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. Hi,

    Ive got some general admission tickets for the 2009 British Grand Prix and wanted to know what the score was food and drink wise as in: –
    1. Food and drink allowed in the gen admin area’s
    2. Food only

    Also, what’s the best route in – I’m thinking of either bussing it in from Northampton station (Stagecoach are offering a service)or getting fropped off somewhere close to the track and going by foot from there – any sggestions welcomed.

    1. Read through the above thread and you should find what you need.

      I found that you can take your own food and drink (beer :-)) in.

  2. 56yearolddad
    10th June 2009, 18:50

    Hello to all.
    I took my 7 year old son for Saturday and Sunday last year.
    Despite the weather it was brilliant to see his face as his first ever live F1 car went past him on Hangar Straight, fear and excitement rolled into 1.
    We had seats at the top/back row of Woodcote A.
    Decided straight after last years GP that we would do it again in 2009.
    We have 3 day seats for Club Silverstone this year at Becketts Outside, my wife and daughter will be there too.
    Look out for an old guy with bright purple hair, beard, and moustache!!
    Son supports Sebastian Vettel, daughter roots for Raikkonen, Button (for all those desperate years!!) & Kubica for me, whilst my wife would probably opt for Trulli given he has a vineyard.
    Got accommodation in Wroxton, just outside of Banbury and the whole thing was booked last July.
    Like a big kid right now, can’t wait.
    WE ARE RACING, now that’s a Fathers Day and a Summer Solstice to remember.
    Good luck and best wishes to all.

    1. ha ha love the descriptions i’m taking my dad i bought the tickets for his christmas present i think he’ll be just like your son with the excitement and fear. Its our first time wish it was now !!!!

  3. I originally posted this on the last night but some is relevant to this so here you go ….

    Hi All, with regard to viewing from Maggots / Becketts – this is great advice – Wow I could write a whole book here but I’ll keep it brief…ish.

    My first experience of F1 at a racetrack was (I’m lucky to say) Silverstone 1991. Myself and 4 mates hired out a Winnebago type camper and went up on the Saturday for practice and qualifying stayed overnight in the camper – didn’t sleep a wink with excitement ‘cos Mansell had stuck it on pole and had Senna next to him on the grid – then got up at 5am on the Sunday to grab a spot – In hindsight this was not required. I’ll get to that in a bit.
    My first enduring memory of the weekend was walking along the footpath at the bottom of the banking – so out of view of the track itself – between Copse & Maggott and hearing an F1 car for the first time – and I’ll be honest with you it Shite the life out of me.
    All I heard was the incredible noise of what I now know to be and F1 engine as it went passed then this almighty noise which is still to this day indescribable, there was crashing banging explosions and god knows what else. Well that was it… to me and quite a few obvious other first timers we had just been witness to (audibly anyway) a huge crash – a load of us scrambled up banking to view the inevitable wreckage of a modern F1 car that had obviously had some kind of failure, barrel rolled down the track and exploded. When we got to the top we looked around craning our necks to see every possible nook and cranny of the circuit in that area – but there was absolutely nothing, not a sausage. I and others couldn’t work it out and rather than look stupid just stayed quiet and continued watching as if that was the reason we had made the mad dash up the banking just to spectate. Then in about 1 min 23ish seconds the whole drama was repeated again – the incredible noise we had heard was Jean Alesi in his Ferrari with a V12 lump in the back flying down the short straight after Copse and LIFTING (nothing more just LIFTING )before hurtling into Maggots and through Becketts then off onto the Hanger Straight – what a noise ! (If your going and it’s your first time – forget anything you’ve heard on the TV there is no other sound like an F1 car at Full Chat in the flesh – just enjoy !
    Anyway back to viewing at Maggots if you get a chance stand about 150 metres back along the small straight towards Copse and view the cars from the rear going into Maggots and through the Becketts complex here you will see the incredible road holding / grip an F1 car has at it’s best – how they don’t just fly off the circuit I don’t know – the weird thing is there is not a hint of tyre squeal as they enter Maggotts at 185MPH flicking left/right /left/right/left then exiting onto the Hanger Straight.

