Drivers praise Silverstone's fast-flowing changes
Saturday 10 July 2010
Mark Webber, who set the fastest time in yesterday's practice session, gave the new Silverstone "Arena" layout the thumbs-up after lapping it close to the team's simulator prediction time.
"I think a few of the other teams were sandbagging a bit," the Red Bull driver said. "But we're happy with our programme and looking forward to qualifying. The new section of the track is pretty difficult, but they got it right, I think. It's a good challenge for the drivers."
Webber's team-mate, Sebastian Vettel, joined the chorus of approval. "It's quite low speed, but not as slow as we expected and it doesn't kill the rhythm," he said.
Lewis Hamilton added: "It was fun to try the new track configuration for the first time. The new section is very fast and flowing, and I don't think it interrupts your rhythm too much. It still feels a little weird turning right at Abbey rather than left, and there's a big bump there too, but that just makes it more exciting."
The reigning world champion, Jenson Button, agreed. "I think the new layout works. I put this circuit up there with the best in the world like Spa and Suzuka, and getting a good balance around here is such a good feeling," he said.
"There are a couple of new grandstands down at Turn 13 [the first part of the Arrowhead], where there's a good opportunity for overtaking, particularly if somebody gets out of shape at Turn 11 [Abbey]. If I was a spectator around here, I think I'd want to be at that corner, because there could be a lot of action there."
The majority of Silverstone's iconic straights and high-speed corners were retained in the revamp, which was originally intended for the MotoGP and World Superbike two-wheelers when the car grand prix seemed scheduled to go to Donington Park.
The most significant change alters the direction of Abbey corner which now goes sharp right instead of left and leads, via a gentle left-hand curve, to a third gear right-hander which is quickly followed by a very tight second gear left and a more open left that goes on to the Wellington Straight. This links the new section up with the old one at Brooklands, a third gear left-hander which leads into the old Luffield and Woodcote corners to complete the now 5.891 km circuit.
The new track design retains the essence of Silverstone – a flowing, yet technically challenging circuit that drivers love. Calculations suggest that it will continue to be one of the quickest circuits on the Formula One calendar.
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Nani transfer: No future for winger at Sporting Lisbon as club cannot afford his wages when loan deal with Manchester United runs out
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Mario Balotelli is playing badly at Liverpool because he misses his daughter, says agent
Tottenham Hotspur vs Partizan Belgrade match report: Spurs go through in Europa League - but pitch invaders grab the attention
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Ed Miliband's 'north London set' must be demolished to save Labour, say critics