British Grand Prix 2014 Preview: Start Time, TV Info, Weather, Schedule, Odds
The British Grand Prix will be the ninth round of the 2014 Formula One season.
It will be held at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, the 48th time the track will have hosted the event. The race itself will turn 65, having been first held in 1950.
Happily for us, the retirement age for race tracks is somewhat higher than it is for humans.
Nico Rosberg goes into the weekend with a 29-point lead over teammate Lewis Hamilton, who will be hoping to get a boost from the home crowd as he bids to end a disappointing run.
Others hoping for a happy homecoming will be Jenson Button, Max Chilton and the eight teams based nearby.
But the lovely British weather may rain on their parade. It's summer, so there's every chance we'll see a shower or two.
Read on for a full preview, including current standings, a circuit map and guide, tyre and DRS information, weather forecast, odds, session times and TV times.
Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton by 29 points.
Further back, Daniel Ricciardo is just three points clear of Fernando Alonso.
The current Top 10 are (standings from Formula1.com):
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||83|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||60|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||59|
In the constructors' championship, Mercedes have more than twice as many points as the second-placed team.
Sauber have now gone eight races without scoring, equalling their worst-ever run of pointless finishes.
The current standings are:
Following the end of the Second World War, RAF Silverstone was put into use as a race track. The first track used the runways, before a switch to the outer perimeter roads.
Over the years it has seen many changes, but the layout the cars drive today is broadly the same shape as the circuit used way back in 1950.
With a unique high-speed layout and some beautiful corners, Silverstone remains one of the true highlights of the F1 calendar.
Turns 1 and 2
A lap begins on the pit straight with a reasonably long run to Turn 1 (Abbey), a fast right-hander. It was flat-out last year but may not be in 2014.
On the opening lap, it's not unusual to see cars forced wide here as everyone funnels in trying to grab the optimum line.
It is followed immediately by the equally fast left-hander of Turn 2, before heavy braking for the start of the arena complex.
Turns 3, 4 and 5
Turn 3 is a slow right-hander, and the drivers flick back across the track at the exit for the best line into the even slower right-hander of Turn 4.
Overtaking in this sequence is possible, but not something we're likely to see a lot of this weekend.
The cars then accelerate towards and through the flat-out left of Turn 5 and onto the Wellington Straight.
Turns 6, 7 and 8
We should see speeds of up to 315 kilometres an hour achieved before the drivers brake and turn in to the deceptive Turn 6 (Brooklands), a medium-speed left-hander with a very late apex.
A squirt of the throttle takes us to Turn 7 (Luffield). The drivers spend an age in this long, slow right-hander, waiting patiently for the exit and the chance to get the power down again.
The cars pass the old pit lane entry (on the right) and stream through the quick right-hander of Turn 8 (Woodcote) onto the old pit straight.
The 2014 cars might prove very twitchy out of Luffield, which could set up overtaking opportunities here.
Turn 9 (Copse) is one of the finest quick corners in the world. The drivers turn in at speeds in excess of 300 kilometres an hour, lift slightly off the throttle and power through to exit barely 30 kilometres an hour slower.
The exit is very wide, and the cars head down a short straight towards a set of turns which are even better.
Turns 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14
The Maggots-Becketts-Chapel complex is simply awesome, and there is no better sequence of five corners anywhere in the world.
Arriving at near to full speed, the drivers take the first left (Turn 10) flat-out, then lift a tiny bit for the right-hander (Turn 11) which follows.
The next left (Turn 12) requires a touch of the brakes, as does the next right (Turn 13), then it's back on the power again through the final left-hander (Turn 14) and out onto the Hanger Straight.
Again the cars hit speeds in excess of 310 kilometres an hour, before braking late for the medium-speed right-hander of Turn 15 (Stowe). Overtaking is possible on the approach to this corner, but the braking zone is so short we won't see any lunges.
The track pinches in a little at the exit as it drops downhill briefly, which will probably will catch out a few drivers over the course of the weekend.
A very short straight follows.
