It first came into use after World War Two when the runways where Wellington bombers used to take off were converted for use as a racing circuit. A fast perimeter layout was then adopted, and the pit and paddock for the first race was situated near to what is now Abbey.
They were subsequently relocated to a new position between Woodcote and Copse and remained their for decades, during which time the race often alternated with the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. But Silverstone’s larger expanses meant it was better able to respond to the growing demand for more run-off area.
After two attempts at slowing the cars by building chicanes at Woodcote, a wholesale renovation in 1991 saw the ultra-high-speed circuit forever changed. Further alterations followed three years later in the wake of the Imola tragedies.
Year after year Silverstone’s place on the calendar was put into doubt, and for 2010 the race was set to move to Donington Park. But when that fell through Silverstone conclude a new long-term contract, part of which included further development of the track.
A new infield section was constructed, partly to allow Moto GP bike races to bypass the Bridge sequence which was deemed to dangerous for them, and another new pit complex – dubbed The Wing – was constructed at the exit of Club corner.
|Lap length||5.891km (3.66 miles)|
|Race distance||306.332km (190.346 miles)|
|Pole position||Left-hand side of the track|
|Lap record*||1’30.874 (Fernando Alonso, 2010)|
|Fastest lap||1’29.243 (Lewis Hamilton, 2016, qualifying two)|
|Maximum speed||329.5kph (204.742 mph)|
|DRS zone/s (race)||Pit straight and Hangar straight|
|Distance from grid to turn one||296m|
|Longest flat-out section||1034m|
|Gear changes per lap||40|
|Fuel use per lap||2.8kg|
|Time penalty per lap of fuel||0.112s|
|Tyres:||Drivers’ tyre selections|
*Fastest lap set during a Grand Prix
Data sources: FIA, Williams, Mercedes
Silverstone Circuit track map
Silverstone Circuit aerial map
NB. The satellite photograph above does not reflect the building work done at the circuit since 2010.