Silverstone welcomes F1 fans back to the track in 2021 after a year of empty stands.
The race comes after two races took place at the circuit in 2020 during a season plagued by the cornavirus epidemic. The British Grand Prix was held a little later than expected, and was followed by a 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. It commemorates the first race of the Formula One World Championship in May 1950.
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Although the circuit was originally limited to eight corners, it has seen significant improvements over time. It now features 18 turns, nearly all of which are named.
The first corner of the modern F1 layout is one of two named after the 12th century priory Luffield Abbey, remains of which were discovered just north-east of the circuit. Older versions of the circuit also feature a corner named “Priory”.
Unsurprisingly, this commemorates the village adjacent to which the circuit stands. It dates back hundreds of years and is listed in the Domesday Book.
The only corner on the circuit named for its shape, a long left-handed open hairpin which is the slowest on the F1 layout.
While most people associate Aintree racecourse with horses and the Grand National, there is also a motor racing circuit there which hosted five British Grands Prix back in the 1950s and 60s; Stirling Moss, Jim Clark and Jack Brabham all won races there and the modern circuit remembers the events held near Liverpool.
Another corner with a historical link, Brooklands is named after the 1907 circuit near Weybridge in Surrey which was the world’s first purpose-built race track, although it has not been used for racing since 1939.
One of the more obscure names by virtue of the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) deciding to give it a moniker after Woodcote Park – a stately home owned by the club in Surrey.
In the old layout, Copse was the first corner drivers would approach. Now one of the fastest corners in the second sector of the lap, its name pays tribute to the rolling woodland in which Silverstone is set.
One of the most unique and most hair-raising parts of the circuit, Maggotts is named after the nearby Maggot Moor – although it is not clear why the spellings differ.
Becketts and Chapel
Following rapidly on from the previous kink, so quickly that the two are usually referred to together as Maggotts and Becketts, followed by Chapel Curve. These two are derived from a nearby former religious building, Chapel of St Thomas A Becket. It is now a charming thatched cottage.
A tribute to one of the storage buildings on the airfield on which Silverstone is built.
The enormous grandstand at Stowe will be empty this year but usually it would be one of the most populated areas of the circuit. This corner draws its name from a private school just two miles away from the track; businessman Sir Richard Branson, actor Henry Cavill and the late Prince Rainier III of Monaco are all among the alumni.
Opinion is divided on the exact origin of this particular name, as it could simply refer to the fact that this turn comes on the hilliest – a relative term – part of an otherwise flat track. Others though claim it is after the district of Aylesbury Vale in which Silverstone sits.
The RAC’s clubhouse in central London gives what is now the final corner its name.
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