British GP Preview – Toto Wolff: “We have to stay vigilant”

Mercedes released the British Grand Prix preview featuring comments from team boss Toto Wolff. You can read Wolff’s comments below!

“We’ve had a good start to the season: we resolved the issues that troubled us on the first weekend, won three out of three races and scored a good amount of points. But the first three races have also highlighted another crucial factor: the importance of reliability in this shortened season. We’re one of only two teams that have finished all races with both cars this year and we know how quickly a DNF can make a lead in the points disappear. It’s a good reminder to us all that we have to stay vigilant and that even the smallest mistake can cost us many point,” said Wolff.

“After a well-deserved weekend off for the race team, we’re now starting the second triple-header. We’re looking forward to two races in Silverstone, a track which is just down the road from our factories and feels like home to us. We enjoyed very good results at the British Grand Prix in recent years, but we all know Babe Ruth’s famous quote: ‘Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games’. There’s no entitlement to a good result because you had a strong showing in the past, on the contrary: a successful race will always be the result of the hard work of every single team member and we will have to bring our A-game to stay ahead of our competitors.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate to go racing in the current situation, but we will also miss our fans in Silverstone. We know that they will be rooting for us from home though, so we’re determined to show our gratitude for their support by putting on a great show for them. These are the fastest F1 cars ever built and they have broken the track records at both Spielberg and Budapest. It will be thrilling to see them on the iconic Silverstone circuit, racing through some of the most demanding corners of the season and being stretched to their limits.”

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Fact File: British Grand Prix

  • Drivers experience some of the highest lateral g-forces of the season at Silverstone, with a maximum of 5g experienced through Becketts (Turn 13) and Stowe (Turn 15). Therefore, with the average weight of a human head wearing a helmet being 7kg, the driver’s neck is being pulled side-to-side by a force of 35kg through Becketts and Stowe.
  • Silverstone has the highest mean apex speed (the apex speeds of every corner, divided by the number of corners at the track) in F1. Suzuka comes in a close second in this category.
  • A lap of Silverstone has an average lateral g-force of 2.8g, which is the highest average lateral g-force of any F1 track – very closely followed by Paul Ricard and Suzuka. This is due to the track’s many high-speed corners, which make it a physically-demanding Grand Prix for drivers, as they are experiencing these immense forces several times a lap.
  • The change of direction and the g-forces that cars and drivers experience through Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel (from Turn 10 to Turn 14) is very impressive: first, there’s a 2g left-hander, followed by 5g right, 5g left, 4g right and 3g left. To put this into perspective: A performance road car on decent tyres can usually pull just over 1g during cornering.
  • Silverstone is one of only three tracks in F1 (along with Spa-Francorchamps and Monaco) where engineers refer to corners by name rather than number.
  • The sequence of corners from Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel are now taken nearly flat-out, with only Turn 13 requiring a small amount of brake pressure due to its tighter turn angle.
  • Conditions are notoriously windy at Silverstone and the wind direction changes relatively frequently, too. This has a big impact on the car balance and can completely change the car’s behaviour, forcing drivers to adapt their driving style to suit. Braking points, apex speeds and throttle application can all change due to a shift in wind direction.
  • The Silverstone Circuit’s 5.891 km layout is the third-longest in F1, with only Spa-Francorchamps (7.004 km) and the Baku City Circuit (6.003 km) being longer.
  • The length of the track also means it has the third-fewest number of race laps, with 52 making up a 306.2 km race distance.
  • Silverstone’s average speed over the course of a lap is one of the highest in F1 at around 220 km/h – very similar figures to Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, but not quite as fast as Suzuka.
  • There’s a 644-metre run from pole position to the first braking zone at Silverstone, the third-longest in F1. The track’s layout is unusual, in that it’s the only circuit where drivers pass through two corners before hitting the brakes for the first time – for Village (Turn 3).
  • Drivers spend almost 81% of the lap distance at Silverstone driving at full-throttle, the second-highest percentage in F1.
  • Silverstone is a home track for the team. The Brackley factory is only a nine-mile drive away, on average taking less than 15 minutes. Meanwhile Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains’ base in Brixworth is just over 20 miles away.
  • With Silverstone being so local to Mercedes’ factories, the team usually does a trackside familiarisation programme on the Friday of the British Grand Prix. Every team member that doesn’t attend a race during the course of the season is given the chance to watch one of the practice sessions from the grandstands and experience Formula One trackside. The team also typically hosts a Summer Family Day on the Saturday of the British Grand Prix, where team members and their families gather to watch Qualifying and enjoy a day out with various activities for all age ranges. Sadly, due to the current restrictions and situation, Mercedes isn’t able to host these events this year.

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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