Silverstone's long-term commitment to the future of the British Grand Prix will be put on very public display this week when the Duke of York formally opens the revised 3.666-mile circuit on Thursday (29 April), emphasising  an end the uncertainty which had hung over the race for more than a year after the ill-starred bid from Donington Park to take over the fixture.

The track layout has been radically re-shaped with the track now turning sharp right at Abbey Curve onto a new infield section which leads out onto the long straight of the national circuit ­ now titled the Wellington straight - to feed back onto the existing track at Luffield, just before Woodcote.

The investment in this dramatic new circuit infrastructure ­ to be followed by a new pit/paddock complex on the exit of Club Corner in time for the 2011 Grand Prix ­ reflects a massive financial commitment on the part of the track's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club who have committed an estimated £300m in future race fees to Bernie Ecclestone's organisation FOM over the planned 17 years of the new contract.

"Drivers have historically loved Silverstone," said Damon Hill, the 1996 world champion who is now BRDC president, "and we hope we hope that we have designed a challenging, exciting track for them which will make them like racing here more than ever."

Hill told the Mail on Sunday; "I'm not sure drivers will ever be satisfied with what they get ­ like mountaineers or surfers, they cross the world looking for the greatest challenge they can find ­ but we've tried to create some challenging corners as well as overtaking opportunities. What's important is that we have a circuit to test the best in the world, at a track that has a rich history and heritage."

Yet Hill also acknowledged that the investment in the future of the Grand Prix at Silverstone is a significant commercial gamble.

"The boat has been pushed out and, as usual, Bernie was right when he asked us to pull our socks up," he continued. "I've always argued that there should be a better deal for venues which hold a unique and historic place in F1."

Yet Ecclestone always replies that countries backed by government investment, such as Abu Dhabi, South Korea and India have - or will - all paid top dollar to join the F1 community. Under the circumstances the BRDC have done a good job holding onto their fixture.