The biggest race in the British racing calendar sees Formula One arrive in Silverstone. Why is it so special?
The Driver on Pole Doesn’t Always Win
Less than half of the front runners have finished the race in first place. British drivers have dominated the race in the past, with a Brit coming in first in 20 races. Many say that this is because Silverstone is home to British racing, from karting to Superbikes. Others say it’s the home crowd that helps them to the chequered flag.
Silverstone is a former airfield
During WWII, it was used as an RAF training facility, and the famous Wellington bomber flew its raids from there. Its three runways are laid out in a classic wartime pattern, and the race takes place around the runways. After recent track improvements, the race now crosses over the first runway, with the other two runways used in smaller layouts of the track for other motorsport events.
The First-Ever F1 Race was at Silverstone
In September 1947, a group of friends raced their cars around the abandoned airfield. A year later, the Royal Automobile Club leased the land and used it to create a circuit, using hay bales as markers. It was then designed into a tarmac and concrete track. In 1950, the first Formula One Grand Prix took place at the brand-new track with King George VI and his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, there to watch. If you want to watch Formula One races like royalty, try paddock club and hospitality packages.
The cars are all kept safe over night so no one can tamper with them and all the relevant tools are kept in order by the mechanics who work on the cars. They have each got their own set of garage shelving found at links such as garage shelving specifically for their area to allow for easy access.
The British F1 Grand Prix Almost Moved
In 2009, it looked like Silverstone had hosted its final British F1 race after the Donington race track signed a 17-year deal to host the race. At the end of the season, boss Bernie Ecclestone announced that the Donington deal was off and that Formula One would be back at Silverstone.
The 2003 Race Saw a Track Invasion
Neil Horan, known as the Dancing Priest, ran onto the track wearing a kilt with a sign that read “Read the bible.” He ran across the 200mph straight known as Hangar Strait, causing cars to slow down and swerve around him. The safety car was deployed, and Horan was removed by a marshal.