Silverstone officials have released images of the circuit’s new pit and paddock complex, which has seen the historic circuit’s start/finish straight relocated to now be between the Club and Abbey corners.
Costing some £27 million to construct, the final stages of work will be completed in time for an official launch on May 17. The new pit complex – a three-storey, 16,500 square-metre building – is 30% larger than its predecessor, and it received high praise from Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner, who was on-hand at the circuit’s media event to show off the construction work.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Horner is quoted as saying. “puts Silverstone right with the best circuits in the world.
“It’s quite staggering the scale of what has been built here in a very short space of time, but it gives the circuit a whole new feel and dimension to it and from a facility point of view obviously Silverstone has come in for criticism compared to some of its rivals, certainly in the emerging markets, and I think this investment in the Wing is phenomenal.
“It’s great for British motorsport and makes Silverstone the world class facility it deserves to be. With the facilities that have now been put in place, it makes the infrastructure of the circuit also comparable with any circuit on the Grand Prix calendar.”
The circuit’s managing director, Richard Phillips (pictured, with Horner), also announced that the section between the old Bridge and Priory corners would be redesigned to become the equivalent of a motor racing ‘Henman’s Hill’ once the track’s redevelopment has been completed.
This section of the original Silverstone circuit has been bypassed with the installation of the ‘Grand Prix loop’, and the circuit owners have arranged to remove the gravel traps to leave an enormous piece of ground available for general admission ticket holders.
“There will be a big screen there as well and much better access to the [public address system],” he is quoted as saying.
“We are a circuit that has to value its customers otherwise we can’t pay our way and if we don’t look after the general public then we would have failed and we won’t survive as a circuit.”
Phillips also announced that over two dozen diamond vision screens were being installed around the circuit, including some behind grandstands.
Phillips also confirmed that the vicious bump at the entry to the Abbey right-hander – which will now become the circuit’s first turn – had been smoothed following complaints from many drivers.
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Check out the picture gallery below – click on the thumbnails to view larger images…
[Images via AUTOSPORT]