Lewis Hamilton and Prince Harry Open Auto Museum at Silverstone Circuit

The long-in-the-works museum focuses on a history of British motor sport

Silverstone Museum
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (C) and Britain's Formula One world champion driver Lewis Hamilton (R) look at exhibits with CEO of the Silverstone Experience Sally Reynolds (L) during a visit to officially open the Silverstone Experience at Silverstone motor racing circuit, in central England on March 6, 2020.
PETER NICHOLLS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
By Tobias Carroll / March 8, 2020 7:01 am

For auto racing fans, Silverstone Circuit is a familiar name. The course, located in Northamptonshire, is home to the British Grand Prix and has a long and storied history: it was the home of a bomber station during World War II, and the first auto race held there took place in 1947. This year, The Silverstone Experience opened — a museum which distills that history into a series of exhibits and offers a visitors an opportunity to see some of the objects that helped make Silverstone Circuit so well-known.

Helping to open the museum were two men who have each made history in their own distinct ways. On Friday, champion driver Lewis Hamilton and Prince Harry opened The Silverstone Experience. It’s one of the latter’s final duties before his much-discussed step back from royal life.

Hamilton’s remarks at the museum’s opening addressed questions of diversity within the automotive world. “The Silverstone Experience is a great way to inspire kids to look more closely at the automotive industry and it has been brilliant to officially open it today alongside the Duke of Sussex,” he said at the event. “There is a real lack of diversity in Formula 1, and across the entire industry, despite the amazing career opportunities available. We need to do more to make it accessible to all.”

The initiative to establish the museum began in 2012, with the goal to create “educational centre for British motor sport.” The building housing the museum was previously an RAF hangar; the cost of setting the museum was around £20 million, according to the museum itself. Now that its doors are open, both literally and formally, perhaps a new generation of car enthusiasts will learn about the nation’s long automotive history.

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