Silverstone aims to be fastest track

Silverstone has unveiled the new layout which will be used for the British GP on July 11, and one which could make the Northamptonshire, England track the fastest on the F1 calendar.

The launch was graced by the presence of HRH The Duke of York, Prince Andrew also experiencing the circuit from the cockpit of a two-seater F1 car piloted by BRDC president and '96 world champion Damon Hill.

"I'm here to support Silverstone and the BRDC because high performance engineering is vitally important to the British economy, and motorsport is right at the pinnacle of that," said his highness.

From the old Abbey Curve, the track will now head right, towards Becketts, before rejoining the old National Straight via a new section which adds around 760m to the 3.194 mile lap. Sadly, the old Bridge Corner is by-passed and the revised section will boast new features - Village, The Loop, Wellington Straight and Aintree. Built at a cost of £5m, it is the first part of a significant redevelopment which will include a new pits and paddock complex in time for 2011.

"It's a new circuit for a new generation of people to enjoy motorsport and we believe it will offer a big challenge as well," Hill said.

There is speculation that the new layout could make Silverstone the fastest F1 circuit. That accolade currently belongs to Monza. Rubens Barrichello won last year's Italian GP at an average speed of 149.750mph, while Sebastian Vettell's winning average at Silverstone was 138.805mph, slightly quicker than Kimi Raikkonen's 136.969mph at Spa.

Looking at the new circuit, Mark Webber commented, "It looks good for Red Bull."

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