Silverstone Circuit



NN12 8TN


Tel: 08704 588 200

Fax: 08704 588 250

1951 Grand Prix Silverstone

Gonzalez takes the win at the 1951 GP.



Upcoming Historic Racing

April 22nd to 23rd - The Vintage Sports-Car Club’s celebrated ‘Spring Start’


May 21st to 22nd - HSCC International Trophy. 2 days of historic racing with qualifying and racing taking place on both days. The event is for fans of post war racing cars, featuring cars from the 50s, 60s,70s and 80s, with single seaters, saloons, sports racing, GT and road sports car classes. From the humble Mini, to the rumbling V8 Formula 5000 machines of the 1970s there is something to satisfy everyone’s passion for iconic cars.


May 27th to 28th - CSCC.


June 17th to 18th - MG Live.


July 28th to 30th - Silverstone Classic - The packed weekend of the Silverstone Classic (28-30 July) provides spectacular historic motor racing on the world famous circuit, free access to the paddocks and grandstands, displays from over 100 car clubs featuring more than 10,000 classic cars over the weekend, plus interactive driving activities and dynamic demonstrations.


There’s plenty of entertainment to enjoy too, with live music from headline acts, air displays, a vintage fun fair, and a shopping village… all included in the ticket price. It’s an event for the whole family.


August 5th - Bentley Drivers Club. The meeting, known for its friendly and informal atmosphere, is a great favourite of many competitors, marshals and spectators alike and 2017 sees the 68th consecutive visit to the Northamptonshire track.


Current plans are for nine grids overall featuring a diverse range of cars from AC, MG, Porsche, Aston Martin and the traditional Morgan Championship round. Of course there will be plenty of Bentley action with two dedicated all-Bentley grids, a scratch and handicap race and even more Bentley action with various ‘allcomers’ grids.


September 30th - Aston Martin Owners Club.


October 21st to 22nd - This event features the final races of 2017 for some of the HSCC Championships and Series for post war racing cars from the 1950s – 1980s. With qualifying and racing now taking place over two days this quick fire event, is excitement all the way.


This event has been held at Silverstone for over a decade.



Circuit History

Silverstone is built on the site of RAF Silverstone home to the No. 17 Operational Training Unit operating Vickers Wellington bombers. The airfield’s triangle format of runways lie within the outline of the current track. In 1948 the RAC took a lease for the area and a circuit was created using the runways with hairpins connecting and demarcated by hay bales. The first race was won by Luigi Villoressi in a Maserati 4CLT/48. The following year the perimeter roads were brought into use for the International Trophy meeting won by Alberto Ascari and this layout stayed the same for the 1950 and 1951 Grand Prix.


The 1950 Grand Prix was the first ever round of the World Driver’s Championship and took place on May 13th 1950 and was won by Guiseppe Farina in an Alfa Romeo. The following year Frolian Gonzalez broke Alfa Romeo’s previous dominance in his Ferrari - their first victory in the World Championship.


In 1953 Farina set the first ever 100mph lap in the Thinwall Special Ferrari and the following year was memorable for Fangio in his W196 Mercedes clattering the oil drums used to mark the corners as he couldn’t see the edge of the circuit over the 196’s streamlined body.


The 1960s saw a lot of improvements in safety at every circuit up and down the country and changes at Silverstone included the removal of the oil drums and the addition of concrete walls and earth banks. The pit area saw the most change with the development of a ramp and elevated pit road to protect the area from the straight.


The popularity of the circuit went from strength to strength and in 1966 the BRDC formed Silverstone Circuits Ltd and five years later purchased the freehold for the entire 720 acre estate from the Ministry Of Defence and made the BRDC the only racing club in the country to operate and own their own circuit.


During the close season of 1974/5 extensive work was carried out at the circuit. A new pits complex was built and Woodcote underwent further revisions. Speeds increased, however, and in 1985 Keke Rosberg amazed the crowds in qualifying as he posted F1’s first ever 160mph lap! The circuit came under the bulldozer again during the winter of 1987. The S bend chicane at Woodcote was replaced with a left/right on it’s approach and the pits were once again replaced. It didn’t stop there, though. For the 1991 Grand Prix even more extensive changes were made. A new Becketts sequence, Vale - a new link between Stowe and Club, Bridge Bend and the infield loop at Priory. Fast forward to 2010 and the lay-out which is used today was created. There is now a new pit complex and starting point for GP races after Club Corner and a radically revised infield section including the Wellington Straight, Farm Curve, Village Corner and The Loop.

Circuit Highlights

1. Maggots Curve and Becketts are very popular with drivers. A left curve flows into a tightening right curve so you can’t accelerate through once you get past the first turn. The left/right flow of the section is akin to a sideways rollercoaster when taken at speed.

2. Hanger Straight follows Becketts and is a fast straight so getting the line right through this preceding section is vital.

3. Stowe Corner has been remodelled but still remains an important overtaking position following the Hanger Straight.

4. Club is a very tight left hander - almost 90 degrees just after the entry to the new pit complex.

5. Luffield is a very tricky corner - a wide 200 degree right hander which if taken poorly can leave a driver very exposed on the exit and on the run through the old pit straight.

6. Copse Corner has been made a little tighter recently making the run-off a little wider. This run-off is frequently used and most cars touch the kerb on the exit.

In Car Video

Where To Watch

• On busy meetings the grandstands are the best places to watch but with the nature of the run-offs around the circuit necessary for modern F1 safety you never really get that close to the cars - you can certainly get closer at other circuits.

• If you want to see speed then Hanger Straight is the place to watch - best viewed from Stowe Corner which is probably our favourite place on the course.

• Becketts is something else for the spectator as the cars change direction at double quick time.

• Luffield has a new viewing area and is vastly improved. You can get closer to the action here as the cars turn and make their way down the Wellington Straight.

• Copse still encourages drivers to take it flat out so it’s exciting watching drivers get it right and some who may get it slightly wrong.

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