Posted on May 3, 2010
Silverstone F1 track – an in depth look at the new corners | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

Following on from the video of an on board lap of the new Silverstone Grand Prix track I posted on Thursday, in this latest film Martin Brundle and I take a more in depth look at the new corners, which will feature in this year’s British Grand Prix on July 11th.

Judging from the response of many fans to the on board video, there is some concern that in adding the new section at the expense of the old Bridge corner and Abbey Chicane, the circuit may have lost some of its character and challenge.

There are also questions about whether the changes will lead to more overtaking.

Take a look at this video and decide for yourself. Feel free to send it to your friends and see what they think.

Silverstone F1 track – an in depth look at the new corners
66 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Phil Waddell
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 7:37 pm 

    ‘Village Corner. Feels a bit “village”‘.

    Classic Brundle!

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Goncalo Carvalho
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 7:38 pm 

    The loop may lead to some overtaking. There was some interesting overtaking manoeuvres during this weekend’s GT. I find it better than Bridge. The problem of course is all the other construction works going around the circuit. Is it me or Club banking was flattened out? And hopefully they will allow spectators closer to the track (currently with all the revamp it doesn’t seem to be the case).

    [Reply]

    Robert S Reply:

    i think club has been flattened which is a shame, also the amount of run off at club is a bit much when i watched the gt races the cars ran over the kerb and used the extra road, it should be all grass to stop that. also i would like more grandstands in the arena to make it more arena like, something similar to hockenheim!

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Steve Arnott
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 7:48 pm 

    Two things, James:

    1) Bridge is one of my favourite corners in the calendar, and I’m sad to see it go, but the new section looks to be just as interesting, possibly as challenging, and certainly what Silverstone needed.

    2) You need to be back on the TV.

    Cheers,
    Steve

    [Reply]

    wayne brookes Reply:

    agree, Legard is unacceptable, on a charge ?
    miss james and his enthusiastic voice

    [Reply]

    Andy W Reply:

    Agreed!

    [Reply]

    Frenchie Reply:

    I have a copy of One HD’s coverage of the Australia GP this year (the bits before and after the BBC commentary on all three days).

    Give me a shout via Twitter @damien_marquez and will endeavour send you a DVD copy for the p&p costs.


  4.   4. Posted By: Proesterchen
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 8:34 pm 

    We’ve lost 2 overtaking opportunities in Abbey and Bridge/Priory, and gained Village to compensate. Personally, I don’t like that trade very much.

    I’ve got to say, that from the onboard footage, the new complex seems very flat, and the ditch under the bridge and than up again towards Priory IMO added character to the circuit that the new Arena seems to lack.

    I’ll reserve judgment, of course, but as of last weekend, I’m less optimistic about the new Silverstone than I was when I saw the first drawings.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: Nick Hipkin
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 8:48 pm 

    Just like to say it was great to see you and martin working together again James, if you ever do get an offer from the bbc you must take it!

    [Reply]

    Ohm Reply:

    I was going to say exactly the same thing! Even Martin seems glad to be around you again unlike when he’s around Legard you know!

    [Reply]

    James Finister Reply:

    Absolutely great to see the two of you together again, but then it is also great to see what you’ve done post ITV.

    [Reply]

    Obi-Wan Oakley Reply:

    Agree 10000000%, Nothing against Legard personally as i find him quite entertaining when he’s doing a feature etc but i don’t think he’s cut out for F1 commmentary at all.

    [Reply]

    Bill Reply:

    James and Martin managed to display more on-screen chemistry in 3 minutes than Martin managed with Legard for the whole of last season, and the beginning of this one. The two of you should clearly be back together doing the TV commentary.

    [Reply]

    Cliff Reply:

    I agree with all the coments about James & Martin.
    The BBC is said to like Focus Groups. I’m not sure if we constitute a Focus Group, but I wonder if they would take the comments on this site into consideration. I suspect not, but we can live in hope!

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    I agree with Cliff and Bill.

    I was almost in tears seeing James and Martin back together on-screen. Rogers and Hammerstein. Kirk and Spock. Richard and Ju… er, never mind.

    Again, nothing personally against Legard, but it is time for him to move on. He’s had a season and a bit, and I have had to painfully sacrifice listening to the legendary Martin and have moved over to 5Live.

    Sorry, I know this is a post about Silverstone.

