Silverstone's new state-of-the-art pit, paddock and Ccnference complex, officially christened The Silverstone Wing, was formally opened by His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, in a ceremony at the circuit on Tuesday.
The Duke, who is also president-in-chief of circuit owner the British Racing Drivers' Club, was joined by more than 800 guests, including the great and good of British motorsport, local dignitaries, motorsport governing bodies, BRDC members and media.
The new building, which represents the second stage of a multi-million pound investment in the self-styled 'Home of British Motor Racing', includes 41 garages, a race control building, podium and media centre, as well as hospitality and VIP spectator zones.
With three large halls, a conference facility, business centre and a 100-seat auditorium, the Silverstone Wing has also been designed to accommodate conferences, product launches and experiential events, and will be the largest covered exhibition space between London and Birmingham.
For Richard Phillips, managing director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, the launch represented an important stepping stone in the redevelopment of the venue.
“Building on last year's successful Grand Prix track upgrade, The Wing is another great milestone in Silverstone's history and we must recognise and thank the BRDC for having the insight and vision to invest in to the future of the venue as we continue to expand and diversify the business," he noted, "This building will not only be a wonderful base for our major race meetings, but has the flexibility to accommodate conferences, exhibitions, launches, banqueting functions and experiential events.
“Silverstone is now one of the best motorsport facilities in the world, and British motorsport has an iconic home that we can all be proud of.”
The official opening ceremony took guests on an evocative journey through the history of Silverstone, including appearances by many of the biggest names in the history of British motorsport. Five of Britain's six living F1 world champions – John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Jenson Button – were in attendance, along with fellow grand prix luminaries Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Frank Williams, Christian Horner, Ross Brawn, David Coulthard and Murray Walker.
The worlds of MotoGP and World Superbikes, both of which race at the circuit, were also represented at the launch, with a host of Britain's best riders - including Cal Crutchlow, Jonathan Rea and James Toseland - showing their support for the stunning new facility.