Silverstone – spectators’ experiences

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David Coulthard, Red Bull-Ferrari, 2006Tell us about your experiences of visiting Silverstone.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

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569 comments on “Silverstone – spectators’ experiences”

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  1. Graham Clayton
    17th May 2007, 12:24

    Visited for British GP 2006
    Watched from Copse Corner Bronze Plus
    Very easy to get to – well signposted and special traffic system implemented for the GP
    Bit of the pit straight, right through copse & up the road – could see into the pits
    Support Races were GP2 & Porsche Supercup – Hamilton won the GP2 :-)
    Everything was nice – people were relaxed & friendly – high prices on food
    Ticket was £120 for 3 days – I found that to be exceptional value

    The fantastic weather had to a lot to do with my overall enjoyment but it was an excellent weekend

    1. Where were your seats located in the stands and how did you like that location? I’ve found that the higher in the stand the better. Up against the back railing seemed perfect.

  2. I went to Silverstone for Saturday’s qualifying session in 2002 (the first year of the improved access road, but before the bypass was fully opened).

    I watched qualifying from Club’s general admission area, which faced Stowe. The area between the exit of Stowe to the entrance of Abbey was visible (the third quarter of the circuit).

    It was easy to get to – had a fan belt not broken on the car, we would have got from near Sheffield to Silverstone in just over two hours. Getting out was another matter – it took three-and-a-half hours, not including a break at a motorway service station.

    Support races were a little sparse, with only an F3000 race (plenty of daring, maniac driving) and the qualifying for the historic race for pre-1965 F1 cars (lovely cars, lovely driving… though it might have helped if people other than Stirling Moss had remembered the correct route!)

    I liked the helpful staff – when a purse went missing, they found it again quickly and without fuss. The layout of the shops was also good – you could get a burger from just about anywhere, and the routes were accessible. There was a great ambience, with friendly and enthusiastic supporters of most teams and drivers everywhere.

    Dislikes included baffling parking arrangements (I found myself in the wrong car park, complicating leaving the venue), the insects (try not to wear anything yellow!) and the prices of the food.

    The value question is a little difficult for me to answer. Having received the ticket from a friend who had herself received a set of tickets for the weekend but didn’t want to go on the Saturday, I don’t know how much the ticket originally cost. I did enjoy myself though, and that’s the main thing!

  3. Scott Joslin
    5th July 2007, 22:57

    I am going to the Grand Prix this weekend, and the last time I went for the full weekend was in 2005. It is easy to critise Silverstone, but to understand where they have come from to where they are now requires some consideration.

    In the 90’s it uses to take hours and hours to get to the track and that is not to mention the fields in which the car parks were based in. Now access is much better and the car parks are…well not concrete, but an improvement. The access in and around the track in wide and clearly labelled and organised.

    Race day is busy, so I would always advice to get to the track early, very early! If you have a grandstand seat then you can afford to arrive later, but if you are standing, on race day the flag mad fans set up early, especially around luffield.

    Best places to watch. The grandstand at wodcote – where it starts to spell “Silverstone” gives a good clear sight of the cars accelerating past you.

    The exit to copes is good – real impression of speed.

    The entry to Becketts is also a special place, mental change of direction.

    I agree with the comment above, the exit to Club is good, as you see the cars for a long time.

    If the weather holds out, you can have a great time, if the silverstone rain turns up it can make it a very different experience.

    I hope everyone going this year has a good one and gets behind the Brits!

    1. eamonn carter
      7th July 2010, 19:23

      Hi I live about 10 miles from SStone and this is my 1st time at the curcuit. I am in a fortunate position to have a choice of Grandstand seats at either Copse E or Woodcote B. I am trying frantically to get some feedback on which would offer best experience. I know it is personal choice but I have never been before Any comments from anyone would help Many Thanks

