Hartley: Toro Rosso “in good shape” for British Grand Prix

Brendon Hartley has said he believes his Toro Rosso team is set for a strong result in this weekend’s British Grand Prix, following a series of performance updates in the last few races.

“I think we can be in good shape following the power unit upgrade that came in Canada,” Hartley said. “The aero upgrade in Austria also arrived at the right time because [at Silverstone] you need as much downforce as possible.

“I’m hoping for a strong weekend and better luck than in recent races.”

Peter Fox, Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Hartley added that he is excited about his first British Grand Prix as a Formula One driver:

“I’m looking forward to tackling [Silverstone] in a modern F1 car, because it’s going to be crazy quick. The track has been resurfaced this year, so there will be even more grip than in the past.

“Silverstone is a real driver’s track and it has often produced great racing especially when the weather is at play: it’s one of the originals and it has a lot of character and a great atmosphere.”

Toro Rosso’s last outing at Silverstone was one of the low points of its 2017 campaign, with Carlos Sainz retiring after a collision with Daniil Kvyat on the opening lap.

The Red Bull junior team is looking to bounce back after an equally frustrating Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, which saw Pierre Gasly struggling throughout the race with floor damage after a first lap clash with Stoffel Vandoorne, and Hartley retire on lap 54 with a mechanical failure.

Charles Coates, Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Feature image by Peter Fox / Getty Images, courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

Renault: “We must do better” in Silverstone

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has said his team “must do better” at the British Grand Prix than it has in the previous rounds in Austria and France.

The French marque endured a pointless race at the Red Bull Ring last weekend, with Nico Hülkenberg retiring due to a fiery engine failure and Carlos Sainz falling foul of tyre blistering, while in France the week before an MGU-K failure almost dropped Sainz out of the points in the closing laps.

“The sign of a good race team is the ability to react quickly and come back stronger,” Abiteboul said ahead of the British Grand Prix. “Even in the short turnaround between Austria and Silverstone, we must improve reliability, recover our more usual competitiveness level and further our understanding around tyre management.

“We know Silverstone will be a tough challenge but we will keep pushing to get back on target.”

Renault Sport F1 Team

Abiteboul added that Austria in particular was “a crash landing” after eight consecutive points for the team:

“Although the circuit did not play to our strengths, we must do better. It certainly benefited our rivals, who took advantage of three retirements in the top teams to finish higher than usual in the rankings.”

Renault remains in fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship after Austria, but their absence from the top ten meant that Haas—who finished fourth and fifth in Spielberg—closed to within 13 points in the standings, and could overtake Renault this weekend if the French team run into any more misfortune in Silverstone.

Renault Sport F1 Team

The British Grand Prix: The Summer Festival of Formula One

It’s that time of the year again. No, not Christmas—the British Grand Prix. Once an airfield in the Second World War, Silverstone was turned into a race track in the late 1940s, and it is the second oldest track on the F1 calendar behind Monza.

The 5.1-kilometre track has seen some changes in recent years. The left-right Abbey chicane which led to Bridge was changed into a right-hander—now Turn one—and Bridge was disused, but is still an attraction for spectators during the weekend. Instead, we have the Wellington straight which leads to the long left-hander of Brooklands. The start/finish line is no longer the straight between Woodcote and Copse, but instead the uphill run from Vale to Abbey.

One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the appeal of the race. The activities, the camping, the barbecues and the atmosphere among the fans gives the British GP weekend a real festival feel, and expect it to be no different this weekend. The appeal of the Maggots, Becketts and Chapel complex has never changed either in 70 years of Silverstone. The high-speed section provides speed, fun and excitement for the drivers, and with these high downforce cars, most of it is now flat out.

Silverstone hasn’t always been the home of Formula One racing in Britain, however. It used to alternate with Aintree in the 1970s, and Brands Hatch has also hosted the race.

Ferrari Media

The third part of Formula One’s first ever triple-header will see British favourite Lewis Hamilton race in front of his home fans—he has won each of the last four races at Silverstone.

Sebastian Vettel comes into this weekend with a one-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship after his third-place finish in a crazy Austrian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen won the race, his first win in 2018, from Kimi Raikkonen, while Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Hamilton all retired due to mechanical failures. As a result, Ferrari also lead the Constructors’ Championship—it was a pivotal moment in the season, and it is all perfectly poised coming into one of the most eagerly anticipated weekends of the year.

The favourites will be Mercedes. The power-sensitive nature of the track, coupled with the extra motivation of it being Hamilton’s home race, will work in their favour. However, the high speed sections will be more suited to Ferrari and Red Bull, and let’s not forget the power Ferrari have as well.

As the Red Arrows fly over, will it be the Prancing Horses, the Silver Arrows, or the Charging Bulls who will enjoy the taste of victory in the one of the biggest sporting events of the summer? We’ll find out this weekend at the home of British Motorsport.

Silverstone must remain in Formula One

2014 Formula One British Grand Prix, Silverstone International Race Circuit, Towcester, Northampton, Great Britain, 3rd – 5th July 2014.
Flags, Atmosphere,
World Copyright: © Andrew Hone Photographer 2014.
Ref: _ONY9209

Save Silverstone, this must be Liberty’s first target. The British Grand Prix is one of the most historic races in Formula One. Silverstone was an aerodrome during the Second World War, when the war ended in 1945, the Royal Automobile Club decided to make Silverstone the base for the British Grand Prix in 1948.

Two years later, Silverstone hosted the first official Formula 1 race, in history, Guiseppe Farina was the winner with his Alfa Romeo.

The British Grand Prix is now in danger, the reason is simple: money. In our days it is very expensive to host a Formula 1 race. A 17 year contract, between FIA and Silverstone, was signed almost eight years ago, but the extremely high cost does not allow the owners to keep their deal.

In 2010 the cost for hosting a Grand Prix was £12m, this year the price increased to £16m and by 2026 the cost will be more than £25m.

“We have reached the tipping point where we can no longer let our passion for the sport rule our heads, put simply, it is no longer financially viable for us to deliver the British Grand Prix under the terms of our current contract.” said BRDC chairman John Grant.

According to British Racing Drivers’ Club chairman, in 2015 they suffered losses equal to £2.8m, almost £5m the following year, and they are expecting the same losses for this year.

“We have reached the tipping point where we can no longer let our passion for the sport rule our heads. It would not only risk the very future of Silverstone and the BRDC, but also the British motorsport community that depends on us.” said John Grant.

The owners gave a two years termination notice, which means that the final race will be held in 2019, there is only one away to avoid Silverstone’s departure, Liberty Media has to offer an affordable contract to the owners and the two sides must agree and extend the British Grand Prix under new rules and less costs.

“I want to be clear that although we have now activated the break clause, we are fully supportive of the changes the Liberty team are making to improve the F1 experience. Our hope is that an agreement can still be reached, so that we can ensure a sustainable and financially viable future for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for many years to come.” said Grant.

Liberty Media is in talks with Silverstone in order to find a solution and solve the problem between them, F1’s commercial boss, Sean Bratches said on Sky that the “break clause would not represent a black mark for the Northamptonshire circuit.”

Hopefully, the two sides will manage to find a solution and save Silverstone. It is one of the most fantastic circuits on the calendar and Silverstone is the track which must keep hosting the British Grand Prix.

Twitter – @FP_Passion

 

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