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David Coulthard

Coulthard on W Series at Silverstone: “Challenging and flat out”

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W Series is preparing to go back on the track for its fourth race of the season. This time the drivers will have to deal with the historic circuit of Silverstone to try and conquer important points for the Championship. Giving his advice ahead of the race is W Series Advisory Board Chairman and former F1 driver David Coulthard, who won twice in front of the home crowd at the pinnacle of motorsport. 

W Series in Silverstone 2021
Image Credit: W Series

Everything is ready for a weekend to remember in Silverstone. Jamie Chadwick, who has won all three races of the season so far, will certainly want to continue on this victorious path in front of the home crowd. At the same time, rivals Abbi Pulling and Alice Powell will also be able to count on the home advantage to try and close the gap to the 2-times W Series Champion.

Coulthard: “Be fast”

In order to do so, 2-times Silverstone winner and W Series Chairman David Coulthard explained to FormulaNerds what advice he would give to the drivers: In actual facts, the drivers are a lot more current in driving than I am because it’s been 13 years since I went round in circles, so I think I can offer them little advice. The reality, of course, is that current racers have their own driving styles and vision for how to attack the racetrack.

I think the key thing is that Silverstone has a fairly unique place on the calendar in there is such a high-speed circuit. The W series car will be for the large part, absolutely flat out so it becomes an exercise in finger-tipping your way around the racetrack, not scrubbing any speeds. All the cars are, as best as engineering can allow, equal.

Then you have this sort of two areas on the racetrack where you have a break from the high speed down into club corner and then obviously down into the complex in front of the suite where it is actually quite challenging to go from such high-speed sweeping corners where you’re finger tipping the car all the way through to suddenly then having brakes switched on and generally remembering the fact that as a car loses speed, it loses downforce and not locking up in those corners.

I guess there’s no sort of sounder advice other than “be fast”.

Silverstone: an “elegant crowd”

With the British nationality being the most represented on the W Series grid, many drivers will have home advantage in Silverstone. Something that, as Coulthard, remembers can be crucial:

The crowd support definitely makes a difference. I even noticed that during the COVID period, when we didn’t have any fans in the grandstands, your atmosphere goes away. I remember hearing the crowd cheering over the noise of the cars when I overtook Jean Alesi in a Ferrari to take the lead of the race. That really kind of took me by surprise: I’ve never heard the noise of the crowd above an engine before but I guess they were as surprised as I was that I’ve taken the lead.

The former Red Bull driver then went on to add: The British drivers will feel the support unquestionably, but I think the British fans have always been incredibly fair and spreading the love and unlike other sports, you can cohabit very happily in a grandstand. Somebody wearing a Ferrari hat, somebody wearing a McLaren hat, or you know, whoever their favourite driver in W is.

It’s an elegant crowd, even in Montreal on Saturday there was a lot of merchandise selling because of the bad weather and there were families that I was meeting every single one of them had a different hat on, independent of who their favourite driver and team. So, I don’t think it’s quite the same as in football where if you don’t support the team that you’re great-grandfather or grandmother did then you know you are seen as a family outcast.

Bond Muir: “A spectacular race”

As rightfully reminded by W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir, Silverstone has all the qualities to be a one-of-a-kind experience for the Championship: Obviously, what we do have is six British drivers for W Series this year so I’m wondering whether W Series will ever have that number of drivers from one country again, so, from our point of view, Silverstone will be hopefully a spectacular race for us. We obviously want the crowds to come out and support the British drivers.

As the moment of lights out gets closer, fans will be able to watch the fourth race of the 2022 W Series season live from Silverstone on Sky Sports and Channel 4 on Saturday 2 July and cheer for their favourite drivers from home equally as from the track in a weekend that promises to be full of exciting racing.

Headline Image: Red Bull Content Pool

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