Is the new Silverstone better for F1? After a day in the stands I think so

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

F3 cars charge down Silverstone's new Wellington Straight
F3 cars charge down Silverstone's new Wellington Straight

In the 12 years I’ve been to Silverstone to watch F1 and other races the track has changed very little. So it felt strange to stand at Abbey today and watch the cars turn right instead of left.

But having seen GT1 and Formula Three races at the track today I think the revised circuit will be a change for the better for F1.

The new circuit

The substantial changes between Abbey and Brooklands command your attention, but Club has also been re-profiled.

If you tune into the Moto GP race in June you’ll see the bikes take a slightly different route at Becketts, but F1 cars will continue to use the current line here.

There is more work to be done between now and the Grand Prix in July to set it up for spectators. Some walkways have been closed due to the renovations and larger grandstands are going to be added at some corners such as Village.

Club

Grasscrete is needed at Club to stop cars using the run-off as race track
Grasscrete is needed at Club to stop cars using the run-off as race track

The changes here are quite subtle. Club was previously a sharp left-hander followed by a long, opening right-hander – now more like a left-right chicane followed by a right-hand kink. Expect F1 cars to take less time to get through the complex but with a slightly lower exit speed.

My first thought on watching the cars here was they need to install some artificial grass next to the exit kerb where the cars join the straight, as every car was using the tarmac run-off as an extension of the circuit, which rather defeats the purpose of having it there.

The entry to Club features a new ‘combination kerbs’ which have been introduced at several other new circuits including Monza, Melbourne and Singapore. These are flat where the meet the circuit and are raised in the middle to stop drivers cutting the corners.

As discussed here before, I’m concerned about their potential to launch our-of-control cars into the air in the event of the type of accident Kamui Kobayashi suffered at Melbourne and Vitantonio Liuzzi had at Shanghai.

Part of the reason for the change at Club is because the following straight will eventually be the site of the new pits straight, potentially as early as next year. The pit wall is already installed and this could have an effect on racing.

If a car spins at the exit of Club it could hit the new pit wall. And a stranded car will need a safety car for the marshals to recover it.

Abbey

The revised Abbey corner is slightly uphill - and very fast
The revised Abbey corner is slightly uphill - and very fast

I won’t miss the slow left-right chicane that was hurriedly built here in 1994 following the Imola tragedies and Pedro Lamy’s shocking testing crash when his Lotus landed in the (mercifully empty) spectator tunnel.

Now we have a very quick right-hander with a gentle uphill incline, making for better viewing at the existing Abbey spectator enclosure. The circuit was damp when I saw the cars rounding this corner and from the puffs of spray they were kicking up it looks like there’s a slight ripple at the inside of the corner.

While the GT cars were braking quite sharply for it on this cold and wet day, in the dry F1 cars will reach this corner pushing 190mph and should tackle it without lifting – at least in qualifying.

When the pits and start line have moved Abbey will be the first corner on the track for F1 cars. It will be quite different to the first corners we see at other tracks (a bit like the first corner at pre-1986 Paul Ricard), and the field will be going very quick when they reach the Village/Loop complex.

Farm

Having rounded Abbey, the cars turn left at Farm. It should be easily flat-out but the challenge here is to get the car back to the left-hand side of the track while braking hard for the next corner.

After heavy rain this morning there was a large volume of standing water in the run-off area here, but expect the drainage to be improved for future races.

Village

A sharp, slow right-hand corner. Whether it can be used as a place for overtaking depends on whether F1 cars can follow each other closely through Abbey. I expect that in dry conditions they won’t be able to unless downforce is drastically cut.

Any driver that chooses to defend the inside line here could find themselves badly out of position for the following left-hander, hurting their run onto the Wellington Straight.

There’s another of the combination kerbs at the inside of the corner, and ample tarmac run-off at the exit.

The Loop and Aintree

A sharp left-hander followed by a more open left-hander leading cars onto the Wellington Straight. The second part of this sequence should be flat-out in a Formula 1 car.

The end of the Wellington Straight may now be the fastest point on the track – that’s previously been the Hangar straight. This may create an overtaking opportunity into Brooklands. However as Brooklands is being approached from a different angle it’s now less sharp than it used to be.

