Race Preview: Great Britain
June 8, 2006 | 10:43 A.M. EST
Built: Originally an airfield, Silverstone hosted it’s first British Grand Prix event in 1948. It hosted the first Formula One race on May 13, 1950.
Track Length: 3.194 miles/5.141 kilometers
Race Distance: 60 Laps
Number of Turns: 14 (8 right, 6 left)
Seating Capacity: Approx. 90,000 spectators
Number of Grand Prix’s Hosted: 39
Fastest Lap: 1:18.739 set by Michael Schumacher in 2004
2005 Polesitter: Fernando Alonso
2005 Podium: Juan Pablo Montoya (winner), Fernando Alonso (2nd), Kimi Raikkonen (3rd)
What happened in 2005?
Juan Pablo Montoya claimed his first victory with McLaren at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone after blazing off the grid in third. The win was Montoya's fifth Formula One victory.
McLaren has won 13 out of the 40 British Grands Prix it has entered to date. Team McLaren Mercedes has won four of the last seven races including Juan Pablo's maiden win for the team last year, David Coulthard’s victories in 1999 and 2000, which was a double victory ahead of Mika Hakkinen, and Mika Hakkinen’s win in 2001.
What they are Saying
"Silverstone is a great track, with some really exciting corners, I love to race at it and I hope we can repeat the result from last year when I took my debut victory for the team in front of our home crowd. It is such a contrast to the streets of Monte Carlo, it is all about super fast corners and pushing the limits of the car."
--Juan Pablo Montoya, defending race winner and driver for Team McLaren Mercedes
"First of all, it makes the circuit tougher physically – with so many high-speed corners, and quite a bumpy track surface, Silverstone is difficult for the drivers to cope with. Then, of course, it is a question of fun. It is always a nice feeling to be attacking high-speed corners and be right on the limit..."
--Fernando Alonso, driver for Renault F1 Team, on coming back to Silverstone with a V8 engine
"I very much like the circuit layout; the first part features high-speed, flowing corners which are really great to drive and the last section features the tough complex which is also challenging on the engineering side as it requires good mechanical grip. The weather always plays a key role at this race, so I am hoping for a dry, sunny weekend and a good result for the team."
--Takuma Sato, driver for Super Aguri F1 Team
"Bad weather is something of a tradition in England. Rain doesn't bother me; in fact it can add a bit of extra excitement. Fog, as in Spa, has been known to cause delays to the start of practice at Silverstone, even if visibility on the track is okay. No driving is allowed as long as weather conditions aren't good enough to allow for the potential use of the emergency helicopter."
--Nick Heidfeld, driver for BMW Sauber F1 Team
"The track surface is relatively porous and, therefore, abrasive on tires, so we tend to favor some of the hardest compounds we use all season. The cars reach very high speeds and are subjected to significant vertical and lateral loads, so a well balanced tire is essential."
--Nick Shorrock, Formula One director for Michelin
"The British Grand Prix is one of two “home” races for Bridgestone. Our Potenza Formula One tires are designed and manufactured in Japan but the hub of our F1 operations remains in Berkshire, near Heathrow, and we are therefore keen to impress at Silverstone this weekend. Three of our teams are based in the UK so as well as boosting their championship points standings, some good results this weekend would be very popular."
--Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport at Bridgestone
Schedule of Events
Friday, June 9
Saturday, June 10
Sunday, June 11