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

  1. Lex Watsoni said on 20th November 2008, 13:01

    Can anyone tell me if B22-23 would be a good seat to sit in on Pit straight A Grandstand?

  2. Bryan Jackson said on 27th November 2008, 16:59

    marshaled my 1st GP in 08 at Silverstone. I was on the insdie on the straight between Club and Abbey. Was a good view as yuo could see them accelerating out of Club and then the braking into Abbey. We had a couple of GP2 cars hit the Armco by us and could see when Massa span.

  3. Mystic Pizza said on 19th December 2008, 13:51

    I was there for the 2008 GP. Luffield B but had roaming for Friday and Saturday. If I was going to go back I would consider either Luffield A or Pits Straight. Tried most of the Grandstands out over the course of the weekend without trying my seat until Race day and was slightly disappointed as had a significant concrete area ahead of me and the top of the security fence as well as a communications mast with gyropes.

    On the upside, you could see the cars as they come up from Bridge right through to the Pit Straight so got to enjoy Massa’s spins everytime! I think Luffield A would have got a better view of them though!

  4. Brilliant Circuit. Went in Bronze Stand this year so my son could see a bit better. Complete Rip Off. Cost me a hundred quid each and it was scarcely better than a normal admission. Organisers have completely disregarded the fact that without British Fans there would be no worldwide F1 circus. The point of sport is sport… not for corporate sponsors to make money and effectively ignore the real fans. No infield viewing without a corporate pass, too many people to fit in to the venue. Got in and out absolutely no problem. The entry system is fantastic and policed well. This was the only good bit. Rubbish and won’t go to British GP again. Foreign tracks are now better, you can probably see more and they represent better value for money. Oh and the weather was rubbish as well. Only Lewis Hamilton winning could raise our spirits !

  5. James Collins said on 29th December 2008, 17:25

    HELP!!!!!
    I’ve been bought a general admission ticket for the british grand prix 09 qualifying and race day and cant wait! However, I’ve never been before so would like some advice as to were the best place to watch it from is. I’m camping so will obviously be there really early. Also are you allowed to take in your own chairs? or do you have to stand if you have a general admission ticket? I would be extremely grateful if someone could answer my questions and maybe give me a few tips as its my first time.
    Thanks,
    James.

    • You can take in chairs, but the smaller the better (not just because of concerns about obstruction, but because it will be easier to carry). If you can find one of those rucksacks that has an integrated seat, that would be ideal. If you don’t bring a seat, you will be standing. While there are places where it is theoretically possible to sit, it would be on a grass bank and thus only appropriate if it’s sunny, you bring a towel or something like that and you get there extremely early.

      I know from experience that Club’s a good place to go if you have a general admission ticket because you can see a lot of the circuit. That said, if I’ve heard correctly, there are no truly bad places to watch the race from as long as you get there early – it depends on what you want to see (check Keith’s advice a few posts up from this one).

      There are a number of giant screens around the circuit and if your budget doesn’t stretch to a Kangaroo, try to get in viewing range of one.

      Other hints? Take sunscreen and wellington boots – Silverstone can do pretty much anything except snow at this time of year. Bring your own snacks because the catering, although good, is prone to queues and is not cheap.

      Hope you enjoy yourself!

  6. Cheryl said on 31st December 2008, 20:32

    I’m travelling to Silverstone on Sunday 21st from Norwich, allowing 3 hours to get there. When is the best time to arrive at the circuit? We’re parking on site and have allocated grandstand seats, but I still don’t want to miss a thing because of traffic and general not-knowing-where-to go confusions. I’m looking into staying at hotels in Kettering or Bedford and driving a one hour journey on race day morning rather than 3 hours.

    Any help, advice and recommendations are welcome!

    • Grant said on 18th June 2009, 15:24

      I have a few people staying at my place going to Sundays Grand Prix. I still have some more accomodation available, one double and one double on suite. I am based in Towcester.

  7. Christian said on 1st January 2009, 23:34

    Hi Cheryl,

    On race day last year we were staying in Northampton and got up at 05:30, left the hotel at 06:00 and got to Silverstone for about 07:15. If you leave it any later you will get stuck in HUGE amounts of traffic.

    If you get up REALLY early you won’t regret it.

    Christian

  8. Cheryl said on 2nd January 2009, 19:09

    Thanks for the reply Christian. Staying nearby in a hotel is the only way to go then I guess. I don’t fancy leaving Norwich at 3am in the morning….lol.
    I just wanted someone to confirm what I already suspected. So, many thanks!

  9. Hi, going to Silverstone 2009 and as this will be my first want to make the most of it. Flying down to Luton from Glasgow on the Friday night although only going to race day. Thinking of staying in a hotel near the airport so wondering about journey time from there and when to leave, we have tickets for pit straight A. Prob more of a concern after the race, would a half 6 flight be too optimistic? Was going to hire a car but are there any special buses etc put on and if so where can i find out about them? Thanks

  10. Hi,I have bronze tickets in copse A but this is the first Grand Prix I’ve been to! Is it ok to stay in a hotel and get to the track on each day as long as you leave early enough each morning? I’m taking my girlfriend who has always wanted to go (even more than me!) so she would prefer a hotel to camping. Any tips would be appreciated!

