After the disappointment in Austria, the team heads just 19 miles from its Enstone home for the British Grand Prix, the final leg of Formula 1’s first triple-header. Chassis Technical Director Nick Chester explains his vision for Silverstone.
What can we say about Silverstone?
Silverstone is actually quite a tricky track in lots of ways. It has a lot of high speed corners and changes of direction, so you need a nice stable car. A Formula 1 car tends to understeer at Silverstone, and that emphasises the need for a strong front end, if not then it can be a struggle in the high-speed corners. Balancing the requirements of good stability and a strong front end is difficult and further complicated by the need to reduce drag if possible on this high-speed track. We’ll be seeing the hardest tyre compounds from the Pirelli range, mainly because the corners are so fast and that means high energy input into the tyres. Preserving tyre performance will be a significant focus of our weekend.
And how difficult can the Great British weather be to work around?
The weather is always interesting around the British Grand Prix! Silverstone is actually quite high up for the locality, and it can be quite windy, which brings a real fuss in the high-speed corners. Of course, it can be hot, or wet, or cold across the same day or weekend. It’s usually quite challenging.
What’s been the biggest challenge for Formula 1’s first triple-header?
The logistics of it all has been hard, especially getting the cars turned around and getting parts replaced for mileage. It’s tough on the mechanics, they have a hard run through three back-to-back races. Silverstone is a bit of an advantage as it’s close to the factory, and that makes it easier to get parts to the track, but it’s still a challenge being the end of a three-race cycle.
It’s the team’s second home race in three weeks, does that bring extra pressure?
You try to do the best you can at every race. You take as many development parts as you can manage to the earliest possible occasion. A home race doesn’t really change the plan, Silverstone is that bit easier because if you have anything last minute, you can get it to the track. Home advantage helps!