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Feeder Series Preview: Silverstone

Written by Ellie Nicholls and Vyas Ponnuri

It’s a weekend of seconds, as some drivers enter Silverstone on the back of second wins, while others have rediscovered form through a second wind at the Austrian weekend. In addition, the feeder series of 2024 are now in the second half of their respective seasons. With the atmosphere palpable, and seasons heating up, DIVEBOMB outlines the weekend ahead for Formula 2 and Formula 3. 

The track

The course for our weekend is the renowned Silverstone Circuit. Often thought of as the home of Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsport also has its support series on show every year. 

A lap of this barnstorming circuit begins on the Hamilton straight, with drivers expected to sweep along turn one, Abbey, and turn two, Farm, on their way to turn three, Village, a slow right-hander, and an overtaking spot for drivers. 

Another slow left-hander of The Loop follows as drivers begin to turn up the speed, taking the left-hander Aintree flat out as they head onto the Wellington straight. 

The winding left-hander of Brooklands presents an overtaking opportunity before drivers will look to get a good run off the meandering right-hander of Luffield, passing by the right-hander of Woodcote onto the old start/finish straight. 

The high-speed right-hander of Copse rewards drivers willing to risk it and be brave to make an overtake, and the run off on the outside will often be inspected by drivers who end up off the racing line trying to pull off a daring overtake on the outside of the corner. 

The next series of corners are a driver’s delight: High speed turns testing the aerodynamic efficiency of cars right to the limit. The high-speed left-right-left-right sequence of Maggots, Becketts, and Chapel corners is a gruelling test for the drivers before the long Hangar straight allows them to relax and breathe. 

However, if they are defending position, there's no relaxing. Drivers will look to defend heading into the challenging right-hander of Stowe corner, which presents an excellent opportunity to pass on the inside as well as around the outside. 

Battles often carry on to the Vale chicane, as drivers traverse the undulation of the run down to the left-right chicane, before taking the right-hander of Club flat-out, and 

back onto the Hamilton straight for a lap of the Silverstone circuit. 

It’s always an exciting affair for drivers when they take to the Silverstone circuit, with overtakes aplenty on both race days, and expect this year to carry on the legacy of the glorious past. 

Formula 3 heads to Silverstone with an intriguing championship battle in the big picture | Credit - Joe Portlock

Formula 3

Well into its second half now, Formula 3 heads to Silverstone, with drivers eager to push on and stake their claim to be a championship contender, with only three rounds set to remain after this weekend’s adventure along the British countryside. 

The season heads into Silverstone with plenty of gusto and momentum, with drivers riding high after finding their mojo at the Red Bull Ring. 

Luke Browning took his second win of the season, joining the club of two-time race winners in Formula 3 this year with a controlled drive, while Dino Beganovic struck good fortune with a second in the feature race, solidifying his position in the top half of the standings. 

The win also propelled Browning to the lead of the drivers’ standings, making it two Hitech drivers leading Formula One’s feeder series, as Paul Aron held on to his advantage later in the day, with another points finish. 

It’s only fitting that the driver from Kingsley heads into his home event in the lead, as he will be looking to thrill the home fans with another stellar showing, and strengthen his grip at the head of the standings. However, he’ll be joined by a new teammate this weekend. 

While this will also be Cian Shields’ home race, Martinius Stenshorne will not be racing for the team this weekend, after taking part in a GB3 round earlier this year at Silverstone, without prior approval from the FIA or the promoters in writing.

Wharton steps up at Hitech for this weekend | Credit - Formula 3

As a result of his suspension, FRECA racer James Wharton will step up to replace the Norwegian for the weekend. The Australian currently sits sixth in the standings, racing in the Formula Regional Championship Europe for Prema Racing. 

Apart from the Hitech duo of Browning and Shields, three other drivers on the grid will be manifesting the feeling of racing at home: Rodin Carlin’s GB3 alumni Joseph Loake and Callum Voisin, as well as Prema Racing’s Arvid Lindblad. 

While Lindblad is riding on strong form heading into the event, having taken victory at Barcelona and finished in the points at Austria, another driver coming off a victory at the Red Bull Ring is ART’s Nikola Tsolov. 

The Bulgarian has made a fine comeback ever since he was rapped for his controversial manoeuvre on MP Motorsport’s Alex Dunne at Albert Park, winning the sprint races at Monaco and Austria, as he sits tenth in the championship standings, looking to continue his run of form into the British countryside. 

