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The Benetton team cheer from the pit wall as Johnny Herbert, Benetton B195 Renault, approaches the finish line.
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How Silverstone has evolved into a modern classic

Silverstone holds happy memories for Tim Wright, who won the British Grand Prix twice as a race engineer with Alain Prost and Johnny Herbert. He reflects on the traits that make it special in the year of its 75th anniversary

Silverstone hosted the first Formula 1 world championship race on its converted World War 2 airfield track in 1950. Late in the 1940s when it was first used for motor racing, the opposed V-shaped main runways were used to link up with the perimeter road and form the circuit. I vaguely remember being taken there by a family member around 1958 and standing on the earth banks watching cars racing, but I don’t recollect whether it was for a grand prix.

From those early days, when Silverstone alternated with Aintree and Brands Hatch to host the world championship, the simple layout with no chicanes made for high average speeds and a true driving challenge. The sweeping complex at Maggots, Becketts and Chapel was all there, albeit in a slightly different format, with the current configuration adopted in 1991.

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