A Lap Around the New Silverstone

A map of the revamped Silverstone circuit

As reported here some time ago, Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire has undergone significant modifications in the latter stages of the lap to accommodate the upcoming MotoGP race, which Silverstone is hosting for the first time this year.

Now work at the track has been completed and the new section – called the Arena – was been officially unveiled on Thursday afternoon and with Donington now not holding the Grand Prix, the updated Silverstone will also host Formula 1 for at least the next ten years.
While it is disappointing to have lost the wonderful Bridge corner, the slow and lumbering Priory and Luffield sections have been ejected and will most likely not be missed. Where previously the circuit turned left at Abbey, it now swings to the right before launching into a couple a fast sweeping turns, followed by a long back straight. Thereafter, the new section latches onto the exit of Luffield and into the double-apex at Woodcote.

As part of the ceremony, Martin Brundle took former Formula 1 commentator James Allen out in the McLaren two-seater out around the track and filmed the circuit tour – it gives an excellent birds eye view of the new layout and is worth a look. While it remains to be seen whether this improves the track or not, there are hopes that the Arena will provide at least one further overtaking opportunity to a circuit that has often been deemed to fast to produce passing places. Notably this is the first time since the mid-1990’s that the oft-criticised Hermann Tilke has not had say in track design or alteration.

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