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Formula 1 70 facts from 70 years at Silverstone

Highs, lows, twists and turns, exhilaration, heartbreak and success…

Silverstone has delivered it all over the past 70 years of hosting the Formula 1 British Grand Prix. In honour of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, we look back at some of the moments that made Silverstone so special, and memorable!

  1. The Silverstone circuit is on the site of RAF Silverstone, former WWII Royal Air Force bomber station.
  2. An estimate 150,000 spectators attended the event in 1950.
  3. During the 1950 British Grand Prix, British driver, Reg Parnell hit a hare during the race as it ran out onto the track.
  4. Silverstone is the 3rd longest F1 circuit on the current calendar.
  5. In 2019 Lewis Hamilton secured his 6th British Grand Prix victory.
  6. During the 1991 British Grand Prix, Ayrton Senna took a ride on Nigel Mansell’s car back to the pits after his car ran out of fuel.
  7. On the 11th lap of the 2003 British Grand Prix a protestor ran onto the track wearing a kilt and waving a religious banner. Many drivers had to swerve around him until he was escorted off the track.
  8. Considered one of the largest crashes in Formula 1 history, the 1973 British Grand Prix had a huge pile up forcing 11 cars to retire after Jody Scheckter spun across the track at Woodcote Corner during the 1st lap of the race.
  9. During the 1999 British Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher broke one of his legs after crashing into the tire wall.
  10. On his 1st win at Silverstone in 2008, Lewis Hamilton finished an astonishing 68 seconds ahead of his teammate to take second place.
  11. King George VI attended the 1950 British Grand Prix, the only monarch to have visited the British Grand Prix.
  12. The 1960 British Grand Prix saw Graham Hill stall his BRM at the start of the race, then go from last to first position, only to spin off five laps before the end of the race.
  13. James Hunt took his only British Grand Prix victory in 1977.
  14. The use of a turbo engine for the 1st time by Jean-Pierre Jabouille during the 1977 British Grand Prix marked a new era in the sport.
  15. Jackie Stewart won the 1969 British Grand Prix lapping every car by the end of the race.
  16. The 1951 British Grand Prix saw Ferrari’s 1st win in Formula 1.
  17. Giles Villeneuve made his debut in Formula 1 at the 1977 British Grand Prix.
  18. Nigel Mansell got out of his car and kissed the track during the warm down lap of the 1987 after an incredible 28 second chase to 1st position.
  19. Johnny Herbet took his maiden win at the 1995 British Grand Prix, after Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill collided.
  20. Michael Schumacher won the 1998 British Grand Prix in the pits, the only time in Formula 1 history this has happened.
  21. Both Haas team mates, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, both retired after hitting each other on the opening lap of the 2018 British Grand Prix.
  22. The circuit hosted its first RAC International Grand Prix in 1948 only to become an official round of the World Championship in 1950.
  23. The 1950 British Grand Prix is the oldest race in Formula 1 history.
  24. The current British Grand Prix configuration has 18 corners.
  25. Silverstone has been the home of British Motorsport since 1987.
  26. Between 1955 & 1962 the British Grand Prix alternated between Silverstone and Aintree.
  27. Between 1963 & 1986 the British Grand Prix alternated between Silverstone and Brand’s Hatch.
  28. The 1975 British Grand Prix at Silverstone saw a chicane added to Woodcote to slow cars through the very high- speed corner.
  29. 1987 saw the Silverstone spectators break ranks and run onto the circuit after the race was over.
  30. In 1994, following the tragedies of Imola, a chicane was installed at the flat- out Abbey corner 18 days before the British Grand Prix.1995 Mobil British Grand Prix Johnny Herbert - Benetton-Renault B195
  31. The average speed for Formula 1 cars at the British Grand Prix range in the 145mph range.
  32. British driver Jim Clark won the British Grand Prix 5 times during his racing career.
  33. Ferrari have won the British Grand Prix constructors title 16 times.
  34. Since the 1st official British Grand Prix, Silverstone has had 6 configurations.
  35. 12 British drivers have won the British Grand Prix including Lewis Hamilton, Nigel Mansell, Jackie Stewart and David Coulthard.
  36. In both 1963 and 1965, the podium was consisted of only British drivers.