    The new corners look fantastic. I will miss the drivers wrestling the cars out of Bridge, and trying to slow them down for Priory and Luffield (always good overtakes there), but the new fast chicane looks just awesome, and it’s nice to have another straight on the circuit.

    One point I haven’t heard people mention yet… the aerial map has lost that lovely open, classic look. It sort of looks like a crushed tin can now.

    Ah well.

    (Come back, James!)


  6.   6. Posted By: S.J.M
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 8:51 pm 

    Excellent video James.

    I’l admit im no expert on the corners of Silverstone, but if the changes make for better racing for the fans and the drivers then Im happy to support it.

    If its good enough for people like Martin Brundle (who adds so much to the racing coverage for me & many others throughout the calender) then it is good enough for me.

    [Reply]

    Destro Reply:

    I couldn’t have said it any better.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Kenny
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 9:09 pm 

    Firstly can I say thank you very much James with all these insights into quite frankly everything with F1 still and secondly it was great to see you working with Martin again.
    Please press the BBC to get a job with them? Your commentary was always great to hear if even at times seemingly over-exuberant, but you were entertaining!
    Along with this you were also very informative as demonstrated in that short video.
    As for the new layout, it certainly does look to be fantastic in so many aspects and a better “addition” compared to what they did for the Bahrain circuit.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Lopek
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 9:17 pm 

    As I said on the post with the original video after I got home from the GT1 weekend at Silverstone last night:

    My negative views of the new Arena section based on paper and videos proved completely wrong, it produced some great racing. Loads of overtaking going into Village, round The Loop and through Aintree in all the series.

    Copse and Stowe of course remain great overtaking points, and Brooklands looks a better chance now with the long Wellington straight before it now.

    The only negative I can see from the changes is the way that the main straight grandstand has been pushed right back from the track. I accept that it is necessary run off for the MotoGP race, but it will restrict the view from there.

    On the other hand, the view from the grandstand at Village is great. You can see the key Arena corners close up, and (at a distance) the Becketts/Maggots/Chapel complex, some of the Hanger Straight and right down to Stowe and Vale. Brilliant.

    They really need to get some more grandstands in there, there is only one small one at the moment – presume it is planned otherwise calling the new section an “Arena” seems kinda strange!

    I loved Bridge corner, and think it is a loss to the circuit (and F1 in general), but the revised Abbey, new Arena corners and more open Brooklands more than make up for that in my opinion.

    Overall a big thumbs up from me – good improvement to the circuit. Hopefully it will provide racing in F1 that matches the GT weekend action.

    [Reply]

    Luke Reply:

    Yeah I’m a tad disappointed how far back the pit grandstands are, I’m going to my first ever Grand Prix in July and I’ll be up there!

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: Steve
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 9:40 pm 

    I very much enjoyed the video, really well put together and presented. Wonderful to have Martin’s comments too. Great work. Thanks James!

    [Reply]

    Andy Fov Reply:

    I don’t know whether there’s any subliminal product placement going on with that clip, but for some inexplicable reason I’m feeling strangely compelled to invest in a Santander ISA.

    Really informative and entertaining to watch though. Nice to see James and Martin on the screen together again… Think it was Joni Mitchell who once said “don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got
    till it’s gone”. I don’t think Big Yellow Taxi was written about F1 commentary, but it seems apt enough all the same.

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: Peter
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 10:22 pm 

    What a fantastic video. Like all the rest I’ll miss Bridge a lot because it was just a classic and like James said I’ll never forget Barrichello on Raikonnen in 2003. What a race – one of the finest of all time.

    Also I agree with those who say James needs to be back on tv! A pure waste of an excellent personality.

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Adam Taylor
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 10:29 pm 

    having watched the FIA GTs at Silverstone over the weekend I think albeit losing the bridge corner is a good step forward. The new layout deemed better and closer racing with brooklands allowing some unusual overtaking.

    Sweeping past through abbey and farm allows the car to follow and possibly overtake under braking, with the other car having the chance to come back at the next hairpin. Leading onto the straight and into brooklands, the corner being so long allows for cars to slimstream and undertake on the inside, or to hold station on the outside with the inside line for luffield.

    This is only GTs and the section was originally made for Moto GPs, it would be interesting to see what the Formula One boys make of it.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Daniel
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 10:44 pm 

    Fantastic James – what a great video! The BBC need you & Martin in the commentary box, no question.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: dkfone
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 10:58 pm 

    Great vid, it does look promising. Agreed, James is far better than that Legard. James has a genuine passion and the BBC should recognise this. Its such a waste. Anyway thanks for the video!

