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A lap of Silverstone with Honda’s Alex Wurz 03 Jul 2008

Alex Wurz (AUT) Honda Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Saturday, 5 April 2008 Jenson Button (GBR) Honda RA108. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, Day One, Tuesday 24 June 2008. Alex Wurz (AUT) Honda RA108. Formula One Testing, Day One, Barcelona, Spain, 14 April 2008. World © Hartley/Sutton Honda Racing truck in the pitlane.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Monday Preparations, Silverstone, England, 30 June 2008

Honda’s Alexander Wurz may be Austrian by birth but he loves Silverstone almost like it’s his own home circuit. Here the reserve driver talks us round a flying lap of the British track ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix…

"Having married an English girl, there's a percentage of me that is now British. I'm not saying that Silverstone is like a home race for me, but it's almost one and whatever other countries claim, Britain is still the home of motor racing.

"Silverstone is a very exciting racetrack, especially the first half which is really quick. You arrive at Turn One in seventh gear and on a good day it's flat: we're talking 100 percent foot down and no braking. It's a ballsy corner and much tougher than Eau Rouge at Spa, for example.

"Then you come into Becketts, which is an awesome part of the circuit. The entry is very bumpy and you have to position the car correctly for the right-hander, which you can always do flat. Then there is a very fast change of direction for a left-hander, but you still don't touch the brakes. You shift down a gear and slow the car using a four-wheel drift, which is fun. There's then another downshift for the next right - again no braking - and you get a bit of understeer through here, which you kill by flooring the throttle for the exit onto the Hangar Straight.

"At the end of Hangar Straight is Stowe, which is the first time on the lap that you actually touch the brakes. You have to remember that they will be cold, so they will have slightly different characteristics to normal. When you brake, you are already turning into the corner, so it's difficult to outbrake someone and you expect to have some oversteer on entry.

"A short straight follows before you come to Club, which is the first hard braking point of the lap. You want to hit the kerbs very hard on entry to the left-hander, before turning into the right-hander which you enter in second gear and accelerate through to fifth gear by the exit. You need very good traction, which will be particularly tough this year.

"The braking area for Abbey is next and it's always very slippery. The key is to accept that and not overdrive the car. It's bumpy at the exit and whereas you could rely on traction control to do it flat last year, it might be quite interesting this year. Then you come down to Bridge, which is easy flat in sixth gear, before turning left into Priory, which can be tricky. One day there is fantastic grip and it's really nice to drive; the next it can be horrible with no grip at all!

"Then it's Brooklands. You're down to second gear and as more grip goes down over the weekend, the more you can cut the kerbs on the inside. Luffield, a long, second gear right-hander, is the final corner. The entry to the corner is always quite neutral because you brake aggressively and then there's a change in asphalt and whatever you do to the set-up you will have mid-corner understeer. You eventually kill it with the throttle and accelerate onto the pit straight."