A change for the better

Lots of people have mentioned in the comments here that it’s a pity Bridge has been lost. I do think it’s a shame that Silverstone’s only incline worthy of the name has been dropped.

But I sat at Bridge during the 2006 Grand Prix and I wouldn’t have bothered to do it again. There were already better corners at Silverstone – Copse, Maggotts, Becketts – and I’d add the new Abbey to their number as well.

I don’t believe the renovations will create much in the way of new overtaking opportunities. But as we discussed last week I think having variety is healthy for F1 and these changes will make an already fast circuit even faster.

That’s laudable given that Silverstone didn’t have much space to work with or an Abu Dhabi-sized budget, and many other circuits are being forced to insert slow corners for safety reasons.

Of course I’ll reserve final judgement until we’ve seen a couple of F1 races there. But I like what I see so far.

Were you at today’s racing at Silverstone? What do you think of the new track? Have your say in the comments.

New Silverstone track map

New Silverstone circuit corner names
New Silverstone track map (click to enlarge)

Silverstone Arena circuit

Images (C) British F3, F1Fanatic.co.uk, F1Fanatic.co.uk, Silverstone

86 comments on “Is the new Silverstone better for F1? After a day in the stands I think so”

  1. Based upon what I saw today, I say the changes made to the layout are definitely a good thing.

    Okay, so I might miss Bridge for nostalgic reasons (it was the first place I saw an F1 car in the flesh), but the run down to Brooklands along Wellington Straight has completely transformed Luffield, which was the slowest, most boring, part of the whole circuit.

    I must have seen at least twenty overtaking manoeuvres along the new straight today, and while such feats are easier to produce in lower racing categories, this can only be a good thing. Especially when F1 comes in to town.

    1. It was a great (and cold) day at Silverstone. I agree, the new track is a positive change, I especially like the effect its had on Luffield!

    2. but they could managed to keep the bridge it was iconic but agree it is impressive

  2. I’m going to copypaste what I put in the Monza thread:

    Top Expert Romain Grosjean has weighed in on the new circuit following the GT1 race: (via autosport)

    —————–
    Others such as former Renault Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean believed the track not as good as its predecessor.

    “It’s nothing special,” said Grosjean – who raced on the previous track in GP2. “We have lost Bridge and the complex which was very nice and we didn’t gain much with the new part. I’m not a 100 per cent convinced.

    “With the single-seater cars they are flat-out through Abbey and in Formula 1 it is going to be very fast as well. I don’t think it gives any overtaking opportunities. So that’s a bit a shame.”

    ————-

    And Grosjean knows a lot about going 100% and overtaking in an F1 car.

    1. i dont like grosjean but he is right with so much downforce nothing will happen on the new part

    2. the complex which was very nice

      The complex was always the dreariest part of Silverstone. It was slammed when they built it in 1991 and rightly so. I won’t be shedding a tear for Priory or the slower Brooklands.

      1. I must agree, the whole “s shaped” complex was too slow compared to the rest of the circuit. At least there is only one really slow corner now – the loop.

      2. I agree, the last 4 corners (3 since Luffield was converted into a single bend) were shocking. So glad they’ve cut Priory out and changed Brooklands, keeps much more in character with the rest of the circuit.

      3. keith, i was at silverstone during the 1987 british gp. It was the year they made the bridge chicane, the rest was the original layout. It was the forth track i visited at the time, and shocked me how fast and flat it was. The race was perfect, with mansell winning over piquet in the last few laps. Do you think the new track is more challenging for a driver than the old one?

    3. Grosjean wants back in:

      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/83288

      Can’t say I’m too excited, even if he appeared worse than he actually is. The worst thing he could have done for his F1 career was to replace Piquet.

      1. Ned Flanders
        2nd May 2010, 20:37

        Am I the only person who actually thinks Grosjean did quite well?! Remember, he was up against one of the best drivers in F1 (perhaps the best- but I’d dispute that!) and he got close to his pace at times.

        Certainly, he did no worse a job than Piquet had been doing, despite being less experienced. Also bear in mind that the Renault was arguably the worst car on the grid by the end of the season.

