Mika Hakkinen's Silverstone Lap

To be quick at Silverstone you need a bit of everything - good braking, good traction, good balance, good downforce and good power!

Mika Hakkinen's Silverstone Lap

You're in top gear past the pits. It depends what ratios you have in the car of course, but normally you'd come down to fifth gear for Copse. You lift there for just a fraction of a second, then get back on the throttle. You're doing about 240kph round there, which makes it an extremely high
speed corner. I love it!

You accelerate and shift up to sixth. Becketts is a very complicated
section of the Silverstone track. You've got to get the right line, and the right rhythm. There's a really fast righthander, followed by a fast lefthander where the car gets really, really light in the back end normally. You then change direction for the last part of Becketts, which is a righthander. It's taken in third gear, and it's a very difficult part. You never get the perfect balance for the car. In fact with all the racing experiences I've had at Silverstone, I never got it 100% right!

Then you head to the Hangar Straight, which is flat in top gear. It used to be very bumpy, but now it's less so because they have resurfaced some areas. You come down to fourth gear for Stowe. You keep a very tight inside line, and go hard on the throttle. In fact you have to keep the inside line for a very long time, because it's a very long corner. If you don't take 100% the right line, and go a little bit wide, you're in big trouble.

Then you've got Club corner, coming down to first gear. It depends upon the set-up, but you try to feed the power in very early. You accelerate quite gently because there is very low traction there. You go second, third and fourth out of Club corner. Sometimes you get the car sideways, because the circuit drops away a bit. You always get a lot of fans, so I try to show them some oversteer there - it looks spectacular!

Abbey is taken in second gear. It has very low grip, and the four wheels are sliding all the time. It's difficult to get the power down on the exit there. Then you accelerate up to Bridge corner. It's really quick, really flat-out, and quite bumpy. You normally take in fifth gear, at really high revs.

At Priory you come down to third. All the way through the complex is
third, until the second last corner, where you come down to first gear. You keep it all the way round to the last bend, and you select second. Again you have to keep on the very inside line, and it's very low grip. Along with Stowe, I'd say Luffield is one of the most important corners to get right. After that you accelerate up the gears round Woodcote, and past the start/finish line.

There are not too many overtaking places. Obviously the Hangar Straight is one, along with Club under braking, and Abbey under braking. Also on the inside at Brooklands if you are really brave, and before Copse - but somebody would have to make a serious mistake and be slow out of Luffield

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