The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is the ninth round of the 2012 Formula One World Championship. This race is steeped in F1 history, Silverstone having hosted the inaugural F1 World Championship round at the beginning of the 1950 season. The British Grand Prix is one of only two races ever-present on the F1 calendar. It has also been held at Aintree and Brands Hatch but Silverstone leads the way, staging the GP 45 times.
The circuit has undergone many minor revisions over the past two decades while leaving the circuit’s perimeter configuration intact. That changed in 2010 with the debut of the new ‘Arena’ layout, which introducing a new infield loop between the corners at Abbey and Brooklands. 2010’s race used the old pit and paddock complex, though for 2011 new facilities opened, moving the start-finish straight to the section of track between Club and Abbey corners.
The new layout makes the circuit longer and more technical but Silverstone retains its reputation as one of F1’s power circuits, with over 60 per cent of a lap completed at full throttle, and featuring some of the highest-speed corners in F1.
Fast changes of direction characterise the circuit. According to tyre supplier Pirelli, this is the track which places the greatest lateral load on their tyres. Copse corner is taken at speeds in excess of 290kph, generating lateral loads of 5g. The hard and soft compound tyres have been nominated for this round of the championship but a mixed forecast means intermediate or full wet tyres may also see use during the weekend.
Last year Fernando Alonso triumphed in wet-dry conditions. He comes to Britain leading this year’s championship, having taken his second victory of 2012 last time out in Valencia. That ended a record sequence of seven different drivers winning the first seven races of the season. The other major record the 2012 season might challenge is 1982’s total of 11 winning drivers.
Length of lap:
5.891km Lap record
1:30.874 (Fernando Alonso
Ferrari, 2010) Start line/finish line offset
0.105km Total number of race laps
52 Total race distance
306.227km Pitlane speed limits
60km/h during practice,
100km/h during qualifying and race
CHANGES TO THE CIRCUIT SINCE 2011
► Relatively little has changed since 2011. The pit entry has been straightened and the pit lane speed limit begins 50 metres earlier.