        OK, so he’s not quite top drawer- but he’s at least as deserving of a place in F1 as Kobayashi/ Chandok/ Di Grassi/ de la Rosa/ Senna/ Petrov etc… Presumably he needs to find a few sponsors to get a drive

        1. Robert McKay
          2nd May 2010, 21:23

          I think he did better than Piquet, which puts me at odds with Brundle who seemed to think he was no better…

          Was he great? Not especially. Did he come in at a very difficult time, with a crap Renault and no testing (a situation which caught out other notable replacements)? Undoubtedly. Does he deserve another shot? Yes.

          I think he can do a Glock: come in to F1 as a replacement, not automatically catch the attention, rebuild his career away from it and come back properly, for the start of a season and with better chances to impress.

          I still rate him, personally.

          1. I said this somewhere else when the question of Romain returning to Renault popped up on another blog…

            Romain suffered because of the testing ban and Renault were quick to get rid of him but Jaime was in exactly the same situation with STR who go through their drivers notoriously quickly but he survived.
            Nothing has changed with testing really, it is more relaxed but it is still a mess for rookies. I can’t help but think he would have been better to go to GP2.
            Was Grosjean a victim of the rules? yes probably but F1 has a lot more promising talent in the wings, he probably won’t be much better for a while if he does return and Renault have made clear they want to fight for championships and Romain has absolutely nothing to offer on that front.
            He said before…
            “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. ”
            Petrov was brave and clever enough to wait until he was ready. Most drivers would snap the team’s hand off if there was an offer but it is their choice.
            “they wanted to make a clean sweep of the past”
            If he had shown as much potential as Petrov who was completely unknown in an F1 car at this time then they would have kept him. They may have wanted a clean break but Grosjean gave them almost no incentive to pause for thought.

            I’ve softened slightly since then. I think he had some speed and given more of a chance would definately have been quite good. He would have done better than some rookies have done so far this year but I’m still not overly impressed. I think he could come back one day possibly, probably not with Renault and he’d need some backing but if he gets another chance good on him.

          2. Ned Flanders
            2nd May 2010, 22:26

            Steph- Alguersairi might have survived while Grosjean didn’t… but then he was up against a (pretty mediocre IMO) rookie, while Grosjean was partnered with ‘el Sixtenthso’.

            Put Alguersairi and Grosjean in the same car and I reckon Grosjean would come out on top

          3. @steph: As Renault’s test driver, did Grosjean really have a choice other then to step in when Piquet Jr was sacked?

          4. In knew Ned which is why I say I’ve softened slightly. He didn’t do too badly, he couldn’t have been expected to do that much better but he took the chance (yes I believe he could have said no, he may have appeared mad to do so mind so it would have been a gamble) but his races weren’t great. I don’t think anyone deserves a shot, it would be nice if he could score another one in better circumstances but even if Renault wanted to start a fresh, they still would have gave him more of a thought if they thought he would be beneficial to them so maybe he is good but he wasn’t good enough to keep his drive at that time.

          5. Alonso did say that Grosjean was pretty good and deserved a chance on the grid (although he did not say to much bad things about Nelsinho either).
            I think the car last year was really crap, even Alonso did not get it close to the podium or even top 5 more regularly. So probably comparable to this years Toro Rosso or Sauber?

        2. Hey….what makes u say that Roman is on the same footing as Kamui, Karun, Lucas, Pedro, Bruno and Vitaly??

          I seriosuly think he isn’t that good.
          Plues I think Kamui is one of the best out tyhere. :)

          1. Well, he didn’t impress, but the Renault was crap last year (even Alonso struggled), so I think he deserved another shot.

    4. My only complaint is they could have made is faster. I mean, why not make it 5 straights going away and 5 coming back with really tight 180 degree turns at each end, like a heater. Then it would be the fastest, allow for the best and most viewing opportunities for fans in the stands and probably have more overtaking than any other track. Add a speed bump upon pit entry and exit and we have the most exciting race on the f1 calendar. =)

  3. Is there now enough of a variation in Silverstone’s layout could have two optimal setup options depending on the car? One which is more downforce reliant for good cornering speed, but sacrifices something at the top end. And then another which favours the 3 places where F1 cars are expected to get close to 200mph, but loses them something in the twistier bits.

    I know its unlikely that we’ll see much in variation an there will be just the one optimal setup chosen by all teams, but theoretically such a layout is possible.

