Silverstone Speed Trap: who is the fastest of them all?

© XPB 

Maximum velocity is definitely important for an F1 car to be quick around Silverstone, but it's not the only factor that determines overall performance.

Britain's very own temple of speed, which at 5.891km is the fifth longest circuit on the calendar, features a mix of high-speed straights and challenging corners, so a well-rounded car and a fine-tuned aerodynamic setup are crucial.

Teams will typically run medium to high-downforce configurations, providing their car with maximum downforce through the high-speed corners while minimizing drag down Silverstone's straight.


Looking at the numbers recorded down Hanger Straight, Fernando Alonso's Aston Martin breezed through the speed trap at a cool 327.2 km/h, but the Spaniard only set the ninth fastest time in Q3.

Poleman Max Verstappen was just 1.1 km/h down on Alonso in terms of top speed but 0.939s faster over an entire lap, which tells us once again all we need to know about the aero efficiency of Red Bull's all-conquering RB19 and the best of both worlds – top speed and cornering power – it embodies.

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The Dutchman is all set for another Sunday drive this afternoon, while his pursuers – led by McLaren's young lions – will be fighting furiously among themselves.

It's anybody's guess who will win the runner-up battle, but it's likely that tyre degradation and strategy will be a factor as Silverstone is typically tough on a car's rubber, and especially on the left-front tyre which has huge loads imposed on it through a majority of corners.

Last year, this was nominally a two-stop race but heavily influenced by a late race Safety Car. According to McLaren, the data points more towards a one-stop effort.

Regardless, barring any unforeseen event, Might Max will be in charge.

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