British GP Benetton preview

British Grand Prix Mike Gascoyne, Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport Technical Director: PREPARATION In preparation for Silverstone we tested in Barcelona, where we experimented with the new specification of engine and aerodynamic...

British Grand Prix

Mike Gascoyne, Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport Technical Director:


In preparation for Silverstone we tested in Barcelona, where we experimented with the new specification of engine and aerodynamic improvements that we introduced at the French Grand Prix.

All in all we are very satisfied with the results of the test. We felt in Magny Cour we didnTt get the best out of the improvements we made, therefore we have to make sure we do this in both qualifying and race at the next Grand Prix. We have to look to improving our qualifying position to get as near to the top 10 as possible. We also aim to use our launch control system for the first time in Silverstone, which was tested in Barcelona successfully. Unfortunately despite being at our home grand prix, Silverstone is traditionally one of the tracks where we struggle the most, but hopefully the aerodynamic changes that we have introduced over the last few weeks should help us to change that fact. We will have improved specification of engines available for all three days so we have to look to make progress up the

Pat Symonds, Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport Director of Engineering:


Of course Silverstone is the circuit closest to our UK base geographically, but in these days of global companies we tend to have a lot of home races. Even though it is our local circuit, it may seem surprising that we donTt test at Silverstone as much as we used to. The circuit itself is very challenging, requiring a medium to high level of downforce and a car that is very responsive to change of direction, stable around fast corners and has good traction with minimum understeer for the last part of the lap. The circuit is also reasonably hard on tyres so relatively hard compounds need to be used. In terms of set-up it is important for the engineers to track any changing conditions, particularly the wind which can have a big effect on the car especially if it is gusty as it can even alter the characteristics of the car lap by lap. The wind is not the only aspect of the weather that comes into play at Silverstone. Of course everyone can remember the dreadful conditions of last year, well this year, in spite of the recent good weather, there is a high chance of another rain effected race, which can add to the excitement and ensure the teamTs strategists are keep on their toes. Of course this is JensonTs first home race with Benetton and the whole team wishes him a successful weekend.

Jenson Button describes a lap of the Silverstone circuit in Great Britain:

"Coming across the start line I will approach the first corner in top gear with a maximum speed of over 300km/h before braking very lightly and dropping down to 5th gear for Copse corner which I will take at 230km/h. Going back into top gear I will reach 295km before dubbing the brakes and entering the very difficult series of corners known as Becketts. This consists of three corners, which follow one after the other all of which I will take in 4th gear at speeds of 255km/h, 195km/h and 180km/h respectively. There are many approaches to these corners but the challenging thing about them is the very high gee forces that I experience in each direction in a matter of seconds. A good exit is required after this complex at it leads onto the Hanger straight where depending on the wind I will reach the fastest part of the circuit of over 300km/h in top gear before braking and going down to 4th gear to the 180km/h Stowe corner. A short straight follows Stowe where I will get to around 275km/h and if I have chosen my gear ratios correctly, I should just be able to stay in 5th gear for this before braking for the double corner known as Club. The first left-hand part of this is taken in 2nd gear at around 95km/h and will then immediately enter the right-hand part were I have to be very careful with the throttle as I accelerate through at around 140km/h in 3rd gear. Before the Abbey chicane I will reach around 295km/h and then drop down to 115km/h in 2nd gear for the first part of Abbey and again I will have to use careful throttle control as I accelerate through the second part of it at round 180km/h. The next corner along with Becketts, the next corner is perhaps the most challenging on the circuit as this corner, bridge is taken at just under 250km/h in 5th gear. Even during the race I will not brake for this corner, but just lift the throttle slightly and in qualifying I will be aiming to take it flat. As soon as I have got out of this corner I will be hard on the brakes and dropping down to 3rd gear at 175km/h for the l eleration I will be braking again and dropping down to 2nd gear and 95km/h for the next left-hand corner. The final corner known as Woodcote again is taken in 2nd gear, at just over 100km/h and a good exit from this is essential to maintain speed, pass the start/ finish line and back to the first corner."


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Mike Gascoyne
Teams Benetton