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Silverstone could eclipse Monza as F1's fastest track
The revised Silverstone circuit revealed yesterday could take Monza’s place as the fastest track in Formula 1.

Though F1 cars will hit higher top speeds at Monza, the projected average lap speed for F1 cars at the new Silverstone is 4kph faster than that achieved at Monza last year. Here’s why.

Fastest lap speeds in F1

Fastest average lap speeds for each track (highest in italics):


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Monza 248.95 253.66 259.83 258.56 262.24 260.03 256.75 256.34 248.68 251.40
Spa 226.71 233.36 241.66 - 239.86 236.24 - 239.98 237.79 241.28
Silverstone 215.95 230.06 234.28 232.88 236.57 235.68 230.62 233.82 232.69 236.92

Speed-limiting rules hit Monza hardest

Rules brought in to slow F1 cars down have cut average speeds at Monza more than they have at tracks like Spa and Silverstone.

This because engine performance has a greater effect on lap time at Monza than aerodynamic downforce, and engine performance has been severely restricted in the past five years – due to the move from V10s to V8s in 2006, and the lowering of the rev limit in 2007 and 2009.

The teams run special low-drag aero kits at Monza to allow them to hit top speeds over 30kph higher than any other track on the calendar. Aerodynamic performance matters little over Monza’s chicanes.

At Silverstone and Spa the teams use a more conventional aerodynamic set-up because the tracks have more quick corners. As we saw earlier this month, largely unrestricted aerodynamic development over the winter means the cars are quite a bit quicker this year.

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