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2014 British Grand Prix: What viewers should expect from the Formula One race

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Phil Noble/Reuters

(Read caption) A technician from the Williams Formula One team checks tires ahead of the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone race circuit, central England, July 3, 2014. The 2014 Formula One British Grand Prix is taking place this weekend.

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This weekend is the 2014 Formula One British Grand Prix, which once again takes place at the legendary Silverstone circuit. Silverstone was where the very first race of the inaugural Formula One World Championship was held, back in 1950, and it’s been the permanent home of the British Grand Prix since 1987. Most of the current crop of F1 teams, eight in fact, also have their headquarters located near Silverstone, so the British Grand Prix is always an important race on the calendar.

The track has undergone several facelifts over the years, but it has always retained its high-speed challenge. With an average speed of 140 mph, Silverstone is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar. Only one of its 18 corners is taken at less than 60 mph; the remainder are all medium- or high-speed challenges.

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As far as car setup is concerned, aerodynamics is key. However, engineers also need to deal with a relatively bump track surface and changeable weather. Unfortunately, there is a high chance of rain at some point this weekend. Pirelli has nominated the two hardest tires in the range, P Zero orange hard and P Zero White medium, to face up to the demands of Silverstone. Of course, the company also has its full wets.

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The total length of the track is 3.66 miles and drivers will need to complete 52 laps. Last year’s winner was Mercedes AMG’s Nico Rosberg.

The German is currently leading the 2014 Drivers’ Championship with a total of 165 points. His teammate Lewis Hamilton is in second with 136 points, while rounding out the top three is Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo with 83 points. Mercedes AMG is on an impressive 301 points in the Constructors’ Championship, over twice as many as second-placed Red Bull Racing (143) and triple as much as third-placed Ferrari (98).