LOR Trackguide Silverstone
- 1 General
- 2 Car Setup
- 3 Goals
- 4 The Race
- 5 Copse
- 6 Maggotts
- 7 Becketts
- 8 Chapel
- 9 Stowe
- 10 Club
- 11 Abbey
- 12 Woodcote
- 13 Downloads
THE 2.927 MILE Silverstone circuit is the home of the British Grand Prix. The track is layed out on an old World War II airfield, and thus has almost no elevation changes. It does have some good straights and fast corners which make it quite fun. A fast lap here requires the ability to attack the turns and get through them quickly, rather than speed down the straights. As such, Silverstone tends to even out the cars more than other tracks. The straights also provide several overtaking opportunities each lap. If you can get a good run through Chapel and the draft your opponent down Hanger Straight then outbraking into Stowe is definitely possible. Likewise, a fast run through Maggotts will let you make an attempt into Becketts, although the proximity of those turns make it that much more difficult. So set up for those fast left handers and you should have a good fun race.
The key to Silverstone is basically the left handers. These turns are taken very fast, as opposed to the right handers which are quite slow in comparison. However, a lot of the right handers do lead out onto long straights, so acceleration and grip out of these turns is also important to a fast lap.
With this in mind, a good setup direction is for softer springs and shocks and stiffer anti-roll bars. Setting the shocks to a medium level will help you under braking and acceleration. If you go too soft, however, you'll be wallowing very slowly through the fast turns. Get them too hard and you'll be sliding under braking. So start in the middle and then adjust up or down slightly to suit your driving style. The anti-roll bars should be set to the stiffer side of medium. I find that if you make them too stiff you don't really get an advantage and the car becomes very twitchy in some of the turns. But too soft and you won't have the cornering ability through the fast turns. So start in the middle range and then tighten them up from there until you can get through the left handers both quickly and solidly.
One final note on shocks, etc. This is not a track where you want either understeer or oversteer. Understeer will not let you brake deep enough in the turns, and oversteer won't let you start accelerating soon enough out of them. So try to dial both of these out with your setup. My anti-roll bars are just one click stiffer at the front than the rear, and the shocks are one click stiffer at the rear than the front.
After you get a good balance, you may want to try stiffening the left side of the car slightly compared to the right side as the fast turns are to the left. I find that this doesn't actually help me, but who knows, you might like it.
The ride height can be very low at this track as it is completely flat. So go as low as you can for best stability.
As for gearing, most of the turns are exited in third gear. This means that you need a good acceleration from third to fourth to fifth gears. So try to space them fairly evenly. Hanger Straight is where you should set up top gear. You should be topping out at the end of that straight. Chapel is a good turn with which to set third gear. You should top out third gear just before you turn into it. This seems to make a good spacing in the gears.
You should aim for a qualifying lap of about 1:27.00 to 1:28.00. That should put you pretty far up the grid.
During the race you should aim for 1:27.50 to 1:29.00, depending on fuel loads, for your lap times if you don't encounter traffic.
Silverstone usually provides great races. There are lots of overtaking opportunities available, so passing is not a problem, if you can catch the guy ahead. The hardest part of the race is the start. The grid here is four wide and very, very tight. So make sure you keep your car dead straight and be prepared to back off. This four wide grid also means that if you are not starting on the front row, you basically have to wait for the guys ahead of you to go before you can go. The first corner is also tricky at the start. There is nothing there to use as a reference point, so judge it as best you can. It is better to start braking early and have to ease off, rather than start braking too late and run off the track. If you are not at the front, it's definitely better to brake early as you don't know what the guys ahead may do. Also if you brake late and slide off, you'll be taking a lot of very unhappy drivers with you. So take it easy at the start, and the race is then very fun.
- Entrance speed: approximately 160 mph [258 kph]
- Speed through the corner: approximately 75 mph [120 kph]
- Arrival time at the corner: 4.76 seconds
- Time to negotiate the corner: 6.91 seconds
- Exit time of the corner: 11.67 seconds
Copse is not really a tricky corner. The exception is the start, when judging your braking point is difficult because of the lack of reference points. But once on your way it's fairly easy. You'll be approaching it in top gear at close to full speed. You want to hit the apex during the middle of the turn. With this in mind set up the car on the left side of the track for the entrance.
