Robert’s Guide to Silverstone
Formula One gave us an exhilarating race at the British Grand Prix, the first of two events to be held at the Silverstone Circuit on consecutive weekends. This coming Sunday, the second part of this double event will celebrate the history of the sport, marking the 70th anniversary of the first World Championship race, which took place in this same venue in May 1950.
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver Robert Kubica finished fourth on his first British GP appearance with BMW Sauber back in 2007, but in later years Silverstone hasn’t been kind to him and he failed to score points on any of his subsequent outings at the track. Nonetheless, Silverstone remains a venue that he loves, due to its high-speed nature and the challenge it provides to both man and machine. He’ll be back in the car for FP1 on Friday, ready to take the challenge on!
“Silverstone is one of the greatest tracks on the calendar, and it’s a very historical place. Formula One has been going there for years and years and the racing has always been good. Whatever car you drive – not only Formula One but also junior categories – it’s a unique track and I am looking forward to being in the car again.
“My record is not great, but I’ve always enjoyed driving there. It’s probably one of the favourite tracks of every driver in the paddock and every driver goes there with a smile on his face: it’s the kind of track where even if you don’t drive the fastest car on the grid, you still enjoy driving. Even last year, I enjoyed driving it because the tyres were working well.
“Most of the corners are quite the opposite to a track like Hungary. You spend a lot of time in very high speed sections. In the new section of the track you have a low-speed hairpin and the last chicane, but apart from that you spend most of the time in fourth, fifth, sixth and even seventh gear corners.
“It’s a really nice track to drive and it actually highlights the full potential of Formula One cars and shows the strong points of aero of the cars. It’s also very nice to watch cars around there.
“The fast section from Turn Nine to Turn 14 is very special and it has become faster and faster over the years. I remember during one of my first times in an F1 car there in 2006, for a test, I was already impressed. It was still the old track, but that section from Copse onwards has been the same for many, many years.
“I think it’s a kind of historical section, not only for British fans, but for fans worldwide. Over the years it’s got even faster, and if you think that the cars are 150kgs heavier than they were 15 years ago and they go faster through there, you can imagine how much downforce they deliver.
“It’s an amazing feeling. You have to be very, very precise and there’s no time for any hesitation. You have to go through there and take the correct line and actually let the car roll quite a lot, because every bit of extra brake pressure can slow you on to the Hangar Straight, which is actually a bit uphill, something you don’t see on TV. You have to carry as much speed as you can through the corners, and also make a good exit.
“I am looking forward to being in the car as the work we do on Fridays is really important. You have to test as much as you can, and if you have some new parts you don’t have any spare time – the clock is running, and as I always say we are racing on Sunday on the track, but the real race is in the factories where people are working flat out on improving their cars and getting the most out of them.”