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Silverstone delighted with F1 return

Silverstone admits delight at the opening F1 event on the new Arena circuit
Silverstone has declared itself thrilled with the way the 2010 British Grand Prix weekend panned out as F1 competed on the new Arena circuit for the first time.

Having reclaimed the rights to host the race following the failure of Donington Park to raise the money needed for its redevelopment, Silverstone has worked hard to improve its infrastructure, with the main change so far being a revised layout to create a longer circuit and increase overtaking opportunities.

Fans were out in force for the whole weekend, with record-equalling figures of 85,000 and 105,000 in attendance on Friday and Saturday before a near-capacity crowd of 115,000 watched Mark Webber secure victory in the race itself.

“This time last year we didn't have a Formula 1 contract,” Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips said. “Twelve months on and we've just enjoyed a fantastic British Grand Prix and a great race on the new circuit layout. Early feedback from the fans has been very positive and the drivers have loved the new circuit layout that provided good overtaking opportunities.

“It's been a fantastic three days and I have to pay tribute to the fans. We had more fans at Silverstone for practice on Friday than most circuits get on race day. They really are fantastic and we have to make sure we continue improving their experience.”

Phillips added that fans have already started to purchase tickets for next season, when the event will benefit from other improvements being made at the Northamptonshire venue.

“This time next year we'll have a new pit and paddock complex, a new start / finish straight and further improvements to spectator facilities,” he continued. “It's an exciting time for Silverstone. Tickets for next year's British Grand Prix went on sale over the weekend and a large number of fans have already booked for 2011.”

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