Silverstone in profile
Last Updated: 21/01/16 11:19am
The home of British motorsport, the Northamptonshire-based Silverstone circuit, which was used during World War Two as a bomber station, hosted the first ever round of the World Championship in 1950 and has been the permanent host of the British GP since the late 1980s.
Its position on the calendar has proved precarious, however, and was on the brink in 2009. Despite being seen as one of the sport's crown jewels the future of the race remains the subject of repeated speculation.
The Silverstone Wing - as the new pits are known - was a key factor in pacifying Bernie Ecclestone's longstanding criticism of circuit facilities - particularly the small garages, dated media centre and tired hospitality units.
That said, the new 'Arena' section of the track has received mixed reviews. The old Abbey chicane was one of the best overtaking spots on the track, whilst the sight of cars darting under the bridge and taking a flat-out right-hander as they entered the complex was arguably the highlight of any visit.
Then Managing Director Richard Phillips admitted: "Some will miss not seeing modern cars accelerating through Bridge," whilst former BRDC President turned Sky Sports F1 pundit Damon Hill said: "If you are asking me to say it's fantastic, I'm afraid I am not going to do that. It is fast, exciting corners that drivers love. It is what fans love."
Even with DRS on the now-used National Straight, Brooklands is not a natural overtaking spot. But while decommissioning one of the best sections of the track was undoubtedly a shame, an equally-pertinent retort, however, is that it's small price to pay for Silverstone's long-term participation in F1.
The race had already long secured its place as of the most prized assets on the F1 calendar. The kind of passion generated by the loyal and knowledgeable British fan base, and the rich history attached to the event, are assets that some of the sport's newer venues would dearly love to recreate.
The 2016 British GP takes place on July 10.
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