How Silverstone became ‘Silvastone’


As a celebrated stage of European and worldwide motorsports, Silverstone was the track in which Senna raced the most in Formula 3. He won six out of the eight races there, a fact that helped spread the nickname the local press had given to the traditional circuit: since Senna’s days in Formula Ford, they had been calling it “Silvastone”, a reference to the driver’s last name (he was known as “da Silva” at the time).

Besides winning in Formula Ford, F3 and F1, Senna set the track’s record several times. With three wins in Formula Ford and one in Formula One, in 1988, Senna had a total of 10 triumphs at the circuit.

Taking all of the Brazilian’s official races into account, it was at the UK’s sacred temple of motor sports that Ayrton Senna da Silva won the most in his career.

Take a look at three newspapers (in portuguese) that used the term “Silvastone” at the time of Ayrton Senna’s achievements.

An interesting fact: so the British could understand why Ayrton would be going by “Senna”, instead of “da Silva”, it was explained to them that “Silva” was like “Smith” in England, a very common surname that could be found in many families.