    1. I doubt it very much – I remember the same being said about Indianapolis in 2000. Ultimately there’s always a superior set-up.

      1. Didn’t Red Bull use more downforce than McLaren and Brawn in Abu Dhabi?

    2. I’d guess they’ll use slightly more downforce than at Spa

  4. Already commented on how I would have modified the circuit, but as it is I really like the new layout. I didn’t realise the new Abbey was uphill either – my reservations about it becoming the new Turn 1 have completely gone!

  5. I was sat in the grandstand at Village corner for the first F3 race. It’s a good place to view the action, as the cars barrel in really fast (sometimes 3-abreast) and then you have the right-left switchback which allows for someone to hold the outside, then inside like, or vice versa. Plus you are also really close to the cars at that point, really close.

    There was, however, a depression on the outside of village corner that filled right up with water. One F3 car got completely bogge down in muddy water after being pushed wide there, seems like they need to add a drain, or level it out, as you can’t have that kind of thing happening when F1 comes to towm.

    I took a video of the F3 cars coming through here on their first lap, I’ll put it up on YouTube sometime in the next 24 hours. Took many many photos too.

    I agree though Keith, there needs to be something done on the exit of Club, some cars were going 3-4 car widths off-track.

    The new, fast entrance into Brooklands also looks promising, The speed at which the GT1 cars arrived there was incredible. Overall it was a great day out, and the new track layout looks as if it’ll provide some great racing.

    1. Thanks for the video!

  6. One thing I’m interested to know is how they plan to get spectators over to the new arena section come the grand prix?

    There’s only one way across (over Bridge), which has small walk ways and will be heavily congested with traffic. Once in the infield, it’ll then take quite a lot of work to ensure they wander off in the right direction and not near the F1 paddock.

  7. I’m going to the F1 Grandprix at Silverstone again this year after a break for a few years.

    Historically I have walked the entire track on every occasion to see the cars at different spots in different sessions but have always plumped to watch the race just back towards Copse from entry to Maggots/Becketts – from what you guys have seen today is the ability to walk the whole outside of the track still possible ?

    I’m going to nip up there on the Friday of the MotGP meeting (only £15:00 for entry :) ) for a bit of a recce before F1 in July but any insights / spectator tips with regard to the new changes and how they affect people with a General Admission Only ticket (no Grandstand) to the Grand Prix in July would be very welcome.

    1. You could basically walk around all of the track yesterday except for a few parts where they were doing building work to put in viewing platform or stands (e.g. the straight after Club), and part of the outside of Abbey (where the ‘Bridge circuit’, as it is now called, heads off).

      1. Thank’s for info – Just to confirm does it look like you will be able to walk on the outside of Abbey along the Farm Curve to Village and then along the Wellington Straight to the gravel traps before the inside Brooklands Corner ?

  8. What F3 race was on today?

    1. The British F3 International Series supported the GT1 today.

  9. Ned Flanders
    2nd May 2010, 20:28

    One thing’s for sure- they’re going to have to start tidying up soon. The track looks really scruffy with all that building work in the background, so I hope it’s all sorted out by the time of the GP.

    Another thing I don’t like about Silverstone’s new look is that it’s much less green- it used to be lined with grass, but now it’s surrounded by those huge tarmac run offs like everywhere else. Shame. If I was in charge at Silverstone- or any other track- I would have the gravel and tarmac run offs painted in different colours, like at Melbourne, Sepang, Paul Ricard etc

    1. I think it’ll be a bit rough-and-ready this year, especially as they’ll be building the pits for 2011.

  10. A change for the better it may be, but it’s still not going to produce the excitement that Donington would have.

    1. Yea, but that would have been more like rally or dirt track racing, with the holes everywhere ;-)

  11. Monkeypeachy
    2nd May 2010, 21:01

    Just got back from Silverstone ( we had to warm up in a pub on the way back!)

    New layout was great in my opinion, the GT1’s and F3’s were both using the new overtaking spots to maximum advantage.

    Circuit was definatly a building site though. Whilst I’ve been to silverstone before and I love it:

    I’d forgetten that the commentry isn’t on FM radio (only MW) which is rubbish. It should be on FM and they should be flogging radios – PA systems are pointless at Motorsport events. The timing tower glitched several times too which confused the life out of me the first time it happened!

