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Silverstone Upgrade Complete on Schedule

by F1Fan on April 29, 2010

Today Silverstone opened the new Grand Prix circuit layout which features a new in field “Arena Section

During the off season Silverstone has undergone a $7.7 Million (£5 million) transformation, after the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) negotiated a deal with Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management for Silverstone to host the British Grand Prix for the next 10 years.

In front of many noted F1 racing figures including Sir Jackie Stewart, David Coultard, Mark Webber, and Johnny Herbert to name just a few, HRH Prince Andrew the Duke of York performed the honors, officially re-opening the Silverstone circuit. Speaking after being presented with honorary membership to the BRDC the Duke said:

“I am deeply honoured about being asked to be an honorary member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, although I have no qualifications.

The real reason I am here to support Silverstone and the BRDC is because high performance engineering is vitally important for the British economy.

Motorsport is right at the pinnacle of this industry, so it is through events like F1 and Superbikes that we can demonstrate our expertise. And I can say I hope the future will continue to be rosy, not just for motorsport in the UK, but also high performance engineering as a whole.”

Prince Andrew was then treated to three laps of the new track layout in a two-seater F1 car driven by ex F1 Driver and current BRDC president, Damon Hill.

“This is a very important day for Silverstone, but also UK motorsport,” Hill said. “[The Silverstone] team have done a fantastic job under extremely difficult circumstances, not only acquiring the grand prix, but also bringing Moto GP and World Superbikes here.”

Commenting on the new track layout which includes new sections with names such as Village Corner, The Loop, Wellington Straight and Aintree, Hill said he was confident the new configuration would improve the spectacle: “It’s fast and flowing, it’s got that trademark Silverstone high-speed characteristic, especially what will be turn one, the Abbey right into Farm corner and a big stop into village, that should be good, that should be really good. I think it will set up possible overtaking situations.”

While the new portions of the racing circuit have been completed the planned new pit and paddock complex will not available this year, but is planned to be introduced during 2011 in time for next years British Grand Prix.

Not too long to wait now, to see if the circuit changes truly live up to the goal of improving the spectacle for all of those Formula One fans that make the British Grand Prix one of the highest attendance events of the season.

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