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F1 - Mixed reaction as F1 checks out new Silverstone

"Silverstone has lost a bit of his character"

8 July 2011 - 11h45, by GMM 

Not everyone is impressed with Silverstone’s new pit and paddock complex.

For 2011, the famous Copse corner is no longer at the start of the lap, with the new ’Wing’ buildings and pitlane making their grand prix debut this weekend.

"Silverstone has lost a bit of his character," Michael Schumacher told Auto Motor und Sport.

Agreed Nick Heidfeld: "I liked it before and don’t understand why it had to change."

The German report said the new media centre is "a windowless bunker", and Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio agreed: "As at Spa, we can’t see the circuit. It makes no sense."

There is also a ten-metre stretch of grass between the garages and pitlane and the pitwall. "We could play golf on it," laughed Rubens Barrichello.

David Coulthard also pointed out a "major oversight" in the design of the pitlane.

"The architects in their wisdom designed it lower than the pitwall so the fans in the grandstands may not be able to watch what is happening in the pits," he wrote in his Telegraph column.

As for the new turn one, however, the drivers are mainly happy.

"Before, we had a flat out corner after the start and by Beckett’s the field was already pretty well sorted for the first braking," said Lewis Hamilton.

"Now we start with two quick corners but enough space for two cars side by side, and the first braking is much closer to the start. So I expect some position-changing when we’re braking for turn 3."

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