Reports: Silverstone Circuit sold

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Reports have emerged in the last twenty-four hours stating that Silverstone Circuit, home of the British Grand Prix, has been sold in order to allow a development programme to begin at the complex.

The track has undergone numerous changes in the past five years after almost losing the hosting rights for the race to Donington Park. However, after financial problems dogged Donington’s efforts to host a grand prix for the first time since 1993, Silverstone underwent a large development programme that saw the construction of a start/finish straight, and an alteration of the layout to make the track longer. As a result, the circuit held on to the rights to host the British Grand Prix, but of late financial problems have hindered any hopes of development.

However, this appears to have been resolved thanks to the sale of the circuit, which was confirmed by a source within the British Racing Drivers’ Club to The Independent.

“A deal has been done on Silverstone,” the source revealed. “I don’t know who bought it and I don’t know what the terms are, but it is absolutely categoric that a deal has been done and not due to be announced until next month probably.”

The deal is thought to allow an extensive upgrade in facilities take place, with Silverstone still lagging behind many of its European rivals such as the Nurburgring and the Red Bull Ring in Austria, with the latter joining the calendar next season.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.