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: MJ
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 11:00 pm 

    Martin looks so much more comfortable without Leggard on his side!!

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Luke
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 11:02 pm 

    Great video James. The only thing that worries me in regards to overtaking is the small kink between Farm and Village. If it’s too close to the braking zone that could well force one line through there.

    Having said that, Wellington -> Brooklands looks to be a much better passing place then the old Abbey chicane, so overall it looks like a win to me.

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: John McCormack
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 11:10 pm 

    You need to be back on the F1 coverage, BBC bosses need to see this.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Steven Selasky
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 11:12 pm 

    Personally, I prefer the old Silverstone from 1990. Funny, that was 20 years ago!

    Interestingly enough it is fascinating how Brundle drinks the “kool-aid” and speaks positively about the changes. I have him on tape – moaning about the old Woodcote chicane in 1987….

    Otherwise, the track looks good. Understand the whys about the changes.

    Steve………

    [Reply]

    Jeremy Reply:

    “kool-aid”? Steve, you sound like you have looking at CART/Champcar forums like me. How I miss those Lolas and Reynards…..

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: Antoine
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 11:18 pm 

    I give it a thumbs up too, can’t wait. I think this is a much better alternative than Doninghton could ever be.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Hyperion
        Date: May 3rd, 2010 @ 11:22 pm 

    What a fantastic insight into the new layout! Great to see you back with Brundle on screen. I just can’t wait for the British GP, the new right-left sequence looks amazing.

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: Icthyes
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 12:16 am 

    James, don’t you know you shouldn’t talk to the driver whilst he is operating the vehicle! ;-)

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: Nick172
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 12:16 am 

    Very nice video James. It’d be even nicer if the BBC ask you if they can use it rather than film their own version. Be good to see you back on screen during an F1 broadcast.

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: Richard
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 1:32 am 

    Bridge was very startling. No sign of the cars, but you heard them approaching, then suddenly they were there, very very close, very very loud. I’ll miss it.

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: JohnBt
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 3:44 am 

    It’s an improvement without a doubt. Liked the graphics of the track protuding from ground level with some elevation effect. Always thought Silverstone was flat as it’s an airport. Will be great if all tracks can be tweaked for more speed.

    [Reply]

    Rob Haswell Reply:

    The height reflects the speed of the cars at that point

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: Dale
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 7:19 am 

    James can you tell how come you didn’t move to the BBC with Martin :?:
    Chemistry cannot be fabricated & you & Martin have it whereas his current partner doesn’t :!:
    Can the BBC not see this :?:

    [Reply]

    Neil Reply:

    Watch this be unpopular ;-)

    Can we please end with the “James back on TV” posts? (All of them – I just hung a response on this one.)

    The past is the past, the future awaits, bringing back the past is rarely as good as you hope for. Innovate and grasp new opportunies!

    James does this excellent blog, which has no peers. I’d rather see this continue than see him return to the corporate fold as a TV presenter.

    Now, can we get back to discussion the finer points of F1 technicalities, politics, and spin? ;-)

    Cheers,

    Neil.

    PS No Shumacher analogy implied or intended!

    [Reply]

    Buck61 Reply:

    Here Here
    I live in Canada and we don’t get to choose who we hear so we make due.

    Thanks to the James we get fresh news and info to read every day. There’s lots of other sites but none that I like better than this site.

    [Reply]

    Mark V Reply:

    Ahhh, you beat me to it. Indeed enough with the “please go back to TV” stuff. Network TV is like newspapers: it’s dying. Internet places like this are the future and it’s only a matter of time before F1 is broadcast live on the net.

    I don’t dare speak for James but I don’t think it would be a radical guess that he is happy right where he is: self employed in a quickly growing market with huge potential, fully in control of where he spends his journalist energies, and instead of speaking into a microphone for a couple hours every other week or so to an intangible audience, he gets to interact directly with the hardcore fans here everyday (although I’m sure that can also be pain in the butt sometimes).

    That this site continues to grow in its readership and scope and that people like Brundle are jumping onboard to do these kinds of in depth features speaks volumes for this site and where things are going in the future.

    [Reply]

    David Hodge Reply:

    You’re so right Dale.

    [mod]

    Anyway, thank goodness for the red button and Crofty. I wonder if the Beeb can tell how many people switch to alternate commentary as the pre-show ends?