    Also, Snetterton has better cafes (i.e. there is one within reach) it was damn cold today.

    The racing today was awesome, I went to the F1 last year and it was the best show I’ve ever been to, but I don’t think they do a good job of helping average joe enjoy himself. People who turn up in the wrong clothes and can’t follow the action are left cold (as it were!)

    tldr – I’m only being mean because I want Silverstone to be perfect. Less hardcore people need cafes. And my phone doesn’t do MW (grr).

    PS – Kieth, the car in the pond at village was nothing to the JCB almost getting stuck pulling the diablo out of the mud at Luffield. That gravel trap was trouble today! :P

    1. I didn’t see that – oh dear!

      Also isn’t the radio usually FM for the Grand Prix weekend?

      1. Yes Radio Silverstone 87.7 GP Weekends

  12. Video from the new Village corner grandstand that I took earlier today:

    1. Nice vid ajokay. Thanks for posting the link! :)

      1. No problem steph, I’ll put a load more up tomorrow that I took of the GT1 cars from Luffield.

        1. Excellent :D I can’t wait to see them. I think the GT1 cars looks great too. You must have been very cold today though I imagine but I hope it was worth it!

          1. It. Was. Freezing!

            I now have a cold, but it was worth it.

            Note to self: remember to take gloves next time, as well as wearing a pair of jeans that DON’T have holes in the knees.

          2. You’re nesh, as my mother would say. It wasn’t that cold. Now the ’98 GP, that was cold!

    2. Guy overtaking on the outside of Abbey into the inside of Village ;-)

  13. I actually wouldn’t mind a dry race. I want to see where the teams are with the updates and how the title race might pan out. Everything has been a lottery so far, a very exciting lottery mind :P Although I probably wouldn’t complain if it rained

  14. It looks quite good, but I agree with Ned, the tarmac everywhere looks awful, they should at least paint it green, and add a strip of grass on the exit of Club.

  15. HounslowBusGarage
    2nd May 2010, 22:28

    Nice vid, AJ. So from your position there, the camera was able to capture about 10 seconds of car coming in to view from right, to car heading off down Wellington straight. So a person swivelling ther head to look, would probably see sixteen seconds ish of an F3 car, probably 12 to 13 seconds of an F1 car. Hmm, not bad. Were you able to see anything of the other part of the track – Becketts/Chapel etc from where you were sitting?

    1. Sitting at Village, you can just about see the tops of the cars come through Becketts, then they disappear briefly behind a grandstand as they go through Chapel, before being able to see them again screech down the Hangar Straight and into Stowe.

      You then see them pop round Farm, and before you know it, they’re in front of you, through Village, the Loop, and then through Aintree (where a lot of the cars ended up side-by-side – depending on what kind of an exit they got out of the Loop)

      But because you’re sitting slap-bang in the middle of the track, you can hear the cars almost everywhere else that you can’t see them.

  16. I’m wondering.Will they use the old circuit with Bridge for any other series?

    1. I can’t see why they would. Unless there’s a championship which visit the track more than once per year and uses the full length track and wants to mix things up a bit. Can’t think of any series that fits the bill, though.

  17. I still think “the loop” is a damn silly idea when it could have been a hair pin on the new Aintree corner. Why build an irritaiting double slow corner, which it’s not convincing cars could follow through, instead of one properly slow corner, which cars could definatley follow through, allowing proper drafting oppurtunities down Welligton straight. Really, they could probably still do it. Still, other than that, it does look better, an I’m not that fussed about bridge.

    1. I don’t think they’d have had enough run-off to do what you’re describing.

  18. My buddy and I are currently modding the ISI (Rfactor) Northhamptonshire (silverstone) track to 2010 spec. for our pc based driving simulators. (www.fcmgmods.com)
    And believe me, Abbey is a thrill,aswell as the new entry into Brooklands.. the circuit to me is way more fast and flowing.. feels like we went somewhere rather than just a big circle with several little turns here and there…
    I think the new map is fantastic usage of available space, and finally we get to see another non-Tilke track!
    Cheers to the new Silverstone!

  19. I do think the track changes are good in general but I think Brooklands needs to be tightened so it’s easier to overtake.

    Also it’s a shame about losing the old multiple racing line club corner.

