British Grand Prix

Silverstone Circuit

First grand prix 1926

Number of laps 52

Race distance 306.291KM

Circuit length 5.891KM

About the British Grand Prix

The home race of a number of large, iconic teams is back. At Silverstone, fans will be cheering extra hard for the teams who are based in the UK. There will also be plenty of home riders they can encourage. Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and George Russell will want to make the most of it in front of their own crowd!

Silverstone Track guide

The current Silverstone circuit is very much made for high speed throughout. With the exception of a few areas where the cars decrease their speed dramatically.

The start/finish begins at the start of the ‘Club’ straight, in which drivers go flat-out down towards turn 1 (Abbey) and turn 2 (Farm). Staying flat-out through turns 1 and 2 towards the hard braking right turn 3 (Village) before maintaining a low speed to navigate the left hairpin turn 4 (The Loop).

A brief sprint to the left-hand turn 5 (Aintree) before coming to the first DRS straight of the track known as Wellington Straight. Drivers drop down gears to enter the left turn 6 (Brooklands) and the right hairpin of turn 7 (Luffield), before going flat-out through turn 8 (Woodcote) towards turn 9 (Copse).

Turn nine is a difficult right-hand corner in which drivers attack it at a speed of 175 mph in the dry. This then follows onto another difficult section of the Maggots, Becketts and Chapel combination of corners.

These corners are done at speeds around 130 mph through a series of left/right/left/right/left where drivers have to maintain a speed quick enough to not lose time, but also have enough grip and the best line going into the Hangar Straight.

Turn 15 (Stowe) after the Hangar Straight is a right-hander taken at 125 mph and a good overtaking opportunity after the DRS used on the straight. After turn fifteen down to the last slow part of the track, slowing down a lot for the left of turn 16 before accelerating through the rights of turns 17 and 18 before going back onto the pit straight.

Race history

For the first five years Silverstone was used as the circuit for the British Grand Prix from 1950-54. Giuseppe Farina won the first race for Alpha Romeo before Ferrari dominated the next four races held there.

Between the years of 1955 and 1962 the British Grand Prix venue was shared by Silverstone and Aintree. During these years we saw the first British winner of the British Grand Prix in Stirling Moss the first year it was held at Aintree in 1955. He later went on to win it again at the same venue in 1957.

1962 was the last race at Aintree, won by Jim Clarke, the first of his five British GP victories. He then went on to win the next three as the venue returned to Silverstone and started to share with Brands Hatch every other year up until 1986.

During these years’ winners included Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Niki Lauda, James Hunt, John Watson, Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell.

Since 1987 Silverstone has held the British GP with record numbers of crowd appearance turning up to support Nigel Mansell. After the events at Imola in 1994 parts of the track were altered to slow certain areas down to increase safety and lessen the risk of any crashes happening.

Michael Schumacher broke his leg in 1999 after crashing heavily at Stowe, which put him out of Championship contention after having to miss races.

Lewis Hamilton won his first British GP in his Championship winning season of 2008 and has won four more between 2014-17 to match the record of five wins with Jim Clark and Alain Prost.

In 2017 the owners of Silverstone activated a break clause in their current contract, meaning that unless a new contract is signed, 2019 will be the last year that Silverstone host the British Grand Prix.

Last year at Silverstone

The 2019 British Grand Prix was one that featured two terrific battles at the front of the grid. In the opening laps, the two Mercedes cars had an amazing scrap for first place, with Valtteri Bottas coming out of the opening corners in first place but Lewis Hamilton immediately going on the offensive in front of his home crowd. He thought he had Bottas coming onto the old pit straight but the Finn came right back at the reigning champion, flinging his W10 down the inside at Cops to retake the lead. Hamilton would eventually end victorious however, as a Virtual Safety Car gave the Brit a free pit stop to put him ahead.

The other battle, which eventually would win the FIA’s Moment of the Year, was between Formula 1’s two young stars, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. They were incredibly well-matched and fought for their lives for a bulk of the race.

It started with Leclerc ahead of Verstappen, with the Monegasque having to use every trick in the book to keep the Red Bull in his rear-view mirrors. Verstappen kept trying but just couldn’t find a way past.

Both 21-year-olds pitted at exactly the same time, with Verstappen’s pit crew doing a better job and getting him away ahead of Leclerc. The Dutchman went wide on his cold tyres, however, and allowed Leclerc back past, meaning he was back where he started. Eventually, the same Virtual Safety Car which allowed Hamilton a free stop also gave Verstappen another chance to pit. Ferrari did the same but way too late, giving Verstappen the edge in what truly was an incredible battle. Leclerc himself described it as “the most fun I’ve had in my racing career” in a later press conference.

 

The 2020 British Grand Prix 

England, the birthplace of Formula 1 as many call it. After all, it was here that the first Grand Prix was held, although that was already more than half a century ago. Even now Silverstone is the Grand Prix of the season that many teams are impatiently looking forward to. How could it be otherwise, since the track demands a lot from a driver.

Fast straights, technical cornering sections and above all a lot of speed. Properties that have been preserved in spite of the major renovation of almost ten years ago. The first sector does get some speed out of it, but the current cars have so much grip that the average speed has only gone up. Moreover, the hairpin offers extra overtaking possibilities.

Last season Mercedes couldn't be beaten on the circuit in the midlands. Can one of the British teams knock them off the throne? Or does Ferrari get it on the hips in the lion's den? The British Grand Prix promises to be another spectacle.

What will the British Grand Prix race weekend look like?

On July 16th the first press conferences are scheduled, one day later the drivers will take place in their cars for the free practice sessions. FP1 starts on July 17th at 10:00 GMT, and FP2 four hours later. Qualifying starts on Saturday July 18 at 14:00, the race on Sunday July 19 at ten past two in the afternoon.

What time does the Grand Prix of England start?

As in previous years, the GP of England can be followed live in the live blog on GPblog from half an hour before the start of the race. The start time of the British Grand Prix is 14:10 GMT and the race can also be followed live on Sky Sports F1 as well as all practice sessions and qualifying in the build-up to the race.

Session Date Time
Practice 1 31 July 2020 06:00 - 07:30
Practice 2 31 July 2020 10:00 - 11:30
Practice 3 1 August 2020 06:00 - 07:00
Qualifying 1 August 2020 09:00 - 10:00
Race 2 August 2020 09:10 - 11:10
Times are in America/New_York Timezone
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