Silverstone to use ‘Arena’ track in 2010

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Silverstone Arena circuit
Silverstone Arena circuit

The 2010 British Grand Prix will take place on Silverstone’s new ‘Arena’ circuit in 2010, the circuit has confirmed, after gaining approval from Formula One Management.

The race organisers say the new circuit, built at a cost of ??5m, will provide a better experience for fans in 2010.

It cuts out the Abbey chicane and Bridge and Priory corners, replacing them with a new sequence of fast bends and a pair of tight corners which will be in view from the Becketts grandstand. The new configuration will have to be homologated by the FIA before this year’s F1 race.

Here’s how the new and old tracks compare:

TrackSilverstone ‘Arena’ (2010)Silverstone 2009
Length5.9km (3.666 miles)5.14km (3.194 miles)
Turns (R/L)18 (10/8)17 (10/7)

With the lap length increasing expect the number of laps in this year’s F1 race to fall from 60 to 52.

The estimated lap time for the new circuit in an F1 car is 1’23.13. Last year’s pole position time by Sebastian Vettel was 1’19.509.

A new pit and paddock complex will be built in time for the 2011 race. It will include new garages, race control building, media centre, hospitality, VIP spectator areas and a primary paddock.

Managing director Richard Phillips said:

The new sections of circuit were initially brought in to comply with Moto GP safety regulations, but the “Arena Complex” was always designed with both two and four-wheeled racing in mind. We have been very careful, working closely with drivers and riders, to make sure we are improving and enhancing what Silverstone already has to offer – from a drivers, riders and spectators point of view.

Some will miss not seeing modern day 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 to Silverstone, 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, with F1, MotoGP and World Superbikes all coming to Silverstone, and I can’t wait to see how the drivers and riders tackle the new circuit.
Richard Phelps

Silverstone is one of two F1 circuits changes this year – Bahrain is also using a new loop for this year’s race.

Going to the British Grand Prix this year? Join the discussion here:

Silverstone Arena circuit

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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51 comments on “Silverstone to use ‘Arena’ track in 2010”

  1. It is a shame two of those left hand bends look flat for an F1 car.

    1. well for the first half of the race they shouldn’t be, as the cars will be heavy.

      1. on that note, will Eau Rouge, 130R, Copse ect be flat at the begining of a race?

        1. 130r probably will be, as for eau rouge, drivers say it’s not as challanging anymore, it’s been somewhat netared over the years. The driver who takes it flat first on a full tank must haave mansellesque balls of steel!!

  2. so i take it there won’t be the new arena grandstand built for this year? or will it?

  3. This is a good news. I would like to see the new circuit!

  4. Amazing, glad this happens as i should see the cars twice per lap from Club silverstone stand :D

  5. They should cut out T13, then it would be really fast! Apart from that it looks great. Good job BRDC.

  6. Like Bertie says the new Abbey will probably be easy flat in an F1 car- I was hoping they’d be a big challenege. But the hairpin after that will probably be a good overtaking point

    1. I thought everyone was moaning about a lack of high-speed corners recently. That new Abbey looks great, especially as it’ll be the first corner from 2011, providing they build the new pits in time.

      1. i was going to ask that, does this mean that as of next year abbey will be the first corner instead of copse?

        1. No, the new pitlane won’t be ready for a while yet, the first corner will still be at Copse until 2011 at the earliest

  7. Interesting to see a track modification that, for once, adds faster corners to a circuit. In the absence of being able to add run-off to restore Abbey to its pre-1994 condition, I rather prefer this change to the circuit’s 2009 configuration. I think the new turns 11 and 12 could provide a suitable challenge. It will be interesting to see if there can be some overtaking into turn 13, then, although the left-hander hairpin following so closely after that could make it possible for a driver on the outside line to counter-attack.

  8. Keith looks like you have added the area circuit’s mileage in the wrong column.

    As for the track, I will wait and see before I make judgement, but I think it has potential.

    1. Yeah mixed up the table columns, fixed now, thanks!

  9. Luckily it doesn’t seem they’re going to do a Hockenheim-esque monster.

    1. Thank god for that! They really butchered Hockenheim. It used to be the greatest, now it’s “stadium section joined together with a load of mickey mouse turns!”.

      Not good.

      Silverstone looks cool though I have to say.

      Who did the drawings for it??

      1. Hockenheimring lost some potential even before the 2002 butchering. I can’t understand why, when they put the original chicanes in during the 60’s, they put them ON the fast corners, rather than 200 metres ahead of them so we still had cars doing 120mph through them.

        Imola suffered similarly, instead of turning a great, fast corner into a chicane and destroying it completely, stick one before it, then if the cars end up going to fast round it again in years to come you can just move it closer.

