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British GP a historical event from past to present

Tarish Bhatt
Editor's Pick
846   //    07 Jul 2011, 11:48 IST

This week’s British GP at Silverstone is one of the most historic and the oldest grand prix event in the Formula 1 calendar. The first British grand prix took place way back in 1926 at Brooklands however after changing places number of times the British GP currently takes place at Silverstone Circuit. The track is located near the village of Silverstone in Northamptonshire.

With the British GP Italian GP is the only GP event which is taking place from that long time continuously. Till now British GP has taken place in 4 circuits Brooklands, Silverstone, Aintree and Brands Hatch but from 1987 the British GP is taking place at Silverstone.

The first British Grand Prix took place at Brooklands in 1926 and it was established by Henry Segrave. The First British Grand Prix was won the French Team which consists of Louis Wagner and Robert Sénéchal the two drives the Delage 155B in the inaugural event.

In the next year the British GP also took place at Brooklands but after that the British Grand Prix didn’t take place because of the war and the Formula 1 championship didn’t take place 1928-1947. At Silverstone the first official grand prix took place in 1950, however the event is taking place continuously form 1926.

The British GP made a comeback at in 1948 the event moved out of Brooklands and took place at Silverstone from 1948-1954. During that period the British GP was designated as European GP five times from 1950 to 1977. At that time it was the sign of prestige and in each year one grand prix was designated as European GP.

Apart from the historic and prestigious event Silverstone at one time was considered as the fastest track on the Formula 1 calendar. With the fastest tracks the British GP is also the most demanding track in Formula 1. The drivers loves the track and with the passage of each year every corner of the Silverstone circuit has became faster and faster.

The corners such as Copse, Stowe and Club corners are considered as the most demanding corners in Formula 1 even now. Keke Rosberg held the record of all-time Formula 1 qualifying lap and he also registered the fastest time 1985 British Grand Prix with an average speed of 258.983 km/h.

Now as we are talking about the British GP let’s add some British records into it. Till now the British Grand Prix has been won by 12 British Drivers. The recent driver Englishmen who have won this event is Lewis Hamilton, he won the British GP in 2008 with the McLaren Mercedes Team. The first driver who has won this prestigious event is Stirling Moss who won it way back in 1955.

Englishmen Jim Clark has won this event five times in his career from 1962 to 1965 and also in 1967. The Silverstone circuit has produced most number of English victories with drivers like John Watson in 1981, Nigel Mansell in 1987, 1991 and 1992, Damon Hill in 1994, Johnny Herbert in 1995, David Coulthard in 1999, 2000 and Lewis Hamilton who won it in 2008.

Apart from the history and the prestige the British GP has also seen some serious dispute. In 2003, the track facilities issue led a dispute between the British Racing Drivers’ Club and Formula One authorities. And because of that the grand prix future was hanged in doubt. In 2005 also a dispute over the race fee arises between BRDC and Bernie Ecclestone when BRDC refused to pay the amount. However the race was reinstated after the negotiation. A deal was also signed to keep Grand Prix in the Formula 1 calendar till 2009.

An another turnaround came in 2008 when Donington Park was awarded the contract of hosting the British Grand Prix for 10 years from 2010. However, Donington Park didn’t able to raise the necessary fund and its contract was taken off. In 2010 Silverstone again got the contract to host British GP for 17 year. In this year’s race Silverstone will be seen in totally new avatar with the newly constructed pit building and because of some more changes in the layout.

Even after the controversies that have taken place in the recent times British GP and Silverstone still is the most popular and the historic event in the Formula 1 calendar. Last year’s Grand Prix was won by Mark Webber of Red Bull and the pole position was taken by Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing.

2010 British Grand Prix statistics

Pole position Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault 1:29.615
Podium1.  Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault 1h 24m 38.200s (217.457 km/h)
2.  Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes +1.360s
3.  Nico Rosberg, Mercedes +21.307s
Fastest lap Fernando Alonso, Ferrari 1:30.874

Drivers which have won British Grand Prix

5 Jim Clark1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967
Alain Prost1983, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1993
4 Nigel Mansell1986, 1987, 1991, 1992
3 Jack Brabham1959, 1960, 1966
Niki Lauda1976, 1982, 1984
Michael Schumacher1998, 2002, 2004
2 Alberto Ascari1952, 1953
José Froilán González1951, 1954
Stirling Moss1955, 1957
Jackie Stewart1969, 1971
Emerson Fittipaldi1972, 1975
Jacques Villeneuve1996, 1997
David Coulthard1999, 2000
Tarish Bhatt
A complete sports buff, you name the sport and I am there! A Formula 1 fanatic and big fan of Narain Karthikeyan, Adrian Sutil, Somdev Devvarman and Hugh Jackman!
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