July 13, 2017 11:21 GMT by dailymail.co.uk

Lost F1 tracks, Brands Hatch: Former home of British GP

Lost F1 tracks, Brands Hatch: Former home of British GP

Silverstone will host the British GP for the 30th straight year this weekend, so Sportsmail looks back at the previous home of F1 in Britain in the form of Brands Hatch in our picture special.

Silverstone has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years - enough to leave serious doubts over the future of the British Grand Prix, and not just in the present day.

But as the venue prepares to celebrate 30 uninterrupted years of hosting British motor racing's No 1 race, it's worth remembering the circuit that for two decades before alternated with Silverstone in holding Formula One in Britain.

Brands Hatch is one of only three British tracks to have held an F1 race along with Silverstone and the less remembered Aintree that held five grand prix between 1955 and 1962.

The Kent based track held the British Grand Prix on even numbered years between 1964 and 1986, along with a couple of European Grand Prix and was a highly popular venue.

But as safety standards and track facilities improved around the F1 calendar, there was little room for Brands Hatch to grow - especially as it was also a small track (the great Sir Jackie Stewart runs you through it here.)

A small pit complex and a little room to create necessary run-off areas led to the track losing its place on the F1 circus in 1986 and it's unlikely to return in the near future without serious reinvestment.

But as the weekend of the British Grand Prix approaches, Sportsmail looks back at the track's picture archives... 

Brands Hatch is a simple track - featuring no chicanes - but that doesn't mean it's straight forward, especially the downhill turn one which you can see at the top of this photo. You can see the full 'Indy' configuration of the track here, with the Formula One loop extending to the top right before two right handers bring the track back into picture and into the final turn

Brands Hatch is a simple track - featuring no chicanes - but that doesn't mean it's straight forward, especially the downhill turn one which you can see at the top of this photo. You can see the full 'Indy' configuration of the track here, with the Formula One loop extending to the top right before two right handers bring the track back into picture and into the final turn

The first British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch was held in 1964 where it was also designated as the European Grand Prix. From the left, Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Dan Gurney lead the way while an incredible amount of people on the circuit and close by look on casually. Clark would win ahead of Hill, while John Surtees made it an all British podium by finishing third

The first British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch was held in 1964 where it was also designated as the European Grand Prix. From the left, Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Dan Gurney lead the way while an incredible amount of people on the circuit and close by look on casually. Clark would win ahead of Hill, while John Surtees made it an all British podium by finishing third

Now that's a prize for gaining pole position! No wonder there is a wide grin on Jack Brabham's face after claiming pole for the 1966 British Grand Prix. Not only did the front row starts boost his chance of victory towards winning the race and then the world championship later on in the year but it also saw the Australian rewarded with 100 bottles of champagne

Now that's a prize for gaining pole position! No wonder there is a wide grin on Jack Brabham's face after claiming pole for the 1966 British Grand Prix. Not only did the front row starts boost his chance of victory towards winning the race and then the world championship later on in the year but it also saw the Australian rewarded with 100 bottles of champagne

Brabham (5) leads away his team-mate Denny Hulme from the start of the 1966 British Grand Prix along with Dan Gurney. Down in 10th place next to the Daily Mail advertising hoarding you can Bruce McLaren driving the car of his own name. The New Zealand star would finish sixth at Brands Hatch and in doing so claimed McLaren's first ever world championship point

Brabham (5) leads away his team-mate Denny Hulme from the start of the 1966 British Grand Prix along with Dan Gurney. Down in 10th place next to the Daily Mail advertising hoarding you can Bruce McLaren driving the car of his own name. The New Zealand star would finish sixth at Brands Hatch and in doing so claimed McLaren's first ever world championship point

As fans casually stroll the midfield to watch the race in a manner unthinkable today, Brabham wasted no time in building up a lead in 1966 before going on to win. The Australian exits Bottom Bend (later renamed after Graham Hill) heading into Bottom Straight, which from 1976 was slightly modified to bring it away from the pit complex and renamed Cooper Straight

As fans casually stroll the midfield to watch the race in a manner unthinkable today, Brabham wasted no time in building up a lead in 1966 before going on to win. The Australian exits Bottom Bend (later renamed after Graham Hill) heading into Bottom Straight, which from 1976 was slightly modified to bring it away from the pit complex and renamed Cooper Straight

When drivers gather on the grid in the modern age it's usually to observe the national anthem depending on where they racing in the world. Here in 1968 at Brands Hatch though it's to attend the pre-race drivers' briefing. The British GP may have been held in late July but that doesn't stop Jochen Rindt (right) from needing an extra layer to keep warm before the race

When drivers gather on the grid in the modern age it's usually to observe the national anthem depending on where they racing in the world. Here in 1968 at Brands Hatch though it's to attend the pre-race drivers' briefing. The British GP may have been held in late July but that doesn't stop Jochen Rindt (right) from needing an extra layer to keep warm before the race

