F1 cars to race on the new Arena circuit for the first time

F1 cars will race on Silverstone's new "Arena" layout for the first time at this weekend's British GP.

The new layout, first developed for the Moto GP race held on 20 June this year, cost £5 million and is part of extensive redevelopment at the Northamptonshire track.

See the new Silverstone layout

The circuit now sees cars negotiating a re-profiled club corner before spearing off the existing GP circuit through a fast right-hander just before the Abbey chicane.

Cars will then brake hard for two tight hairpins at Village and The Loop before taking the quick, left-hander Aintree onto the Wellingston straight (formerly the National straight).

This takes the cars into the braking area for the Brooklands left-hander, for which drivers will be slowing from almost 200mph.

It is estimated that F1 cars will average 156mph around the revised track, lap times being only four seconds longer than for the pervious layout, which was 760 metres than the new circuit.

Further upgrades to the circuit include changes to the Stowe circuit and a brand-new pit and paddock complex scheduled to open next year.

Silverstone has always been a high-speed aerodynamic-fest and the new layout will not change that. Expect the Red Bulls to feature strongly – Vettel and Webber finished one-two last year.

However, a new aero update on the McLarens will ensure that championship leaders Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are right up there with them.

Join the debate

Comments
9

10 July 2010

So the sweeping fast right hander of bridge is now gone? Hmmm

10 July 2010

[quote FR3000]

So the sweeping fast right hander of bridge is now gone, add Silverstone that to the list that already includes Spa and Hockenhiem entitled 'Classic Circuits spoiled by F1'

[/quote]

Erm, Bridge was easy flat in an F1 car, so effectively a straight. The new Abbey corner, along with tricky bump, is a real challenge for the drivers. So we've lost one non-corner and gained a faster trickier one. Your comment doesn't hold up.

10 July 2010

[quote FriendlyFisherman]So we've lost one non-corner and gained a faster trickier one. Your comment doesn't hold up.[/quote] Well done and quite correct. I've really enjoyed watching Lewis and Jenson being bounced off line again and again through Abbey. A corner taken flat out may flatter the ego, but it's the slower ones that tax the skill.

 

 

11 July 2010

[quote FriendlyFisherman]

[quote FR3000]

So the sweeping fast right hander of bridge is now gone - add Silverstone to the list that already includes Spa and Hockenhiem entitled 'Classic Circuits spoiled by F1'

[/quote]

Erm, Bridge was easy flat in an F1 car, so effectively a straight. The new Abbey corner, along with tricky bump, is a real challenge for the drivers. So we've lost one non-corner and gained a faster trickier one. Your comment doesn't hold up.

[/quote]

It's no surprise that this individual has got his knickers on incorrectly here, but it doesn't alter the fact that FR3000 is mostly correct. While the shabby cobbling together of Silverstone will make for a very interesting race, as a technical circuit it is compromised.

The bump at Turn 11 is the real problem, because it's simply too detrimental to progress. This is a nuanced argument, as some will contend that improperly laid surfaces and poorly designed kerbs make for more exciting tracks, but there comes a point where the imperfections harm the consistency of the laps in a manner that removes a level of interest, rather than adding to it. This is a case in point. Indeed, for tomorrow's race, a kerb is being shaved at the behest of the drivers.

In terms of terrain, Silverstone is always a boring, depressing place to be, but it has often created excellent Grand Prix due to the atmosphere in the stands and the racing it produces. It's odd that we are able to get away with rolling out a ramshackle event due to the fact that England is the spiritual and technological home of Formula One.

The loss of Bridge Corner is a sad thing, and the new in-field is horribly awkward (Turn 14), but the spectacle tomorrow should be first-rate.

By next year, the bump will have been resurfaced and the circuit will be much the better for it. Taken to its logical conclusion, the idea oft offered-out by the ilk of the Friendly, that imperfections and obstacles add to interest, would encourage the use of rally-cross gravel stages.

I'm sure there'll be an attempted counterpoint to this, but, as usual, the only intelligent contributions will come from those who say I'm right all the time.

Vettel has reclaimed the high-ground here, having, with his Pole, rubbed Webber's nose into the after-effects of smashing his car to bits two weeks ago. Despite the words, the team is now favouring Vettel for his greater talent and prospect - as it should.

Mercedes appears to be making some progress back towards the trailing end of the lead pack, and will probably struggle around that point with the likes of Renault, Ferrari and maybe even Williams for the rest of the season. I don't think Schumacher will be making any great push towards beating his team-mate in Qualifying this year, because he has neither the car or the form to bother risking anything until 2011.

Contrary to the usually excellent Brundle's comments recently, Schumacher's race-craft has been excellent, and he's consistently beaten Rosberg and others in the first corner melees to make up places. The good work he did in roughhousing contenders in Canada seems to have brought about some much-loved carping, but it's misguided and irrelevant.

