Silverstone have officially launched their new addition to the circuit known as the Arena layout.
The race track, located in Northamptonshire in England was not expected to be hosting a Formula One race this year with the spoils of the top motorsport event in Britain going to Donington Park. Silverstone had the rights to the MotoGP championship which prompted the idea to adjust the circuit to a faster and free flowing design. However when Donington Park ran out of money, Silverstone stepped in and secured rights to the Formula One and the cars will use the new circuit upon their visit.
The new part of the track sweeps off from Abbey and goes right through to the National circuit straight. It has already been hailed a success by some.
“This is a new circuit for a new generation of people to enjoy motorsport and we believe it will offer a big challenge to drivers as well,” Damon Hill, the head of the BRDC who run Silverstone said this morning.
His Royal higness the Duke of York attended the opening and was beaming about the success of motorsport in Britain.
“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.”
Former Grand Prix winner and Red Bull Racing driver David Coulthard sampled the circuit in a Red Bull car, completing 6 laps and he seemed very impressed giving us his breakdown of the new circuit.
“It might take us a step closer to good racing,” he said. “It’s always difficult to tell until you really drive a proper line at speed. But the corner out of Club, the Abbey kink, and the kink out of Aintree might be the areas, where if they are not flat, drivers can make a mistake and someone can get in their slipstream.
“Otherwise it’s the same, the start finish straight is the same, Copse is the usual mighty corner – a real opener that you drive right on the edge.”
Speaking about the track, he said: “Club is now a very defined double apex. Before it just had one apex but now there is one apex, and then another one. So in the damp you can imagine someone having a bit of a wobble there.
“When you come out of The Loop there is another little kink [at Aintree Corner] and I’m hoping that won’t be flat. If it is flat then it does nothing, but if it isn’t then maybe someone can get a run down in to the braking area at Brooklands.
“It is a very wide entry there and F1 car’s take a narrower line than a touring car or whatever, just because of the nature of the cars. But if you did make a mistake there then that could also lead to overtaking.
“Otherwise it’s the same. There has been a small realignment at Maggots, but nothing major. Abbey is now a very fast corner. I think Village is more likely to be a spectator area than a spectator zone.”