Formula 1’s milestone 1000th Grand Prix may have been held in the Asian neon- paradise that is Shanghai, China, in mid-April.
But, another landmark event is still on the horizon with this weekend’s F1 British Grand Prix the 70th edition and held where the sport began in May 1950, the historic Silverstone Circuit.
Alfa Romeo’s Guiseppe Farina, the very first race winner, who led home a crushing one-two-three result for the Italian marque…
…Farina, and teammates Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell the only ones on the lead lap, with just 11 finishers in that inaugural race.
And in the seven decades since, there’s been a huge mountain of British Grand Prix magic moments… for the passionate home crowd…
… across the three legendary venues that have hosted the event…including Aintree, Brands Hatch and of course Silverstone - which has held it alone since 1987.
…a year of Nigel Mansell fever, and his second of four British wins. His pass on Williams teammate Nelson Piquet the stuff of legend.
SOUNDBITE (English) NIGEL MANSELL,
1992 F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“An awful lot of water has gone under the bridge here, and a lot of [F1] World Champions.”
Mansell’s last home win, in 1992, in the monstrous V10-powered FW14B. One that inspired many of his countrymen to follow in his footsteps.
SOUNDBITE (English) JENSON BUTTON,
2009 F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“The [Grand Prix] drivers that I followed were, when I was sort of six to eight years old, that was the first few years I watched Formula 1, and it was Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell. It was that era that was exciting and interesting to me.”
Another one inspired by the giants of the 1980s and 90s was Lewis Hamilton, a true Ayrton Senna fan… whose greatest home win came in 2008 at Silverstone by more than a minute and eight seconds in wet conditions.
But he had a bigger target… one he would fulfill five times.
SOUNDBITE (English) LEWIS HAMILTON,
“The world championship is the one I want to win.”
Across the three venues that have hosted the F1 British GP, three drivers have five wins apiece, with Hamilton able to become the most successful at home this year should he take victory.
The 34-year-old is already the most successful British racing driver of all time, one of just three men to win five or more titles.
But it’s not just the 20 F1 drivers that have all the fame, with Silverstone’s curves getting plenty of attention…with the super-fast Maggotts, Becketts, Chapel complex a breathtaking series of corners leading onto the Hangar straight for wheel-to-wheel battles galore.
… relished by Austria’s race winner, Max Verstappen.
SOUNDBITE (English) MAX VERSTAPPEN,
F1 DRIVER, RED BULL RACING:
“So my favourite corners are Becketts and Maggotts. I think they are very fast and they are on the limit of a Formula 1 car where they can do true corners, so I'm always very happy to go back to Silverstone.”
Silverstone is in the British midlands, the 5.891-kilometre circuit featuring 18 turns, eight left and 10 right, for a top speed of 330 kilometres per hour. Lewis Hamilton broke the lap record for Mercedes in 2017. While there are two DRS activation zones: with one on the Wellington Straight, the other on the Hangar straight with two detection points.
Historic and fast, Formula 1 returns to its heartland… where it all began… for a celebration befitting the pinnacle of motorsport. It’s time for the 70th British Grand Prix.