Silverstone adopts new barrier design used in Miami to move fans closer to track

2023 F1 season

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A new barrier at the home of the British Grand Prix promises to allow fans a better view of the track at one of Silverstone’s main action spots.

The new fence on the approach to Brooklands corner (turn six) on the outside of the circuit has been positioned around 15 metres closer to the track. The change has been made possible by the introduction of a fence which is also used at the Miami International Autodrome which was newly-built this year to host its first F1 race.

The barrier, designed by Geobrugg, has been homologated by the FIA and FIM, the governing bodies of car and motorbike racing. It complies with the FIA’s tests for circuit debris barriers, which must withstand being struck by a car at an angle of 20 degrees and speed of 120kph. They are also tested by firing a 780 kilogram ball from a cannon at 60kph.

Silverstone’s new barrier runs along the Wellington straight on the drivers’ left-hand side for 248 metres. F1 drivers will pass by at over 300kph before braking for Brooklands.

“With the speed of the straight and the new safety aspects of Formula 1, it was the right time to move to the Geobrugg system,” said Silverstone circuit manager Lee Howkins. “We want to make sure we’re giving the fans the best experience and the best views.”

A 248-metre section of barrier has been replaced
The placement of the new barrier was overseen by Dromo Circuit Design, which was previously handled the resurfacing of Silverstone in 2019. “We decided to use this system not only because it’s FIA-approved but because it’s very easy to install and if we have to move it slightly or adjust something, we can,” said Dromo CEO Jarno Zaffelli. “It was a no-brainer.”

The barriers were widely used throughout the temporary circuit in Miami which F1 raced at for the first time this year. The track layout had to fit within a compact area surrounding the Hard Rock Stadium.

Some drivers expressed concern at the use of the barrier at one point on the circuit, the slow chicane at turn 14, where Carlos Sainz Jnr and Esteban Ocon crashed. Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer was among those who questioned whether a TecPro barrier should have been used instead.

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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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9 comments on “Silverstone adopts new barrier design used in Miami to move fans closer to track”

  1. Tested to with stand a car hitting it at 20 degrees at 120kph…….cars pass this point of the track at 300kph. No thanks.

    1. You know best

  2. Let’s hope they have learned something since Franchitti’s 2013 crash into a similar fence, which ended his career.

  3. I’m probably not understanding the technical details, but there seems to be a pretty notable discrepancy between those figures (FIA test at 120kph, cannonball at 60kph and F1 cars at over 300kph). I’ll assume they have this worked out and the numbers are fine.

    Still, the idea of getting fans closer to the action is pretty nice. Spa-Francorchamps has a lot of those places as well.

  4. What is the reason for the cannonball test? How did they arrive at 780kg and 60kph? Was there an incident that I missed?!

  5. “must withstand being struck by a car at an angle of 20 degrees and speed of 120kph.”

    They must be expecting more antics from Max behind the safety car!

  6. So they’ve tested a bulky wide bonnet road car.

    What about a sharp nosed single-seater???

    Can imagine it would be a very different outcome.

  7. So did they move the grandstands closer to the track? That’s what the lead to this article implies.

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