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An F1 History Lesson: The British Grand Prix and Silverstone Circuit

As the British Grand Prix approaches this upcoming week, there is a lot of history rooted with the Silverstone Circuit and the grand prix in general. It is one of the oldest circuits since having hosted the first British Grand Prix in the year 1950. Since then, it has been the home race for many British teams and British drivers.


Silverstone is made up of 18 turns and two DRS zones. The length of the circuit is 5.891 kilometers and the British Grand Prix is a total of 52 laps. This makes the total racing distance 306.198 kilometers. The current holder of the fastest lap is Max Verstappen with one minute, 27 seconds and 97 milliseconds. He obtained this record in the year 2020.


The Silverstone Circuit first came into use after World War Two where the Soviet Union was defeated. The circuit was originally what Wellington bombers used to take off from. The circuit almost lost its place as home to the British Grand Prix in the year 2010 when the rights were almost lost to the Donington Circuit. However, a 10-year deal was signed, which would make the circuit the home of the grand prix until 2027. Unfortunately because of a clause, the circuit as of now will only be the host up until the year 2024. The circuit has not only endured many battles off the track but on the track as well.


In the year 1987, Nigel Mansell performed a memorable overtake over his Williams teammate Nelson Piquet. That race Piquet had taken pole position and had led most of the race. It wasn’t until the 63rd lap after making his final pitstop, that Mansell was able to overtake him in the Stowe corner by passing Piquet through the inside. He ended up winning the British Grand Prix that year because of the overtake.


Fast forward to the year 2008, it is now the 2008 British Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton’s second year in Formula 1. As he starts in fourth place, he is getting ready to face his biggest competitor, a rainy day in Silverstone. During the first lap, he had the opportunity to overtake his teammate for the lead, but couldn’t and had to wait until the fifth lap to overtake and gain the lead. After that it was smooth sailing, well as smooth as it can be for a wet race. Hamilton ultimately ended up winning that race by a total of 68 seconds and he also won his first World Driver’s Champion that year.


The British Grand Prix and the Silverstone circuit is one of the most iconic places to be at during the Formula 1 season. The history behind it and the fans make the atmosphere a once in a lifetime experience. This season, the Grand Prix will be a home race for three drivers and six Formula 1 teams. The drivers include Lando Norris, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Meanwhile the teams are Mercedes, RedBull, Aston Martin, McLaren, Williams, and Alpine.


Although the contract that allows the Silverstone Circuit to be the host for the British Grand Prix ends at the end of the season in 2024, it would be pretty hard to ignore the greatness that this circuit has and deny it the opportunity to continue to host this infamous race.


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