    Anyway if you want to view the race from this area the best place I found was on the outside of the Becketts complex in front of the covered grandstands where there is some banking (accessible between the Grandstands) it does get very busy here but that year and on subsequent visits we found the trick is to let everybody else grab their space early on and gaurd them with a vengance all day then at 5mins to 1pm just before the race starts we clamber up the banking with either Milk Crates or Cooler Boxes in hand and position ourselves on the banking right at the back behind everyone else on top of which we get a totally unrestricted view. As an added bonus you get a great view from here of the Giant Diamond Vision TV Screen which is on the outside of Becketts so you see the cars both in front of you and the rest of the race / replays / timing when they are elsewhere on the circuit ! :) Sadly I’m not going to be there this year to support BrawnGP & Jenson but wish them the best of luck !

    1. Mansell and Senna I remember watching them that must’ve been amazing.

      1. It was ! This was the year Senna ran out of fuel and Mansell a gave him a lift on his Sidepod.

        I was back the following year when Mansell walked it again with the Active Suspension Williams winning by a margin of 39 seconds over his team mate Patrese having stuck it on Pole again with a margin of 2 seconds !

        Opted for Donnington (European GP in 1993) and froze me nuts of at Redgate Corner in the rain when Senna stormed from 6th to 1st on the first lap :)

        I’m not to bothered if F1 goes back to Donnington in 2010 spectator viewing is much better there.

        1. Sorry Senna started 4th dropped back to 5th then went through to lead at end of first lap – must be getting old :)

        2. God i remember it so well hairs are standing up on the back of my neck. I watched it on tv it must have been brilliant to see that!!

          1. It was and do you know what …..not a single “Road Car Manufacturer” on the Grid

            1 N. Mansell William
            2 G. Berger McLaren
            3 A. Prost Ferrari
            4 A. Senna McLaren
            5 N. Piquet Benetton
            6 B. Gachot Jordan
            7 S. Modena Tyrrell
            8 S. Nakajima Tyrrell
            9 P. Martini Minardi
            10 E. Pirro Dallara
            11 G. Morbidelli Minardi
            12 M. Häkkinen Lotus
            13 J J Lehto Dallara
            14 J. Herbert Lotus
            15 M. Blundell Brabham
            16 A. de Cesaris Jordan
            17 J. Alesi Ferrari
            18 A. Suzuki Lola
            19 T. Boutsen Ligier
            20 M. Brundle Brabham
            21 M. Alboreto Footwork
            22 M. Gugelmin Leyton House
            23 R. Moreno Benetton
            24 E. Bernard Lola
            25 I. Capelli Leyton House
            26 R. Patrese Williams

            but those years were fantastic

  4. Not long to go now, this time next week I hope to be sat in a fully erected tent at Litchlake farm, ready for the action to begin. This is my first GP and to say I’m excited is an understatment, its driving the wife mad!

    I’m planning on going to Argos tomorrow to buy my full length poncho in case it rains, at £4.90 its worth having in my book. My only real problem is keeping the food and beers cold, we have small’ish cool box but is there somewhere local to buy ice etc. Also do the shops in the village stock enough food, I was thinking about bringing a load with me but keeping it cold is going to be a problem.

    1. I think the ideal solution to not being able to keep food cold is don’t bother with the food …. more food = less room for Beer :)

    2. “My only real problem is keeping the food and beers cold” knowing our weather I dont know why your worried.

  5. This time next week I hope to be all set up at Whittlebury Park, with beer in hand. It’ll be my first F1 event & I can’t wait!

    1. Hi Alex,

      Look for a Saltire in the praxis village…we can share a dram!


      1. stayin at wittleby look out for our flags damon hill & jordan love to join u for a beer or two

        1. Sounds good! We’ll be getting there thursday afternoon, we’ll be the ones looknig complete amateurs as we have issues putting our tent up!

          Anyone else subscribe to F1 Racing and are in their camping area?

  6. I have 2 GA tickets for Sunday and i’m parking at the circuit can anyone advise the best vantage point for me and also what time the car park will open for me to come as early as poss.

  7. Advice please – camping at a site about 15mins bike ride away from the circuit all weekend, just wondered if anyone new if there are places to lock up push bikes?? Also I have grandstand seats on pit straight a – what time is it best to get there race day? god its getting close now – cant wait!

