7 Things you Might not Know About Silverstone
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is an iconic event - here are some of our favourite facts about this legendary track with history at every turn.
March 11, 2019
Silverstone, located in Northamptonshire, England, is renowned as one of the most iconic and historic motor racing circuits in the world and has been a fixture in the Formula 1 calendar since its inception in 1950, making it the oldest continuously used track for the sport.But there’s a lot more to the iconic race track than you might already know!
Be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to the British Grand Prix for information on accommodation, transportation, the best views, top moments and more!
1. It Started Life as a WW2 Royal Air Force Bomber Station
The first mean machines to grace Silverstone were military planes, not racing cars. Post-war, the RAC leased the one-time airfield and turned it into the UK’s premier destination for motor racing. Its location, roughly in the centre of the country, was one of the reasons for their choice. The conversion from airfield to racing track was undertaken in just two months. When the first cars took to the track in 1948, they looped around a piggery and crop fields which were still in the centre of the track.
2. It Can be Lapped in 1:27
…but only if you’re Max Verstappen! The Dutch champion set a record for the fastest official race lap at Silverstone at the 2020 British Grand Prix with a time of 1 minute and 27.097 seconds in his Red Bull Racing RB16.
3. Maggotts Corner is the Fastest of the Lot
The attractively-named Maggotts is the speediest turn on the circuit, being taken flat-out at around 300km/h. It takes its name from Maggots Moor, a local wild spot. The interlinked Chapel and Beckett’s are named for the medieval saint Thomas Becket, whose chapel stood nearby. (Whether he was partial to high-speed sports is unknown.)
Corinthian Sports packages include tickets to the grandstand located right between Maggotts and the Wellington Straight, an exclusive spot reserved for our corporate hospitality guests
4. Silverstone Only Became Full-Time Home to the British GP in 1987
The event was originally shared between Silverstone and Aintree, hence the honorary name of the Aintree corner. The tracks alternated years hosting the event from 1955 to 1962. From 1964 until 1986, Silverstone’s role as GP venue was shared with the equally legendary Brands Hatch.
5. It’s Literally fit for a King
The 1950 F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone was attended by HRH King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, who turned out to mark the historic occasion of the first ever FIA Formula 1 World Championship. This was the first and only time a reigning monarch has attended a British GP race to date. The 1950 race was won by Dr Guiseppe Farina, driving an Alfa Romeo 158. He took home the princely sum of £500 in prize money.
6. It’s not Technically Champagne Sprayed on the Podium
The tradition of spraying champagne from shaken up bottles started by accident in 1966, when Jo Siffert’s bottle was inadvertently shaken up and sprayed into the crowd at Le Mans.
After champagne brand Mumm withdrew its F1 sponsorship in 2016, the bottles on the podium for the winners were supplied by Chandon, and were chardonnay rather than champagne. For Corinthian guests wanting to raise a glass to the occasion, there’s a prosecco or champagne reception in our corporate hospitality suite to get your race-day experience off to a sparkling start.
7. Runners and Cyclists Also use the Track
Maybe not as often as F1 cars, but the Silverstone venue holds running and cycling days, when the public can come and make the circuit using pedal power or their own two feet. It’s a golden opportunity for those who want to say they set foot on the hallowed track.
Thinking of Attending the British Grand Prix at Silverstone?
Our guests have the best seats in the house – the grandstand commands views across all 6 of Silverstone’s famous corners: Maggotts, Becketts, Chapel Curve, The Loop, The Village and Aintree. It’s exclusive to guests booking corporate hospitality packages with us, and you’ll have 40 seconds’ direct view of the high-torque action.
Our VIP Experience Includes:
- Breakfast on arrival
- Prosecco or Champagne reception (prosecco on Friday, Champagne on Saturday and Sunday)
- Full afternoon tea
- Gourmet chef’s table luncheon
- Grandstand tickets
- Terrace viewing
- Souvenir programme to take home as a memento
You’ll also be treated to expert analysis of the action by our in-suite commentators and guest speakers like: Martin Brundle, Paul Di Resta, Steve Deeks, Jolyon Palmer and more!