Silverstone’s new Grand Prix circuit was officially opened last week. But it’s not just Bernie Ecclestone’s needs that have necessitated a £300m rejuvination of the Northamptonshire circuit.
MotoGP is now to be hosted at Silverstone and it, too, will use the new layout, notably which turns right into a new Arena section just before the famous old bridge.
And it’s the bridge that’s the problem – its concrete stantions are too close to the edge of the track for MotoGP riders’ safety. The new Arena complex cuts it out of the loop.
Potentially that’s a pity, because although the Arena complex should make some overtaking easier, the new track misses some super corners. The left-right kink at Abbey/Farm before the bridge is merely a good corner but Bridge, which follows just afterwards, is superb.
Priory, the left that follows that, is also exciting, much faster than it looks; then it’s into Brooklands where the new Arena track rejoins. But it’s the flow from one corner to the next that makes that section of track such a treat for drivers.
Fortunately, although not in use for top level motorsport, the layout is still available to drive, now called the Bridge Circuit. I drove it last week.