Official site of British F3 International Series.
Official site of British F3 International Series.
 
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06/07/2007:
A Lap of Brands Hatch with Sam Bird

 

Brands Hatch is a great venue, especially the Grand Prix circuit. It makes it a lot more interesting to be given the chance to race on the full GP track where there are some fantastic fast corners to challenge you as a driver. 

 

The first one you come to is Paddock Hill Bend, which feels exceptionally fast in a Formula 3 car, especially with the added down force we have now.  Braking slightly Paddock is taken in 6th gear at around 100mph.

 

The next corner is Druids, down through the gears to 2nd and it is a case of keeping the minimum speed up to get a good exit onto the next little straight down into Graham Hill.  This bend can be quite hard because it is down hill braking and you have to turn in at exactly the right point.  If you miss your turn in point it really does muck up your lap because you are then slow on to the Cooper Straight.  So it is a case of really getting your apex at about 75mph in 3rd and getting a good exit.

 

Surtees is really, really vital as well as it leads onto the longest straight at Brands.  Surtees is more of a late apex and like the previous one is taken in 3rd at around 75mph.

 

Up through the gears down the long straight to Hawthorns and this is where the circuit is really fast and flowing. Down to 130mph but taken in 6th, through Hawthorns into Westfield.

 

Westfield can be a dangerous corner because if you get this corner wrong it will bite you.  The track is shaded, so if there has been a bit of rain, the water sits there for a lot longer and you don't really notice it because the corner is blind and it's fast, taken at around 100mph in 5th.  Westfield has everything that makes for an awesome corner in the driver’s book, but get it wrong and you hit the barriers hard on the exit.

 

Then it's down the dip, up the hill towards what was Dingle Dell and even though they've changed it, it is still a mega corner to drive.  You use all of the kerb on the inside, the car is really loaded up on the left hand tyres and you use all of the track on the exit.

 

Next up is Stirling’s Bend.  It looks like a 90 degree left on a piece of paper but there is so much camber there you can really fire the car into the corner, get on the throttle early and use a bit of the kerb on the exit.

 

Clearways changes now. Instead of being like it is on the Indy Circuit where you have to slow the car down to 3rd gear, this is more fast and flowing in 5th gear at 110mph.  It's more like the Parabolica at Monza, where you can carry a high minimum speed and getting on the throttle, following the white line on the outside all the way onto the pit straight to begin another lap.

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