Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2018

Hamilton: Silverstone is now ‘insanely fast’

2018 British Grand Prix

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The first corner at Silverstone feels “insanely fast” now Formula 1 drivers are allowed to open DRS going through it, says Lewis Hamilton.

A new track surface has been laid at Silverstone and cars lapped the circuit nine-tenths of a second faster than they managed in the same sessions 12 months ago. However only the drivers in the quickest cars have been able to tackle the corner, approached at around 300kph, without lifting the throttle.

“The track is the fastest it has ever been,” said Hamilton.

“We’re flat out through Copse and turn one [Abbey] and through turn two [Farm] with the DRS. It’s insane how fast it is.

“The faster this track gets, the better it gets. It has to be the best track in the world, it feels like driving a fighter jet around the track.”

The Red Bull drivers also took the first corner with DRS open. However Nico Hulkenberg joked he “wasn’t brave enough to keep it open through there flat.”

“Obviously it does depend on the car you have as well,” said the Renault driver. “I saw the Red Bulls were full throttle and [had] DRS open already on lap one. But it’s quite a different car to us. We need to do what’s right to us.”

However the track’s new surface appears to have made its bumps worse.

“I think they’d just laid the new surface on top of the old one because it’s very bumpy and not smooth like in Barcelona,” said Hulkenberg.

Hamilton called it “the bumpiest track I’ve ever experienced.”

“It’s like the Nordschleife,” he said. “With the speeds we’re going now and the G-forces we’re pulling, I think it’s going to be the most physical race of the year.”

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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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12 comments on “Hamilton: Silverstone is now ‘insanely fast’”

  1. That first corner could prove to be an unknown, with the DRS open, during the race.

    1. My exact thought.

      1. Seems unlikely that many will be going through the first corner with DRS open during the race though right.

    2. Great to see DRS actually adding to the driver’s challenge for once. We could use more of this. I wonder if this will prompt the FIA to look at allowing free use of DRS in qualifying, as it was before 2013. If I recall correctly, that was banned on safety grounds, but picking turn 1 at Silverstone as the one place to allow DRS in a corner seems to suggest that might no longer be as great a concern.

      1. I can’t wait to see someone try an overtake with Drs open through turn 1 in the race. Will be a ballsy and extremely high risk move.. But as you mentioned, it will add to the driver challenge.

        If I had to throw a random guess. . Maybe only max, Lewis or seb might try it this weekend.

  2. So it seems early predictions were spot on.
    Nobody less than a second behind another car is expected to be able to follow with drs open during the race, a shame.

  3. “With the speeds we’re going now and the G-forces we’re pulling, I think it’s going to be the most physical race of the year.”

    Let’s hope so, Lewis.
    Let the term “Grand Prix” mean itself once again.

  4. i’m glad the track is still bumpy after the resurfacing. we are sure to get an exciting race with an unpredictable track

  5. I’m all for DRS if drivers can use it always when within 1s of of a car in front before the straight. And can keep it open as long as they dare.

  6. I don’t think the new DRS zone is going to add anything for the race.

    The Red Bull’s were fairly easy flat with it open through Abbey on fresh tyres/low fuel but even they were disabling it through Abbey after a few laps of wear on the tyres.

    On high fuel, Worn tyres & when your close to another car in the race I think everyone is going to be disabling it well before they get near to turning into Abbey & in that scenario i’m not sure it’s going to be possible to run it open through farm either.

  7. So they found a way to give the top 3 teams a bigger advantage. They are the only cars doing it flat.

  8. Grosjean and Verstappen will stack it in qualifying and then it´s going to be a safety car.

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