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Exclusive: The men who designed the new Silverstone
Exclusive: The men who designed the new Silverstone
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Jul 2010   |  9:17 pm GMT  |  13 comments

This weekend the F1 cars will be racing on the new Silverstone circuit, which has undergone a significant upgrade.

The second half of the lap is now quite different and the architects have added a thrilling new section at Farm/Abbey and two new potential overtaking places at Village/Loop and Brooklands.

Here in this exclusive JA on F1 interview, senior architect John Rhodes explains the brief and the man who drew the new circuit, Drew McDonald, talks us through the a plan of the changes and where he expects the action to be.

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I think they’ve done a fantastic job – especially the new Abbey corner, where they seem to have achieved a great test of a corner that is borderline flat, but not comfortably so for the drivers (like the original pre-1994 Bridge corner was).

So nice to see different ideas in circuit design too – rather than just using the same concept over and over again on every new track that gets built.

Great work from the designers in my opinion (and please don’t take out the bumps!)


Please James investigate why Redbull have given Vettel the newer front wing over Webber. This is a team that claims to be fair but its obvious thats its not. Vettel’s wing broke NOT Webber’s so why should Webber be penalized and not given the new wing that was allocated to him!!!! Webber’s performance in qualifying was so close that any new development wold be an asset and that could have cost him pole!!! Its not fair and Webber is being penalized. Something stinks at Redbull and no amount of rationalization can justify the fact that Vettel had a new part and Webber did not..why is that???!!!


Well, anything to break the Tilke racket is good in my books. The fact that one guy has got to design the last 10 or so new F1 tracks is nothing sort of scandalous – where’s the variety and competition? Even the Americans, normally vehemently patriotic in choosing local talent, have gone for him for the proposed new US GP. Makes you wonder if their hands were tied?

It wouldn’t be so bad if Tilke had designed a series of great tracks, but he simply hasn’t. The net result is that we, the fans, are the overall losers.


Typo in the title.


Drivers have commented the new parts have no room for overtaking though.

The braking area and bumps making it impossible without catapulting off the track if you try.

Nice one guys.


Nice little barb at Tilke at the end.


Do you think Bernie’s insistence on Tilke designing any new tracks will be up for discussion when the next concorde agreement is negotiated?


I suspect Tilke does a good job, given the brief he has. It’s the brief from the FIA that has to change – namely, that a circuit need not be ‘accident proof’.

He designed a wonderful track at Istanbul, which has been irreparably ruined by far too much runoff area. The creativity was Tilke’s; the overly safe circuit was the FIAs.


The new layout is better but they still need to sharpen brooklands as its still impossible to overtake.

Just got back from today though and very unimpressed, paid £260 for a seat in the new vale stand but was shocked when i sat down to see a large area the size of a football pitch between the stand and the track.

The view is so far away is very poor and i think silverstone still has some work to do on areas like this for the fans.

Personally im feeling very ripped off right now


Placement of the grandstands has got to start to be the priority for F1 circuits. The only new circuit that seems to have done a reasonable job of it is Abu Dhabi, who have brought a new approach with overhanging / elevated grandstands etc.

At Indy the stands are very close to the track, with cars exiting corners at 340kmh plus.

They’ve got to start to think of ways to bring the fans (safely) closer to the action.


I have to agree, Abu Dhabi is excellent for spectators, (sadly I will not be there this year, as I was last).

Silverstone is one of the poorest places to watch F1, you may be able to see a bit more of the circuit than before, but you’re miles away from the track compared to modern Abu Dhabi.


Nick is that 260 pounds for the three days? I hope.


We will be thinking of you while watching it at home on our huge flatscreen surround system, munching on pizzas with the airco running!


Very interesting bit of video. It’s the first time that I’ve watched an interview with a track designer. I found his insight into why a track (or potion of one in Silverstons case) was designed in a certain way. I particularly liked it when he said that as a former race team engineer he knew what drivers found difficult and that was what they tried to incorporate into the changes. I guess now all we can do is wait for Sunday afternoon to see what happens.

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