    1. Totally agree. Club was good because the multiple lines meant you could get a run into old-Abbey. Brooklands will be like the corkscrew at Shanghai – not tight enough to create mistakes.

      The risk as I see it, is if Village doesn’t create overtaking (because cars can’t follow each other close enough through Farm), and Brooklands isn’t tight enough: cars will just follow each other from Club all the way around to Stowe. Fast, yes. Good viewing, yes. But no overtaking. I hope I’m wrong.

  20. the speed of the f1 cars will make the new turns more exiting then they do with the gt cars

  21. I like a lot the new Abbey (if it is similar to the old Verrerie left-right of Paul Ricard it is great!!!), but am a bit worried about Club. Club was very interesting before, hope they didn’t change it that much.
    Anyway, it is a positive change, after all.

  22. I’m sitting in the Becketts grandstand for the GP – I hear that it has been modified / moved – has anyone seen this? Also, will I be able to see anything of the new circuit from there?

    1. It is being moved – the new stand isn’t up yet. Apparently it will be closer to the track and a bit higher, so you should be able to see both Becketts and The Loop/Aintree.

  23. TrueF1Grit
    3rd May 2010, 12:06

    I bought tickets a while back now for the Abbey chicane and have been quite gutted they’ve seemed to of made it less of a challange, what are the odds on seeing some good racing there (F1) this year?

    1. It’s definitely not less of a challenge, quite the opposite, it’s much quicker than it was before.

  24. I have got my tickets in Arena B for GP on July. But
    I am worry due to in Arena B the sight will be obstructed with the roof support pillars. Does it annoy the sight?
    In addition, in Arena B, what seat are better, the seat higher or the seat lower?

    The last question, what time can we watch the cars from Arena on the other side of the circuit(Becketts,Hangar Straight) ?

    1. I wouldn’t worry about the pillars that much, you’ll have plenty of track to see there. I don’t understand your second question.

      1. Thank you.
        I refer to: In Arena B, what seat are better, the seat of the rows higher or the seat of the rows lower?

        The last question: In Arena B. What part of the other side of the circuit(Becketts,Hangar Straight) can we watch?

  25. I have got my tickets in Arena B for GP on July. But
    I am worry due to in Arena B the sight will be obstructed with the roof support pillars. Does it annoy the sight?

    In addition, in Arena B, what seat are better, the seat of the rows higher or the seat of the rows lower?

    The last question,in Arena B. What part of the other side of the circuit(Becketts,Hangar Straight) can we watch?

  26. If anyone’s interested, I’ve uploaded some of the *best* of my Silverstone GT1 photos to my website (so they can be kept in the highest resolution)

    http://www.alexodell.co.uk/silverstone/

  27. A-Safieldin
    3rd May 2010, 14:21

    It’s really no better than any of these Tilkedromes, I mean like I said before, The cars are surrounded by so much empty space, the element of speed and rushing scenery is completely gone. I have a friend whose a Rally fan and he constantly says F1 is easy they can make mistakes all the time, and unfortunately I have no comebacks. To be honest Silverstone wasn’t as bad as Abu-Dhabi, but now… I was hoping they’d go at it like Suzuka did, forget over-taking, that as difficult even in the 80s and 90s these new tracks completely neutered th sport.

    1. Personally from the track I think they should have grass closest, Then a thin strip of tarmac followed by gravel. And they should utilise the tecpro barriers to have them closer in.

      In fact places like Catalunya would really benefit from these new tecpro barriers, it would allow us to get back the high speed chicane/kink on the back straight and the two high speed corners at the end of the lap.

      1. completely agree. overtaking anywhere but the main straight is near enough impossible anyway at catalunya so they might as well make the rest of it as good as they can instead of inserting half-hearted attempts at encouraging a pass. i think with today’s safety technology designers really could make near enough any corner safe enough (in terms of walking away from a crash there unscathed)

  28. I dont like tarmac runoffs. they should have a worse type of tarmac that will damage tyres and induce a tyre change so that the drivers get punished. not as bad as getting stuck in gravel, but also not easy enough to be able to gain or maintain position once off the main road/track

  29. What is that behind the pits on the right… Bernie’s red carpet?

  30. GT1 looked great on the new circuit, there was a real traction moment out of the wee village complex at start of Wellington str8 I think it’s called – that’s going to bring passing at Brooklands. Excellent..
    Still miss my Abbey though :(

  31. we might need that runoff for overtaking

  32. The new Abbey is going to be amazing in an F1 car although village section seems to be a little boring. I was sat in the arena B grandstand and got bored after 10 minutes. If seeing cars for a long time but going very slow this is the place to be. (also looked very hard to overtake there)

    If you would rather see F1 cars at their best then copse, becketts and abbey are the best places to be.

