A Brief History of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix

 
 

Silverstone start / finish line and starting grid Silverstone has been the heart of British racing for over 50 years and July 3rd will see the best in the sport return to the UK’s only formula 1 circuit. Having seen victories from British legends Nigel Mansell, Jackie Stewart and Stirling Moss, the British Grand Prix has been one of the mostly fiercely contested races of the F1 season and this year promises to be much the same.

The British Grand Prix originally began in 1926 on the Brooklands circuit in Surrey which, like so many racing tracks after it, also served as an airfield and was in fact one of Britain’s first. The sport also enjoyed a brief spell at Donnington Park before eventually moving to Silverstone in 1948, after Brooklands was severely damaged during the Second World War.

    

          

 

For many years, Silverstone shared the honours of hosting the British Grand Prix with other famous tracks such as Aintree and Brands Hatch. However, from 1987 Silverstone has been the dominant circuit and the very epitome of British motor racing: fast and exciting. Though it has changed slightly since 1948, Silverstone holds true to its origins and offers spectators breath-taking action and unbeatable atmosphere. Now a cornerstone of the Formula 1 season, Silverstone always promises to be an action-packed race as recent history proves.


Hamilton and Rosberg all smiles in 2014 (courtesy of NBC Sports)In the 2014 British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton won for the first time at Silverstone since 2008; the year he won his first drivers title in only his second year on the F1 circuit. Nearly 120,000 fans cheered the Brit on as he took the lead form his team mate, Nico Rosberg, before the German was forced to retire due to a gearbox failure. Hamilton went on to win the 2014 drivers title in what was a hard-fought Formula 1 season: one rife with controversy.


In 2015, the title is just as fiercely contested. This year, however, it is the Ferrari team’s Sebastian Vettel who is breathing down Lewis Hamilton’s neck, with Rosberg close behind and eager to claim his first Formula 1 driver’s champion since he began just a year before his British team-mate and three-time champion Hamilton.

   
Yet the rocky relationship between the two Mercedes drivers that dominated last year’s Formula 1 season has already shown that it is spilling over into 2015. In the Chinese Grand Prix, earlier this year, Rosberg accused Hamilton of gamesmanship; intentionally driving slowly so that Vettel could catch up with the Mercedes and put him under increased pressure. This culminated in an accusation from Rosberg, one which Hamilton simply responded to with, ‘Nico didn’t try.’ Lewis went on to claim that he holds a mental edge over his team-mate saying that, "I've always said he is really strong mentally, but I'd like to think I'm stronger this year."

   
With the Mercedes team feud showing no signs of letting up, the British Grand Prix will no doubt be a contentious event, with the ever-confident Lewis Hamilton hopeful of posting a victory on home soil against his team-mate, childhood friend and main rival, Nico Rosberg.

  

In honour of this British institution, Spread Co is giving away a pair of tickets to the 2015 Grand Prix at Silverstone. For a chance to be just meters from the full-throttle action, simply take part in our Great British Poll.


 
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