British Grand Prix Preview -- welcome

Welcome to the British Grand Prix preview. You will see that at the heart of the magazine we have followed last year's practice and put some vital statistics with regard to the drivers and teams as a sort of form guide, although most of us will already have a good idea who the favourites are going to be. Nevertheless it still makes interesting reading.

Whether we like it or not an integral part of Grand Prix racing is sponsorship and the corporate entertainment that goes hand-in-hand with it. Why do international companies decide to spend huge amounts of money promoting themselves in this highly specialised arena? While the teams are always ready to accept the money, are they really up scratch when it comes to providing what their benefactors want? One of those adept at courting sponsors and seemingly satisfying them is the Williams team. We went down to their headquarters at Didcot and asked their commercial guru, Sheridan Thynne, on how he goes about getting sponsors and, having found them, what it takes to look after them.

The advent of the 3-1/2-litre formula has seen a welcome swelling of the ranks of the engine suppliers, but is there any chance for the independent manufacturer to compete against the major manufacturers. At least two such companies believe there is and both are British. We have been to see Ilmor Engineering and Engine Developments to assess their chances of success.

Were it not for Goodyear, Grand Prix racing would not be what it is today, nor would there be much of a history to write about. DSJ casts an affectionate eye over the tyre company's involvement in motor racing for the last 30 years and celebrates their recent 250th Grand Prix win, while there is also a look at how the motor industry benefits from the technology spin-off of motor racing.

Finally since the British Touring Car Championship has really come into its own this year, and since there is a round at Silverstone, we have been to talk to leading entrant Vic Lee Motorsport to enquire just what does it take to be a front-running team in the major national series.

Nothing can actually beat going to the British Grand Prix, but we hope this preview can whet your appetite as well as give you an insight into just some of the things that will be occurring in the background. -- WPK