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Has Silverstone turned the corner?

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A 25m redevelopment of Silverstone, which could help secure the British Grand Prix's future, has been approved by members of the British Racing Drivers Club.

The BRDC own the circuit which, as F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone never tires of pointing out, is in dire need of a major overhaul if the British GP is to retain its place on F1's calendar.

BRDC president and former F1 champion Damon Hill (pictured) said: "This vote is a great result for the future of British motor sport."

But is it? In today's monetary terms, 25m sounds like the sort of loose change that might be found down the back of the settee at Ecclestone Towers.

With no-expense-spared new tracks being built or planned around the world, is the BRDC's scheme really enough to bring Silverstone up to speed?

Or does the future of the British GP depend more on the continuing success of a certain Lewis Hamilton...

Let us know what you think.

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comment by steve69 (U2947329)

posted Aug 1, 2007

Like most of the users here, I too am scratching my head as to how anyone can think 25m is enough to even begin to turn Silverstone around.
For too long it's been playing the "home of British motorsport" tune - and it's wearing a little thin.
Admittedly, investment in the past has inmproved the local road infrastructure and car parks, but little else. The grandstands are made of scaffolding poles, the standing spectator areas offer poor viewing, signage is non existant, a dead horse is being flogged here. Silverstone as a venue for spectators ticks no boxes.
Bernie - do the right thing and put it out of its misery!

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posted Aug 1, 2007

Lets hope this is the start of it. 25 million will provide some very good facilities at Silverstone and help to go along way to protect the starting point and History of Motor Sport. I have been an avid van of all form of motor racing for a long time an would like to see one of the historic tracks invested in so that many more events can be enjoyed there and also to protect the history of Motor Sport anf F1 at Silverstone.

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posted Aug 1, 2007

For what it's worth - I think some of the Silverstone redevelopment dosh should be spent on restoring the once mighty Stowe Corner section, which after the death of Senna and Ratzenburger in 1994 and a subsequent desire by the FIA to slow the cars down, was altered (in my opinion, for the worst).

The current configuration means that Stowe is no longer a genuine corner but a very tame 'bend' which is now easy to defend. As a consequence of a knee-jerk reaction to two unfortunate deaths, Silverstone lost one of its genuine and exciting over-taking sections of the circuit.

SOS - Save Our Stowe... (otherwise rename it to Stowe Bend)


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posted Aug 2, 2007

The most worrying thing in this article are the words NEW HOMES. As a motorcycle racer too many of our circuits have draconian noise limits imposed by the NIMBY brigade who move next to a racing circuit then have the front to complain about noise, which then limits the amount of use the circuit can have. 2 great circuits in my area, Castle Combe and Thruxton both suffer from this and I would hate to see the same thing happen at Silverstone.

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posted Aug 7, 2007

To put it into context the new stand at Ascot cost 200 million. Definitely seems to be a zero missing from BRDC's plans.

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posted Aug 9, 2007

I'm an average 'punter' and I'd disagree with OwlsNeil. Certainly years ago you'd spend hours queueing to end up in a field, but since the new roads went in, its much quicker and you park in a proper tarmaced car park. Much better and easier to find your car again afterwards. Easier to get out onto the main roads also.

I do tend to miss the GP and just go to the national events however, but I'd still argue that overall Silverstone access is much improved.

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posted Aug 9, 2007

There...cannot be a season without a British races. There's always been one, without fail, and if Paris made Formula One, then surely Silverstone took it racing.

I agree though that Silverstone needs redevelopment. Imola needs it, Hockenheim needs it, every circuit that has done racing before 1999 needs some nip and tuck, but I don't see a British champion without a British race in the same way I see absolutely no hope for America's reintroduction to the sport. The last successful American was Jacques Villeneuve, but he was Canadian.

Sorry I mumble a lot...

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posted Aug 10, 2007

I hear people talk about these modern, shining examples of Grand Prix circuits that Silverstone should aspire to be and whilst I agree the Northamptonshire circuit does need to modernise, let's not get too carried away.

I went to the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang this year, taking my wife to her first Grand Prix. Behind the scenes, away from the hospitality and VIP seating, behind the gleaming image many of you have only seen on TV, it really isn't that impressive. Getting to/from the circuit, 'choice' of food and drink were outshone by Silverstone hands down. Locals were getting into Grandstands without tickets and taking the seats of Europeans that had paid good money and travelled a long way to be there, whilst us Westerners were being searched and getting food and water confiscated on a typical Malaysian 38 degree sweltering day. Even this would have been okay, you expect to get ripped off for refreshments, but there was one food stall serving our whole Grandstand - and no veggie option for my wife. But what really stood out was the lack of a show - the British Grand is an all weekend event, with a number of supporting races and events.

Needless to say, my wife's first experience of F1 (and my first experience of one of these modern circuits) was not a good one. I would choose Silverstone as it stands today over Sepang everytime.

There has been far too much publicity about how far Silverstone is behind these modern circuits. Progress it should, but it really isn't all as bad as Bernie and the others that see the race through their rose tinted glasses (or hospitality suites) would lead us to believe.

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posted Aug 15, 2007

Has anyone outside the BRDC seen the plans?

No is the answer at a guess? If they show people what they plan to do then we can realy comment.

Silverstone has so much to offer.

They need to look at the land as well as the track. Not only sort the track out but what about hotels, Business units? Has anyone thought of Education? Traning faclities for young mechanics / engineers.

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posted Nov 28, 2007

All the F1 fan should get a say,,,,after all we pay to go,,,,sell us some shares to make some money

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