Lindblad’s teammates Gabriele Minì and Dino Beganovic come to Silverstone on the back of podium finishes alongside Browning last week. The former is the closest challenger to championship leader Browning, sitting 11 points off the home favourite, while Beganovic sits two places further back, 26 points off Browning. 

Tsolov’s teammate Christian Mansell will be riding high after two excellent weekends at Barcelona and Austria backing up his podium at Monaco. Having risen to fourth by the end of the feature race in Austria, showing strong late-race pace, he will be looking to finish on the podium this weekend and continue his charge this season. 

However, these drivers will all have to look over their shoulders, as Campos’ Ollie Goethe will look to continue his 12-race points-scoring streak into the United Kingdom and ensure he leaves the country with his streak intact. Sitting pretty in seventh, he is the only driver to score in every race this season, 29 points adrift of championship leader Browning. 

The prospect of a hotly-contested championship battle will be felt all throught the weekend at Silverstone, as drivers will be yearning to score valuable points to aid their championship charge, as even one below-par outing from here on could kill their aspirations of winning the title. 

Formula 2 heads to Silverstone, how will the 2024 F2 car fare here? | Credit - Dan Mullan

Formula 2:

As the 2024 Formula 2 season reaches its midpoint, the action is showing no signs of slowing down. And everything is only set to get faster as the series arrives to sell-out crowds and an atmosphere of excitement at Silverstone.

From its humble beginnings as an airfield during the Second World War, Silverstone has undergone many renovations and modifications in its vast history- but from hosting the first ever Formula One World Championship race in 1950 to the wide variety of series it now hosts almost 75 years later, it has remained one of motorsports’ most iconic tracks.

With a mix of 18 highly technical and mighty corners making up its length, Silverstone is known for its difficulty as much as its rich history. Drivers will have to not only master its high speeds and challenging corners but also get to grips with the highly changeable weather conditions to push for the win at the so-called home of British racing.

The high-speed nature of the Silverstone circuit always promises great racing action | Image Credit: Formula Two

Last year’s sprint race was heavily impacted by the infamous Great British weather, with the wet conditions causing a lot of chaos throughout the race. A safety car was triggered early when a collision between Clement Novalak and Brad Benavides caused the latter driver to spin off the track- an incident for which Novalak received a five-second time penalty. 

A spin for Oliver Bearman, who had climbed to second place from fifth on the grid, saw the Prema driver fall out of the podium positions late on in the race. Meanwhile, his teammate and then-championship leader Frederik Vesti led the entire race from beginning to end to take his fourth victory of the year despite the adverse conditions.

Pole-sitter Victor Martins was overtaken by Ayumu Iwasa at the very start of the feature race but, refusing to be stuck staring at the back of Iwasa’s car for any longer than necessary, Martins reclaimed the lead of the race from the Japanese driver even before the first lap had finished — an overtake that later earned Martins a five-second time penalty as the stewards determined that it had occurred off-track.

Though the move itself may have been less than legal, Martins now found himself ahead of Iwasa and began to build up a gap out front. 

Though multiple safety car periods caused this margin to wane slightly, Martins was still able to eke out his lead over second-placed Zane Maloney to take his first victory in Formula Two- with his ART teammate Theo Pourchaire completing the podium.

Martins claimed his maiden Formula Two victory last year at Silverstone despite the difficult weather conditions | Image Credit: Formula Two

This year’s title fight is beginning to heat up, meaning that securing a good points haul is more important than ever for the front runners. 

The top two drivers in the standings, Paul Aron and Isack Hadjar, remain unchanged since Monaco - but could Gabriel Bortoleto, who vaulted up to third in the championship after his maiden win last time out, threaten to disrupt their lead?

Despite the close competition, however, Paul Aron still finds himself at the top of the drivers’ standings thanks to his ninth consecutive points finish in the Austrian feature race- a streak that highlights his truly impressive consistency. 

Having claimed a podium at every race weekend so far and points in all but one of the 14 races this season, you would have to look to the Melbourne Sprint Race all the way back in March for the last time that Aron failed to secure points.

It is surely only a matter of time before the star rookie stands upon the top step of the podium at last- can Aron go for gold this weekend, or will he have to settle for silver once again in Silverstone?

Make sure to tune in to the Formula Two action this weekend to find out who reigns supreme at Silverstone as the battle for the championship continues to unfold. 


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