Old Silverstone layout wasn't even considered for second F1 race

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Silverstone never seriously considered using an alternative layout for its second Formula 1 Grand Prix this year, it has been revealed.

Earlier this year, the British track was emerging as a pivotal venue in F1's attempts to form a new 2020 calendar, after the original had been decimated due to Covid-19.

As it is, only two races will take place at the circuit over the next two weekends, starting with the British GP on Sunday, but had Silverstone been asked to host more, initially MD Stuart Pringle had teased the possibility of reversing the current layout, or so we thought. 

“Well it wasn’t [really a serious idea] because Silverstone is about the Grand Prix circuit – you can’t go the other way around,” he told Autosport.com this week.

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“That was just me mischievously not shutting down a journalist quickly enough, but that was great because that ran for three or four weeks and kept our name out there!

“We are a ‘handed’ circuit, we cannot go the other way round.”

Still, Silverstone does have other options which essentially split the current track in half but neither of them held much appeal.

“Actually, if we raced on the International [layout], then you just get half the good corners, twice as often. You haven’t suddenly got a new, different configuration," Pringle said.

“Whatever we’d do is a slice, a pairing down, and they weren’t going to go racing around the National [layout] – they’d end up very dizzy. So, it was never taken seriously.”

Interestingly, one version not even mentioned was the pre-2010 layout which turns left and right through Abbey, drops down into the infamous Bridge corner before a tight left at Priory before rejoining the current track at Brooklands.

This area is now used for fan attractions during a normal British GP weekend and its a shame it couldn't be revived for one last hurrah.