Turns 16, 17 and 18
After such a magnificent string of quick corners (all the way from Luffield), a chicane (Vale) brings us back down to Earth.
The first part is a slow left (Turn 16), while the second half (Turn 17) opens out slightly allowing the car to carry a little more speed.
The track continues to curve slightly to the right as the drivers fight to get the power down hard on the approach to and through the final corner, the flat-out right of Turn 18 (Club).
The start-finish line is very close after the exit.
The pit lane entry is on the right between Stowe and Vale, with the exit feeding out into the outside of Turn 2.
Tyres and DRS
The multiple tyre failures during last season's British Grand Prix demonstrated what a tough test Silverstone provides.
The plethora of long, fast corners put massive lateral loads through the tyres. This causes the rubber to rapidly heat up, leading to thermal degradation and reduced tyre life.
Silverstone's nature (more fast corners, fewer acceleration zones) means the front tyres should be subjected to the most punishment.
To deal with the demands, Pirelli are bringing the white-marked medium and orange-marked hard compound tyres—the two more durable in their range.
Three stops was the winning strategy in 2013, but two should be the way to go this time around.
There will be two DRS zones at the British Grand Prix.
The first will have its detection point just before Turn 3. The activation point will be at the start of the Wellington Straight after Turn 5, and the zone will end with braking for Turn 6.
The second zone's detection point will be at Turn 10, with an activation point just after Turn 14 at the start of the Hanger Straight. The zone will end with braking for Turn 15.
The United Kingdom has a temperate maritime climate and weather which is notoriously hard to predict. Summers (it's summer in the UK now, apparently) are warm, and though occasional droughts occur, rain is never far away.
Current forecasts suggest a dry Friday before things start to get interesting. A passing weather front will bring a good chance of rain on Saturday, and isolated heavy showers are possible on Sunday, too.
But this being Britain, tomorrow's forecast will be totally different.
BBC Weather will have the latest as we get closer to the race.
Lewis Hamilton occupies his usual spot as favourite, with Nico Rosberg second.
The bookies don't think anyone else has a prayer. The current Top 10 favourites are:
The safety car has been a hot topic lately, and an appearance (4-6) at Silverstone is certainly possible. It's 11-10 for no appearance.
A win for a British driver is 4-6, with Germany 6-4 and Brazil 25-1. Obviously not the World Cup, then.
And the always-unfortunate Jean-Eric Vergne leads the betting for first retirement alongside Pastor Maldonado (both 12-1).
Session Times, TV Times, TV Coverage Information
As always, the British Grand Prix weekend will consider of three free practice sessions, qualifying and the race.
The session times are as follows (BST):
|Practice One||Friday||10 a.m.|
|Practice Two||Friday||2 p.m.|
|Practice Three||Saturday||10 a.m.|
Formula1.com has a handy one-click tool to convert them to your own timezone.
TV Coverage and TV Times
In the United Kingdom, live coverage is being provided by Sky Sports and the BBC. Sky Sports F1 has all of Sky's coverage, while the BBC's love affair with Wimbledon means finding their coverage is a job for Sherlock Holmes.
Even the race isn't on BBC One.
Their times are as follows (BST):
|Session||Day||Session Start||Sky Start||BBC Start (Channel)|
|Practice One||Friday||10 a.m.||9:45 a.m.||9:55 a.m. (BBC Two)|
|Practice Two||Friday||2 p.m.||1:45 p.m.||1:55 p.m. (Red Button)|
|Practice Three||Saturday||10 a.m.||9:45 a.m.||9:55 a.m. (BBC Two)|
|Qualifying||Saturday||1 p.m.||Noon||12:05 p.m. (BBC Two)|
|Race||Sunday||1 p.m.||11:30 a.m.|
Noon (BBC Two)
In the United States, live coverage is provided by the NBC network (all times Eastern). Practice Two is on Friday at 9 a.m. (NBCSN), with qualifying on Saturday at 8 a.m. (CNBC). Coverage of the race begins at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday (CNBC).
Enjoy the weekend!