    Thankyou

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th January 2009, 19:11

      If you’ve got a seat booked, yes. If not, you’ll have to get up very early. Arrive at the track at 6am on Sunday morning and you’ll be lucky to get a good spot.

  11. Stacey said on 4th February 2009, 11:03

    Hi people
    Been reading a lot of your notes. I am returning to silverstone this year for the 4th year running. we are going in the copse C terrace which i think are fantastic seats. As regards to getting there in the morning we went there the first year and just traveled up just for race day. we were stuck in traffic for about 4 hours. it was stupid and we ended up getin to the track late and getting quite rubbish places as we only had general admission. I would advise anybody to either camp or get a hotel that is near to the track. i am stayin in whittlebury park grounds which is a 5 min walk from the copse corner which is brilliant and they also have their own private path into the stadium i would advise anyone to go there. they have bars, disco, resturant etc on site which wil be nice. jsut hope the weather is better than last year. any more questions ask me

  12. Clare msj said on 9th February 2009, 17:28

    Hi,
    2009 will be the seventh year I have been the Silverstone for the F1, and we have camped there all but the first year. I really enjoy the camping part of it, theres a growing group of us who descend upon Litchlake Farm campsite each year – its right near the Luffield stands, which was pretty darn convenient when we had seats in those stands for a couple of years. Have seats in Club for 2009, is the third year we have been there – i think it is my favourite of all the places i have sat at for the race – prices for seats there shot up this year big time though! Is worth it for the overtaking though – have always managed to see a fair amount from there. In previous years it had been really quite good value there – we paid £140 a couple of years ago to sit there, but I think they have made it a gold stand now when it used to be silver, plus the price hike for the fact it is the last at Silverstone makes it quite expensive to sit there now – but it is our favourite so we parted with our pennies!

    As for other places to sit – is really good to watch the cars at Maggots/Becketts, although i dont rate the stand there – its quite far back. Luffield was good, we’ve sat in two of them – seen a decent amount of stuff go on there. Were at Stowe last year – was good, but a lot more seemed to happen at Club which we could just see disappearing off into the distance. Sat in the Pit Straight the very first year we went, right by the back end of the grid. Wasnt my favourite place to sit, but it wasnt bad – I enjoyed seeing the start and the pit lane stuff.

    Getting out of the circuit on the Sunday has always been quite slow, even after hanging around at the track for a bit after, and then going back, dismantling the tents and casually packing up, we still managed to take roughly an hour and a half/two hours to do a journey which would usually take an hour. I havent actually experienced the drive in on Sunday morning to comment.

  13. richard said on 16th February 2009, 14:28

    Hi have booked tickets in stowe a and camping at whittlebury golf club.We were wondering are you allowed to return to camp site once you are in curcit.Is it a case of once you enter silverstone you are there for the day.

  14. Clare msj said on 17th February 2009, 10:47

    You can leave the ciruit as many times as you want during the day, you just get a stamp on your hand at the gate when you leave the first time. We usually nip back in between the track action to use the showers and stuff because you dont have to queue like you do first thing in the morning or in the afternoon when everyone gets back.

  15. 2009 will be my 6th year at Silverstone.

    have done general admittance, Stowe x 2, Pit straight A and Club. Back at Club agin for 2009. Club was fantasic in the wet in 2008, and probably just edges Stowe as my favourite. Have sat in pretty much every spot throughhout the course of the weekends.

    Pit straights are good on race day for all the build up, start, pit stops, & podium etc, but no real chance of seeing much action in the race. They do come past very much as a blur.

    Copse good for the start, and occasionally during the races. Spoilt IMO by the tarmacing the run off which means you can get away with running wide with very little penalty.

    Maggots, Becketts – grandstand is miles away from the track – separated by a large path, general addmitance banking, safety fences, grass run off etc. The GA banking at the exit is very good though seeing the cars coming towards you really shows off the ability of them to change direction quickly.

    Stowe & Club are my favourites, plenty of action and you can follow an individual car for 30+ seconds.

    Not a fan of Abbey / Bridge / Farm areas.

    The rest of the complex is good for getting pictures as the cars are going slower, and you have the backdrop of the BRDC club house & pitlane entry. Also its covered. Ideal for watching qually on a Saturday in the rain!

    Been to many other races in Europe & Silverstone is tops for the variety of food & drink available, and the off track entertainment (bands & competitions in the e-zones) and the after race GP Party where you see Tony Jardine hosting a load of drivers and other “known names” being much less guarded than they ever are on TV or in the press, plus a good band after.

    Have stayed in hotels twice – OK transport wise, but lacks the atmosphere of camping. Have always camped at Whittlebury in the past (kind of “posh camping”) good shower facilities and permanent buildings (Golf Club) with bars / restuarants etc. Also a chance to get a few autographs if you are into that sort of thing as many drivers stay at the Whittlebury Hall Hotel which is on the same site.

    Couldn’t get a good plot for 2009 though (They have golf course plots – nice and flat but all sold out, or farm plots – not such good ground) so am off to Silverstone Golf Club Camping down between Stowe & Club. Seems similar to Whittlebury but on a smaller scale. If anyone has first hand experience of it, I’d love to hear!