Silverstone Becketts Corner


Becketts Corner drainage works – pre F1 Grand Prix July 2014

Becketts Corner on the F1 Circuit at Silverstone was experiencing standing water issues in the centre of the grassy area away from the edge of the track. French-drains were dealing with surface water running-off the track, however, the central area of Becketts was having to deal with surface water run-off from several other areas nearby. This situation was dangerous as cars leaving the track at high speed require stable ground in order to find their way back  onto the track. GWD were asked to design a drainage system to remove the standing water without connecting to Silverstone’s existing drainage infrastructure – i.e. the system should be capable of dealing with both rainfall and run-off water at source.

Our Solution

Given the requirement to remove groundwater at source and to stabilise the ground where it had become saturated, GWD used its unique Energy-passive Groundwater Recharge Pump (EGRP) System, to firstly create a defensive line which would reduce the amount of surface run-off water hitting the centre of Becketts and secondly an EGRP System running through the centre of Becketts to both drain and stabilise the ground in an area where racing cars require firm ground should they leave the track at high speed.

The Geology

The 770 acre estate is situated on the Blisworth Clay Formation – Mudstoneand bordered by Limestone

The Installation

Throughout the year, Silverstone race circuit is almost constantly in use with a huge variety of cars using one of the many circuits available for both competition and leisure. A window of opportunity for daytime working became available as the F1 Circuit was closed for track resurfacing works prior to the 2014 F1 Grand Prix which. The installation started on Sunday March 30th and was completed on Thursday 3rd April and involved drilling 344 vertical bore holes into which we inserted EGRPs at lengths from 1.5m to 6m long.

The Result

During our installation there was huge activity at Silverstone as the whole estate including the circuit itself was being prepared for the F1 Grand Prix to be held on the 6th July 2014. The 2014 F1 series will be remembered for the rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg, both driving for the Mercedes team. Starting from sixth on the grid, Hamilton went on to win the race in front of his home supporters while Rosberg, who started from pole position, suffered gearbox failure and did not finish. Notably, and despite recent heavy rainfall, Rosberg’s Mercedes exited the track at Beckett’s Corner and was able to drive right across the treated area without encountering any boggy ground.