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Silverstone: ” A new circuit for a new generation”
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Silverstone: ” A new circuit for a new generation”
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Apr 2010   |  3:17 pm GMT  |  43 comments

The new Silverstone Grand Prix circuit was unveiled today, with a new sequence of corners on the second half of the lap which promise better overtaking, better spectating and more challenges for the drivers.


At a ceremony on one of the corners, BRDC president Damon Hill called the new track, “A new circuit for a new generation of people to enjoy motorsport.”

The circuit recently secured the British Grand Prix for a minimum of 10 years with the possibility of 17 years.

The new layout features seven new corners and starts with a revision to Club corner. Next is a new Abbey curve, which goes right instead of left and takes the cars back infield towards Becketts. Abbey is 15 degrees more open than Copse Corner and is therefore faster at 295km/h.

After that Farm Curve is a 275 km/h left hander, which leads to Village, a tight right hander at 116km/h, where overtaking is anticpated. This leads onto a 100m long straight to a left hander called The Loop. Here a car which found itself on the outside for Village can repass.

After that there is a corner called Aintree, which opens onto the back straight, which is 100m shorter than the Hangar Straight and equally fast. This leads into Brooklands, which is quite different in character for the F1 cars now, as the apex is much later. Club racers have used Brooklands in this configuration for many years and it has always produced a lot of overtaking.

The lap length has increased from 5.1km to 5.9km and is faster than the old layout with an average lap speed of around 250km/h, maintaining Silverstone’s reputation as a high speed track.

Silverstone is 92% sold out for this year’s Grand Prix. It has also been inspected yesterday by the FIA’s Charlie Whiting and has received its licence for the next three years.

Unlike most modern F1 tracks, the new Silvestone has been designed, not by Hermann Tilke, but by London based firm, Populous. They also designed the new Wembley Stadium, Ascot, the Emirates stadium and the 2012 Olympic Stadium. Populous like to think that they are more focussed on fans experience than their rivals.

Below is a chart given to me by Drew Macdonald, who designed the new corners.


Red Bull’s Mark Webber was at the launch and approved of the new track, “It’s been a brilliant circuit for years,” he said. ” The new section looks like it has a mix of high speed corners and a more technical section. It’s also undulating, so a good mix all round and it should suit the Red Bull car.”

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43 Comments
  1. Nicollers says:

    Can’t wait to see the new track in action! Bound to be more overtaking on the Hangar Straight now, I reckon….

  2. John McCormack says:

    Not bad. Looking forward to seeing it in action.

  3. SparkyJay23 says:

    Looks Good – I can’t wait; though once those F1 boffins get at it there will be less over-taking than expected i bet.

    Populous should probably keep quiet about a football stadium which can’t grow grass

    1. Adrian says:

      I thought the issues with the grass were down to over-use of the stadium..??

      1. SparkyJay23 says:

        Nope
        The Arsenal Stadium was built with the pitch as the most important detail, they sacrificed more seating for better airflow through the stadium. Wembley decided the pitch was the last thing on the list – it was more important to have more seats and to hell will things like light and air at ground level.

  4. PaulL says:

    Before I read the article I looked at the circuit map and thought – this looks quite good, especially for Tilke. And what do you know.. it’s not!

    That guy is a just a sport killer.

  5. malcolm.strachan says:

    Looks great! If this works out well, perhaps future circuit owners will get Populous to design the track, and get Tilke to design the fancy buildings around it. That’d make me happy. :)

  6. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion says:

    This has been one of my favourite tracks…. I was really sad when Bernie gave the race to Donnigton, and it made me laugh they couldn’t get it :-)

    Now this new layout focuses on what it’s the main strength of Silverstone…. speed. Making it an even faster track was the right way. Let’s hope that this guys really show some know-how to the Tilke’s troop. Looking anxious for the race.

  7. Matt says:

    I’m a bit torn about this. Why fix what most definitely wasn’t broken? Still, I’m prepared to withhold judgement until the actual race, and it’s just fantastic to have Silverstone back on the calendar – what a brilliant circuit.

    1. James Allen says:

      I would withhold judgement. I’ve just been around it with Martin Brundle and we reckon that the new Abbey and Farm curves are very exciting and that Village and Loop will promote overtaking

      1. Jason C says:

        New Abbey and Farm look quite hairy-chested, but maybe they’ll be easy flat in today’s cars. Still, glad it’s not more of the same from Tilke.

        Were these track changes to facilitate the extra pit and paddock developments? It’s hard to see why else they would change the old layout. Hope we see a classic this year.

      2. Andrew Halliday says:

        The original reason for modifying the track was to create a track that would be more suitable for motorbike racing. When the new F1 deal was finalised the plan for the new section of Silverstone was slightly modified.

        In a way I think it looks good but I have so many good memories of the ‘proper’ Silverstone so don’t want it to be spoiled however I too will reserve my judgement until July’s race. One problem though – where to sit for the race? All the old haunts will have changed so it will be an interesting weekend checking out the new viewing locations!

      3. Stevie P says:

        As Andrew states, modifications were for MotoGP, apparently the track was too close to the bridge at Bridge for bike-riders!?!

        The new modifications look ok to me… I’ve never liked the Abbey chicane, nor the “painful” loop at the end of the previous layout… but Bridge corner was always fun.

        Here’s hoping the new layout works for fans and drivers alike :-)

  8. Andy Gibson says:

    All very well to have a new layout, but they still have a long way to go on customer service.

    Today I have spent 40 minutes in a Silverstone call queue regarding the none delivery of my tickets for this weekend’s GT1 meeting. When I finally got through I was advised that my tickets were at the circuit for collection.

    Apparently a “technical problem” had caused a delay in them being printed, not leaving enough time for delivery. That’s fine, but why not email to tell me that?

