British Grand Prix fans have been promised a Silverstone track that will match, or even surpass, the greatness of its past when redevelopment work is finished in the next few years.
That is the view of one of the main architects behind the circuit upgrades – who thinks that new facilities and the revised Arena layout will bring a "freshness" to Silverstone that has not existed for years.
"It will be a whole new life for the track, and maybe move it back to how Silverstone used to be – a really, really fast circuit," John Rhodes, senior associate of architecture company Populous, told AUTOSPORT.
Rhodes heads up Populous' motorsports team that is designing Silverstone's new infield circuit for both MotoGP and F1, plus working on other improvements at the venue. And, with tweaks required for the arrival of MotoGP next year, Rhodes says his team is making the most of the opportunity to deliver further changes at Silverstone.
"We have looked at introducing much more topography and things like that, but it is very difficult because you have to go with what the site is – in essence it is an ex-airfield," he explained. "I think we've got the right solution, and if we can really bring back the essence of what Silverstone is – a very, very fast circuit, smooth and flowing – it will be great.
"There are circuit tweaks relating to the FIM requirements that need doing, so there will be mild alterations here and there – like at Club. We are moving the barriers back in some areas but also moving the spectators closer in other areas, so that's very exciting.
"Certainly, even in the short term, the spectator experience will be a lot better. Obviously we have the opportunity to relocate grandstands that have been there for an age and really shake the thing up a bit. It is not about creating something new but about bringing a freshness to focus on what it is all about."
Rhodes acknowledges that Silverstone will never be able to enjoy the kind of financial input that venues like Abu Dhabi and China have had, but still thinks the track can be up there as one of the best in terms of facilities.
"It is crazy to think that Silverstone would ever get the investment that Abu Dhabi has gotten. It would be great if it did, but we've never had that, and never envisaged we would have that. The architecture is being driven by an incremental approach – that we can actually create a language over a period of time that will have a significant feel to it, but is also deliverable in the short term."
Silverstone will decide early in the year whether or not this year's F1 race will take place on the new Arena circuit, and Rhodes thinks it is still too early to say what will happen.
"To be honest, I don't know," he said. "I would be surprised if it happened [for F1 in 2010]. It is the MotoGP circuit, and from our point of view it is going to be finished by March and we have to deliver it now, that is the key thing. The programs are coming up quickly now."