Silverstone, the venue for the very first Grand Prix in the history of the F1 World Championship, has maintained its unique character despite changes made to the circuit over the decades. In May, its sequence of high-speed corners will begin a run of three meetings (Silverstone, Pau and Monaco) in three weeks.
Among the past winners on the Northamptonshire track are the winner of the Russian Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, António Félix da Costa, Jean-Éric Vergne, Robin Frijns and Renault Sport Academy member, Jack Aitken. Who will add their name to the list?
Can R-ace GP keep the momentum going?
Monza race-winner, Will Palmer (R-ace GP) comes to Silverstone with the points’ lead. On the track where the Briton made his category debut in 2015 and scored two podium results in NEC last year, Will Paimer wants to keep the momentum going and pull away from his rivals.
His team mates might be his toughest adversaries. SMP Racing driver Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) also won at Monza and will be a serious contender as will Max Defourny (R-ace GP) who won last year in NEC. And Escudería Telmex protégé Raúl Guzmán (R-ace GP) will hope to quickly learn the track secrets to add to the points he scored at Monza.
With two second place finishes in Italy, Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) will be aiming for his first success, as will fellow Frenchman Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) whose motivation is on the rise after a first podium and pole position in Formula Renault.
Red Bull Junior Team driver, Neil Verhagen (MP Motorsport) and Renault Sport Academy member Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing) each won top rookie honours at Monza and will look to build upon that at Silverstone. Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and rookie Thomas Maxwell (Tech 1 Racing) also have prior experience at Silverstone.
Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsport) and the protégés of SMP Racing and the Red Bull Junior Team, Alexander Vartanyan (JD Motorsport) and Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) will try to run strong after scoring their first points last time out at Monza.
On the attack
Among the drivers who left Monza empty-handed, only Julia Pankiewicz (Mark Burdett Motorsport) has prior experience on the configuration to be used this weekend. Max Fewtrell, Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport), Frank Bird (Fortec Motorsports), Zane Goddard (Arden Motorsport) and Luis Leeds (Josef Kaufmann Racing) have previously raced at Silverstone in British F4 but it was on the National layout and not the Grand Prix circuit.
Silverstone will be brand new challenge for Renault Sport Academy members Sun Yue Yang (JD Motorsport) and Jarno Opmeer (MP Motorsport). Other first-timers to the ‘Home of British Motor Racing’ include Thomas Neubauer (Tech 1 Racing), Grégoire Saucy (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Axel Matus (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Alexey Korneev (Fortec Motorsports), Presley Martono (Mark Burdett Motorsport), Najiy Abdul bin Abd Razak (Fortec Motorsports) and Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (JD Motorsport).
Meanwhile, Rodrigo Pflucker (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and Ghislain Cordeel (Arden Motorsport) will be eager to jump start their seasons after they retired from both races in Italy.
Thursday May 11 2017
09:00–15:35 Tests (4x45 minutes)
Friday May 12 2017
09:00–09:50 Collective tests 1
13:00–13:50 Collective tests 2
Saturday May 13 2017
09:00 – 09:15 Qualifying 1 (Group A)
09:20 – 09:35 Qualifying 1 (Group B)
14:00 – 14:27 Race 1
Sunday May 14 2017
09:00 – 09:15 Qualifying 2 (Group B)
09:20 – 09:35 Qualifying 2 (Group A)
13:40 – 14:07 Race 2