Facts you may not know about Silverstone Circuit and its place on the F1 calendar

27 May 2021

Facts you may not know

Silverstone Circuit hosted the first Grand Prix on 2 October 1948 and the very first Formula 1 World Championship race on 13 May 1950. It has been a firm fixture on the F1 calendar ever since and has become one of the most famous race tracks in the world. The Silverstone Interactive Museum tells many stories from the circuit’s wonderful history but we thought we would tease you with a few things you might not know about the venue and the birthplace of Formula 1.


In 2021 Silverstone will host the first ever sprint qualifying race on the F1 calendar. Rather than the traditional practice on Friday, qualifying session on Saturday and race on Sunday, British Grand Prix fans will enjoy qualifying on Friday for the sprint race on Saturday the results of which will set the grid for the full race on Sunday.


Fans visiting Silverstone for the Formula 1 Grand Prix and MotoGP may not realise that the circuit sits across two English counties – Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire. Fans might be parking in Bucks and sitting in a grandstand seat in Northants!


Many F1 drivers say Silverstone is their favourite track – mainly because it is one of the fastest on the F1 calendar with cars reaching top speeds of up to 319 kph during the British Grand Prix in 2020.


Silverstone is one of the oldest circuits on the F1 calendar and is up there alongside Monaco, Monza and Spa as some of the most cherished and traditional race circuits that f1 visit each year.


The only time a reigning monarch visited the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was in 1950 at the first World Championship event when His Royal Highness King George VI attended with his wife, Queen Elizabeth and his daughter Princess Margaret. Along with over 120,000 spectators they experienced the first Formula 1 race ever.


In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Silverstone hosted two races on the Formula 1 calendar – the British Grand Prix was held on 26 July followed by the 70th anniversary Grand Prix which was held the following weekend on 2 August.


Silverstone is famous for its wildlife and there is an interactive exhibit in the Silverstone Museum that tells visitors more. The most well-known creature is the Silverstone hare which regularly makes an appearance at race meetings and has been known to run down the grid before the start of a race! We think Silverstone is the only race on the F1 Calendar to have a hare for a mascot.

Visit the Silverstone Interactive Museum to find out more about the circuit and its fascinating history.

Published on 27 May 2021

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