Silverstone braced for wet British Grand Prix weekend

2012 British Grand Prix weather

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Britain has just had the wettest June since records began in 1910 and rain is likely to be a feature of the upcoming Grand Prix weekend.

Already Silverstone has warned campers to be prepared to do battle with sodden pitches and inclement weather.

The first day of the weekend looks set for a repeat of last year’s wet conditions which limited the amount of running done by the drivers.

The MET office has issued a warning for the amount of rain due to sweep in on Friday from the south. At Silverstone, heavy rain in the morning will lighten in the afternoon.

Across the country forecasters have warned 20mm of rain could fall in six hours, leading to a risk of flooding.

While the worst of the rain should pass to the north after that a chance of showers remains on Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures will struggle to climb into the 20C region.

As well as rain, Silverstone is also noted for windy conditions. Although wind speeds are not expected to be very high, the cars are susceptible to being blown about on the exposed airfield circuit with its many fast corners.

Silverstone weather radars

You can see rainfall forecasts for the area below. Where prompted, use the postcode NN12 8TN.

Location of Silverstone

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Silverstone braced for wet British Grand Prix weekend”

  1. Before even the practice starts, I would put my tenners on Alonso and Lewis (and by no means I am a Lewis fan)

    1. …… if you dont favour Hamilton why do you use Fernandos surname but Hamiltoons first name? That shows a preference dont ya think?

      1. ….ooooh, just like I did! #:)

      2. @Racehound, you should know it very well taht I prefer Alonso than Lewis if you visit this place for last 3/4 years :)

      3. It’s just the shortest option in each case. You could say that calling someone by their surname shows more respect?

    2. I wouldn’t discount Red Bull & Lotus; in actual fact I’d put my money on Vettel.

      1. if your after a good return then try this guy,
        Felipe Massa is a whopping 50/1, which is amazing odds for someone driving the car that’s leading the championship.
        not sure he will win though.

        1. u should watch the 2008 british race and then u will realise massa is useless in the wet :)

          1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            6th July 2012, 1:21

            Watching Massa at the 2008 British GP, was like watching Bambi on ice.

    3. Don’t forget who was the fastest car in the last wet race. I think Sauber can surprise us again.

      1. Sauber was fast when it was drying, Lewis Hamilton was faster when it was “aquaplaning wet”.

  2. Nice and sunny here at the moment, i think it will be dry despite the weather reports.

    1. Nick.UK (@)
      5th July 2012, 11:52

      The only valid part of this assessment of British weather is the ‘at the moment part’. For all you know there could be a thunder storm and a drought today! It’s just the way British weather works! LOL.

      1. soundscape (@)
        5th July 2012, 14:36

        @nick-uk Please. Britain has nothing on Melbourne. =)

  3. If race day is properly wet, I really hope the drivers are made to race. We haven’t seen a race on full wet tyres for ages.

    1. For the fans it’s indeed disappointing to see red flags and safety cars every time the track is properly wet, but I do appreciate that more attention is paid to safety these days. As a spectator, I cannot judge how bad visibility gets in wet conditions, as I suspect the onboards do not give a very accurate picture of what the drivers can see. Of course it is dangerous to drive in low-visibility conditions, and drivers did run into the back of each other (Schumacher into Coulthard, Spa 1998, Pironi into Prost, Hockenheim 1982). What is a bit silly, though, is that Pirelli carries three sets of wet tyres to every race, for every car, when each driver runs less than half an hour (ok, i’m making this up) on those tyres for the entire season.

      1. They may as well rename “wet tyres” to “safety car tyres” because driving behind the safety car is all they’re used for these days.

        1. davidnotcoulthard
          5th July 2012, 13:10

          BUt the safety car’s use isn’t all about the wet, look at Melbourne ’09, for example, or last race.

          1. I know, my point was that whenever conditions are wet enough for full wet tyres, the safety car always comes out these days. I don’t have a problem with the safety car being used when there is debris on the track.

        2. Couldn’t agree more @slr

      2. davidnotcoulthard
        5th July 2012, 13:06

        Fuji ’07?

        1. That was almost five years ago. Since then we have seen a fair number of races in less severe conditions where safety cars were used.

        2. Fuji ’07 is one of my fave races ever. I love riding my bike and doing it under light rain is very tricky and visibility for one like me who wears glasses is very poor so I understand safety measures, but it seems that racing is paying dearly due to this “new” approach.

          Does anyone remember Vettel hitting Weber at Fuji and what Mark said over the radio about Vettel?