  10. I thought the Silverstone MD was Richard Phillips not Phelps

    1. It is – sorry about that.

  11. “The estimated lap time for the new circuit in an F1 car is 1?23.13. Last years pole position time by Sebastian Vettel was 1?19.509.”

    Only 4 seconds difference? Nah. I think it will be some 6 seconds. Mark my words.

  12. So is the start line moving then?

  13. I think it looks great. I hope they increase the amount of space available of the GA tickets holders.

    1. I think it’s great that the new section is roughly twice as long as the old section, yet the cars are expected to lap at only 3 secs sloweron a track section with a tight hairpin- goes to show hoe fast they actually go!

  14. Congrats to all you Brits, would we had some knarlyass F1 track with all that historical baggage so nicely in tow…and mostly reachable on a Sunday morning drive I’d guess…the US remains a wasteland of Grand Prix dreams.

  15. What do the dashed lines at T6 signify?

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      11th February 2010, 22:24

      As far as I remember, the F1 cars will follow the bit of track with the dashed lines, whereas the bikes will follow the darker grey, slightly tighter line inside.
      I think this track looks pretty good overall, and it’s the most exciting development to Silverstone in years, but I’d like to see where the new stands are going to be and where the GA areas are. Plus of course, I’d like to understand how all the traffic is supposed to get into the paddock and infield through what looks like one tunnel.

  16. “The estimated lap time for the new circuit in an F1 car is 1?23.13.”

    Wow that is very precise! How did they come up with that?!

    1. +4secs a lap?

      I suppose they could figgure it out roughly, it’s not a massive or complex extension.

      It’s likley to be a good deal less.

    2. Simulator I guess

  17. I’m sure their calculations are going to be close… while the section is longer they get to stay on the pedal much longer. Someone said it would be more like 6 seconds difference, so I’m going to say that it will be even closer to last years time- maybe 2 seconds off the pace- mark my words! ha ha! Especially if the two new tight turns have good grip.

    1. It may very well be closer to 2 rather than 6. The cars are expected to reach 2008 levels of downforce by mid-season.

    2. Don’t underestimate those narrower front tyres – going to make quite a big difference I think.

  18. I saw this article and was annoyed and dismayed. Then I looked at the plans and was surprised and curious. As much as I hate changes to circuits (probably thanks to Tilke), this change looks good!

  19. is it my imagination or does it look very much like they have tightned chapel if you zoom in on the image? which would mean the cars probably arent flat when coming onto hanger straight.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      12th February 2010, 3:11

      Chapel has indeed been tightened, but that is for the MotoGP riders only.

  20. Nice one,but why all of a sudden the circuits length are getting bigger? They said that they have talked with the rider & drivers,will this will improve overtaking?

  21. Has Silverstone been awarded a multi-year contract?

    1. yeah I think Silverstone was awarded to 15 year contract that Donighton had. So good to see F1 stay at Silverstone and I really like the change, even more fast corners. Please take not Tilke

  22. Keith a bit cheeky I know – but do you have or can you point me in the right direction to get a very Hi Res version of the silverstone circuit diagram – I need one for one of my son’s school project. (Please reply to my email address if you can help) – Many thanks :)

    1. You’ve probably been sent this link a few times now, but if not…the hi-res circuit shots are here…

      Enjoy :) D

  23. Anybody want to buy a couple of British GP Tickets for “Bridge” … very cheap :)

    1. Bridge can now be used as a Bernie shortcut :)

  24. Keith,

    Any idea when the tickets for the new sections will be going on sale. I phoned the ticket office yesterday and they had only just found out the track layout had been changed!

    1. How about those that have been sold tickets for grandstands that are no longer going to have a track by them?
      Surely those tickets should be migrated to the new stands?

      1. If Im not mistaking, those where not sold yet as the BRDC didnt know which type of layout they would use.
        The parts that where adjacent to the track that would be in use where sold.

  25. The good news is the older layout and the historic layout stay intact. Though Club’s exit is being tightened apparently. Will that mean the end of counter attacks out of the chicane with varying lines through the wide exit?

    I also hope the new Chapel is indeed only for bikes.

    Turns 11 and 12 look like they’ll be brilliant for bikes but easily flat in F1 cars. For F1s, they’re essentially replacing a tricky chicane and 2 fast corners by 1 long straight straight followed by anchor slamming for a tight right-angle corner and a hairpin.

    Mixed feelings so far, we’ll see what it’s like in July.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      15th February 2010, 3:52

      I also hope the new Chapel is indeed only for bikes.

      I assure you, it is.

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