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Friday, July 9, 1999 Published at 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK

Silverstone circuit guide

Silverstone's facilities came in for some criticism from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone at the start of this year, but the circuit itself is a firm favourite with the drivers.

It used to be the fastest track on the GP calendar, although a number of changes have reduced average qualifying speeds from 160 to 130mph.

But the alterations have not dissolved the appeal of the former WWII airfield circuit and the sweeping corners at Becketts are as popular as the fast Hanger straight.

This combination means that setting up a car is the classic compromise. Does a driver want outright straight line speed or extra grip?

The teams' differing solutions explain how certain cars can pull away on the straights, only to be reeled back in as soon as the road turns.

Last year was Michael Schumacher's third straight win in a row, and one of his most controversial.

The German took the chequered flag while in the pits serving a ten-second penalty.

McLaren objected to the result which narrowed Mika Hakkinen's championship lead to two points, but their appeal was rejected.

Track statistics

Race length: 59 laps.

Lap length: 3.194m (5.140km).

Total distance:: 188.446 miles.

1998 podium:

  1. Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1hr47'12"450 172.541mph
  2. Mika Hakkinen Mclaren +12.465 172.207
  3. Eddie Irvine Ferrari +19.199 172.028
1998 fastest lap: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 1m35.704s

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Round 16: Japan, 31 October

Round 15: Malaysia, 17 October

Round 14: Europe, 26 Sept

Round 13: Italy, 12 September

Round 12: Belgium, 29 August

Round 11: Hungary, 15 August

Round 10: Germany, 1 August

Round 9: Austria, 25 July

Round 8: Great Britain, 11 July

Round 7: France, 27 June

Round 6: Canada, 13 June

Round 5: Spain, 30 May

Round 4: Monaco, 16 May

Round 3: San Marino, 2 May

Round 2: Brazil, 11 April

Round 1: Australia, 7 March