck to come his way this weekend at Silverstone, and he feels the power unit upgrade that was first used during the Canadian Grand Prix should benefit the team, particularly combined with the aero update that arrived last weekend in Austria.
“I think we can be in good shape following the power unit upgrade that came in Canada, and then the aero update in Austria also arrived at the right time because at this track you need as much downforce as possible,” said the New Zealander.
“I’m looking forward to tackling this circuit in a modern Formula 1 car, because it’s going to be crazy quick. Silverstone is a real driver’s track and it has often produced great racing especially when the weather is at play: it’s one of the originals and it has a lot of character and a great atmosphere.
“I’m hoping for a strong weekend and some better luck than in recent races.”