The Panasonic Toyota Racing team moves to Britain for round 10 of the 2002 Formula 1 World Championship. The race takes place at Silverstone, famed for hosting F1's first world championship grand prix in May 1950. Since then, the 5.141-kilometre...
The Panasonic Toyota Racing team moves to Britain for round 10 of the 2002 Formula 1 World Championship. The race takes place at Silverstone, famed for hosting F1's first world championship grand prix in May 1950. Since then, the 5.141-kilometre track has been home to the British Grand Prix on 35 occasions.
Silverstone is built on the site of a World War II airfield. It began life as one of F1's fastest tracks and, in 1985, Keke Rosberg recorded the fastest ever lap of an F1 car there, at 258.970kph. Since then there have been a number of modifications to the layout to slow the cars, but it remains a challenging circuit in F1.
The British Grand Prix is the home race of Panasonic Toyota Racing's Allan McNish. The 32-year-old Scot knows Silverstone well, having raced there many times and done much F1 testing at the track. His fans will be pleased to know that he will be fully fit for the race following the shoulder pains he experienced at the Nürburgring two weeks ago.
The Panasonic Toyota Racing team tested at Silverstone last month and it comes to the race fresh from a successful three-day test at Paul Ricard in the south of France. With Allan behind the wheel, the team concentrated on the problems that affected its TF102s at the Nürburgring and it made some gains with its traction control system.
"We qualified in the top 10 at the Nürburgring, which I was pleased about. We must now try to build on that performance and find some consistency in race trim. The car wasn't too bad when we tested at Silverstone a month ago, so let's hope that we can continue in that vein this weekend. It is a very different track to the Nürburgring and much tougher on tyres, so we will be using stiffer compounds this weekend."
"I had a lot of physio on my shoulder after the last race and it is now fine. I'm raring to go for my home race! It will be great to race in front of my own friends and family, and fellow Scot David Coulthard tells me that the atmosphere on race day is pretty special, so I'm looking forward to that. I enjoy driving at Silverstone and I know my way around it pretty well, so I hope I can use that experience to get a good performance."
"Silverstone is a good track, although not as good as it used to be. It's one of the old, established grand prix, and there is a lot of history to the place, which I like. I hope the car will go well there, but I think a lot will depend on our ability to find the right set up for the tyres brought to the race by Michelin. Apart from the weather, I enjoy racing in England. The fans are knowledgeable and supportive and the food is okay - but I prefer Italian!"
Lap of Silverstone with Mika Salo: "There is a good mix of corners at Silverstone, from some of the slowest in F1 to some of the fastest. The beginning of the lap is the most exciting section, through Copse and Becketts. They are both blind, high-speed corners. After that, the lap becomes a bit stop-start and is not as much fun to drive as the previous sections. You usually set up the car for the high-speed corners because they lead onto long straights. But you spend a lot of time in the slow-speed complex at the end of the lap, so you want the car to be good through there as well if you are going to be quick."