Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020

Can F1 prevent more punctures? Six Anniversary GP talking points

2020 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Formula 1 will race at Silverstone for the second weekend in a row on Sunday. But has it and tyre Pirelli found a solution to the dramatic failures which occured four days ago?

Same track but softer tyres

Last week’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone was uneventful for the most part until a spate of tyre failures arose in the final five laps of the race. For this weekend’s race, softer tyres will be used, a decision which was made in the hope of creating a more varied race.

Pirelli has announced changes to its restrictions on how teams can use tyres this weekend. How far they will go in raising tyre pressures and altering camber angles, and will this be enough to prevent a repeat?

The 2021 tyre prototype test that was set for practice two on Friday has been cancelled so teams will have more time to set up their cars and get acquainted with the softer range of tyres.

Track tweaks

New Becketts-Chapel kerb, Silverstone, 2020
New Becketts-Chapel kerb, Silverstone, 2020

Another potentially significant change has been made to the track ahead of this weekend’s race. A 23 metre long section of kerb has been added to the left of the racing line at the exit of the Becketts right-hander, between turns 13 at 14, where several drivers ran wide onto the grass last weekend. Esteban Ocon indicated the cuts which Renault discovered on their tyres on Friday may have been discovered by them running wide here.

Previously there had been a section of old asphalt and concrete here, which had been painted to match Silverstone’s kerbs. This was removed in the winter of 2019-20. The new kerb should prevent drivers running into the dirt at this point on the circuit.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Hulkenberg set for second chance

Nico Hulkenberg, Racing Point, Silverstone, 2020
Hulkenberg is expected to return
With Sergio Perez expected to miss his second race in a row, Hulkenberg will be on call once again at Racing Point.

Despite being race-rusty, Hulkenberg got accustomed to the RP20 quickly last week. Cruelly, he was unable to get a full race under his belt after his power unit failed to fire-up ahead of the start.

The second time around, armed with a better understanding of how the car handles and Racing Point’s procedures, he will be ready from the word go. That will be important for the team, as Racing Point surprisingly lacked pace during the race, something they will be eager to get to the bottom of.

Can Russell grab a point at home?

George Russell managed to get out of Q1 last weekend but a five-place grid penalty demoted him to last. Given the dramas which occured at the end of the race, this looks like a missed opportunity. Where might he have finished had he started where he qualified?

Williams was quicker in qualifying through the first three races but their race pace hasn’t been as strong. Nonetheless Russell climbed to 12th by the end of the British Grand Prix. If he can combine his strong race pace and qualifying pace he might get a sniff of his first career point.

Can Albon and Vettel close the gap to their team mates?

Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2020
Second practice crash began a tough weekend for Albon
Ferrari and Red Bull were both unable to challenge Mercedes in qualifying and race pace. But the gap between each of their drivers will be a concern to both teams.

Ferrari went aggressive and opted to trial a low-downforce set up to make up for their lack of straight-line speed. Leclerc excelled and was the fourth quickest driver for the majority of the weekend. Vettel had problems throughout practice and never seemed to bounce back from his grid penalty for trespassing beyond track limits.

Likewise, Verstappen was the third quickest driver but Albon was unable to get out of Q2, tangled with Kevin Magnussen on the first lap and copped a penalty. His confidence was dented by a crash in second practice which cost Albon valuable track time and, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed, may also have been linked to the power unit problem which disrupted final practice for him. He badly needs trouble-free weekend which ends with him finishing the race in sight of his team mate.

Back-to-back home wins

Some drivers never get the chance to even race at home, let alone win there. Even fewer get to race at home twice in a single year.

But having won his record-breaking seventh home grand prix last weekend, Lewis Hamilton has a chance to do something very unusual this weekend – win back-to-back races at his home track.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Over to you

Who do you think will be the team to beat in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix? Have your say below.

And don’t forget to enter your predictions for this weekend’s race. You can edit your predictions until the start of qualifying:

2020 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

Browse all 2020 70th Anniversary Grand Prix articles

Author information

Josh Holland
USA-based Josh joined the RaceFans team in 2018. Josh helps produce our Formula 1 race weekend coverage, assists with our social media activities and...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

13 comments on “Can F1 prevent more punctures? Six Anniversary GP talking points”

  1. Can Russell grab a point at home? – No, unlikely.
    Can Albon and Vettel close the gap to their team mates? – Hopefully, although in the case of the former, what I care more about is that he qualifies in the top-ten for a change, and gets at least P4 on the grid (assuming the Mercedes duo and his teammate would take the first three grid positions).

    1. Sounds about as likely as mercedes losing their advantage, the albon stuff!

  2. Can we see the scoreboard of the predictions after the weekend?
    Well guess that Hulkenberg getting a podium might have better odds.

  3. Can F1 prevent more blow-outs?

    Teams have always had and always will have the capability of preventing blow-outs, by making more pitstops.

    1. This, there was absolutely no need to have a single pitstop, except they did faulty math and thought it was the fastest way to the end.

      This week teams will make 2 pitstops. They have multiple sets of tires, and we will have a tiny bit more fun race.

      For real entertainment I would advise reverse grid.

    2. But why would they? The tyres were used well within specs.

      Something was cutting the tyres. Just like at Spa when Mercedes told their drivers to stay on the right side of the kerbs after Rosberg damaged a tyre on that spot. Ferrari didn’t and Vettel kept going off track until ultimately his tyre blew.

      If anything, you’d expect the teams to be on the lookout for dangers like that. Check the tires when they come back and for instance tell the drivers not to hit that Becketts-Chapel patch off track.

      Maybe some did and kept it quiet, but Mercedes and McLaren didn’t seem to see the problem before it was too late.

      1. The tyres were used within the boundaries of Pirelli’s estimate – Pirelli did not, and never have, stated that all tyres will definitely last as long as that explicit number of laps.
        So if a car’s design or setup, the track conditions on the day or the specific way the tyres are used varies at all from the simulations – Pirelli’s estimate becomes nothing more than a suggestion.

  4. This article has been updated with a picture of the new kerb.

    1. Thanks, that looks like a big change indeed.

  5. Have Tracing Point been disqualified yet?

  6. How ridiculous.
    How many times have drivers and fans asked for grass verges instead of sealed run-off areas? Something that creates an immediate deterrent to running outside of the circuit boundary (which is defined by the white lines, for those who have forgotten).
    They go to one of the few tracks with some grass beside the circuit, leave the track and take advantage of it too much and (possibly) suffer some tyre damage so F1 is quick to ‘fix’ the problem by sealing it up with concrete….

    Round and round we go in inane bureaucratic circles…

  7. A more important question is Are teams willing to stop multiple times or risk more tyre failures?

Comments are closed.