    If you’re interested I took some HD Videos of the new sections you can take a look here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKqGs0VQe5g

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNpJEGeLvi4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1O81uvpVH4

  33. I’m confused by the new F1 pits that they’re planning. I haven’t seen enough detail to answer my questions anywhere, so I’ll post them here… The new F1 pit is going to be between Club & Abbey, right? To me it doesn’t look like there’s enough space. The straight there is much shorter than the current pits straight and if I’m not mistaken, the grid already extends back into the exit of Woodcote. Aren’t the back few rows of the new grid going to be around Club? Either that or the start / finish line is going to have to be right on the entrance to Abbey. It doesn’t look like there’s a lot of space to build a new pit complex there either. Maybe it’s all foreshortening of the photo because of the angle it was taken at, but I’ve looked at top-down plans too and I’m sure it’s smaller.
    Does anyone have any more info on the planned new pits?

    1. The F1 grid dont get to the end of Woodcote, let alone the start, its series like BTCC which use that extended grid.

      Theres easily enough space for a F1 grid there, and thell have the other pits for the other racing series.

  34. Matt Hubbert
    5th May 2010, 13:00

    Will it still be possible to walk round the outside of the circuit? This is what i normally do on the Saturday watching the practice and qualifying from different spots

  35. Very informative…

  36. I don’t think anyone should be complaining- we should all just be grateful that someone like tilke didn’t get his hands on it and insert a boring straight line of tarmac with a double hairpin at each end. In the new abbey we have what will definitely be a true modern classic of a corner, and the immediate left sweep of farm should make this one of the best corner complexes in the world. Ok, village and the loop are nothing special, but they’re no worse than the bus stop at spa or the final chicane at suzuka or the first chicane at monza, and we all regard these as absolutely sensational tracks. Besides, the slower corners bring a bit of variety to the track and offer different challenges, as well as making car set-up a more difficult decision- a track with only high-speed corners just wouldn’t work for f1.

    There are only 4 boring corners to drive at silverstone:- village, the loop, luffield and vale(i leave brooklands out because its quicker, wider approach, later apex, and the fact that it is more open, makes it more of a challenge than it was previously.)
    The rest, quite frankly, are brilliant, especially copse and the maggots-becketts-chapel complex, which is arguably the best complex of corners in the world.

    We have one of the best circuits in the world at silverstone, and it is only let down by its lack of gradient change.

    Of course, it would have been easy to fill the infield with a series of frighteningly quick kinks and sweepers, remove vale, and insert a single sweeping right at woodcote, but f1 has outgrown these kind of tracks in almost every way. There would be no overtaking, it would be too dangerous for the fia to approve, and ther would no doubt be countless other obstacles. The only other f1 suitable circuits i can think of with a similar number of amazing corners are suzuka and spa. We all have an ideal circuit, a dream circuit, and no doubt tilke and other designers have the ability to produce these. It’s just that in the modern day those sorts of venues are just not feasible for f1.

    We should just be grateful that after Silverstone’s most major redesign for years, we have been left with the great corners intact, given a couple of new great corners (plus aintree which looks very good), had one boring corner improved (brooklands)and a couple of others removed, and just make do with village and the loop, however much it pains you to see a figure of perfection so rudely interrupted (besides, i don’t mind those two corners as i think they give silverstone another dimension and a different kind of “challenge”, and close cars up to provide an overtaking opportunity down Wellington).

    If this new complex had been added onto bahrain or china everyone would be wild with excitement. SILVERSTONE IS A GREAT CIRCUIT JUST MADE GREATER- ACCEPT THE TINIEST OF COMPROMISES.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Well said, ad.

  37. quick question….

    how do you get to the new arena stands as they are located on the “in field” section?

    thanks

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