Silverstone

Country:
Britain
Location:
Silverstone, Northamptonshire
Description

RAF Silverstone was a World War II airfield that became the new home of the British Grand Prix within three years of peace. And then in the presence of King George IV, it held the first round of the new Formula 1 World Championship in 1950 with Giuseppe Farina leading an Alfa Romeo clean sweep of the podium positions. The perimeter circuit was an unbroken succession of quick corners until Jody Scheckter triggered a seven-car pileup at Woodcote in 1973 – prompting a chicane to be built there for the next British GP. Eventually, a complex of corners was built before Woodcote as part of a major refurbishment in 1991. When JJ Lehto and Pedro Lamy crashed during testing in 1994, further alterations were made to improve safety. After many years of sharing the British Grand Prix with Aintree and then Brands Hatch, Silverstone won the contract to become the race’s sole venue in 1987. That year’s GP was a classic with Nigel Mansell passing Williams team-mate Nelson Piquet into Stowe to seal a memorable victory. Brands Hatch secured an exclusive contract to stage the race from 2002 but the Kent circuit’s owners eventually decided to lease Silverstone instead of upgrading their own circuit. Major modifications were introduced in 2010 with the new Silverstone Wing pit complex built between Club and Abbey and the track extended to 3.666 miles long. Unfortunately, the British weather can play havoc with the event and turn the field car parks into a quagmire – most notably in 2000.