Silverstone is indelibly linked with Formula One. The track staged the first ever World Championship grand prix in 1950 and it’s one of only four circuits on this year’s 20-race calendar that featured during that inaugural season.
It’s beautiful to be able to sleep in my own bed - mark webber
The 5.891km track is located on the site of a former World War II bomber base. It’s flat and often wind-swept, and the circuit still follows the airfield’s original perimeter roads. It has had several facelifts over the years, the most recent in 2010, but it has maintained its original high-speed character throughout.
Silverstone was the scene of the first 160mph lap by an F1 car in 1985, when Keke Rosberg lapped at an average speed of 160.938mph (259.005kph) during qualifying. Since then, the track has been lengthened by 1.1kms and it now includes a slower middle section, but Mark Webber’s pole position lap last year still averaged 234.599km/h (145.773mph).
The UK is home to eight of the 12 F1 teams, so the British Grand Prix generates a patriotic fervour among many members of the pitlane. Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber lives in the UK and he says he views Silverstone as his second home grand prix, after Melbourne.
“It’s beautiful to be able to sleep in my own bed,” he says.
Two Australians have won at Silverstone over the years. Sir Jack Brabham took the spoils in 1960 and Webber in ’10. What chance another Aussie victory this weekend?
SILVERSTONE: THE STATS
Lap length: 5.891km
Race distance: 306.198km
Start time: 1300 (local)
Full throttle: 67%
DRS: 51% of lap
Downforce level: medium
Gearchanges per lap: 48
Average lap speed: 235km/h
Top speed: 310 km/h
Tyre compounds: hard / soft
Overtaking places: Turns 3, 6, 15 and 16
Average Ambient Temperature: 17 degrees
Lap record: Fernando Alonso, 1:30.874s (233.373km/h) in 2010
Mark Webber’s best result at Silverstone: 1st
Sebastian Vettel’s best result at Silverstone: 1st
Daniel Ricciardo best result: 19th
Jean-Eric Vergne’s best result: N/A