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Silverstone Circuit

Formula 1 circuit

Silverstone Circuit
Credit: Mercedes
Vital statistics for Silverstone Circuit
CircuitSilverstone Circuit
CountryUnited Kingdom
Race debut1950
Results for the 2017 British Grand Prix
Pole positionLewis Hamilton
Race winnerLewis Hamilton
Fastest lapLewis Hamilton

The Silverstone circuit has been part of the F1 schedule since the World Championship began - it hosted the very first official race in 1950. Since then, the track has undergone many changes, the most recent being upgrades to the pit and paddock complex, and tweaking the final sector of the circuit. Memorable sections still exist though, with Maggots & Becketts, plus the Hangar Straight. Rain is often a factor at Silverstone, ramping up the racing action.

F1 history

Silverstone proclaims itself the “Home of British Motorsport” and it could also be considered the home of F1, having hosted the first round of the inaugural Formula One World Championship in 1950. Despite the rich F1 history Silverstone has, due to passionate fans, changeable conditions and generally great races, the future of the race at the track was up for debate for a long time.

In 2008, it was announced that Donington Park would take over hosting duties of the British Grand Prix, but after several months of worrying reports coming from the circuit, it was agreed that the race would remain at Silverstone, with a 17 year contract confirmed at the end of 2009.

With a secure future, upgrades to the track and the surrounding facilities were complete, bringing Silverstone back up to scratch as one of the best facilities on the calendar. Despite the shiny new buildings, however, the event can’t get away from the fact it is tucked away in the British countryside, and rain is often a factor.

There have been traffic problems outside the circuit, affecting fans when the rain gets heavy, but the rain also affects the running on track as well. With the British weather unpredictable at best, even though the race is in the middle of summer, we still often see the intermediate or wet tyres making an appearance.

Drivers and teams tend to love the track for its high speed nature. Recent developments have slowed the second half down with the new Arena section, but there’s still enough of the original to keep the exhilaration and adrenaline levels high.

A lap of Silverstone begins with a smaller straight leading to the fast and furious first corner. Unlike many tracks, the first turn doesn’t bunch up the pack, but instead allows the polesitter to speed away to face the next challenges head on. Some tough corners veering right and left lead round to the Wellington Straight, where in 2013 we saw some significant tyre blowouts due to the high speed nature of the track and some safety issues with the tyres.

Through the grandstand-heavy Luffield and Woodcote, the track sweeps down what used to be the start/finish straight, before heading round to Maggots and Becketts. The Hangar Straight stops abruptly at Stowe, which leads into the final corner complex before the start/finish straight.

Learn more about Silverstone with the Pocket F1 Handbook.