Round 10 of the 2016 Formula One World Championship is the British Grand Prix, which runs this weekend at the legendary Silverstone Circuit.
Silverstone is steeped in history: Built on an airfield used during World War II, the track is where the very first F1 race was held back in 1950.
But there’s more to Silverstone than its historical significance. The 3.66-mile track consists of long, sweeping corners and fast straights, making it one of the quickest laps on the calendar.
When the weather is fine, which admittedly isn’t too often at Silverstone, pole position is taken at an average speed of about 150 mph. This makes it a track where power units are pushed to their limits.
And because of all the high-speed corners, not to mention a very grippy surface, tires also get a major workout. Pirelli has nominated its soft, medium and hard compounds for the weekend.
Unfortunately the weather forecast calls for rain during both Saturday’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race. The peak temperature should hit 68 degrees F (20 degrees C).
In today’s practice session, Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton was the fastest. He just edged out his teammate Nico Rosberg while Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top three.
Going into the weekend, Rosberg leads the 2016 Drivers’ Championship with 153 points. Hamilton is second with 142 points and Ferrari’s [NYSE:RACE] Sebastian Vettel is third with 96 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes sits on 295 points while Ferrari has 192 points and Red Bull Racing 168 points. Last year’s winner at the British Grand Prix was Hamilton.
In other F1 news, Ferrari has confirmed that Kimi Räikkönen will drive for the team in the 2017 season. The Finn, who turns 37 in October, will likely be joined once again by Vettel.
Meanwhile, Honda has confirmed it will run an upgraded power unit this weekend. Most of the changes made to the power unit concern the internal combustion engine. Honda has struggled with its power unit since returning to F1 in 2015. The Japanese automaker exclusively supplies power units to McLaren, which in the past two seasons has been running like a backmarker despite having two world champion drivers in Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.