F1 Raceweek: High-speed corners and team orders in Silverstone focus


One of Formula One's most historic and testing circuits was at the forefront of discussion at the drivers' news conference ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Silverstone is always one for the traditionalists on the F1 calendar, and the grid's three British drivers were suitably put up to talk about their memories and expectations.

Jenson Button secured McLaren's best result of the season last time out in Austria, but has never secured even a podium at his home race.

Though Honda have brought upgrades this week, the veteran is not getting his hopes up too much.

He said: "Coming here I don't expect to be qualifying fifth, unless we get some really good British weather and have a good downpour, which I'm hoping for, because then I think we do have more of an opportunity. 

"The car is very good in low-speed corners. High-speed corners we don't really know. We do have some upgrades, aero-wise, engine-wise, so it's moving forward. It's just never as a quick as you hope is it!" 

At the other end of the scale, Renault rookie Jolyon Palmer will take to the track in F1 for the first time this weekend.

"It's huge," he said. "My first British Grand Prix, a race I've been looking forward to since the start of the year really. 

"A track I know really, really well, I've been racing here for a long time. And I love the track as well. The layout is awesome, lot of fast corners. 

"You need a lot of commitment but I really enjoy it."

All eyes will be on Lewis Hamilton after contact with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg helped him to victory in Austria.

Hamilton could also become the first British driver to win four British Grands Prix at Silverstone, but the world champion will not let the weight of history bear down on him.

"It doesn't change anything into the weekend," he declared. "It's a great thing to be able to arrive here and have the incredible support we have. 

"We've definitely got the best following of fans here and the Brits turn out regardless of what the weather is, they turn out in their thousands and it's just a very proud experience being here and being able to represent all the Brits."

Valtteri Bottas will also have plenty of fans, racing for iconic British team Williams.

The Grove-based constructor have gone backwards this season as a resurgent Red Bull and Force India have put them under pressure.

But the Finn hopes home-track advantage can count.

He said: "It's really cool to be in Silverstone, one of my favourite tracks. 

"It's a home Grand Prix for Williams so it's always great. There is a very special atmosphere racing around these high-speed corners. Of course we have high expectations, but we will need to wait and see how the practice goes, because there have been some circuits where it's been very close... I mean, just a few races ago we had high expectations but we couldn't execute that."

It has been a season of experimentation for Romain Grosjean and Haas.

After sixth, fifth and eighth-place finishes inside the first four races, Grosjean went four events without scoring before smart strategy secured seventh at the Red Bull Ring.

"We started very well and then we had some issues," the Frenchman explained. "Very different every time, that didn't allow us to score points. 

"I think we could have been a bit more consistent but it's a brand new team, first year and things like that you expect that to happen. 

"Hopefully now things are a bit more settled and we can try to score points as much as possible."

Pascal Wehrlein will be racing the legendary circuit for the first time in his career, but comes to Britain on a high after securing Manor's first points since their rebrand last week with a 10th-place finish.

He said: "I think the new surface in Austria helped us a lot. 

"It was quicker and so we put more energy into the tyres and it helped us a lot. We were in the working window for qualifying and for the race and we could extend the run in the race. In qualifying, on the first lap the tyres were there and I could do a very good lap with P12 in Q2 and that's it."