Silverstone is truly a quick circuit, with lots of long sweeping corners. Aero efficiency is the key here and when I say efficient, I mean that you need a car that generates a lot of down-force without creating too much drag.
Another circuit like that is Barcelona and we all know how quick the Red Bulls were there.
What will hinder the teams will be the banning of the exhaust blown diffuser which is in place this weekend.
Pretty much all the teams use it, and not being allowed to use the exhaust gasses to make their diffuser work better, and therefore create more down-force, will hurt all the teams. Some have estimated it to be up to 1.5 seconds a lap around a high down-force track like Silverstone.
But will it change the order of the cars? I’m not so sure, even though Red Bull have said it will hurt them as they have designed this year’s car around the exhaust blown diffuser, and they seem to have such a efficient car.
What will make a difference will be the upgrades brought to the race as all of the teams will be expected to do. For some of the smaller teams like Lotus and Virgin, this will be the last round of updates before fully concentrating on next year’s car.
For the bigger teams like Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren, the updates will be significant as they push on for the championship.
We are now almost half-way through the season and it is really crunch time for the teams. If Red Bull continues to dominate like they did in Barcelona, then it is really all over and I don’t think anyone will touch Vettel for the championship this year.
But if Ferrari or McLaren make a big enough step to overhaul Red Bull, then with ten races left there might still be a fight for the championship. If not the Drivers’ then at least the Constructors Championship.
As for Silverstone, this year we see the pits being moved to the back part of the circuit and pretty much everyone involved has praised the new facilities.
But for the drivers, once you are on the track, it is pretty much the same as last year. Look out for the Maggots-Becketts complex, because there is no other sequence of corners like those ones. These four corners switch quickly left to right and back with up to 4.8 G’s and speeds of up to 240kph.
Historically Silverstone has not been an easy circuit to overtake on, but with the new rules for this year, including DRS and the Pirelli tyres, it certainly should be pretty exciting to watch.
And with the pressure building amongst the top teams, expect drama this weekend.