Silverstone

Whatever may happen to it in future years – and there remains plenty of discussion – Silverstone circuit will always have its place in history as the venue for the first ever race in the Formula 1 World Championship.

That race, on the 13 May 1950, was won by the Italian racer Giuseppe Farina, with King George VI amongst those watching in the crowd. Farina went on to secure the first F1 title later in the year.

Silverstone shared the British Grand Prix with Aintree and Brands Hatch from 1955 through to 1986, but has since become the permanent home for the race, although its Grand Prix status started to come under threat thanks to the influx of new circuits in emerging nations around the globe.

F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone was an outspoken critic of the circuit on more than one occasion, but the circuit – sometimes thanks to the good old British weather – tended to provide one of the more exciting races on the calendar.

However, on the weekend of the 2008 British Grand Prix, the announcement was made that the event would move to Donington from 2010.

Despite all the early reports suggesting otherwise, Silverstone may win a reprieve should Donington not be ready in time. As things stand though, Sebastian Vettel's win in the 2009 race will be the final F1 victory at the Northamptonshire venue for some time.

Silverstone was the place where F1 title-winner Lewis Hamilton came to the attention of many fans with a stunning drive to victory during the second GP2 race in 2006 – with one three-wide pass becoming a firm favourite on video sharing website YouTube. Hamilton would go on to win the British GP in 2008.

Home to the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), Silverstone has some of the most iconic corners in British motorsport, from the high-speed first turn at Copse though the challenging Maggotts/Becketts complex and the section from Abbey through to the end of the lap where many races have been won and lost.

Despite the loss of the Grand Prix, Silverstone is set to undergo a number of changes and will become the home of MotoGP in Britain from 2010 - effectively doing a swap with the F1 race.

Silverstone also plays host to a number of other events on its three different layouts, including the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and the annual RAC Tourist Trophy Sportscar race. The Silverstone Classic is another popular event with the older generation.

Regarded as the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone is also home to the Force India Formula 1 team, which is based across the road from the main entrance to the circuit.

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