Skip to content

Explained: How the Silverstone Corners Got Their Names

Home to the first ever Formula One Grand Prix in 1950, Silverstone is perhaps more steeped in history than any other on the calendar today.

Come along with us for a special tour of the home of the British Grand Prix, explaining how every corner at the track got its name, as well as a memorable moment you may remember from F1 history.

Turn 1 – Abbey

The first corner of the track layout used since 2010 takes its name from the remains of an 11th century monastery that were discovered near the circuit.

Luffield Abbey was a former civil parish in the area close to the village of Silverstone itself.

F1 Moment: 20 cars charging off the line up to a 250km/h corner has the potential to cause chaos and that is exactly what happened in 2022 when a chain reaction of events saw Guanyu Zhou and George Russell crash heavily on the opening lap. Thankfully both walked away unharmed.

Turn 2 – Farm

The first of many self-explanatory corner names at Silverstone, Farm is named after the nearby farm that the straight on the original circuit layout passed by. It may not be a straight anymore, but drivers are still hurtling through here at close to 300km/h.

F1 Moment: The outside of farm is also the exit of the pit lane and getting it wrong can lead to some hair-raising moments. Sergio Perez found that out in 2018 when he spun across the path of the pit lane on the opening lap, nearly taking out the Williams of Sergey Sirotkin, who started from the Box.

Turn 3 – Village

One of the completely new sections of the redesigned ‘Arena’ layout from 2010, the right-hander get its name from the village of Silverstone itself.

F1 Moment: Lewis’ 2018 British Grand Prix started in disaster as he was spun to the back of the pack by Kimi Raikkonen at Village. A customary charge through the field followed, ending in P2 and another Silverstone podium.

Turn 4 – The Loop

The slowest corner on the property also came about from the redesign prior to 2010. A left-handed hairpin, the loop allows drivers to set up a move heading into Brooklands two corners later.

F1 Moment: Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc went wheel-to-wheel for nearly the entirety of the 2019 British Grand Prix and used of all their supreme driving talents to trade positions and battle for every inch of tarmac around the 90km/h left-hander.

Turn 5 – Aintree

Silverstone may be the home of the British Grand Prix, but it has not always been the host.

Aintree shared duties with the Northamptonshire track in F1’s early days, and Turn 5’s name pays homage to the circuit that hosted five Grands Prix between 1955 and 1962.

Wellington Straight

Joining the new section of track to the old, the Wellington Straight provides drivers the chance to set up a move into the following left-hander at Brooklands and was one of the original runways of the airfield that the circuit was built on.

During the Second World War, the Vickers Wellington bombers aircraft used the strip as part of a training base.

F1 Moment: Kimi Raikkonen found out how going off line can spell at danger the hard way in 2014, as a small off on the exit of Aintree catapulted him back across the track and into a big accident at the start of the race.

Turn 6 – Brooklands

The first turn on the lap to have been part of the former layout, the name Brooklands heralds from the oval circuit south of London that hosted the first ever British Grand Prix in 1926.

Brooklands is widely considered to be the first purpose-built racing track in the world.

F1 Moment: The start of the dramatic end to 2020’s race, it was at Brooklands that Lewis noticed the puncture that would cause him to limp home to the flag on the final lap to claim a most incredible seventh British Grand Prix win.

Turn 7 – Luffield

Taking you back six corners to Turn One and ‘Abbey’, the long right-hander at Luffield gets its name from the former nearby parish Luffield Abbey.

F1 Moment: Valtteri and Lewis thrilled the crowds on the opening laps of the 2019 British Grand Prix, going wheel to wheel round Luffield before continuing their duel on what used to be the old pit straight at the track.

Turn 8 – Woodcote

Nothing more than a flick for today’s modern F1 cars, Woodcote sees drivers accelerate towards Copse and under the former Start/Finish gantry. It takes its name from a stately home by the name of Wood Park, the land for which the Royal Automobile Club has owned since the First World War.

F1 Moment: Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso wowed those in the Grandstands in 2014 by going side by side for the duration of Woodcote, getting up close and personal with the old pit wall.

In 1998, Michael Schumacher controversially skipped Woodcote on his way to taking a last-lap stop and go penalty. The German took the chequered flag in the pit lane, in one of the stranger ends to an F1 Grand Prix!

Turn 9 – Copse

Copse in English means a small group of trees or woodland, and the Silverstone circuit is surrounded by them. The nearby Chapel Copse lends its name to one of the fastest corners on the circuit.

F1 Moment: The 2021 title fight came to life in the most dramatic way when Lewis and Max collided at Copse on the first lap of the race. Later, that same afternoon, Lewis would complete a tremendous recovery drive by passing Leclerc’s Ferrari on the exit on the corner for first place on the penultimate lap.

Turn 10/11/12/13/14 – Maggotts/Becketts/Chapel

A highly unique and thrilling sequence of corners that used to be separate from one another. Maggotts gets its name from Maggots Moor, which sits just the other side of the Grandstand. Becketts is named after the former Archbishop of Canterbury Saint Thomas Becket.

The Chapel that bore his name and once sat adjacent to the track was knocked down in 1943 to make way for Silverstone airfield, and lends its name to the final turn as drivers head out down the Hangar straight.

F1 Moment: No moment to speak of, but make sure you check out Lewis’ 2020 pole position lap for the British Grand Prix in W11, to give you an idea the speed and sensation this brilliant set of turns can provide an F1 driver.

Hangar Straight

Another nod to Silverstone’s previous existence as an airfield. Two of the largest aircraft hangars on the site used to stand on what is now Silverstone’s high-speed back straight.

F1 Moment: Team-mates Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet battled it out in front of a raucous home crowd down the Hangar Straight 1987, before home favourite Mansell swept by a few corners later.

Turn 15 - Stowe

Stowe’s etymology paints a clearer picture of Silverstone’s past. Named after Stowe House in Buckinghamshire, the site has housed Stowe public school since 1923. It is said that former students of Stowe first had the idea of racing around the disused airfield.

F1 Moment: Michael Schumacher’s first-lap crash at the 1999 British Grand Prix left the legendary German with a broken leg, which would keep him out of action until the final two races of the season – when he would return almost a second clear of the field!

Turn 16 – Vale

Vale’s etymology is somewhat of a mystery, but there are two main theories. Another word for a valley, Vale could get its name for the slight dip that occurs in the track on the run down from Stowe.

Alternatively, it could come from Aylesbury Vale, the district in which this section of the circuit is located.

F1 Moment: Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen ended up in the gravel trap at the final complex after coming together just after Vale in 2019. A moment that got the crowd up on its feet!

Turn 17/18 – Club

Simply put, Club’s name is a hat tip to the Royal Automobile Club and its relationship with the circuit, named after the Pall Mall clubhouse in London.

The beautiful golden Club Grand Prix trophy is awarded to the British Grand Prix winner every year since the first post-war Grand Prix.

F1 Moment: THROUGH GOES HAMILTONNNNN! No other move sums up Club like Lewis’ famous up and under against Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc in 2022. For a good few seconds, the sound of the engines was drowned by the electrified British crowd.

Hamilton Straight

All of the straights at Silverstone have a story to tell and the pits straight on the new complex is no different. A name fit for a King, or a Knight at least – the section of track that runs past the pits is named after the country’s most famous and successful racing driver, who owns eight wins and 13 British Grand Prix podiums.