  8. I have to park at the Park and Ride. I have a sticker to put in my windscreen. How do I know which park and ride site I have been allocated to – I don’t have anything written down that tells me this info.

    Any help greatly appreciated!

    1. Its colour coded, if its pink its m40, blue m1 sixfields and green is m1 at towcester racecourse. You should have all this in your ticket pack!

  9. Hi all,
    Want to buy tickets for Sunday, only seats left are Hanger Straight or Farm , I know where they are on circuit which is likely to see best action ?


  10. Going to Silverstone for the last year- but can only make Friday. Never been to practise day before- what is the traffic like on that day- heard it is alright as you only have 40-50K visitors. Didn’t get a parking pass but been told that it is free parking on a Friday- lets hope so!

    1. Last year there were 65,000 on Friday – about two-thirds capacity. See here:

  11. christopher
    14th June 2009, 12:22

    Any other American boys or girls flying in for the race? Looking for someone to split a car hire up to the track on Thursday morning/afternoon…Will be flying into Heathrow. if so, please email me cheers

  12. Help please!! Have been given tickets for all 3 days – lucky! But no parking booked. Anyone have any suggestions where to park near the circuit, could I still get circuit parking? Have two F1 mad daughters, I can’t wait for them to see their first F1 live! Everyone, have a great time!

    1. I Live in Cuckoo Land
      14th June 2009, 16:21

      I think you should forget all hope of going and give the tickets to me :)

    2. Hi Bob

      We have spare Park and Ride Tickets for Sixfields M1 – we decided to camp instead – you can have them if you want.

      1. Bev, thats very kind. Thanks for the offer. I have managed to get a circuit parking permit so all being well, should be ok. Will probably spend as much time “parking” on the way in and out but ho hum!
        Thanks again, most generous of you.

  13. Nice try….but I think you’re in the right place! :)

  14. Has anyone driven down on a Friday ?

    I’ve had conflicting stories on the Friday traffic – some saying it was easy and took no time extra and some saying they were queuing for 4 hours.

    Your experience ?

  15. I am going to the GP this weekend; first time so not sure what to expect. We are camping at the campingf1 site at pitts farm. has anyone ever stayed there before. Do you have any advice/tips.

    also on the race tickets it said that you are welcome to take fold up chairs to copse A terrace.. is this advisable?


    1. You can definitely take folding chairs with you and it’s definitely a good idea!

  16. Really looking foreward to go to Silverstone now!

    Just wandering which would be the best option regarding traffic? Arriving Thursday night around 10pm at Whittlebury Park, or early Friday morning around 7.30?

    Any ideas? Thanks

    1. Matt Hubbert
      17th June 2009, 16:18

      I would probably arrive early on Friday morning as if you get there after dark they can make you wait till the morning before you going to your pitch and if they do let you its a nightmare putting your tent up in the dark trust me i know!!!

  17. Hi there,

    Staying at the Newport Pagnell Services – nearest accom we could get! – (Between Junctions 14 and 15 of M1) on Sat night, to go to Race Day on Sunday.

    Any advise on what time we should think of leaving the Services on the Sunday morning and best route to take – we have grandstand tickets and a parking ticket for circuit.

    Thank you


  18. Just bagged 2 Club Silverstone tickets for the whole 3 days for £300 on ebay! Absolutely chuffed and so excited as never been to a GP before.

    As has been asked by a few people what is the best time to get there each day? Also I assume it’s advisable to take a portable radio?

  19. Thought I’d let everyone know that I managed to get some just Sunday Copse B tickets in the end after all the weekend club ticket disappeared on me, so I’ll see everyone there!!! Not sure what my “Platinum Plus” view will be like, but hey, better to be there than not!!! Hopefully it won’t be facing a brick wall or something – hope my dad likes his father’s day present.

    Take care all,

  20. Joe Edmonds
    18th June 2009, 12:27

    I am thinking of heading up to silverstone on sunday for the race, but i have never been so need a little advise. Is there an area we can watch over the race for free? if so what time do you recommend we drive up there?!


    1. Matt Hubbert
      18th June 2009, 16:03

      You wont realyy get anywhere near without a parking pass you could park in a pay carpark and walk but nowhere to watch for free that i know of anymore

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