Everything you need to know for the British and 70th anniversary Grands Prix
"Silverstone offers exciting moments and we're going to miss the immense support of the fans"
It’s coming home
It’s coming home
Formula 1’s coming home.
It may be two weeks later than originally planned, but the British Grand Prix is finally upon us – delayed, like pretty much everything else, in the wake of worldwide coughs and sneezes spreading diseases. But as we gradually emerge from self-isolation, the ‘new normal’ world we find ourselves in is very different to the one we once knew.
Change isn’t all bad, however. In this most unique of F1 seasons, we are faced with the tantalising prospect of two grands prix in as many weeks at the home of British motor racing, Silverstone. No sooner than the fall of the chequered flag on the British Grand Prix, attention will turn to the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix – commemorating the first round of the official FIA Formula One World Championship that took place at Silverstone on 13 May 1950.
Yep, change isn’t all bad. So to set you up for a tumultuous two weeks of frenzied on-track action, here’s our guide to the magic and majesty that awaits…
How to follow
|Round||4 and 5|
|When||31 July - 2 August, 7 - 9 August|
|Start time||14:10 local, 15:10 CEST, 09:10 EDT|
|Follow||TEAMStream and the McLaren App for exclusive commentary and insight|
What they say
“We head to Silverstone for our next set of races and the home races for the team! After some sweet and sour moments during an intense first triple-header, we’ve had some extra time to review the first weekends and draw our conclusions more calmly. We’ve analysed our strengths and weaknesses, and I can’t wait to drive this car on a third circuit with different challenges. Despite leaving some points on the table, overall it’s been a positive start to the season, finishing all three races in the top 10 and being consistent on track. Everyone in the team is pushing flat-out and we need to keep up the good work. I’m feeling recharged, prepared and ready to go again for another triple-header.
“Silverstone is one of my favourite tracks due to the quick pace of the circuit and the numerous chances to overtake. I had a great race at the British Grand Prix last season, finishing P6 with plenty of overtakes on track and intensively defending my position during the last few laps! Silverstone always offers exciting moments and we’re going to miss the immense support of the McLaren fans very much there. Even if they aren’t at the track, they can be sure we’re going to give our best to secure a good result and make them proud. Let’s go!”
“It’s great to be heading back to Silverstone for not one but two home races as we start the next triple-header. We’ve had the chance to reset and reflect on what we’ve learnt from our first three races of the season. I can’t wait to go racing again and want to ensure we maintain our progress going into the British Grand Prix. The track itself offers fast and exciting racing with great opportunities to overtake. We know the competition will be tough, but we’ve got to focus on ourselves, work hard and build on our promising start to the season.
“My home race as an F1 driver is a very special occasion just like it was the first time around last year. Obviously, it’s going to be disappointing not to have the fans there, but for everyone's safety the best experience is to watch it from home. This weekend I’ll be running a very special helmet, following the competition I ran to design my home grand prix lid. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the reveal this week.”
“It’s been an exciting opening to the season that’s been closely fought between the teams around us. As it’s a compressed season, the pressure is on to make the most of every race weekend.
“We have come away from the first triple-header recognising similar strengths and weaknesses in the car from those we saw back at testing in Barcelona. This is good because it allows us to keep our priorities for development consistent with what we had previously planned.
“The British Grand Prix will see a continued evolution of the MCL35 with some developments that will be tested over the coming race weekend. We’ve got a unique challenge in balancing upgrades for this year while ensuring our 2021 car is moving ahead in parallel, as the only team to be changing engine partners between 2020 and 2021, our design work and planning for next year is more critical than for others.
“Silverstone will be the first high-speed circuit this season and offers a mix of different corner types that give will another useful data point for our car. It is a fantastic circuit and the flowing nature of the high-speed corners, combined with long, technical low-speed turns and the need for good efficiency will be a new challenge compared to Austria and Hungary.
“Looking ahead to the second grand prix at Silverstone and to Spain, we’ll have further test items to add to the car to provide new insight into potential development opportunities for the future.
“It’s quite an intensive period at the moment and there has been some great work, by the design and production teams in particular, to push all these items through in a relatively short space of time after coming back from the shutdown and furlough periods. Thanks as always to our colleagues at Renault and our trackside team for enabling us to collect data and maximise our on-track performance.”
British Grand Prix Silverstone
1 Jan 1970
What the stats say
Unsurprisingly, neither Carlos or Lando are strangers to Silverstone having both raced here in junior categories. Carlos’ best F1 finish at the circuit came in his first season with McLaren, when he fought his way up from P13 on the grid to sixth – resolutely fending off a certain Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages. Meanwhile, Lando has shown plenty of speed here on the way to an F2 podium and F3 win, as well as when securing a fine top-10 grid slot in qualifying for his first home grand prix in 2019.
The team knows its way around this iconic circuit too, having won the British Grand Prix 14 times. Our first came way back in 1973 with Peter Revson behind the wheel of the M23, while the most recent was in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton battled through torrential rain on the way to victory.
What to watch out for
It may be an old airfield, but Silverstone Circuit is an unquestionable thing of beauty. Straddling the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire border, its layout has changed since that first foray for Formula 1 on that heady spring day in 1950, but the circuit still retains all its charms. Copse, Maggotts, Becketts, Chapel, Stowe, Abbey and Woodcote all are etched into racing folklore. An unremitting and unforgiving test of driver skill and car performance, there is nowhere to hide around this 5.891-kilometre ribbon of asphalt.
With fast, sweeping corners, Silverstone has always placed a premium on high-speed downforce, but its long straights require plenty of power too. As the cars have evolved, so has the track. Mind-bending levels of downforce have effectively turned some of Silverstone’s long corners into straights, cementing the circuit’s standing as one of the fastest tracks on the F1 calendar, and one of the finest places to savour the spectacle of man and machine in full flight.
Two weeks between the Hungarian and British Grands Prix has given teams the chance to return home and analyse in detail what happened over the first three races, and everyone will be looking to make improvements for Silverstone. The circuit is something of a halfway house between the fast-flowing Red Bull Ring and the tight, twisting Hungaroring, so expect further light to be shed on the true competitive order, but count on the fact that F1’s midfield will still be incredibly close.
Don’t, however, count on the weather. Much like in Austria and Hungary, rain might well have a hand in proceedings at some point over the next fortnight. Well, it is the British summertime after all…
What to wear
In case you missed it, a brand-new collection of Lando Norris merch dropped last week and it’s proving quite the hit. While it’s hard to pick a favourite, amongst all the day-glo yellow there’s a natty looking t-shirt with our man’s initials emblazoned on the front in a Union Flag design. Or you can cop the all-new #WeRaceAsOne white tee, which has also just been released. We can’t help but think there’s no better addition to your wardrobe for the upcoming grands prix.
McLAREN Store Just dropped! The #WeRaceAsOne t-shirt is now available in white, with all profits going to charity
It’s not all about clothing though. Just because you can’t attend the races, that’s no reason not to fly the flag in support of the team. And we don’t just mean that figuratively… Yes, with the brand-new McLaren flag, you really can wave papaya in the air like you just don’t care. Just please be careful if you do this indoors. We really can’t be held responsible for broken family heirlooms and skewered pets.
Right, time for some McLaren Plus goodness. With it being our home grand prix and all, we're on a mission to fill our garage with as many fans as possible during the British Grand Prix.
Send us a clip of you supporting the team and we'll beam you straight onto the garage screens. Act quick, as you've only got until the end of Monday (27th) to send them.
Videos should be landscape, around 10 seconds long, and sent via email. Or you can send using the hashtag #McLarenGarageGrandstand on social media.
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