Silverstone knocks down grandstands to build new Arena circuit (Pictures)

Silverstone Arena circuit

Silverstone Arena circuit

Silverstone has begun work to build the new “Arena” circuit which it intends to use for this year’s British Grand Prix.

The grandstands opposite the pits have been knocked down and several bridges have also been removed as the circuit’s remodelling begins.

These stands will be re-constructed in time for this year’s race and the circuit’s maximum race-day attendance of 120,000 will remain unchanged.

When they are re-built the stands will be positioned slightly further back from the track which, say the race organisers, will allow fans to see more of the track, as well as allowing more run-off space for the cars.

The organisers are keen to use the new Arena circuit for this year’s race and plan to have the building work complete by March so the Moto GP and World Superbike events can run on the new configuration.

F1 will race on the Arena circuit as well – as long as it’s logistically possible. The new sequence will bring cars into the middle of the circuit leaving less room for F1 and support race equipment to be held. The stage for the post-race Grand Prix party will have to be moved, as will the Paddock Club.

But F1 will continue to use Maggotts and Club corners in their current forms, unlike the bikes which will use new variations. You can see the differences in the corners (numbered six and ten) in the map above.

A spokesperson for the circuit confirmed they would use the regular Grand Prix circuit for the F1 race if they can’t use the Arena track. Here’s a look at the development work so far.

Silverstone Arena circuit development

2010 British Grand Prix

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64 comments on Silverstone knocks down grandstands to build new Arena circuit (Pictures)

  1. HounslowBusGarage said on 27th January 2010, 22:23

    @ Bartholomew.
    There’s nothing to understand. This is the premier racing circuit in Britain making a new viewing spectacular for its visitors and a new, challenging high-spped-curve-straight-bends-straight sequence for the competitors.
    What’s not to like?

    • Bartholomew said on 27th January 2010, 22:41

      OK now Iīm starting to see it — the new section must be the middle one in dark.
      As long as the cars go fast there, these changes would be OK.
      I want to see fast high speed racing

      • HounslowBusGarage said on 27th January 2010, 23:07

        Yes that’s right mate,
        Instead of the hard 90 degree left at Abbey, there will now be a 45 degree right into a long quick left and a slow, sharp right et cetera. Once they’re out of that seqence, it’s a decent length blast down the National Straight and into a medium right which has been the scene of many an overtaking manouvre in the lower formulae that use the National Circuit.
        More to the point, there will be a great opportunity for spectators in that general area (Becketts and Turns 13 – 15) to see race traffic twice in one lap.
        I’d like to be there.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys said on 27th January 2010, 23:55

    It’s looking very eeries without grandstands …

  3. Eric M. said on 28th January 2010, 0:34

    This design looks very promising! A definite improvement over the design they had several months back. T-11 looks wicked fast (probably faster than copse even, by my reckoning), and the faster T-16 should be interesting too. Shame they couldn’t do away with the T-8/T-9 chicane, otherwise we’d have fast corners all the way from T-1 to T-13!

  4. wasiF1 said on 28th January 2010, 1:43

    “stands will be positioned slightly further back from the track”


    • GeeMac said on 28th January 2010, 5:40

      So you can see more of the track from the grandstands, and I heard that they are planning on making the pit straight wider…

    • Eric M. said on 28th January 2010, 5:58

      They needed to make room for a larger run-off area around woodcote bend. The old run-off area was acceptable for F1, but not for the upcoming MotoGP race.

  5. YeaMon said on 28th January 2010, 2:31

    For more background on Populous.

    It was formerly called HOK sport, but the name was changed after a management buyout, HQ’ed in Kansas City, USA with other offices in the USA and overseas. They’re responsible mainly for baseball stadiums, including my hometown team the Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia PA. While ballparks may be the specialty (this is just an assumption since their in the majority) they build amazing Areans, football(USA) stadiums, International football stadiums, multipurpose training facilities and convention centers. All of their projects, old and new, are works of art. They also appeal not only to major sport franchises but also minor league teams.

    It’s nice to see they’re getting into race tracks. I don’t think they’ll disappoint. The grand stands will be nice, and the race control center will be a quality piece of art blending the old and new of Silverstone.

  6. Bebilou said on 28th January 2010, 6:33

    I agree with Rob R: why don’t they remove this ugly Club wart-corner ? If they lack of run-off space, they should go right (not left) at turn 8…

    I admit T11 looks nice (much better than the former chicane), but loosing Bridge corner makes me sad…

    • LewisC said on 28th January 2010, 10:55

      Club’s a really good corner. The fact that it opens gradually is why there’s so much overtaking at Bridge: if you can get the power down, you can get a good run at the car you’re chasing.

  7. David said on 28th January 2010, 7:34

    Bebilou, I’m with you on Bridge corner.
    And also I would like a lot to see again the old Club corner. If by adding some new run off area this was feasible, I’d be really glad.
    Anyway the new lay out looks very good.

  8. I’m running the Silverstone Half Marathon in March – I wonder if the route will take in any of the new bits…

  9. Robert McKay said on 28th January 2010, 12:57

    I think the new layout looks interesting (a lot better than the Bahrain cornerfest addition), although it’s a shame it couldn’t still have incorporated Bridge somehow.

  10. Robert McKay said on 28th January 2010, 13:10

    And the straight between the new turns 15 and 16 is fairly long, must be a semi-reasonable chance of some overtaking into there.

  11. Zazeems said on 28th January 2010, 16:05

    Very impressed.

    Only criticisms are they should cut out T8, and use gravel traps more.

    Apart from that it looks awesome. Are you paying attention Mr Tilke??

  12. ajokay said on 28th January 2010, 16:14

    According to Autosport:

    the new pitlane between Club aand Abbey will be complete for 2011, and it seems as if they’re the ones that’ll be used for F1

  13. John Edwards said on 30th January 2010, 10:06

    Losing bridge is a shame, I’ll never forget seeing the Ferrari fly off in front of me in 08! That said it was never as good after they screwed up abbey.

    Those corners in the middle look a bit over tight, but if it makes the racing better, so be it. The average speed will probably go up as there are more straights!

    I’m spectatating at the new Abbey Corner this year, it looks to me like a 4th/5th gear flick, so quite fast.

    I still think they should do something with Luffield (bank it maybe?), rubbish corner, club is ok, but maybe they could use the faster entry version.

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