          1. spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey)
            6th July 2012, 9:58

            it went something like this: “it’s like kids isn’t it? kids with no experience. they’re doing a good job then they go and **** it all up”

            not sure about the no experience bit, but the rest is pretty much there. had me rocking at the time. live tv, early morning and mark does his true aussie bit ;-)

    2. A good solution would be to allow the use of Caterham (road car) style wheel fairings when running in the rain, to reduce the amount of spray off the wheels. Might not be perfect, and would probably mean a redesign of the tyres, but it might help enough that we don’t just see the safety car coming out the moment the sky looks a bit dark.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        5th July 2012, 17:38

        yeah why not? I have heard many times that aerodynamics are different when it rains, so ot should be a good idea to set tyres with some covering against spray (not exactly as the “caps” used in 2008, instead, something you could attach BEHIND the tyres) and visibility would be better. Much better if it was a standard cover design for all teams so anyone could complain…We’re just dreaming of course.

  4. I hate rain on (F1) Fridays. There’s little point in running for the teams in case a dry Saturday and Sunday are predicted; and if Saturday and Sunday are also expected to be wet, then teams have to preserve their small allocation of wet weather tyres. And I was hoping to see more running tomorrow, with Pirelli bringing an extra set of experimental hards.

  5. I attended the 2010 Grand Prix and the weather was absolutely gorgeous and it wasn’t a bad race either. I’m camping at the same camp-site (Hamilton Fields) and they’re warning of very difficult conditions – tractors at the ready!
    I’m hoping the weather won’t dampen the spirit but I’m not looking forward to a weekend of wind and rain!
    Anyone else attending this weekend?

    1. If the conditions are difficult, then why stay so far away from the track?
      Tent packed. I’m off in the morning. Bring on the rain. 4×4 will not find any problems.

      1. 4×4 will not find any problems.

        Hope not. Although there were quite a few stranded off-roader on the Isle Of Wight Festival, they were on road tyres…

    2. After getting a whole week of motorsports entertainment and hospitality at Le Mans for just 70 euros, there’s no way on earth I’d pay what Silverstone ask for a weekend’s access. It’s a shame as I’d love to go to a GP, but while there are people willing to pay hundreds of pounds and sell out every year, it’s hard to see them ever bringing their prices down to the point where your average person can afford to go.

    3. @dangerouspartridge I was there too in 2010 and it was a gorgeous weekend, really hot! I had to bring out the shorts! For the race we positioned our chairs around Club corner but just in the shade of the stand it was that hot.

  6. If it’s a complete wash-out, my money is on Button. I’d like to see him win again, especially at home.

    The weather does sound pretty drastic. I doubt it will be as monsoon-like as Malaysia has been over the years but at least you can sort-of predict the conditions there, the weather in the UK at the moment is up and down like a fiddlers elbow (to quote my gran).

  7. More information for fans from Silverstone:

    Weather information for fans from Silverstone

  8. I’m in North West England and the weather forecast for today predicted we’d get a weeks worth of rain in less than 24 hours and there’s a severe flood warning in place; it’s currently hotter and dryer than it’s been for at least a month and there isn’t a cloud in the sky…

    Predicting the weather in England has never been an exact science !

    Good luck to anyone that’s camping at Silverstone this weekend, hope you have better conditions than those people who went to the Isle of Wight festival a couple of weeks ago.

    As someone that will be watching from the comfort of my home this weekend I wouldn’t mind a bit of rain; my personal preference is for a wet qualifying and then changeable conditions during the race.

  9. The temperature here has been stuck around 100 F/40 C (I think) and it hasn’t really rained in weeks, the grass is dead and the trees are wilting and the british summer weather (wind, rain, cold, and all) sounds lovely at the moment. Could we trade?
    More realisticly, with everyone but the very-back-markers so close already, a wet race could be amazing–3/4 of the field has a shot at the podium, right?

  10. So what do people suggest taking? I’m being dropped off just for the race on Sunday, so is there anything specific I should take? Thanks :)

    1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      6th July 2012, 1:14


      so is there anything specific I should take?

      Yes, me. :-)

  11. spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey)
    6th July 2012, 10:51

    one of the most accurate weather sites i use is xcweather. this is certainly the case where i live anyway :) for the next 24 hrs it’s usually spot on.
    scheduled to be quite wet there today, but relatively dry for the rest of the weekend….

    another worth looking as it it has satellite imagery of clouds etc so you can make your own mind up about what the weather is about to do based on the previous 6 hrs or so of animations.

    1. spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey)
      6th July 2012, 10:54

      oops, should be: previous 2 hrs of animations

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