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British Grand Prix 2021

Hill reveals why Silverstone was so tough for the drivers

Damon Hill believes that a key factor may have made life harder for the drivers during the British Grand Prix weekend.

Article
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Damon Hill thinks that the British Grand Prix weekend was particularly tough on some drivers due to the difficulties faced with getting the tyres into the working range.

After certain drivers such as Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were able to perform well in Sprint Qualifying using a soft tyre, Hill believes that these tyres were actually a harder compound than the name suggests.

"You call them softs, but actually they're the hardest tyres in the range," Hill told the F1 Nation podcast. "So the hard tyre was the hardest tyre they make, the medium was the second and the soft was actually the third hardest tyre that Pirelli make.

"That may explain why some of them lost it, because I thought it was pretty hard. It seems like it was pretty hard to get the tyre into the working range.

"That's why they could push, and that's why they were so exhausted at the end of the race, because actually they had a hard tyre that they could lean on and really work even in 50 degree track temperature.

"If you've got a soft, squidgy tyre, you can't lean on it so much, so you have to kind of truly around and look after the tyre."

The British Grand Prix had a different format to the traditional weekend schedule, with the usual style of qualifying moving to Friday and Sprint Qualifying taking place on Saturday ahead of the main event on Sunday.

Formula 1 journalist Tom Clarkson couldn't help but notice that the more experienced drivers like Alonso seemed to fare particularly well in the 17-lap sprint at Silverstone.

"Did you notice that it was all the old guys that went really well in that race?" Clarkson said. "Fernando Alonso - amazing, he went from 11th to fifth at one point. Kimi Raikkonen [too].

"What are we saying? Experience said let's go with the soft [tyres]? I don't know."

Sky Sports F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham added: "I think the softs lasted longer than they expected. I think they were really competitive for 10 laps, and then they were able to just hang on for the final seven."

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