Race Facts – British Grand Prix at Silverstone

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Silverstone, known as the “home of British motorsport,” was part of the original World Championship in 1950 and has hosted the British Grand Prix more than 50 times.

Built on the site of a World War II airfield, Silverstone first hosted the British Grand Prix in 1948, a race which attracted a reported 100 000 spectators. Two years later in 1950, Silverstone was chosen as the venue for the first race on the inaugural Formula 1 World Championship and the track is one of only four Grands Prix from the first year of the World Championship to remain a part of today’s F1 calendar (the others being Monaco, Spa and Monza). The layout of Silverstone has undergone significant changes over the years, mostly in a bid to reduce speed and increase safety.

After almost losing the rights to the British Grand Prix to rival Donington Park circuit in the late 2000s, the owners of Silverstone (the British Racing Drivers’ Club, or BRDC) signed a new 17-year deal in 2010 which should have guaranteed Silverstone’s place on the Formula 1 calendar until at least 2027. Unfortunately, the contract includes an ‘escalator clause’ that increases the hosting fee payable to the Formula 1 group each year, and the circuit has struggled to make a profit despite attracting the second highest attendances on the current calendar (almost 350,000 on race weekend in 2017.) A few days before last year’s British GP, the BRDC activated a break clause in their contract with Formula 1. Unless Silverstone’s owners can negotiate a better deal with Formula 1, the 2019 British Grand Prix will be the last.

British GP: did you know?

  • At 5.891km, Silverstone is the third longest F1 circuit on the current calendar. Only Spa Francorchamps in Belgium (7.004km) and the Baku City Circuit (6.003km) are longer.
  • Together with Italy, Britain is the only country to have held a Grand Prix in every year of the World Championship since 1950.
  • Lewis Hamilton, Jim Clark and Alain Prost jointly hold the record for most British GP wins, with five apiece. Hamilton has won the last four races from 2014-2017.
  • A total of twelve British drivers have won the British Grand Prix. Other multiple British GP winners include Nigel Mansell (4 wins), Jackie Stewart and David Coulthard (both 2 wins).
  • In 17 races, Jensen Button never won the British GP, or even stood on the podium.
Circuit NameSilverstone
Race first held1950
Track Length5.891km (20 turns)
Race Distance52 laps (306.291 km)
Lap Record1:30.874, Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), 2010
2017 result1st Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:21:27.430
2nd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +14.063
3rd Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +36.570
March 20, 2018

Off-Track Activities – 2018 British Grand Prix

The best things to do away from Silverstone this year. The British Grand Prix takes place on July 6-8, 2018.

February 2, 2018

Travel Basics – British Grand Prix

Start planning your trip to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. This year’s race is on July 6-8, 2018.

February 2, 2018

Race Facts – British Grand Prix at Silverstone

Silverstone, known as the “home of British motorsport,” was part of the original World Championship in 1950 and has hosted the British Grand Prix more than 50 times.

January 15, 2018

Budget Planner – 2018 British Grand Prix

Planning a trip to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix? Read our budget planner to help plan the cost of your weekend.

December 20, 2017

Getting There & Around – British Grand Prix

Advice on the best ways to get to Silverstone for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix.

December 1, 2017

Tickets – 2018 British Grand Prix at Silverstone

Your guide to buying tickets and the best places to watch the action at Silverstone for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix.

November 20, 2017

Accommodation – 2018 British Grand Prix at Silverstone

From trackside camping to five-star luxury hotels, we’ve chosen the best places to stay near Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in July.

July 8, 2017

Trackside at Silverstone – 2018 British Grand Prix

Our guide to getting the most out of your trackside experience at Silverstone for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix.

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