12 STRange facts about Great Britain

12 STRange facts about Great Britain

July 13, 2017

Very few countries require that one drives on the left hand side of the road, as is the case in Great Britain. But before we brand the inhabitants of this island as eccentric, maybe we at Scuderia Toro Rosso should take some of the blame. It appears it was the Italians (ok the Romans to be precise) who first used to drive carts on the left side of the road and in 1300 AD, Pope Boniface ordained that all pilgrims travelling to Rome should keep left. The British do have their own peculiarities though, so in the year of our STR12 car, here are 12 STRange facts about Britain.


1. The British consume 97% of the world's Baked Beans

2. Nowhere in England is more than 121 kilometres from the sea

3. The Shard, in London, sometimes known as The Shard of Glass is the tallest building in the UK. For a short while in 2011, it was also the tallest building in Europe, but has now dropped down the rankings to fourth. Can we point out that the architect who designed it was Italy's Renzo Piano?

(from the left: the Tower of London, The Shard)

4. An Englishman, Tim Berners-Lee, is credited with inventing the internet. He has a lot to answer for!

5. Great Britain has produced more Formula 1 drivers than any other nation – 144, out of a total of 695, as of today.

6. Chicken Tikka Masala, a curry unheard of in India, was named in a recent survey as Britain's most popular dish.

7. Ravens are a popular tourist attraction at the Tower of London, partly because of the superstition that if the ravens fly away "the Crown will fall and Britain with it." A minimum of six are kept at the tower and find it hard to fly away as they have one wing clipped. On the plus side, they are fed a very healthy diet, including fresh meat, roadkill, biscuits and cod liver oil.

8. Silverstone Circuit is a very large facility. In fact, although its postal address is in the county of Northamptonshire, part of the track is in Buckinghamshire.

(from the left: HM Queen Elizabeth II, a view of the Silverstone track)

9. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning living monarch in the world, having been the head of the country for over 65 years. She still has a long way to go if she wants to equal the record of the longest ever reigning monarch in the world, as Sobhuza II, the King of Swaziland ruled his nation for 82 years.

10. The British drink far more coffee than we do in Italy, but they wouldn't have got so addicted if it had not been for our Espresso machines. The first ones were imported into the UK from Italy in 1952 and the Coffee Bar explosion really took off from there.

11. England has more tornadoes per square mile/kilometre than any other country in the world. The last survey suggested there had been 34 tornadoes in the UK per year, which works out at 2.2 per 10,000 square kilometres. As a comparison, the USA only sees 1.3 over a similar area.

12. Silverstone has its own technical college. Silverstone University Technical College opened at the Silverstone Circuit in September 2013. The UTC specialises in High Performance Engineering and Business & Technical Events Management for 14 to 19 year-olds.