£27m facility is ready for the Brit GP this July - and even Bernie's happy
Silverstone officially opens its new pit and paddock complex today (even if it's not quite ready - see photo), just under two months before the British GP, and with a host of star drivers in attendance, including British world champions Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell.
It’s been a tough few years for Silverstone but, after a difficult few years during which the circuit came under constant criticism from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for the poor state of its facilities and when the GP oh-so-nearly moved to Donington Park, the Northamptonshire circuit is finally officially back in F1’s good books.
“Thank God I persisted because now we’ll have a super circuit,” Ecclestone told the Telegraph. “One that when people say ‘We are building a circuit; can we come and have a look at Silverstone?’ I can happily say, ‘Yes, build it like this’. Whereas before it was the last place I would encourage them to see.”
The rejuvenation of the circuit, which is owned by the BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club), began last year with the new Arena section of track and is completed by the new 41-garage building, designed by the same architects responsible for the 2012 Olympic stadium.
Speaking on Radio 4’s today programme about the £27m new facilities, BRDC president Damon Hill said: "This year's Grand Prix and all the major international events will take place using the new facility. Silverstone has got a right to a permanent place on the calendar and so we hope this is a long-term thing that will make the circuit smart."
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Got my British GP tickets ordered after returning from Spa last year - can't wait to see this up close!
durbster17 May 2011
I drove past this last year and it was impressive even then. It does make it look a bit like an airport rather than a motorsport venue, but I suppose you could say that about Tilke's creations too.
I have always quite enjoyed the low-budget feel of Silverstone because it reminds you of all that it's evolved from. That said, the ticket price certainly isn't low budget
If this is what's needed to retain a British Grand Prix than it's more than welcome to me, and I'm just bloody glad Mr. Tilke hasn't been invited to the party at any stage.
Steve-B17 May 2011
Does he also claim credit for financially hanging out to dry the groups investing in Donnington's rebuild that he abruptly pulled the plug on?
Or plenty of other circuits in the news time after time he's threatened where huge sums are expended for his company profit?
Sad this is the only F-1 news you could come up with - a shame you didn't fairly show all the years / torrent of abuse/criticism he's levelled at Sir JYS, Damon Hill and others on Silverstone.
But that wouldn't have made the news would it?
louiebaby17 May 2011
I was at Silverstone on Sunday for a driving experience Christmas present, and it looks impressive. They seem to be working pretty hard to get the last bits and bobs of landscaping done to get it all ready, as it's not quite there yet.
An impressive looking building though, that's for sure.