Graham Hill qualified on pole for the 1968 race but his Lotus was forced out of the running after 26 laps following a halfshaft failure as he reflects next to a barrier. There were no such problems in the Lotus driven by Jo Siffert who took the lead in the second half of the race to claim victory. The win for the Rob Walker Racing team was the last in F1 for a privately entered car

Graham Hill qualified on pole for the 1968 race but his Lotus was forced out of the running after 26 laps following a halfshaft failure as he reflects next to a barrier. There were no such problems in the Lotus driven by Jo Siffert who took the lead in the second half of the race to claim victory. The win for the Rob Walker Racing team was the last in F1 for a privately entered car

It's fair to say photographers risked their lives in the early years of Formula One just trying to get a good shot. A group stand near the apex of a corner without any protection from the dangers of the circuit as Denny Hulme passes in his McLaren 

It's fair to say photographers risked their lives in the early years of Formula One just trying to get a good shot. A group stand near the apex of a corner without any protection from the dangers of the circuit as Denny Hulme passes in his McLaren 

Jochen Rindt celebrates winning the 1970 British GP alongside wife Nina and Lotus boss Colin Chapman as F1 transitioned into a new era. It was Jack Brabham's last podium and points, while Emerson Fittipaldi debuted. Rindt was set to become a star of the 70s but was killed at Monza later in the year before becoming the sport's only posthumous world champion

Jochen Rindt celebrates winning the 1970 British GP alongside wife Nina and Lotus boss Colin Chapman as F1 transitioned into a new era. It was Jack Brabham's last podium and points, while Emerson Fittipaldi debuted. Rindt was set to become a star of the 70s but was killed at Monza later in the year before becoming the sport's only posthumous world champion

In the short lived concept of the Rothmans 50,000 race, Emerson Fittipaldi was among grand prix drivers who took part in a tractor race around Brands Hatch in 1972. A month earlier in July the Brazilian was triumphant in the British Grand Prix at the venue on his way to winning his first world championship

In the short lived concept of the Rothmans 50,000 race, Emerson Fittipaldi was among grand prix drivers who took part in a tractor race around Brands Hatch in 1972. A month earlier in July the Brazilian was triumphant in the British Grand Prix at the venue on his way to winning his first world championship

From tractors to cricket, as Formula One's finest line up before the 1974 British Grand Prix. Reckon you could name check them all? Answers are at the bottom of the page with a small clue being one of the F1 stars is a past team principal

From tractors to cricket, as Formula One's finest line up before the 1974 British Grand Prix. Reckon you could name check them all? Answers are at the bottom of the page with a small clue being one of the F1 stars is a past team principal

Jacques Laffite's Ligier (left) and Clay Regazzoni's Ferrari get in a tangle at the first corner that took out James Hunt (right) at the start of the 1976 British GP. Hunt was banned from taking the restart after a red flag until a partisan crowd forced his inclusion. Hunt would win his home race, but protests from other teams led to his disqualification two months later

Jacques Laffite's Ligier (left) and Clay Regazzoni's Ferrari get in a tangle at the first corner that took out James Hunt (right) at the start of the 1976 British GP. Hunt was banned from taking the restart after a red flag until a partisan crowd forced his inclusion. Hunt would win his home race, but protests from other teams led to his disqualification two months later

In a year when Lotus would dominate with their groundbreaking Lotus 79, drivers Ronnie Peterson and Mario Andretti were set to dominate the 1978 British Grand Prix only for both to retire early on in the race. Eventually Niki Lauda inherited the lead for Brabham only for the world champion to be passed by Ferrari's Carlos Reutemann, with the Argentine celebrating the win

In a year when Lotus would dominate with their groundbreaking Lotus 79, drivers Ronnie Peterson and Mario Andretti were set to dominate the 1978 British Grand Prix only for both to retire early on in the race. Eventually Niki Lauda inherited the lead for Brabham only for the world champion to be passed by Ferrari's Carlos Reutemann, with the Argentine celebrating the win

With what appears to be a close battle at Druids corner, the Williams of Alan Jones holds off chief rival Nelson Piquet and his Brabham as the duo battle for position in the 1980 British Grand Prix. It would be the closest Piquet would come to snatching victory as the Australian would win by over 11 seconds on his way to securing the world championship later in the year

With what appears to be a close battle at Druids corner, the Williams of Alan Jones holds off chief rival Nelson Piquet and his Brabham as the duo battle for position in the 1980 British Grand Prix. It would be the closest Piquet would come to snatching victory as the Australian would win by over 11 seconds on his way to securing the world championship later in the year

