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Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23
Autosport Plus
Formula 1 British GP
Special feature

The F1 compromises required to nail a perfect Silverstone set-up

Quick, quick, slow – dancing around the hallowed asphalt of Silverstone, bumps and all, demands much thought and delicate compromises from the tip of the car to its tail. MATT YOUSON considers the set-up choices that are crucial to British Grand Prix success

There are several things Britain still does very well: a proper bacon sandwich; a well-organised queue; a high-speed FIA Grade 1 circuit. There aren’t many venues on the calendar that challenge a Formula 1 car across the full range of its capabilities – but Silverstone occupies an exalted position within the handful that do. It tests the bravery of the driver as it does the dark arts of the designer. The skillset of the race engineer also gets thoroughly worked over too.

The circuit mods in 2010, designed to make Silverstone more bike-friendly, created a more nuanced Arena layout for F1 cars. Instead of being a high-speed monster it became a high-speed monster… with some really complicated slow bits. The bluff, old traditionalists may choke on their cucumber sandwiches but making a safer, more modern circuit also made it better.

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