18 May 2011

Silverstone completes new pits

12:45 pm on 18 May 2011

Silverstone has unveiled its new multi-million dollar pits and paddock complex, two months ahead of its flagship event, the British Formula One Grand Prix.

After striking a new 17-year deal to host the race, the British Racing Drivers' Club, which owns the circuit, agreed to the redevelopment which cost 56 million dollars.

BRDC president Damon Hill says there was a real threat the Grand Prix would go, so this is very important.

Hill was one of five British world champions alongside John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell and Jenson Button, who attended the opening of the new facility.

Silverstone first staged the British Grand Prix in 1948 and the former airfield in Northamptonshire has undergone a major facelift after securing the rights to hold the race until 2027.

That deal was struck after a proposed move to Donnington Park fell through because of a lack of funding but Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone warned that a revamp of Silverstone's pit building was a non-negotiable part of the agreement.