After Keke Rosberg's problems on the warm up lap, Riccardo Patrese's Brabham inherited pole position before the 1982 British Grand Prix. The Italian failed to get off the line though and was promptly driven into by Rene Arnoux's Renault putting them both out of a race eventually won by Niki Lauda's McLaren

After Keke Rosberg's problems on the warm up lap, Riccardo Patrese's Brabham inherited pole position before the 1982 British Grand Prix. The Italian failed to get off the line though and was promptly driven into by Rene Arnoux's Renault putting them both out of a race eventually won by Niki Lauda's McLaren

The European Grand Prix was awarded to certain events as an honorary designation but from 1983 that all changed. Brands Hatch stepped in to host a race under the European GP guise after a grand prix in the USA was cancelled. It was was won by Nelson Piquet, whose Brabham emits flames on its way to a stunning victory, keeping alive his world championship hopes heading into the final race of the season. Piquet would eventually pip rival Alain Prost to the title by two points

The European Grand Prix was awarded to certain events as an honorary designation but from 1983 that all changed. Brands Hatch stepped in to host a race under the European GP guise after a grand prix in the USA was cancelled. It was was won by Nelson Piquet, whose Brabham emits flames on its way to a stunning victory, keeping alive his world championship hopes heading into the final race of the season. Piquet would eventually pip rival Alain Prost to the title by two points

Formula One steering wheels have come a long way in 33 years as pole sitter and world champion Nelson Piquet looks on before the start of the 1984 British Grand Prix The Brazilian would go on to finish seventh in a season when he never looked like defending his title due to a spate of retirements and the emergence of a dominant McLaren team

Formula One steering wheels have come a long way in 33 years as pole sitter and world champion Nelson Piquet looks on before the start of the 1984 British Grand Prix The Brazilian would go on to finish seventh in a season when he never looked like defending his title due to a spate of retirements and the emergence of a dominant McLaren team

The contrasting reaction from fans during this crash at Graham Hill corner is quite startling. Some run for cover while others sit practically motionless as Jo Gartner's Ossella crashes into the tyre barrier right in front of them. Also involved in this first lap carnage from 1984 are Stefan Johansson (3), Eddie Cheever (front right) and Philippe Alliot (front left) 

The contrasting reaction from fans during this crash at Graham Hill corner is quite startling. Some run for cover while others sit practically motionless as Jo Gartner's Ossella crashes into the tyre barrier right in front of them. Also involved in this first lap carnage from 1984 are Stefan Johansson (3), Eddie Cheever (front right) and Philippe Alliot (front left) 

Autumn had long since set in by the time the European Grand Prix arrived at Brands Hatch in October 1985. Still, there were two races left after the event but Alain Prost didn't need them as his fourth place was enough to secure the first of his four world championships as the Mclaren driver celebrates becoming champion with a bottle of champagne

Autumn had long since set in by the time the European Grand Prix arrived at Brands Hatch in October 1985. Still, there were two races left after the event but Alain Prost didn't need them as his fourth place was enough to secure the first of his four world championships as the McLaren driver celebrates becoming champion with a bottle of champagne

The mangled remains of Jacques Laffite's Ligier is carried away following a first lap pile up that resulted in the Frenchman breaking both his legs in a race won by Nigel Mansell. To date it is the last F1 race held at the circuit as from 1987 Silverstone started hosting the British Grand Prix on an annual basis. Brands Hatch's basic facilities mean a return is highly unlikely

The mangled remains of Jacques Laffite's Ligier is carried away following a first lap pile up that resulted in the Frenchman breaking both his legs in a race won by Nigel Mansell. To date it is the last F1 race held at the circuit as from 1987 Silverstone started hosting the British Grand Prix on an annual basis. Brands Hatch's basic facilities mean a return is highly unlikely

Standing (left to right): Ken Tyrrell (Tyrrell boss), John Watson, Guy Edwards, Mike Hailwood, James Hunt, Graham Hill, Patrick Depailler, Peter Gethin, David Purley and Clay Regazzoni

Below: Jody Scheckter, Derek Bell, Niki Lauda, Jackie Stewart (already retired), Ronnie Peterson, Jochen Mass, Denny Hulme

BRANDS HATCH RACE WINNERS

1964: Jim Clark (Lotus) (Designated European GP)

1966: Jack Brabham (Brabham)

1968: Jo Siffert (Lotus)

1970: Jochen Rindt (Lotus)

1972: Emerson Fittipaldi (Lotus) (Designated European GP)

1974: Jody Scheckter (Tyrrell)

1976: Niki Lauda (Ferrari)

1978: Carlos Reutemann (Ferrari)

1980: Alan Jones (Williams)

1982: Niki Lauda (Ferrari)

1983: Nelson Piquet (Brabham) (European GP)

1984: Niki Lauda (McLaren)

1985: Nigel Mansell (Williams) (European GP)

1986: Nigel Mansell (Williams)

 

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