Formula One fans attending this year’s British Grand Prix will be sampling something new despite the fact the race is returing to its tried and tested venue – an enhanced track layout.
With the agreement to send the race back to Silverstone finalised not much more than two months ago, it was touch-or-go as to whether there would be an F1 event in this country at all.
However, now Silverstone has announced that it has clearance from Formula One Management to use the Arena circuit – a modification that lengthens its international layout by half a mile and lap times by an estimated four seconds.
The circuit will feature an infield loop that starts at Abbey and cuts out Bridge, Priory and Brooklands. In their place it adds two faster straights.
The alterations, which are costing £5 million, are due to be completed next month.
Richard Phillips, the circuit’s managing director, said: “Some will miss not seeing F1 cars accelerating through Bridge but we have to move with the times and continue looking at ways to improve the overall experience.
“The new layout will bring an extra dimension, a new challenge for the drivers, and will enable fans to get closer to the action. We have a very exciting year ahead of us.”