  4. It has been a few years since I visited Silverstone for the GP, and I am sure the place is a lot more built-up now. But the atmosphere and the fans are what stands out to me now. I agree about the viewing at Woodcote-lots of folks there, all with an opinion-and not too far to travel to get beer refills during a session. My crew was able to walk all around the outside of the circuit on Friday, so we saw every corner. Lots of stuff I am sure is not there now; the ramps to the hangers on the Hanger straight, the unique sling seats in the stands at Stowe, and watching the replay telecast-complete with Murray W., on TV in my hotel that night. As far as the food goes, eat an order of fish and chips and you are not hungry for the rest of the day!
    I know there were and are lots of complaints about ingress and egress, but I took the bus in from the train station and encountered no delay-I had an entire bus to myself exiting the track after the race-sitting up top with the driver going like mad down empty lanes.
    Oh, yes, the year? It was 1987-Mansell vs. Piquet. Motor racing history-and I managed to be there. Worth the journey from the States.

  5. paul havell
    5th May 2008, 10:25

    Been going to the British GP at Silverstone for 9 years continuous now 99 to 08 but 23 years on and off, strated going in 85, on the plus side nowadays the facilities are light years better than they were in the old days, on the down side you can’t get anywhere as near nowadays to the drivers as you used to be able to. As far as cost is conserned I believe it’s great value if you buy at the right time, I buy my ticket as soon as they come out, normally around sept of the year before the race 2008 ticket i bought at the circuit during the le mans series at a cost of £139 for 3 day ticket with a grandstand seat at stowe for the race itself. you cant buy 3 good premiership football tickets for that price…This year I’ve got the usual 4/5 mates coming with me which makes it a great weekend and tthe cost of the camping £300 for 6 days, I get there wed and leave mon to avoid the sunday afternoon rush,£300 for 6 days =£50 a piece…. bargain. merchandise is dear in the circuit but just over the foot bridge fronm the main entrance is a little tented sort of shopping village and it’s a lot cheaper for the same gear, you’ve just got to be bothered to walk. Anyway I’ve never had a bad one not even 1999 when it absolutely teemed it down and the race was in april. Anyone going this year 2008 I hope you have a good one… support williams in their 30th year and pray we keep the independant teams and dont go down the customer route.

  6. Harry Wells
    12th June 2008, 21:05

    I went the Renault World Series last Sunday, we watched from a Paddock Suite – it was amazing, you are so close to the pit lane entrance, you can see the drivers faces in the cars as they came pass and the noise and smell, it is so different from being in the grandstand. The start of the race was actualy really interesting cause you can see what they are all doing. – its intense.

    I’ve paid £179 for F1 Fri Practice and its worth every penny – I’m gonna eat, drink and watch from the comfort of the cosy terrace any day. I would definetly recommend – a real class act.

  7. Christian Briddon
    25th June 2008, 14:14

    My wife and I went to Silverstone in 2007 for the first time and loved it.

    We had general admission tickets and watched the race from Club. It was great. You could see all the way from Stowe and up to Abbey!

    This year we decided to treat ourselves and we are sat in Pit Straight B. I hope it is worth the extra cash! :-)

  8. I’ve been to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on five occasions.

    In 1998 I camped at a farm just outside the Becketts curve which was excellent for getting in and out of the circuit. Campaign is definitely worth considering if you’re going on a General Admission ticket and want to be there early to get a good viewing spot.

    Of course that year it lashed with rain which made for a good race but I was soaked and freezing afterwards. We were in a stand at Copse, the first turn, and although it was covered we were sat at the end and still very exposed.

    I was back five years later for what turned out to be a cracking race. A friend and I got late ticekts overlooking Luffield and the start of the start/finish straight. There was an excellent atmosphere and the race was a thriller.

    It was blisteringly hot in 2005 and the race organisers were handing out free sun cream which was a wise move. Before the race journalist Bob MacKenzie had to run a semi-naked lap of the track having bet Ron Dennis in 2004 McLaren wouldn’t win a race that year. It wasn’t the best race however. My brother and I went on General Admission tickets and squeezed in with the crowd at Luffield for which we had to get up very early indeed!

