A lap around Silverstone with Jenson Button
With average lap speeds approaching 130mph, Silverstone is one of the fastest circuits on the Grand Prix calendar. It's certainly one of Jenson Button's top tracks: the Englishman not only loves racing at home but he also gives the layout a big thumbs-up. "Racing at Silverstone in my home race is always very exciting," he admits.
"The fans are incredibly supportive and the circuit is one of my favorites. The track flows with lots of quick corners but there aren't many places to overtake.
"We start a lap along the main straight in seventh gear into Copse, a fast right-hander, which you take in sixth gear. It is a completely blind corner as part of the pit wall sticks out and you can't see where the exit is as the circuit dips away, so it is pretty exciting. Next is Maggots, a very quick chicane. You carry a lot of speed through here, lifting slightly off the power on the second apex before braking for Becketts, a fifth-gear right hander. You take as much curb on the inside of Becketts as you can before you go down to fourth or third gear for the approach to one of the maddest corners in Formula One!
"Chapel is a flat-out corner, one where the change of direction is out of this world and it is the one place where you still feel the true speed of an F1 car. Then you are onto the long, back straight - Hangar Straight. You can exceed 200mph here in seventh gear before you have to brake for entry into Stowe, which can be a possible overtaking opportunity. Stowe is a very quick right-hander where you are braking and turning at the same time, tying to brake as late as possible. Down the gears into fourth, you carry as much speed as you can through here as you can run off onto the curb on exit.
"The track drops away from you again as you approach the Vale, a second-gear corner and the slowest on the circuit. It is important to use as much of the curb as possible here on the left-hand part, to get a good exit for Club, a long right-hander. Club is normally a corner where you find a lot of understeer as we run traction control and it's a place where traction control really kicks-in. A short straight follows. By now you are in seventh gear up to Abbey, which is a good corner and then through a quick chicane in third gear. Again you use as much curb as possible here without making the car unstable. You then go down to Bridge, which is nice as you go through a very quick right-hander at around 160-170mph leading down to Priory.
"We then go into Priory, a third-gear left-hander that you really speed through to get a good lap time and then brake heavily into Brooklands. You then take a long right-hander at Luffield. This is probably one of the most boring corners in Formula One as it is a second-gear corner and you have to keep blipping the throttle. It can cause understeer but you really have to get the rear back around through the corner to ensure a good exit. It's then off to Woodcote, a flying right-hander and then on to the main straight to complete the lap."
All that in little more than 100 seconds...