Silverstone has officially opened its new pits and conference complex, previewing the new layout that will be used for F1 races from this year’s British GP.
Five of Britain’s six living F1 champions - John Surtees, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Jenson Button - attended this morning’s ceremony, during which the venue was officially opened by HRH the Duke of Kent, president in chief of the British Racing Drivers’ Club.
The launch also starred Mark Webber, who drove his Red Bull F1 car into the middle of the room.
The new complex will be known as the Silverstone Wing. In addition to its pits area - which comprises 41 garages - it houses a race control centre, a media room, hospitality and VIP spectator zones, a podium, three large halls, a conference facility, a business centre and a 100-seat auditorium.
“Today was a very important day,” said BRDC president Damon Hill. “Silverstone has a significant historical legacy, but we maintain our place at the forefront of contemporary international motor sport.”
The new complex is said to have been a condition of Silverstone’s most recent British GP deal, which runs through to 2026. F1’s commercial rights supremo Bernie Ecclestone has been scathing in recent years about the venue’s lack of development.