Motorsport first took place at Silverstone in 1947 and it soon became a famous venue. In 1948, it hosted a British GP. Despite the circuit being on the calendar for a long time, only two drivers have won four or more victories at Silverstone. In fact, Lewis Hamilton has won there eight times.
The circuit's layout has changed countless times over the 70 years, but hardly anything has changed since the starting line was moved for the 2011 GP. The current circuit is 5.891 kilometres long and has 18 corners.
The famous names
Silverstone's sequence of Maggots, Becketts and Chapel is one of the most famous stretches of tarmac on the Formula 1 calendar and is one of the most popular sets of corners among Formula 1 drivers. The circuit is also famous for the Brooklands, Luffield and Woodcote corners surrounded by grandstands. Copse Corner is also notorious.
Its reputation was confirmed in 2021 when Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen hit each other hard. In his Mercedes car, Hamilton went forward on the inside of Copse and hit Verstappen's car. The Red Bull Racing driver crashed into the crash barrier at high speed and had to be taken to hospital as a precaution.
Silverstone also boasts three famous straights. During a lap, drivers first enter the Wellington straight, followed by the Hangar straight. The current start/finish is known as the Hamilton straight. Indeed, after the British driver scored his seventh Formula 1 victory here, bosses decided to name it after him.
Silverstone's history in F1
The British GP has been held at Silverstone every year since 1987. Previously, it rotated with first Aintree and then Brands Hatch. Due to the coronavirus crisis, Silverstone hosted two races in one Formula One season for the first time in 2020. The latter was titled 'the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix' and was won by Verstappen.
Its rich history means that most Formula 1 drivers have driven at Silverstone. In the very first race, Giuseppe Farina won from pole position in his Alfa Romeo. Sir Stirling Moss became the first British polesitter at Silverstone, but it was Peter Collins who became the first Briton to win a home race at Silverstone.
Jim Clark won three times in a row, before Sir Jackie Stewart repeated that between 1969 and 1971. Alain Prost took the first of his five Silverstone victories in 1983. Nigel Mansell became the fan favourite by winning the 1987, 1991 and 1992 editions. Aryton Senna achieved only one Silverstone victory in 1988. Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert won their home races in 1994 and 1995 respectively.
At the peak of his career, Jacques Villeneuve won races in 1996 and 1997. Michael Schumacher took the first of his three Silverstone victories in 1998. David Coulthard took his second win at the British GP in 2000, after which home fans had to wait another eight years for another home winner. Hamilton won the event in 2008 at a wet Silverstone.