    The answer to that was it would take too long to go through all ticket sales, find the ones that had not been shipped, write down (!) all the email address and send the emails!!! What kind of IT system do they have?

    And where are the tickets to be collected – at a place that will be closed on Friday evening when I arrive. Hopefully they’ll be at the gate “with security” – though that must have just been something made up to get me off the phone. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    I don’t often agree with Bernie Ecclestone, but if this is typical of how Silverstone deals with it’s customers I am not surprised in the least he was keen to get the GP away from the incompetent muppets.

    Have not been to Silverstone for meeting for some years due to various issues. It seems nothing has changed and it may be a number of years again before I try again.

    1. ben c says:

      this isnt the place for a rant about customer services. you could have just turned up, and verified the booking with the card you paid with. surely? stop moaning

    2. Gareth says:

      Dude nobody here cares.

      Visit the silverstone web site where you can find contact details for someone who’s prepares.

      As for the new layout, it looks fantastic and hope it delivers.

      1. Gavin-John Noonan says:

        The track did deliver, it surpassed my expectations!

        The new village corner (the loop) is where I shall be buying my tickets for F1, cracking views.

  9. Relativity says:

    I can already tell that the new layout at Silverstone is going to be great. How do I know? It’s not designed by Hermann Tilke :-)

  10. Peter says:

    James,what are the comments about the new Club corner? The first racers there a few weekends ago say that this corner has now been neutralised. Why was it reconfigured?

    1. Stevie P says:

      Perhaps reconfigured in conjunction with where the new pit complex will be in 2011\2012?

  11. Gilles says:

    People from Bahrain, pay attention: this is how you modify an F1 track !

  12. Neil says:

    Still believe that if the media hadn’t ganged up on Donington we’d be seeing a much, much better British Grand Prix there.

    1. Blanchimont says:

      And, to an extent, had the financial markets not turned at just the wrong time. I always felt that there was an element of the media and the motor racing fraternity that were determined to see Donington fail.

      I could never understand that – and in fact I don’t think it was ever based on an understanding of what makes a race track great, but rather based on simple resentment as to the way in which Ecclestone manages the calendar and his race contracts. If the race was being moved to a some bland new build somewhere I could more understand the animosity, but the sight of modern F1 cars going through Craner Curves and Old Hairpin would have been fantastic for any motorsport fan. Wanting that to fail just struck me as perverse.

      1. Peter says:

        There was always a media-lead bullying toward the Donington deal with most of them in bed with the former drivers who are the BRDC, who, unsurprisingly, run Silverstone. History? Donington Park was holding Grands Prix even before Silverstone was an airfield.

  13. Mike says:

    James

    You say “Populous like to think that they are more focussed on fans experience than their rivals”

    Well I hope they’ve made a better job than they did at Ascot. Ascot is widely regarded as having one of the worst designed race course/paddock viewing experiences that there is.

  14. Graeme says:

    And this is the key, no Hermann Tilke! Yeah :) Lets hope there is overtaking in the new corners!

  15. Pablo says:

    What is the spectator’s view actually like?

    The single best spot for photography-without-an-official-pass used to be Bridge; there was a sweet spot on the grass banking of the bridge itself that got you both close to the circuit and looking over, not through, the catch fencing.

    I have a horrible feeling that we’ve lost that having only gained places where we’ll be far away from the track and at ground level so looking through the catch fencing (or up in the grandstand, where you can overlook the catch fencing but be so far away from the track as to make photography pointless).

    1. James Allen says:

      I’d buy a ticket for the new Village corner, which follows the Abbey and Farm section.

    2. ben c says:

      go to barcelona for pictures.. they’re all good

  16. John says:

    Come on James…..include the speed figures etc in good old imperial as well please!!

    1. Robin Capper says:

      Imperial may be old but it was never good

      1. Adrian says:

        Metric is to speed what Tilke is to circuit design… ;-)

  17. Rodrigo says:

    And in the future, when they move the start/finish line to the straight before the new sector, I think the start of the races will be much improved also. The Copse and Becketts sequence at the beggining of the 1st lap of a race doesnt help overtaking. Now we will have a nice braking zone after two high speed corners.

  18. Hans Wurst says:

    Lets hope this version is better than the old silverstone, which always was a snoozefest, whether to watch or to drive. Bring on donington

  19. jw1980 says:

    James,

    when you say Silverstone is 92% sold for the British GP this year is that for Sunday or all weekend?
    It is the size of the crowds on Friday that have really impressed me in recent years.
    It makes you wonder what crowds there could be if there was no limit on Sundays.

    1. ben c says:

      If there was no limit? the place is absolutely rammed. you could only squeeze more people in behind the banking and stands.

  20. Michael says:

    It looks sort of like technical section at Interlagos. Not bad. God knows what Herr Tilke would’ve done.

    1. Robert S says:

      it would be a hairpin onto the national straight and brooklands would become a hairpin to

  21. Bill Day says:

    James,

    Brilliant graphic for this article.

    Which reminds me, I also want to complement you on the top-of-page pics on your site. They are always really effective.

  22. Kedar says:

    I loved the old Silverstone circuit, May be for someone who lives outside Britain and having never been to the British GP, I thought it had some of the most entertaining races.
    I wonder why they changed the layout!!
    Tilke or not, Remember all the hype that was made of Abu dhabi last year (or Istanbul several years ago) and how that turned out??!!
    So all that is said and written about the circuit will be taken with a pinch of salt and the actual judgment of the racetrack will be after the British GP

  23. Danny says:

    A great track ,we just need a bit more paint around the place,to give it a better face lift

  24. Tony G says:

    Just wish they would do away with that “Mickey Mouse” Vale and Club would be great if we could have the original layout back there

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