The British Grand Prix is almost unique in the Formula One Calendar, as it is one of only three countries to have hosted a round of every World Championship since its start in 1950, alongside Italy and Monaco.
The first British Grand Prix was in fact long before that, held in 1926 at Brooklands and after four hours of racing was won by Robert Sénéchal and Louis Wagner. And 22 years later, the race was held at Silverstone for the first time in its old and very fast layout.
In 1955 a new venue was announced for the race, with Aintree and Silverstone agreeing to swap each year. In 1963 the same deal was agreed, but between Silverstone and Brands Hatch, which continued up to 1986.
From then on the race has been held solely at Silverstone, although there have been changes in the track. In 1991, to make the circuit more safe, the whole track was changed apart from Copse, and in 2010 the layout was again reconfigured, with a new start line halfway around the old lap and a state-of- the-art pits complex to go with it.
The Brits have in general done very well on home soil; Jim Clark was a five-time winner here during the ’60s, while Nigel Mansell was also very successful at home, winning four races, and always putting on a good show for the crowd. Lewis Hamilton also won superbly in the wet in 2008, lapping all but two cars during his championship-winning season.
The crowd that always assembles at Silverstone is also renowned among the F1 paddock as being one of the largest and most committed. The 1987 crowd was a very good example of this, when following a superb win by Mansell, who chased down and passed teammate Nelson Piquet, setting 11 new lap records in the process; the crowd completely swarmed the track in celebration.
Historically, Ferrari has taken the most wins here with 15, but that is only one more than its fierce rival McLaren — while Williams has also done well at home with 10 wins. More recently, Red Bull seems like the team to beat around the high-speed circuit since the rule changes in 2009, taking three wins out of four races since then.
The weather also often matches the British stereotype well, with a British Grand Prix weekend rarely not featuring at least one rain-hit session. The circuit itself, despite its numerous adjustments, has some of the most famous corners on the F1 calendar, such as the very fast Maggots-Becketts complex.
Click on the pictures above to see our collection of the best of the British Grand Prix.
Will Palmer/Joe Saward