Without the technical failure that is very likely, the Red Bulls will streak away tomorrow, as they seem to be able to run a chassis that is both compliant yet producing massive downforce, less sensitive to adverse wing turbulence. Where others are actually downshifting, Vettel is able to take Turn 11 flat out, but, as we saw in Spain with his aggressive attack of the kerbs, this may be his downfall.

The McLaren's again look awful over bumps, and, as even a Friendly person would agree, seemingly plank-like (pardon the pun) in their settings.

What some drivers have cottoned-on to is that it's best to ride high on the entry kerb of Abbey in order to straighten out the line across the bump.

Rosberg, although somewhat Trulli-like in showing excellent one-lap pace and almost witless racing at times, could yet be a dominant figure behind the Red Bulls. After one or t'other has broken down, he will be challenging Alonso and Hamilton to achieve Mercedes' first second place. He still has something to prove in this aspect, and is more motivated than Schumacher by the maximisation of results for this season.

11 July 2010

[quote VirginPower]Vettel has reclaimed the high-ground here, having, with his Pole, rubbed Webber's nose into the after-effects of smashing his car to bits two weeks ago. Despite the words, the team is now favouring Vettel for his greater talent and prospect - as it should.[/quote]

Rubbish. Webber is just as good as Vettel, if not better. His not-quite-pole lap at Silverstone was only a few hundredths off Vettel in Q3 (despite Vettel having a better front wing and nose-cone), and he's more consistent. OK, so Webber fouled up in Melbourne, when he took Hamilton out, but, by and large, he's been better than Vettel.

Now, Vettel is still a future world champion, but I don't think it will happen for him this year. He needs to grow up and calm down a bit. He strikes me as a young Schumacher: a great driver, but overly ambitious, sometimes at his own cost. Now, Jenson Button can be poor in qualifying (though his atrocious performance at Silverstone this year was really more the car's fault than his own) but, for sheer racecraft, I think he's the best driver on the grid. He's very smooth, he's fast and he looks after the car much better than his team-mate - AND his calls on tyres are nothing short of inspired.

Also, Red Bull's unreliability is a thing of the past - OK, so Webber crashed in Valencia, but that was Kovalainen's fault. Canada didn't go badly, either - not brilliantly, but neither car broke down. If it hadn't been for Vettel, it would have been a Red Bull 1-2 in Canada, it WAS a Red Bull 1-2 in Monaco, and Vettel finished 3rd in Barcelona in spite of a gearbox fault, while Webber came in first. Considering there hasn't been a single major fault since Vettel at Barcelona, I really don't think you can call the Red Bulls unreliable, less still claim that a Red Bull breakdown at Silverstone is inevitable.

11 July 2010

[quote VirginPower]the only intelligent contributions will come from those who say I'm right all the time.[/quote]

:-O

[quote VirginPower]

Vettel has reclaimed the high-ground here, having, with his Pole, rubbed Webber's nose into the after-effects of smashing his car to bits two weeks ago. Despite the words, the team is now favouring Vettel for his greater talent and prospect - as it should.

[/quote]

:-)

Who's the Daddy now.

Every time Webber and Vettel have gone wheel to wheel Webber has owned him.

11 July 2010

[quote VirginPower]

Rosberg, although somewhat Trulli-like in showing excellent one-lap pace and almost witless racing at times, could yet be a dominant figure behind the Red Bulls. After one or t'other has broken down, he will be challenging Alonso and Hamilton to achieve Mercedes' first second place. He still has something to prove in this aspect, and is more motivated than Schumacher by the maximisation of results for this season.

[/quote]Your blog was far too long and I fell asleep half way through it. Mind you I've had a few nippy sweeties so that might also explain it.

11 July 2010

[quote Straight Six Man]Also, Red Bull's unreliability is a thing of the past - OK, so Webber crashed in Valencia, but that was Kovalainen's fault. Canada didn't go badly, either - not brilliantly, but neither car broke down. If it hadn't been for Vettel, it would have been a Red Bull 1-2 in Canada, it WAS a Red Bull 1-2 in Monaco, and Vettel finished 3rd in Barcelona in spite of a gearbox fault, while Webber came in first. Considering there hasn't been a single major fault since Vettel at Barcelona, I really don't think you can call the Red Bulls unreliable, less still claim that a Red Bull breakdown at Silverstone is inevitable.
[/quote]

Agreed, Webber won Silverstone with an inferior front wing, so IMHO he's the better driver, apart from Kubica of cause.

11 July 2010

[quote val.]Agreed, Webber won Silverstone with an inferior front wing, so IMHO he's the better driver, apart from Kubica of cause.[/quote]

Well, first of all, I was only comparing Webber with his team-mate.

Secondly, Kubica isn't as consistent as we'd all like. He can be brilliant, but sometimes you see him holding others up (usually Ferraris and Mercs). Maybe it's just the car - it hasn't been that reliable and seems not to be as fast as the Red Bull or the McLaren. Renault need a better car next year.

Also, tongue in cheek, what hope of Renault buying, let's say, Hispania, and renaming it Dacia, as their equivalent of Toro Rosso?

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