There’s no rest for Martin Molnár as he closes out the first half of the season with the second part of a double-header weekend in British Formula 4. Virtuosi Racing’s Hungarian driver is eager to race at Silverstone, a track that embodies the essence of Formula 1. The race will take place on the same circuit that will host the British Grand Prix in three weeks.

Just one week after the fourth round at Thruxton, the British Formula 4 Championship reaches its halfway point with its fifth race weekend of the year, held at one of the world’s most famous circuits. Silverstone needs no introduction for any motorsport fan: on May 13, 1950, the history of Formula 1 began here with the first-ever race, won by Giuseppe Farina, the sport’s first world champion, in 2 hours, 13 minutes, and 23 seconds. The British royal family was uniquely in attendance for this historic event.

After the early years Silverstone alternated hosting the British Grand Prix with Aintree and Brands Hatch, but since 1987 it has been the sole home of the race. The track has witnessed countless memorable moments of motorsport history from the collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in 2021, Hamilton’s rainy victory in 2008, Michael Schumacher’s leg injury in 1999, his strange victory in 1998 or his collision with Damon Hill in 1995.

Beyond its rich history the circuit is steeped in the present-day atmosphere of F1, with five teams headquartered within 30 miles of the track—Aston Martin’s base is right at the entrance. The headquarters of Williams (40 miles) and McLaren (77 miles) are also not far away.

Silverstone remains a hive of motorsport activity year-round, with F1 cars frequently appearing not just during the British Grand Prix, as British teams often shakedown new models, conduct filming days and test young drivers on its 5.891 km track or one of its shorter configurations.

Silverstone features not only the Grand Prix circuit but also two smaller layouts including the National circuit, where British F4 will race in September. However, this weekend the F4 field will battle it out on the full-length track used for F1 races, serving as a support race for the British Endurance Championship. “This track is quite different from the others we’ve raced on so far, with much larger run-off areas, similar only to Donington in some respects. The wide track should be good for racing with plenty of exciting moments, as slipstreaming on the straights and numerous overtaking opportunities will play significant roles,” summarized Martin what awaits him and his fellow drivers this weekend.

However, using the Grand Prix circuit has its drawbacks. “With such a long lap, over 2 minutes in a Formula 4 car, any incident requiring a safety car will cost us at least 3 minutes per lap, reducing valuable racing time. Given the 20-minute race format there won’t be many laps, so hopefully there will be few accidents to maximize our racing time.”

This is the first and one of only two (the other being Zandvoort) venues in the British F4 calendar that also hosts a Formula 1 Grand Prix, inevitably inviting comparisons with the pinnacle of motorsport. Martin is mindful of this but notes it feels like racing on two completely different tracks. “It’s very different to lap Silverstone in a Formula 4 car compared to F1. For example, F1 cars take Copse Corner flat out at 300 km/h, whereas we need to lift and brake a bit despite our slower speeds. The difference in downforce makes the two series incomparable. Nonetheless, it’s fascinating to drive here and imagine the incredible speeds F1 cars carry through these corners.”

“We also feel the Grand Prix-level infrastructure and other aspects, but our focus remains on our tasks. Still, it’s thrilling to see the Aston Martin F1 factory and trucks at the entrance, sensing the motorsport atmosphere that permeates this place. It’s a different feeling to race here because of that.”

As part of the HUMDA Hungarian Motorsport Academy, run by the Széchenyi University Group and supported by the Hungarian Mobility Development Agency Zrt., Martin aims to carry over his strong qualifying pace from Thruxton to Silverstone and continuing his impressive podium streak since he has been on the rookie podium in the last four races and has secured seven top-three finishes in the rookie standings so far.

The schedule for the 5th round is as follows (GMT+1):

11.40 – 12.20: Free practice 1
16.10 – 16.55: Free practice 2

09.30 – 09.50: Qualifying
13.30 – 13.50: Race 1

11.15 – 11.35: Race 2
15.40 – 16.00: Race 3