    In 2006 Lewis Hamilton’s exploits in GP2 made up for a really quite terrible Grand Prix. The crowd cheered louder for Hamilton’s three-abreast pass at Becketts than anything that went on during the F1 race. I was sat at the end of the Hangar straight and saw loads of good racing during the GP2 race. This was also the year of the world cup and the organisers made sure fans had plenty of places to watch England’s game on the Saturday after qualifying.

    My most recent visit was in 2006 when I got a set at Bridge which is an excellent place to watch from. Bridge itself is an excellent corner, very quick, and you could see Priory, Brooklands and Luffield as well, plus a video wall in the middle of the track.

  9. dean clements
    1st July 2008, 1:53

    me and my mate are going down for the fourth year in a row this weekend. we have chosen the ‘cheap’ seats this year after the luxury of the pit straight stands for 2 years and becketts stand last will find us at copse this year.
    the only access problem is if you miss the turn on the motorway you dont get a second chance and have to turn around!! excellent otherwise!
    the gp2 races are well worth watching for the audacious moves and the future f1 drivers (bruno senna next year??).not sure if the porsche supercup is on this year but frankly….
    food and beer are available everywhere and you will be overcharged but we expect it! the merchandise shops are excellent,every team gets there own stand to ensure every fan is catered for.the williams stand is obviously the busiest!!
    camping is strongly recommended.its half the buzz of going to silverstone and adds to an already festival like atmosphere.the local convenience stores are fairly priced and very welcoming,although you may need to queue just to get in!!
    the race its self is amazing,the sound,the sheer speed and the smell.i would like to see a wet race this year though.
    if your going for the 1st time this year,i think you will be back!!

  10. Can someone help I have a work thing at the GP on sun 6th with all the exec’s!!! I dont have a clue what the dress code or anything

    1. i am going to silverstone motor bike racing next week and have not got a clue on what to wear. my partner has a sponsors shirt as he sponsors the event but I have no idea. could you advise me?

  11. Lisa – Well that’s a first! I would imagine it’s going to be formal. Do let us know if you meet anyone famous…

  12. I would say whatever you would wear to an in-house executive meeting, plus ear protection, a coat (try a packable camping-type one if you need to stow it away during dry spells), wellingtons (leave in the car if it looks like it will be dry when you get there) and suncream. Though having never been to an executive meeting before, you’d be well-advised to ask whoever gave you the invitation for advice.

  13. Erm thanks but that is just a typical male answer!!camping jacket, wellingtons????no thanks

  14. Lisa, I was in the paddock today. Dress code was smart casual, no denim jeans or tracksuits.

  15. F1 Race Fan from America here. Planning trip to U.K. for ’09 British g.P.. Any support/ advise appreciated. Willing to meet with any helpful F1 fans for G.P.

  16. Which Grandstand is the best to watch from – we’re thinking of Pit Straight B?

  17. FAO Christian Briddon – was Pit Stright B worth the extra cash?

  18. Is Pit Straight B a good Grandstand to watch from Christian B or is Luffield A or Woodcote B better? About the book tickets for 2009 and this being first time to see F1, want to make sure I get the biggest bang for my buck!!

  19. Christian Briddon
    10th July 2008, 16:42

    Hi all,

    To answer your questions about pit straight b, yes, it it well worth the extra money.

    We watched Friday practice 2 from Luffield A and Qualifying from Luffield B (for a bit of variety) and I was thinking that maybe they were the tickets to have as you see more of the track and more importantly some curves! :-) However, come Sunday we both thought that pit straight B was the best place. We were sat directly opposite Webber’s car and got the full force of the atmosphere!!! We saw the start, the finish and the podium. We also saw the pit stops which was amazing.

    The only bad thing about Pit Straight B was that you just saw the cars drive past rather then doing anything else like turning, but this was not really an issue.

    I have actually just booked tickets for next year this morning and once again gone for Pit Straight B.

    It is well worth the extra!

  20. Hi Christian,

    Another Q about Pit Straight B – where you were sat, was it right at the back? Only it states it is covered, but the only covered part, looking at the pictures anyway, is right at the back/highest point of that Grandstand? The front section I’m assuming is Pit Straight A? Any idea of seat numbering? Is A down at front and Z at back for example?

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