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: CNSZU
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 7:39 am 

    This new track layout doesn’t do any good for Silverstone’s F1 race. They should have spent the money upgrading the facilitates, but instead chose to change the track for bikes. This is a lose-lose situation for the F1 stakeholders.

    [Reply]

    Alexis Reply:

    How can you judge? We haven’t had a GP yet.

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: Robert
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 7:55 am 

    Good video. Thanks.

    I won’t miss Bridge but I will miss the exit to Abbey Chicane when the cars were just a few yards away from the spectators and coming straight at you. Spectacular and scary.

    Everything now looks miles away from the fans. This year I will be high up in the Abbey grandstand and hopefully the corner will not be too easy for an F1 car. It looks to me like a reverse Suzuka R130, which no longer seems to be challenging.

    The unknown quantity is Brooklands. As they say great for club racing but for F1 ? ………….not sure

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: Phil C
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 1:19 pm 

    Silverstone has been the same for nearly 20 years (not counting the insertion of the Abbey Chicane in 1994). Yet the last major revamp introduced the current maggots, Becketts and Chapel complex that we know and love. To watch a well dialled F1 car sweep through these corners onto the Hanger Straight – I’ve got the 1994 Review video where Damon Hill’s Williams is so well tuned in it almost looked effortless. Of course, 1991 also brought us Bridge.

    I’ll be sad to see Bridge go, to see an end to the cars popping up from the dip. But the circuit needed to change. For a start, the new pit and paddock complex plus a new start line was needed to allow the circuit to compete with new F1 venues. The current garages never really seemed special, I’ve walked them many times but they never felt particularly F1. What has happened though, is that Silverstone has created a new section which will be faster, tighter and more spectacular. Plus I’m sure there’ll be more grandstands and viewing areas around.

    I’ll miss Bridge, but I don’t think this will be a Bahrain disaster. in fact, quite the opposite…

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: David
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 1:45 pm 

    Well — great vid, and you have to think Santander have made a pile of new friends with it. ;)

    (P.s. What Dale said #23!!)

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: Jodum5
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 2:03 pm 

    On paper, I prefer the old Silverstone layout. But hopefully this new one is a success.

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: Paul
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 2:56 pm 

    I think it’s an improvement, overtaking opportunities were needed for Silverstone, many of the races I’ve seen were a bit processional, however, i’ll never forget the great view I had at Abbey / Bridge when Hamilton stuck it on pole in 2007, magical

    James – superb video and great to see / hear you and Martin together, miss your commentary on the TV

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: Ed H
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 4:02 pm 

    I agree with James about Barrichello’s move on Raikonen being Bridge’s best moment. I remember that because you came out of Bridge so fast and then the two right handers of priory and club were extremely difficult to slow down for, particularly the latter. Silverstone may get more overtaking, but I think it’s lost a bit of it’s challenge, and it will be easier to overtake into that final corner given the now huge run-up from Wellington straight. Names of corners are now questionable too,”the loop” is a dull name, but in Aintree corner it’s fantastic that they’ve remembered some heritage of old Circuits in Britain from the 50′s. I say we give it a chance, but if it doesn’t work, we go back to the old one.

    Also, best track guide I have seen in quite some time. Everyone always critised Allen, yet here he is, years later delivering the goods. Good on you mate! :)

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: Owen Li
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 4:07 pm 

    Wonderful!Great to see you with Martin again!
    Hope to see you on BBC…
    -A Chinese fan

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: Tom
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 4:22 pm 

    Bring back James Allen, His infectious adoration for grand prix racing was a fantastic experience to go with racing, We miss you James, god bless x

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: Richard S
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 4:33 pm 

    James!

    This isn’t fair. Great video and it just shows how complete the BBC F1 coverage would be if you were involved. You and Martin work so well together. I really hope it happens… At VERY worst you should be analyzing on the BBC forums and pre-build up. Is this just wishful thinking or is there a possibility?

    Rich

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: smellyden
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 6:44 pm 

    Great stuff!!

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: Malcolm46
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 6:54 pm 

    This is great video, thanks James (and Martin!)

    So good to see you and Martin back together. The new section looks good. Should be great for the fans too. Silverstone needs lots of fans each year to keep paying Bernie for the race….!

    Can you send a copy of this video and a CV to the Beeb James as a job application for the commentary position for the 2011 season please?!

