There's no place like home, and for Williams Racing, that means the British Grand Prix. Formula One heads to Silverstone for Round 10 of the 2022 season, which means there's only a 40-mile commute for us this weekend.
The historic circuit hosted the first Formula One World Championship race in 1950 and has had an F1 visit every decade since taking that honour. Here's everything you need to know about the British Grand Prix.
Silverstone has gone through many layout iterations in its time on the F1 calendar. The latest configuration comes in at 5.891km with 18 corners in a perfect mixture of high, medium, and slow speed.
Today's design still uses some of the original 1950 Grand Prix course, mainly down the straights. However, all the corners from Woodcote until Abbey are in the same location, albeit reprofiled over the years.
F1 has raced on the current layout since 2010, which also saw the pit straight move to its present placement after Club corner. The update added all of what is now sector one – Farm, Village, The Loop, and the Wellington Straight are all relatively recent additions.
Although the rest of the track is steeped in history and iconic corners named after nearby locations (Abbey for the nearby Luffield Abbey, Stowe for Stowe School, etc.), the Hamilton straight is far more contemporary. Silverstone named the pit straight after Lewis Hamilton when he won his seventh world title.
Another recent addition will be on display for the first time in 2022. A metal and glass pedestrian walkway now connects the Silverstone Wing pit building to the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel on the opposite side of the track.
What are the drivers saying?
Still thrilled from his first home Grand Prix, Nicholas Latifi retains the same enthusiasm for a track he's raced at for years, including a Formula 2 Sprint Race win in 2017.
“I’m very excited to be heading to Silverstone,” our No6 said, adding: “It’s the team’s home race so it’s going to be a special weekend in that regard.
“Silverstone is an incredible circuit, especially with the huge turnout from the fans and the atmosphere they create.
“It’s always been one of my favourite tracks on the F1 calendar with the high grippy tarmac, high speed and flowing nature of the circuit.
“I can’t wait to hit the track and hopefully we’ll have a solid weekend.”
Williams Racing x Silverstone
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Alex Albon is also looking forward to returning to the high-speed circuit after his last visits didn't have any fans present at the 2020 British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix, saying: “Silverstone is a home race for the team and half for me too!
“It's a special circuit made better by all the fans who come out to show their support.
“Silverstone is also where I first got my karting licence at 8 years old, so it's really where it all began for me.
“It has to be one of the most enjoyable circuits for a driver and I think it'll be pretty fun in these cars.”
From the Pit Wall
While we had to work with old data in Canada, Silverstone is a track that everyone at Williams Racing knows well, including Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance.
“The British Grand Prix is one of the highlights on the Formula One calendar,” he stated, continuing: “As well as being a traditional part of the British sporting summer.
“The Silverstone track is largely unchanged from last year and still presents a huge challenge for the cars, tyres and drivers.
“The track is characterised by its high-speed corners and regular short straights, and the exposed Silverstone site means that the wind can have a dramatic, and often unpredictable, effect on the cars.
“We have an updated aero package for this weekend, which will run on Alex’s car only as we look to check its behaviour and confirm that it is working as intended.
“The bodywork and floor form the basis of the upgrade and are intended to efficiently increase the downforce of the car.
“We are looking forward to our home race and to understanding the new parts; they are likely to change the balance and the handling of the car and it may take a little bit of time to harness them so that the drivers can get the most from them.
“With next week’s race in Austria being a Sprint Event, we will be looking to get as much learning done this weekend as possible.”
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Did you know?
Brands Hatch and Silverstone split British Grand Prix duties from 1963 until 1986, with each track hosting alternating years until 1987 when the Northamptonshire track took on the mantle by itself.
Like Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix is a staple of the British summer with its July date. However, one race back in 2000 had F1's visit come in April, rather unsurprisingly resulting in weather playing its part over the weekend with rain and fog dominating Saturday and Sunday.
Due to Silverstone's relatively remote location, the on-site heliport gets extremely busy carrying the rich and famous on Sundays, becoming one of the world's busiest airports on race day every year.
As well as being the first F1 race, the British Grand Prix also has a special place in our hearts as Clay Regazzoni took the win in 1979 in the FW07 to take the first-ever Williams Racing Formula One victory.
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