Silverstone – circuit information

Silverstone hosted the first round of the world championship in 1950 and has been the permanent home of the British Grand Prix since 1987.

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It first came into use after World War Two when the runways where Wellington bombers used to take off were converted for use as a racing circuit. A fast perimeter layout was then adopted, and the pit and paddock for the first race was situated near to what is now Abbey.

They were subsequently relocated to a new position between Woodcote and Copse and remained their for decades, during which time the race often alternated with the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. But Silverstone’s larger expanses meant it was better able to respond to the growing demand for more run-off area.

After two attempts at slowing the cars by building chicanes at Woodcote, a wholesale renovation in 1991 saw the ultra-high-speed circuit forever changed. Further alterations followed three years later in the wake of the Imola tragedies.

Year after year Silverstone’s place on the calendar was put into doubt, and for 2010 the race was set to move to Donington Park. But when that fell through Silverstone conclude a new long-term contract, part of which included further development of the track.

A new infield section was constructed, partly to allow Moto GP bike races to bypass the Bridge sequence which was deemed to dangerous for them, and another new pit complex – dubbed The Wing – was constructed at the exit of Club corner.

The track was resurfaced in 2018, but drainage problems at that year’s Moto GP event forced the event to be cancelled. A different company was brought in to resurface the track again ahead of the 2019 race.

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Circuit information

Lap data
Lap length5.891km (3.66 miles)
Race laps52
Race distance306.332km (190.346 miles)
Pole positionLeft-hand side of the track
Lap record*1’30.874 (Fernando Alonso, 2010)
Fastest lap1’29.243 (Lewis Hamilton, 2016, qualifying two)
Maximum speed329.5kph (204.742 mph)
Distance from grid to turn one296m
Car performance
Full throttle70%
Longest flat-out section1034m
Downforce levelHigh
Gear changes per lap40
Fuel use per lap2.8kg
Time penalty per lap of fuel0.112s

*Fastest lap set during a Grand Prix
Data sources: FIA, Williams, Mercedes

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Video: Silverstone track layout history

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