The only real reference point to use here is the racing groove. After you have a lot of laps under your belt, you'll instinctively know where you should start to brake. However, until then, and even then, it's useful to use the racing groove as a guide. It starts to darken just past the bridge. Continue under full throttle until just before it gets darker once again. Just before this point, brake as hard as possible. Make sure you don't lock up any wheels. Brake progressively harder as you approach the turn, while continuing in a straight line.
Shift down to third gear as you approach the turn in point. There is no real reference point for turning in either. You just need to feel it. The corner is fairly tight, so don't turn in too early, or you'll either hit the wall or end up on the grass as you exit. Once you start turning in, ease off the brakes a little to help the car turn in. You may need to balance the car on the throttle to keep the rear end from sliding out too much as you approach the apex.
You should be finished braking by the time you reach the apex in the middle of the turn. As you were using the throttle to balance the car in the entry of the turn, you can just begin to increase your acceleration as you pass the apex. Then try to get back up to full acceleration as fast as possible. A slight four wheel drift to the left side of the track is a fast way out of the turn. You may need to apply a little opposite lock as you exit, but make sure you do it gently or you'll be overcorrecting and loosing speed. Get right against the grass as you drive off down the straight, and don't be in a hurry to get over to the right side of the track.
- Entrance speed: approximately 150 mph [241 kph]
- Speed through the corner: approximately 140-145 mph [225-233 kph]
- Arrival time at the corner: 17.66 seconds
- Time to negotiate the corner: 2.33 seconds
- Exit time of the corner: 19.99 seconds
This is the first of the left handers and is one of the most important corners for getting a fast lap at Silverstone. It is much shallower than you'd think and can almost be taken flat. You should just be able to get into top gear by the time you reach the turn in point for this corner. If you haven't then shift up anyway, as top gear will give you a much better balance through the turn.
The racing groove is, again, a great guide here. It gets darker for a moment, then lighter, then darker once again. Position the car on the right side of the track for the entrance. However, make sure you don't get too far to the right, or you may clip the grass and then when you turn in you'll be sliding, which could have disastrous results.
When you reach the first dark part of the groove, that's your warning. Then when it lightens, turn in gently and ease off the throttle a little. You should turn in a little more than you think is necessary, and actually aim for the curb. You don't want to get off the throttle all together. Just ease off a little to give the ront wheels a little more grip. You're aiming for an apex just past the middle of the turn. fThe goal to this turn is to use the throttle to get you through it, and also to be on the throttle as much as possible at all times. So after you have turned in and eased off, you should get right back onto it for a brief moment. The slight application of the throttle just after you turn in will then push the car away from the curb, allowing you to just miss it and fly through the turn at a faster speed, than if you had turned in to a lesser extent and had not used the throttle to push the car away from the curb.
After all that, you are still just at the apex. But most of the work is finished. If you hit the apex properly you should be able to get back to full throttle as you pass it. Let the car drift out to the right side of the track as you exit. Like the previous turn of Copse, a slight drift is preferable here as well. Just make sure you don't drift too far or overcorrect too much and hit the grass. If you do, back off and get it under control. There is a service road coming on the right up that will help you if you get a little off the track. Remember that a smooth exit will allow a much faster and safer entry into Becketts, and is imperative if you are attempting to pass someone into Becketts.
- Entrance speed: approximately 150 mph [241 kph]
- Speed through the corner: approximately 60-65 mph [96-104 kph]
- Arrival time at the corner: 22.01 seconds
- Time to negotiate the corner: 6.92 seconds
- Exit time of the corner: 28.93 seconds
Becketts is much slower than Maggotts, and therefore much easier. The two things to remember are that you want to be as smooth as possible on the exit and that you don't want to brake too deeply on the entrance.
This turn comes right on the exit of Maggotts, so you'll be in top gear. Try to get the car over to the left side of the track for the entrance. The track itself will help with this as the previous corner will dump you out in a direction that should angle you across to the left. However, if you are unable to get there, don't force the car, you can still make it from the right.
There is a temptation to brake very late for this turn. Avoid this at all costs. If you are alone, you will lose a lot of time as going wide will slow you down. If you are in a battle for position you'll be passed on the inside So even though you can brake later, don't be tempted.
The road darkens slightly, followed momentarily by the racing groove darkening as you approach the corner. Just before the groove darkens, start to brake as hard as possible and shift down two gears. Turning in is a bit tricky here as well, as the turn is so long it is almost a double apex corner. Turn in later, so that you hit the first apex late, and can keep the car near the curbing as you pass the second apex. You may need to steady the car on the throttle as you ease off the brakes and turn in.
