AlexJ / Wikimedia Commons
Silverstone started life as an airfield, something you can still see today from aerial images of the course. Here's one from 1945 and one from recent years.
Following the end of the Second World War, RAF Silverstone was put into use as a race track. The first track used the runways, before a switch to the outer perimeter roads.
Over the years it has seen many changes, but the layout the cars drive today is broadly the same shape as the circuit used way back in 1950.
With a unique high-speed layout and some beautiful corners, Silverstone remains one of the true highlights of the F1 calendar.
Turns 1 and 2
A lap begins on the pit straight with a reasonably long run to Turn 1 (Abbey), a fast right-hander. It was flat-out last year but may not be in 2014.
On the opening lap, it's not unusual to see cars forced wide here as everyone funnels in trying to grab the optimum line.
It is followed immediately by the equally fast left-hander of Turn 2, before heavy braking for the start of the arena complex.
Turns 3, 4 and 5
Turn 3 is a slow right-hander, and the drivers flick back across the track at the exit for the best line into the even slower right-hander of Turn 4.
Overtaking in this sequence is possible, but not something we're likely to see a lot of this weekend.
The cars then accelerate towards and through the flat-out left of Turn 5 and onto the Wellington Straight.
Turns 6, 7 and 8
We should see speeds of up to 315 kilometres an hour achieved before the drivers brake and turn in to the deceptive Turn 6 (Brooklands), a medium-speed left-hander with a very late apex.
A squirt of the throttle takes us to Turn 7 (Luffield). The drivers spend an age in this long, slow right-hander, waiting patiently for the exit and the chance to get the power down again.
The cars pass the old pit lane entry (on the right) and stream through the quick right-hander of Turn 8 (Woodcote) onto the old pit straight.
The 2014 cars might prove very twitchy out of Luffield, which could set up overtaking opportunities here.
Turn 9 (Copse) is one of the finest quick corners in the world. The drivers turn in at speeds in excess of 300 kilometres an hour, lift slightly off the throttle and power through to exit barely 30 kilometres an hour slower.
The exit is very wide, and the cars head down a short straight towards a set of turns which are even better.
Turns 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14
The Maggots-Becketts-Chapel complex is simply awesome, and there is no better sequence of five corners anywhere in the world.
Arriving at near to full speed, the drivers take the first left (Turn 10) flat-out, then lift a tiny bit for the right-hander (Turn 11) which follows.
The next left (Turn 12) requires a touch of the brakes, as does the next right (Turn 13), then it's back on the power again through the final left-hander (Turn 14) and out onto the Hanger Straight.
Again the cars hit speeds in excess of 310 kilometres an hour, before braking late for the medium-speed right-hander of Turn 15 (Stowe). Overtaking is possible on the approach to this corner, but the braking zone is so short we won't see any lunges.
The track pinches in a little at the exit as it drops downhill briefly, which will probably will catch out a few drivers over the course of the weekend.
A very short straight follows.
Turns 16, 17 and 18
After such a magnificent string of quick corners (all the way from Luffield), a chicane (Vale) brings us back down to Earth.
The first part is a slow left (Turn 16), while the second half (Turn 17) opens out slightly allowing the car to carry a little more speed.
The track continues to curve slightly to the right as the drivers fight to get the power down hard on the approach to and through the final corner, the flat-out right of Turn 18 (Club).
The start-finish line is very close after the exit.
The pit lane entry is on the right between Stowe and Vale, with the exit feeding out into the outside of Turn 2.