Round 11 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the British Grand Prix, takes place at Silverstone and the West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at its home race occupying second positions in both the Drivers' and Constructors' World ...
Round 11 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the British Grand Prix, takes place at Silverstone and the West McLaren Mercedes team arrives at its home race occupying second positions in both the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championships.
Since the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix, the West McLaren Mercedes team has been testing at the Monza circuit in Italy, with David Coulthard, Mika Hakkinen and Alex Wurz at the wheel. Alex set the fastest time of the day on Wednesday, with David topping Thursday's time sheets.
McLaren has an impressive British Grand Prix record, having won the race on eleven occasions. Since its Formula One debut in 1966, the team has secured points finishes in all 34 British events entered, 22 of which were podiums. McLaren took its first victory in 1973 with Peter Revson at the wheel. Recent years have also seen success for the West McLaren Mercedes team, with David securing victory in 1999 and 2000. At last year's race Mika completed a successful weekend for the West McLaren Mercedes team when he took second position and also set the fastest lap of the race.
After alternating between Aintree, Brands Hatch and Silverstone for a number of years, the British Grand Prix has resided at the Silverstone venue, which has hosted the event 34 times, since 1987.
"Winning two consecutive Grands Prix at Silverstone has to be one of the highlights of my career and I am aiming to continue this form at the 2001 race. There is always a fantastic atmosphere at the race, the amazing support that the West McLaren Mercedes team gets from the home fans definitely acts as a motivational force. The circuit offers a number of challenges for the drivers, which adds to the satisfaction when you put in a quick lap."
"I am looking forward to Silverstone and the home Grand Prix for the West McLaren Mercedes team, its an enjoyable circuit to race on and has a number of complexes that are exciting for the drivers and fans alike. For example the Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel sequence of S-bends, which form one of the most challenging sequences of quick corners in Formula One and undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to watch a Grand Prix car in action."
"It was encouraging to see the competitiveness of the MP4-16 that was demonstrated at Magny-Cours, and there is no doubt that we have the potential to challenge for victory, and this is what we are looking to achieve at the home Grand Prix for the West McLaren Mercedes team. Its also an opportunity for the members of the team who work behind the scenes at our Woking Headquarters to see the race team and the cars in action"
Silverstone, the home of British motor racing, played host to the first ever World Championship Grand Prix event in 1950. Since then the 3.194 mile / 5.141 km track has been revised on a number of occasions but still incorporates features such as the famous sweeping right-hander of Copse. It was at Silverstone in 1985 that Keke Rosberg lapped the track at an average speed of 160mph / 257kph, making Silverstone the fastest circuit on the calendar.
Situated in the Northamptonshire countryside, some 70 miles / 112 km north of London, Silverstone is a medium grip circuit that is quite hard on tyres.
Lap of the Silverstone circuit - West McLaren Mercedes driver David Coulthard
You start a lap of Silverstone with Copse Corner. This is very challenging as its extremely fast and also its off-camber at the exit. Just as you manage to catch your breath you are into Maggots where you have to be extra careful as this is where you drive past the pit exit. You then go into one of the best complex of corners we have at any Grand Prix track. Becketts is an extremely fast right left right flick on to the Hanger straight, which is taken flat out in sixth gear. Then its Stowe, which is a long right hander and quite challenging. However because of the late nature of the apex you are braking all the way into the corner, flicking down the gears. The worst thing you can get here is understeer as it will affect your lap time a lot in that particular corner. You then roll out into a very straight forward exit down into Club where under braking you develop a bit of oversteer. Then there is a straightforward acceleration from second to sixth gear out of Club Corner which has been made easier by traction control. Then you go down the straight to Abbey Corner, which is taken in third gear and has a very fast entry and is a good place for overtaking. There is a short exit before you flick right and go up and over the hill into Bridge Corner which although taken flat and people talk about it as being interesting is not that big a deal for the drivers - if your car has a lot of front end grip you take it flat and if you don't, you lose next to nothing. There is then quite a quick entry into Luffield in fourth gear. It's quite fun to drift the car out there and it tends to dance around with the back end. You come out of Luffield and then you are on the brakes straight away coming into Luffield 2 and then Woodcote. This section is very low speed as it's designed to be one corner and two apexes so it's quite tricky and then you have completed a flying lap of Silverstone.