Once you reach the first apex, you should be finished braking. Start to get back on the throttle here. You won't be able to get back to full power yet, however. Keep the car near the curb and as you pass the second apex get back to full throttle. The exit is a fine balance at as close to full throttle as you can manage. You should push the car enough so that you have to put a slight among of opposite lock on as you exit. This will allow you the maximum acceleration while also pivoting the car around to the right as you exit. The camber of the track will also help a little. If you accelerate too hard and have to put in too much opposite lock, you'll end up on the left side of the track and won't be able to make Chapel. So keep it at the point where you are adding just a little opposite lock and letting the car slide the rear out to the left a little, thus point you towards the right side of the track. You should then be able to get back to full throttle soon afterwards and power down the short straight towards Chapel.
- Entrance speed: approximately 120 mph [193 kph]
- Speed through the corner: approximately 110-115 mph [177-185 kph]
- Arrival time at the corner: 31.81 seconds
- Time to negotiate the corner: 2.95 seconds
- Exit time of the corner: 34.76 seconds
We now have the second of the fast left handers. It follows a similar strategy to that of Maggotts. You turn the car in a little more than necessary, use the throttle to push you away from the curb and take a late apex.
You'll probably be in third gear as you approach this. if you got a good smooth exit from Becketts, you'll be nicely lined up on the right side of the track. Again, like Maggotts, make sure you don't get too far to the right and clip the grass on the entrance.
The racing groove lightens for a moment and then darkens once again as you approach the turn. The light section only lasts for a few moments, but about half way through it shift up to fourth gear and turn in for the curb. Be smooth as you do this or you'll be fish-tailing all over the place. You'll have to ease off the throttle slightly to make the up-shift. Stay at about half throttle for a moment as you approach the curb. Then increase the throttle to push the nose out from the curb. This is only the smallest of blips. Too much and you'll understeer off the track as you exit.
The Hanger Straight is coming up. It's the longest straight on the track, so you want maximum acceleration out of this turn. Take a late apex and get back to full throttle as you pass it. Like almost every corner at Silverstone, a small, controlled drift as you exit is the fastest way out. Let the car go right to the edge of the track on the exit. Also, don't be in a rush to get back to the left side of the track. You have the entire straight to move over. So keep accelerating in a straight line for as long as you need to. A good marker is the second service road on the left side of the track. You should be able to shift in to top gear by the time you reach this.
- Entrance speed: approximately 175 mph [282 kph]
- Speed through the corner: approximately 70 mph [112 kph]
- Arrival time at the corner: 43.06 seconds
- Time to negotiate the corner: 7.82 seconds
- Exit time of the corner: 50.88 seconds
Stowe corner presents one of the best overtaking opportunities on the track. A good draft down Hangar Straight will let you nip out and outbrake an opponent into this fairly slow right hander.
As far as getting through the turn, it's fairly simple. You'll be in top gear at top speed as you approach the turn. Set up on the left side of the track. As it's a 90 degree right hander with a long straight both beforehand and afterwards, you should go for a middle apex. The wall on the left is an excellent reference point for braking. Continue under full acceleration until just after it. Then brake as hard as possible and shift down two gears. Continue on the left side of the track, following the racing groove.
You should be turning in at the same time as the racing groove does so. Ease off the brakes a little to help the rear end out a little. You may need to balance the car on the throttle a little as you approach the apex. Get as close to the wall as possible as you apex the turn.
A little amount of throttle going into the turn is a good thing as it makes the transition from braking to acceleration smoother. Once you reach the apex you should be finished braking. Start to get back onto the power as you leave the apex. Smoothy and quickly get back to full power. The engine will want to kick the rear wheels out to the left, but by keeping the wheel almost straight you should be able to compensate and get the car into that now well-known Silverstone four wheel drift exit technique. You may need a little extra opposite lock to help out if you get the power on too soon. Go all the way out to the left, and, again, don't be in a rush to get away from the grass.
- Entrance speed: approximately 155 mph [250 kph]
- Speed through the corner: approximately 70 mph [112 kph]
- Arrival time at the corner: 57.33 seconds
- Time to negotiate the corner: 6.22 seconds
- Exit time of the corner: 1 minute 3.55 seconds
This right hander can be deceptive, as you can brake very late for it and still make it through quite easily. A service road joins the track here which you can use to your advantage to 'lengthen' the track slightly. This allows you to brake later than usual. If this corner was normal - i.e. without the service road - you'd want to take an apex that was pretty close to the middle, perhaps just after it. However, the service road changes things slightly by making the track wider at the corner.
