Feb.11 (GMM) This year’s British grand prix will feature Silverstone’s new 760 metre ‘Arena’ loop, it was announced on Thursday.
Late last year, it emerged that the revised layout was in construction for the MotoGP race.
In the middle of the existing lap, the new layout features a bowl-style arena in the infield, located to the right of the current Maggots/Becketts/Chapel complex.
The Arena layout sweeps to the right after the straight following the Club corner, rather than left for the Abbey chicane and the run to Bridge.
Also missing is the Priory left-hander, the new circuit instead reconnecting with the existing layout for the tight Luffield curve before the run to the start-finish.
Silverstone Circuits Limited on Thursday said the Arena layout, at an apparent cost of 5 million pounds sterling, will be used for July’s F1 race, following “approval from Formula One Management”.
The final go-ahead for the layout, set for construction completion in March, will be the FIA’s official homologation.
A spokeswoman indicated that the layout could accommodate up to 20,000 additional spectators, with demand likely to be high in 2010 due to the McLaren pairing of F1’s most recent champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
“The new sections of circuit were initially brought in to comply with MotoGP safety regulations, but the Arena complex was always designed with both two and four-wheeled racing in mind,” said managing director Richard Phillips.
“Some will miss not seeing modern day F1 cars accelerating through Bridge, but we have to move with the times and continue looking at ways to improve the overall experience,” he added.