Former Renault driver Romain Grosjean has delivered a less than stirring appraisal after racing on Silverstone’s revised F1 layout.
After his disappointing half-season in F1 last year, the Swiss-born Frenchman now drives a Ford in the FIA’s new GT1 category.
That series was the first to race on the layout incorporating Silverstone’s newly launched ‘Arena’ section.
The 760-metre stretch features some slower bends that could help overtaking, but Silverstone is nonetheless tipped to knock Monza off the perch as the fastest circuit on the F1 calendar.
“It’s nothing special,” Grosjean, 24, told the Guardian newspaper when asked about the new section, which is currently surrounded by building construction works and resembling Bahrain because grass verges have not yet grown.
“We have lost Bridge and the complex which was very nice, and we didn’t gain much with the new part. I’m not 100 per cent convinced.
“With the single seater cars they are flat-out through Abbey and in formula one it is going to be very fast as well. I don’t think it gives any overtaking opportunities. So that’s a bit of a shame,” added Grosjean.
Former F1 safety car driver Oliver Gaven, however – who now drives a Corvette in GT1 – was more positive.
“I think the circuit flows very nicely; I’m very happy with it,” said the Briton.
“It’s got a nice combination of corners and some nice challenging stuff for us. There are two or three corners that are nearly flat and one or two that you have got to have a lot of commitment.
“The style of Silverstone has been carried on. They have done a cracking job with it,” said Gavin.
Meanwhile, BBC commentator Martin Brundle doubts the new section will boost overtaking, but fellow former F1 veteran Johnny Herbert thinks ‘Arena’ adds “one” additional overtaking place to the circuit.