You'll be able to reach top gear before braking for this one. The crowds on the left make a good reference point. Hopefully they'll never get bored of watching you and go off for a beer or anything. So set up on the left side of the track and keep accelerating until you reach them. Then brake as hard as possible and shift down two gears. Keep the car on the left side of the track for most of your braking.
You'll watch the service road join the track from the right as you get deeper into the braking zone. Continue in a straight line until you are about two thirds of the way along the service road. Then turn in gradually, aiming for the point where the grass, service road, and track converge. The service road has effectively made the track a little wider at this corner and thus allowed you to take a slightly shallower line into the apex. This lets you brake later, carry more speed down the previous straight, and thus be slightly faster.
You'll have to tighten up the steering slightly as you go through the apex to get a good exit. As soon as you pass the apex, start to get back onto the throttle. You may have used it through the corner to balance the car. if so, then just start to increase it as you pass the apex.
This is one of the more difficult turns to exit at Silverstone. The strange entrance angle created by the service road means the exit is much sharper than you'd think. Be aware of this as you put the power down. You'll be putting in much more steering input than on previous turns, and this will make the rear slide out much sooner than you might expect. Basically this means that your drift out of the turn will be much more severe and you'll have to correct more. But, at the end of it, it isn't that much harder. Stay to the left side of the track on the exit for as long as you need to.
- Entrance speed: approximately 145 mph [233 kph]
- Speed through the corner: approximately 110 mph [177 kph]
- Arrival time at the corner: 1 minute 9.33 seconds
- Time to negotiate the corner: 3.31 seconds
- Exit time of the corner: 1 minute 12.64 seconds
The last of the three fast left handers, and is very similar to Maggotts. You do need to brake a little for this one, though. Watch the curb on the left, it's very easy to touch it, and if you do, you'll most likely be thrown into a spin.
Approach and Apex
You should be up to fourth gear when you get to this turn. Line up on the right and use the racing groove as a reference point. There are two darker patches before it stays continually dark going through the turn. Just before the second dark section brake heavily for a moment, then ease off into a light trail braking. You don't need to shift for this turn. Balance the car on the throttle as you then start to turn in. You'll be aiming for a middle, or just past middle, apex on this one.
You should be off the brakes completely before you reach the apex. Use the throttle to correct for any slight steering errors, as you apex as close to the curb as possible. Then as you pass it, start to get back to full throttle as soon as possible. Again, drift the car out to the right on the exit. Getting onto the grass here is not a good idea. There is nothing to do except back right off and lose several seconds. But that's much better than the alternative of spinning or flipping on a bail of hay or something.
Power off down the next straight towards the final turn of the track, Woodcote.
- Entrance speed: approximately 170 mph [274 kph]
- Speed through the corner: approximately 110 mph [177 kph]
- Arrival time at the corner: 1 minute 20.21 seconds
- Time to negotiate the corner: 7.46 seconds
- Exit time of the corner: 1 minute 27.67 seconds
This right hander is probably the most important right hander on the track. A slow exit will let an opponent draft you down into the slow Copse turn and get by. But to get through quickly is a fine line between spinning on the slippery pit entrance and running off onto the grass as you exit.
As you drive down Farm Straight you should be able to get into top gear before the bridge. Line up on the left side of track for the entrance. A service road appears on the left side of the track, making an excellent braking reference point. Just before you arrive at this road, brake as hard as possible and shift down a gear. Continue braking quite hard for a moment, then ease off a little.
The turn in point is very important here. If you turn in too early, you'll end up running over the pit entrance, which has far less grip than the track. This will mean slowing down to gain traction. So make sure you don't turn in too early. Also, turning in too late will mean you'll run wide and onto the grass, possibly killing the flag marshal who stands there.
There is a flag pole on the right side of the track which makes a good reference point for turning in. Just after reaching this, start to turn in gradually, while easing completely off the brakes and getting back onto the power lightly. You want to bring the car right against the pit entrance, but not so close that you run onto it. As you go deeper into the turn you'll have to turn in more to keep against the pit entrance.
About half way through the turn, you be passing the beginning of the pit wall, far to your right. At this point you should begin to exit the turn in a slight drift by increasing the power to full. You should also be able to unwind the wheel and steer almost straight as you get back to full power. The extra power will push you away from the pit entrance and over towards the grass. A little opposite lock may be required at the end to correct the slide. If you do everything correctly you'll be right at the grass when you cross the start/finish line.