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Silverstone F1 track – an in depth look at the new corners
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Silverstone F1 track – an in depth look at the new corners
Posted By: James Allen  |  03 May 2010   |  7:18 pm GMT  |  66 comments

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.

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1

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

2

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!

3

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.

4
mayhemfunkster

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.

5

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

6

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.

7

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.

8

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.

9

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 🙂

10

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!

11

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?!

12

Great stuff!!

13

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

14

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

15

Wonderful!Great to see you with Martin again!

Hope to see you on BBC…

-A Chinese fan

16

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! 🙂

17

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

18

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

19

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

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

20

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…

21

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

22

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.

23

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

24

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 ❓

25

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?

26

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!

27

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.

28

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.

29

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.

30

The height reflects the speed of the cars at that point

31

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.

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