British GP 2021 - Williams F1 preview
We head to Silverstone this week, and the home of British motor racing for the 10th round of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship. Despite numerous layout changes over the years, Silverstone has always maintained its essential character as one of the fastest tracks on the calendar. Historic corners like Maggotts, Becketts and Copse provide some of the biggest challenges for racing drivers anywhere in the world. With all this in mind, it is no surprise that Silverstone remains one of the most enjoyable circuits on the calendar and provides an exciting challenge for drivers and engineers alike.
The incredible British fans have been missed and the team is looking forward to racing in front of a full capacity crowd on home soil.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
The event at Silverstone is always a highlight of the Formula One season, as well as an iconic event of the British summer. This year, the event is notable for the experimental format which will see traditional Qualifying take place on Friday evening and then a Sprint Qualifying session on Saturday afternoon, before the main Grand Prix on Sunday. For us, this represents quite a change in how we approach, plan and execute the event. Fortunately, we have the experience from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola last year to help guide us and to give us some insight into how the other teams are likely to approach the two free practice sessions.
The track itself is largely unchanged from last year and it is a layout that we know well. The tyre quantities are a little different due to the event format, with each team receiving one fewer sets of tyres than at a standard event, as well as a different compound distribution. Pirelli have made available the hardest of their compound range and these should be well suited to the demanding nature of Silverstone.
Silverstone remains one of the most exciting and most loved circuits on the Formula One calendar, and its mix of dramatic high-speed corners and frequent short straights places tremendous demands on both the cars and the drivers. Crucially, the influence of the wind - and potentially the rain - can quickly change the character of the circuit and with only one free practice session before the Qualifying session, it will be vital to understand the conditions quickly and to get to a setup that the drivers are comfortable with.
Having enjoyed some good fights with the midfield teams at the last few events, we are very keen to continue our recent form in front of a large home crowd, which will include many of our colleagues who don’t usually get to travel to the circuit. The whole team is motivated and excited by the challenge ahead of us as we face the new event format at one of the best venues in the world.
I am really excited for my home race and to have all the British fans back will be an incredible experience. It will be a challenge with the new format this weekend, so we are going to have to be on our toes to make the most of it. All in all, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone is always a great weekend; it has the best crowds of the year, the fans are incredibly passionate, and the circuit offers great racing. There’s nothing quite like it.
I am super excited for Silverstone; it is my favourite track on the calendar by far. The nature of the high-speed corners, which are very fast and flowing, makes it the perfect track to drive these modern Formula One cars that have so much downforce. It is such an exhilarating feeling with all of the G-forces through your body. It’s also the team’s home race, so I’m very excited to be a part of that as I didn’t have my own home race this year, but this will be just as special. I am hoping for a very strong weekend to make it all the better.
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