Silverstone Circuit - Home of British Motor Racing

June 24, 2015
Alexander S

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Silverstone Circuit, self promoted as ’The Home of British Motor Racing’, is one of the most famous racing circuits in the world, located near the border of the Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, near the villages of Silverstone and Whittlebury.

Built on the place of former RAF bomber station

Just as many racing circuits in the Great Britain, Silverstone Circuit is built on the site of the World War II Royal Air Force bomber station. Silverstone was first used for motorsport by a group of enthusiasts in September of 1947. The next year, the Royal Automobile Club took a lease on the airfield and set out a more formal racing circuit.

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Silverstone Circuit was opened in the early 1950s

First F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit was held in 1950

In 1950, the first Formula 1 British Grand Prix was held and that was the first race of the newly-created World championship. From 1955 to 1986, the race rotated between the Silverstone, Aintree and Brands Hatch, but in 1987 it was permanently relocated to Silverstone.

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F1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit

Silverstone Circuit hosts various racing events

Apart from Formula 1, Silverstone hosts many other series races like FIA World Endurance Championship, British Touring Car Championship, European Formula 2, FIA International 3000, British GT, British F3 International, as well the FIM Moto GP, Superbike World Championship etc.

Silverstone circuit british grand prix

Start of the BTCC race at Silverstone

One of the longer tracks in Formula 1 calendar

The current Arena Grand Prix Circuit is 5.891 metres long left-handed side track and has 18 turns. There are also another three layouts. The International Circuit is 3.619 km long and has 10 turns, the National Circuit is 2.638 km long with 6 turns and Stowe Circuit is only 1.281 km long with 5 turns.

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Map: Silverstone Circuit track layout

The fastest lap record set during the Grand Prix is held by Fernando Alonso (1:30.874) driving a Ferrari in 2010. The maximum speed recorded on the circuit was 310 km/h by Vitaly Petrov while driving for Renault F1 Team in 2011.

Major redesign of Silverstone was made in the 1990s

The track underwent a major redesign in 1990 and 1991 transforming the extremely fast track into a more technically demanding track. Other smaller modifications were made in 1995 in order to reduce speed and increase the drivers’ safety after the tragic incidents in Imola. Even after changes, for drivers it is still one of the most popular tracks with long straights and nice corners.

Video – Lap around Silverstone circuit

The new layout included the new pit building with 40 places, the Silverstone Wing, was completed at the exit of the corner. That resulted in the start of the track being relocated between the Club corner and Abbey corner, but only for the Formula 1 races. Most other championships tend to use the original pits and start and finish locations.

Clark and Prost have most Grand Prix wins at Silverstone

The drivers from various racing series like Silvestone Circuit and many of them cited that Silverstone is one of their favorite tracks, especially because of its exciting and challenging high speed corners. As of the end of 2017, most wins (5) in Formula 1 races were recorded by Jim Clark (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967), Alain Prost (1983, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1993) and Lewis Hamilton (2008, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Ferrari has most constructors’ wins (15) and is followed by McLaren (14) and Williams (10).

Silverstone circuit, Porsche 911 parade

Porsche 911 parades at Silverstone

Multipurpose facilities are making Silverstone more than a racing venue

As a result of the circuit not being funded by the state, several other initiatives such as the Silverstone Business Park and Silverstone University Technical College have been created at the circuit, in addition to the high profile and modern Silverstone Wing building.

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Silverstone Wing building

Address: Towcester, Northamptonshire NN12 8TN, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 844 372 8200


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