  37. The lowest grid position to be recorded at a British Grand Prix was 28th in 1954.
  38. In 2013 six drivers had tyre blow outs, questioning Pirelli, Formula 1’s tyre manufacturer.
  39. Lewis Hamilton holds the British Grand Prix lap record of 1:24.303.
  40. Fans can currently chose from 28 grandstands to watch the British Grand Prix
  41. The first Formula 1 race at Silverstone had 70 laps.
  42. The oldest driver on the grid in 1950 was 52 years old.
  43. During the 1950 British Grand Prix the Alpha Romeo team used light weight radios for communication as a means of race control. This was the first time in Britain this had been done in motorsport.
  44. The British Grand Prix consists of 6 different zones around the circuit so fans can enjoy a range of activities and entertainment throughout the weekend.
  45. At the 2019 British Grand Prix fans could watch the track action from 29 different giant screens located around the circuit.
  46. The British Grand Prix circuit is 5.8KM long.
  47. Alain Prost won his first British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1983. He went on to win 5 British Grand Prix matching Jim Clark’s record.
  48. The 1988 British Grand Prix will be remembered for the monsoon-like conditions that enabled Ayrton Senna the opportunity to show his skills in appalling conditions.
  49. The circuit had a major refurbishment in 1991 where a new ‘stadium’ area was built between Abbey and Woodcote and new curves instead of the old Becketts Corner.
  50. David Coulthard won the 2000 British Grand Prix just 1.5 second ahead of Mika Hakkinen on Easter Sunday.
  51. Silverstone hit the news on 7th December 2009 when it was confirmed the circuit would hold the Formula 1 British Grand Prix for the next 17 years.
  52. Fernando Alonso matched Jackie Stewarts 27 F1 wins at the 2011 British Grand Prix.
  53. The circuit has a capacity of a whopping 103,000 grandstand seats.
  54. Silverstone totally resurfaced in June 2019 covering 92,000 sq metres of asphalt.
  55. Number of turns: 10 right, 8 left.
  56. Longest straight: Hangar Straight – 770 metres.
  57. Maggotts Corner is still the fastest turn on the Grand Prix Circuit at Silverstone, with F1 cars taking this bend at speeds of approximately 188mph, while being subjected to a lateral G-force of 4.5.
  58. The Silverstone Wing provides a world-class facility for teams, officials and spectators alike, including 41 garages, a race control building, a podium, media centre, hospitality and VIP spectator zones.
  1. The amount of TV cable laid out around Silverstone for the British Grand Prix would stretch from Dover to Calais and back.
  2. The total Medical Team exceeds 130 on each day of the British Grand Prix; including 36 doctors, 24 paramedics, 8 nurses, a radiographer, an ultra-sonographer and numerous first aiders.
  3. A highly sophisticated Traffic Management system is implemented for the British Grand Prix, converting the A43 dual carriageway into a six lane one-way system. In terms of access, Silverstone is now one of the easiest circuits in the world to get in and out of.
  4. Since the 2012 British Grand Prix, Silverstone has invested heavily in its infrastructure to improve car parking and on-site camping facilities including additional drainage excavated over an area covering 140 acres across 11 grassed car parks and Re-shaping of 3,000m of ditches to increase flow rates.
  5. An estimated 351,000 attended the 2019 British Grand Prix.1998 RAC British Grand Prix Michael Schumacher - Ferrari F300
  6. During the 1963 British Grand Prix, Jim Clark cruised the last lap in top gear in a desperate attempt to keep the car running as the car lost oil pressure. He won the race.
  7. In 1994 Princess Diana and Prince Harry attended the British Grand Prix.
  8. Silverstone has secured a contract with Formula 1 to hold the British Grand Prix until 2024.
  9. The British Grand Prix attracts a plethora of celebrities each year, 2019 included Daniel Craig, Tom Holland, Michael Douglas, Mumford and Sons and Gareth Southgate. Stormzy was given the honour of waving the chequered flag.
  10. The 2020 race calendar will see Silverstone hold 2 summer rounds of The British Grand Prix behind closed doors. A first in history due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  11. The 2011 British Grand Prix saw the completion of The Silverstone Wing and a new starting grid relocated to between Club corner and Abbey.
  12. 7,800 bottles of Champagne, 13,000 bottles of wine and 27,000 bottles of mineral water were consumed at the 2019 British Grand Prix.

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