Silverstone making changes to allow fans to move closer to the action

Action at the 2022 British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2022. Credit: Alamy
Action at the 2022 British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2022. Credit: Alamy

Spectators attending Silverstone in 2023 will be sitting far closer to the circuit at certain points, thanks to upcoming track changes.

Silverstone is updating its catch fencing along the Wellington Straight, in order to improve safety while also allowing for spectators to move closer to the track itself and improve their view.

Dutch motorsport engineering company Geobrugg will deploy their latest catch fencing alongside the Wellington Straight, which will allow for the fencing at the Silverstone Fan Zone to be moved forward by some 15 metres.

According to Geobrugg, almost a quarter of a kilometre of catch fencing will be able to be shifted closer to the circuit, consisting of the fencing leading down to the inside of Brooklands.

The catch fencing from Geobrugg is fully homologated with F1’s governing body the FIA, as well as MotoGP’s governing body FIM. Quick and easy to install, as well as simple to move around, the homologated fencing has passed stringent FIA tests – these tests include catching a 780kg sphere fired from a cannon at 60km/h and a full-size car colliding with it at 120km/h at an entry angle of 20 degrees.

“With the speed of the straight and the new safety aspects of Formula 1, it was the right time to move to the Geobrugg system,” said Circuit Manager Lee Howkins.

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“We want to make sure we’re giving the fans the best experience and the best views.”

Renowned circuit designers Dromo have helped Silverstone and Geobrugg with the deployment, with simulation work carried out to ensure the safety of all competitors, marshals, and spectators when the system comes into use for 2023.

“We decided to use this system, not only because it’s FIA approved but because it’s very easy to install,” said Dromo CEO Jarno Zaffelli.

“If we have to move it slightly or adjust something, we can. It was a no-brainer.”

The roll-out of the new fencing is expected to be completed before Christmas, meaning it’ll be fully operational for Silverstone’s 2023 racing calendar.

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