This is very much a trial, but basically there will be a 100 kilometer sprint race. On the saturday and the finishing order in that sprint, race will then define the grid. The starting order for the grand prix on sunday there’ll be much less practice in the build up to those two races and remember, of course, this year, we’ve had 60 minute untimed practice sessions, rather than the 90 minutes we’ve had prior to 2021. anyway. Let’S, look at the repercussions of that what it really means for the team: there’s quite a lot out there on the internet at the moment, talking about the format and how difficult it’s going to be and set up and going into part four may early. All these things, but what does that actually mean? Well? The first thing is that the business, the skill, if you like, of trying to use the race compound in what is q2 or used to be q2 for the big race has gone away. Now all the teams, regardless, whether you qualify in the top 10 or not, can choose what tires they want to race on the actual day of the race. So that is a big change. That skill has gone away. We kind of saw it go away already at the french grand prix when everybody went out on q2 in on medium tires, so uh. I guess that was the sort of death knell of all that it will come back of course, um the next race, where there’s no sprint race.
That system will come back, but for this one there is no oh he’s on mediums in q2 wow what a lap time, none of that anymore, the lando norris syndrome from austria, if you like so that’s gone away, replacing that is a as i say, a huge Shortage of time in terms of setup and the complication here which nobody seems to be mentioning on all the race team websites anyway, is the new construction rears that pirelli are bringing to the british grand prix now let’s. Look at that in the context of the tar failures we saw at baku very deep into the race very deep into the stint. The left rear on both lane stroll and max verstappen and lewis hamilton’s is on the way out as well and then let’s let’s. Look at that also in the context of last year’s british grand prix when we had a lot of left fronts going at the end of the race. Now that was because they say now: lots of safety cars induce lots of runners to go for that. One! Stop strategy and obviously, at the end, the degradation set in and the tyres overheated and went away, but that is a function ultimately of the lack of testing. We do these days in formula one on something as critical as tires, and so we go to silverstone 2021, hoping there’ll be no more tire dramas, a new rear construction and even less time on the circuit to run it and test it than ever before.
Now, that is why so many teams ran that pirelli test tire in the austrian grand prix build up on the friday and the saturday morning, actually because they knew there’d be so little time to run it at silverstone. So the testing for silverson, if you like, of that new construction rear, was made in austria and what this rear is all about, is that it’s, basically stiffer and in theory, therefore, we won’t have a rep, a repeat of what we saw in baca, although pirelli is Saying, oh, it was in the pipeline long before baku and it’s related to the introduction of the 18 inch wheels that are coming in for 2022.. So be that as it may, they’ve done. If, if it was, if it was a reaction, tobacco they’ve done a very good job to get it out quickly. So probably it does have that longer history and what it now means, as we go into service and for this historic weekend, is that the teams can now run two psi lower at the back, which gives them more feel more compliance, that’s good news for the drivers. Good news for the teams: the construction is stiffer, but the fronts are remaining the same. This isn’t an insoluble problem. Basically, what it means in mechanical suspension terms is that it’s it’s the effect of having a stiffer front bar or a softer rear bar and in theory there will be i’m sure the simulators will say: okay.
Well, if we’re doing that, am i running two pounds lower at the rear. We can definitely go a little bit stiffer at the rear or whatever they want to do and they can compensate effectively with roll bars. But there won’t be a lot of time to do that, that’s the first point and secondly, there will be a minimum amount of running at silverstone on this new construction rear and already we know that the front the left front is a tower that can be punished At silverson, as well so we’re going into what is potentially the most important tyre weekend of the year so far, new rear left front was a big issue last year with a new, very compacted format that gives the teams even less time and chance to adapt to All that to understand it and to make it all work, so i think that is that’s, something to bear in mind. Who am i to say, that’s a good thing, a bad thing. Obviously, the teams have said yeah we’re prepared to do this. We’Ll go along with it, so we’ll see what happens. I think um. The other point about silverstone is going to be mercedes performance because it’s very clear, and we saw that in austria – we’ve seen it at the french grand prix as well, that the mercedes compared to the other mercedes teams, the mercedes factory team, basically has more inherent drag. It’S not as quick on the straight as any of the other three mercedes teams, but that’s, because it’s got more inherent downforce and most of those circuits that we’ve just talked about those two segments.
We’Ve talked about mercedes, can kind of trim the car to get to some sort of top speed that works for them and some sort of lap time that works for them. It kind of worked for them at the french grand prix, although they didn’t win it and it kind of worked for them in austria. Again they didn’t win it, but on a red bull circuit, they got pretty near here’s. The thing, though, silverstone you’ve got from the complex right round, basically breaking into stowe uh. Well, probably, a living a downshift in the middle of beckett’s, but you’ve got it’s basically flat and there are going to be areas of not drs flat as well they’re going to be areas there, where the mercedes is going to be flat and let’s say the mclaren Is going to be flat, but the mclaren probably will be quicker because it doesn’t have as much downforce and it can still get through cops flat. So there’s more time around silverstone. As i see it for a mclaren which has less downforce to gain on a mercedes which has more downforce but isn’t as quick through the air, if you see honest a lot of full throttle motoring, in other words, the mercedes will pick up on the slow bits. The slower bits, because of its downforce level but it’ll, be really interesting.