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: Horacio
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 8:21 pm 

    James: It seems to me that we will need to wait for a real GP weekend to see how it works.
    But I have to say that your enthusiasm (and Martin’s) in this video is just contagious…
    Great stuff!

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: Steve Rogers
        Date: May 4th, 2010 @ 9:10 pm 

    It looks to me like the profile of the Abbey and Farm kinks is better judged than Bridge if anything. I’m well pleased. Also I won’t have to remember that really embarrassing crash of Hill into Schumacher every time I see Priory :-)

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: Fausto Cunha
        Date: May 5th, 2010 @ 12:10 am 

    There´s the objective of creating new overtaking oportunities with this new layout, but it´s very dificult to overtake in F1.

    It looks good on video and on paper , but we really need to wait and see the F1 cars on it.

    It´s still a very fast track even with that new section and with the loop.

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: Jon
        Date: May 5th, 2010 @ 11:45 am 

    Good work James.

    Make sure you post this again in the leadup to the British GP, when the circuit will be on everyone’s minds a bit more.

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Frenchie
        Date: May 5th, 2010 @ 3:02 pm 

    At first, looking at the map of the revised circuit, I wasn’t too hot on the new lay out.

    However, the enthusiasm both you and Martin have in this video really is infectious and I think I’ll remain open minded until the race gets there.

    After all, last year’s race was pretty dull with little overtaking to its name. Hopefully the new section will cure some of this.

    May I also take this opportunity to congratulate the director of the video. The picture is crystal clear and the photography superb. Great input from both Martin and yourself.
    Thank you so much for producing such high quality content. A very very professional job and a real treat.

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: Mark V
        Date: May 5th, 2010 @ 3:06 pm 

    A lot of people seem to be lamenting the loss of the spectacular Bridge corner. Images of the new Abbey corner looked similar to Bridge to me so to find out how close they are I took the computer generated image of the new circuit that’s online and superimposed the old Bridge corner over the new Abbey. If that computer image is accurate, then the two corners are nearly identical, most likely by design.

    However, the straight after Club leading up to the new Abbey is three times as long as the Farm straight after the old Abbey chicane leading in to Bridge, which must make the new Abbey corner a heck of a lot faster.

    Have a look: http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/3650/bridgeabbeycomparison.jpg

    [Reply]


  43.   43. Posted By: mayhemfunkster
        Date: May 6th, 2010 @ 12:46 pm 

    Abbey *corner* was a loss, the chicane was pointless apart from the fact you could get some good pics there.

    Bridge was a nice idea but you didn’t see the cars for long enough, it was flat for most F1 cars for years now. So I really don’t think its much of a loss.

    So, until I see it at the GP, a catious thumbs up!

    P.S – +1 for Allen/Brundle thing. I admit I was a detractor of James, but Legard’s tired cliches and one-dimensional understanding of the sport are fraustrating for all – inlcuding Brundle (from what I can hear in his voice every now and again).

    I was completley wrong about James. It turns out, the only mistake he actually made was that he wasn’t Murray Walker. Ben Edwards would have been a better choice than Legard, but I now beleive James Allen should be back in the role.

    [Reply]


  44.   44. Posted By: LeighJW
        Date: May 6th, 2010 @ 2:02 pm 

    Anyone who wants to see the new Silverstone used in anger can go to the FIA GT1 webpage and watch the racing from last weekend.

    http://gt1world.com/

    I reckon a ticket at Becketts or Arena will be an exellent place to watch the GP.

    [Reply]


  45.   45. Posted By: LeighJW
        Date: May 6th, 2010 @ 2:07 pm 

    I once stood next to the tunnel at Bridge and watched Nigel Mansell take it flat out (in qualy) in the Williams-Honda. The shockwave was like a thump in the stomach. It was one of the most memorable things I have seen at a Grand Prix.

    But that was in the days when Bridge was flat only for the very best. In more recent time is has been ‘easy’ flat and for me had lost it’s appeal somewhat.

    I look forward to seeing the new layout at the BGP.

    However, I still prefer the very old configuration and remember watching Keke doing the first 160mph lap. In those days club was a ‘real’ corner!

    [Reply]


  46.   46. Posted By: klearpics.com
        Date: June 7th, 2010 @ 8:24 pm 

    I am looking forward to the MotoGP race in just over a week’s time. Looks like there are some really good corners for photography

    [Reply]

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