Silverstone have got the go-ahead to use its new 'Arena' layout, hoping to improve overtaking

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    Silverstone have got the go-ahead to use its new 'Arena' layout, hoping to improve overtaking

    Post by Ross on 12th February 2010, 04:14

    Silverstone confirms Arena layout for 2010

    Silverstone has announced that this year’s British Grand Prix will be staged on its new ‘Arena’ layout.

    The revised configuration, which incorporates a completely new middle portion of the classic Northamptonshire circuit, has been approved by Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management company, allowing it to be used from this year’s event.

    The Arena Grand Prix layout was originally designed for MotoGP, but when Silverstone won back Britain’s F1 fixture last December following the collapse of Donington’s grand prix bid, it quickly sought permission to use it for F1 as well.

    The new layout turns right at Abbey, rejoining the current circuit at Brooklands – thus bypassing the Abbey chicane, the flat-out Bridge bend and the Priory left-hander.

    The new infield portion comprises a pair of open sweeping bends leading to a tighter right-left-left complex, before heading back towards Brooklands via the National circuit straight.

    The revamp is intended to improve safety, spectator viewing and overtaking opportunities.

    It will add 760m to the lap distance, but is expected to increase lap times for F1 cars by just four seconds, ensuring a similar average speed to the current layout.

    Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips is confident it will accomplish all this while retaining the circuit’s renowned high-speed character.

    “The new sections of circuit were initially brought in to comply with MotoGP safety regulations, but the ‘Arena Complex’ was always designed with both two and four-wheeled racing in mind,” he said.

    “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 driver, rider and spectator 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.”

    Silverstone has spent £5m on the Arena revamp and expects it to be completed next month.

    It is also making a number of improvements to spectator viewing areas, constructing raised viewing banks, and moving existing grandstands and fence lines to bring fans closer to the on-track action.

    A new pit and paddock complex, to be located between Club and Abbey, is scheduled to be ready for use by the summer of next year.


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