The previous weekend, Pedro Rodríguez was driving a Ferrari 512M at an Interserie race at the Norisring in Germany. Passing a slower car, he was squeezed into a concrete wall, where his car crashed heavily and caught fire. Rodríguez died later at the hospital, and his passing cast a pall over the entire meeting.
Brabham: Both cars had improved driveshafts installed. The RAC scrutineers made the team adjust the exhaust pipes in the BT34, which necessitated repositioning the oil radiators. The BT34 was also running with twin-disc brakes.
BRM: The team arrived in a state of shock after the death of Pedro Rodríguez, a few days earlier. No replacement driver was named, and the only change was Jo Siffert using the engine intended for Rodríguez.
Ferrari: The team brought a car for Mario Andretti, but he had a USAC commitment the day after the GP, and did not make the trip to England. So the car was used as the spare. Both Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni used the streamlined nose pieces tried at Paul Ricard, and experimented with engine air intakes during practice.
Lotus: To make up for his 'lost weekend' at Zandvoort, Dave Charlton was included with the team at Silverstone. This meant that Reine Wisell got stuck driving the rebuilt (again!) 56B turbine, and was not pleased. Both 72s had engine air intakes mounted, and modified rear wings, featuring adjustable flaps.
March: Alex Soler-Roig (and his sponsorship money) had left the team, feeling that he was getting the short end of the engine supply. The third car was given to Nanni Galli without sponsorship, as the team felt strongly about his potential. Increased availability of FordCosworth engines meant that Ronnie Peterson's car was fitted with a Cosworth again.
Another private team with Mike Beuttler entered with the same 711 that Peterson took second place in at Monaco. That car practiced with the number #35, but raced as #6.
Matra: The team had no improvements, no changes, and even no spares, as the second transporter broke down in France. The drivers were not happy.
McLaren: The team added Jackie Oliver as a third entry, using the M14A that Peter Gethin used earlier in the season. The cars were unchanged, and the team would just drive down the road to the factory if spares were needed.
Surtees: There were no changes to the cars, but the team had a brand new (and unsorted) TS9 along. Derek Bell was scheduled to drive the upgraded TS7 rental car, but John Surtees allowed him to use the new TS9, and the TS7 was kept as a spare.
Tyrrell: François Cevert's 002 car now had the same type of full-width nose as Jackie Stewart's 003 car. The team had abandoned using twin-disc brakes, saying they were too heavy for the small benefit. As usual, car 001 was along as a spare.
The full entry list for the 1971 British Grand Prix is outlined below: