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Why Silverstone must remain the home of the British GP

Hamilton’s victory at one of the world’s best circuits reaffirms why it has to stay

  1. It's become Lewis Hamilton's new home

    The British driver secured his fifth ever win at Silverstone over the weekend, equalling the late, great Jim Clark’s record.

    He led literally from lights to flag, displaying his - and his Merc’s - astonishing prowess around the place. The crowd lapped it up every lap, and there were Lewis flags dotted all over the shop.

    Where else is he going to get a reception like this?

  2. It was home to the first ever official Formula One World Championship race

    Silverstone was a former WWII base. Once the war was over, the circuit was used by the Royal Automobile Club as the home of the British Grand Prix (1948).

    And when the Formula One World Championship was conceived in 1950, guess which circuit hosted the first race? Yup, Silverstone. Giuseppe Farina was the winner, driving an Alfa Romeo.

    Over the years, it’s been subject to a number of changes, not least in 2010 when it was treated to a new layout.

  3. It’s really, really fast

    Monaco feels like an F1 circuit because it provides the glamour… but little spectacle. Silverstone brings the speed. The notoriously fast, power-hungry circuit is a monster of a track. Its peak speak tops 200mph and Copse has a ‘minimum’ entry speed of 175mph.

    Speaking at F1’s Live London event last week, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel noted that “the corners at Silverstone are amazing, it’s really quick, and that’s when we really feel alive”.

  4. It’s got one of the most knowledgeable, respectful F1 audiences

    Sure, Hamilton, at home, on a winning streak in front of a British audience is only ever going to garner applause – and applaud him they did. Lap after lap, as the three-time champ blitzed around in the lead, he was treated to an ovation.

    But, Silverstone respects proper tooth and nail racing. Take Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen’s toe-to-toe around lap 14. Vettel made the move, Verstappen defended. Vettel tried, Verstappen parried. As the Dutch youngster emerged victorious from the scrap, Silverstone went nuts, applauding the teenager’s courage and skill.

    Vettel said: “Silverstone is a great track – I’ve been coming for many years. I have to say the crowd is very fair. I was racing against Jenson once, and I happened to win the race and got a lot of cheers, so it was nice the people appreciated we had a good race at the time. The track is great, the people are great…”

  5. It’s in Britain. Which means the weather is unpredictable…

    Moments after Hamilton had enjoyed his now customary spot of crowd-surfing to a forgiving audience, the heavens opened, and it started pouring down. Had this occurred just half an hour previously, the race would have been entirely different.

    Take last year’s GP – rain lashed down moments before the race began, leading to quite a calamitous GP for everyone behind Lewis…

  6. It’s also home to the Silverstone Classic

    Which if you like classic motor racers, is a good thing. Yes, the British GP is the high point of Silverstone’s year – thousands in attendance and millions watching across the world – with an almost festival vibe. But outside of F1, Silverstone hosts some spectacular machinery.

    The Classic is an example, where you get to see such luminaries as a JPS Lotus, Jaguar Group C prototype, racing Bentleys from the 1920s and much, much more. Including screaming old F1 cars.

    Also, did we mention just how fast Silverstone is?

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