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Silverstone can use new Arena Grand Prix Circuit

by F1Fan on February 11, 2010

Silverstone Circuits Limited announced today that Formula One Management (FOM), has approved the use of new Arena Grand Prix Circuit configuration for the 2010 Formula One Santander British Grand Prix that will be held from the 9th to the 11th of July later this year.

The majority of Silverstone’s iconic straights and high-speed corners are retained in the Arena Grand Prix Circuit. The only significant change is from Abbey corner where, instead of heading into Farm Straight, Bridge and Priory on the traditional Grand Prix circuit – which remains and will be used for future events, including historic races – the drivers will now turn right at Abbey onto a dramatic new section of track.

Turning right at Abbey corner, Button, Hamilton, Schumacher and co. will now race back up towards ‘Becketts’ and into the new ‘Arena Complex’, which has been designed with a view to creating three new overtaking opportunities. The circuit then links up with the „National Straight‟ before re-joining the original Grand Prix circuit at ‘Brooklands’.

Silverstone has invested more than £5 million on this new, super fast circuit, with work scheduled for completion by March, 2010. Additionally the Northamptonshire venue is making a number of improvements to its spectator viewing areas, in addition to constructing elevated viewing banks, existing grandstands and fence lines are being moved to bring fans closer to the on-track action.

The new track design aims at retaining the essence of Silverstone – a fast and flowing, yet technically challenging circuit that the drivers will love. Scientific data, based on mathematical simulations and interpolations provided by Populous, the world‟s leading sports architecture firm who have consulted with drivers and riders to design the new circuit, has calculated that Silverstone will continue to be one of the quickest circuits on the F1 calendar. Despite the circuit length being increased by 760m, lap times for an F1 car are predicted to only increase by four seconds.

Key circuit facts:
Additional track length – 760m
Arena Grand Prix Circuit length – 5,900km/3.666 miles (from 5,140km / 3.194 miles)
Projected F1 Lap Time – 1:23.13
Projected F1 Average Speed – 252kph/157mph
Projected F1 Maximum Speed – 302kph / 188mph
Turns – 18 (R10/L8)

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, commented:

“The new sections of circuit were initially brought in to comply with MotoGP safety regulations, but the „Arena Complex‟ was always designed with both two and four-wheeled racing in mind. We have been very careful, working closely with drivers and riders, to make sure we are improving and enhancing what Silverstone already has to offer – from a drivers, riders and spectators point of view.

Some will miss not seeing modern day F1 cars accelerating through Bridge, but we have to move with the times and continue looking at ways to improve the overall experience. The new layout will bring an extra dimension to Silverstone, a new challenge for the drivers, and will enable fans to get closer to the action. We have a very exciting year ahead of us, with F1, MotoGP and World Superbikes all coming to Silverstone, and I can‟t wait to see how the drivers and riders tackle the new circuit.”

Not all of the new features will be completed by the time the British Grand Prix will be held, work on Silverstone’s new Pit and Paddock Complex, to be located between Club and Abbey, is scheduled to be carried out beginning in the spring of 2010 and to be completed by the summer of 2011. Included in this complex will be new garages, a race control building, media centre, hospitality and VIP spectator zones and a primary paddock.

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