Top Tips for attending Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone


For my dad’s 65th birthday, I decided to take him to the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone.  I started planning the trip not long after the 2011 British Grand Prix.   Hopefully the following tips will be of help to others who are thinking of doing the same.   Top Tips for attending Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Ticket Options

There are a multitude of ticket options,  you can get tickets for the entire weekend, or just Friday practice or Saturday qualifying or just the race day on Sunday.   The tickets are available from various outlets and if you book early enough you can get discounted prices.   I opted to get my tickets from,  I also opted to book over the phone as this allowed me greater flexibility on where I wanted to sit.   Booking over the internet you get auto allocated seats.   If you want to leave things right until the last minute then eBay is always a good source for tickets.    We opted for race day only tickets and got lucky with the weather – Fri and Sat were a washout.

Silverstone release tickets in blocks – so I kept ringing back until the block I wanted had been released.   I also opted for a seat higher up for a better view.

Where Do I sit?

Having not been to Silverstone before I spent ages trying to work out where to sit.   I wanted a good view of the start/finish straight, visibility of the pits and podium, plus ability to see cars elsewhere on the circuit.    As I’m not likely to do this again I decided to splash out on some platinum tickets  (stupid expensive), which give access to a covered grandstand.

This was our view from the Club Platinum Grandstand : seats R270 and R271.


Club corner is a slow part of the track, so you get a good view of the cars and whilst overtaking is limited, it does happen.   Not visible in these pics is a large TV screen to the right of the podium which allows limited viewing of the action elsewhere on the track.


Watching F1 live is all about a trade off.  Watching on TV you will see more, but watching live you get to savour the atmosphere.   If you want to see the cars at high speed then Becketts is a good place to sit.

If you get a grandstand ticket for qualifying then this acts as a roaming ticket and allows you to sit in any grandstand anywhere on the circuit,  which is a great way for working out the best places to sit.

Essential Items to take

  • Sun cream (it’s so easy to get burnt at motoring events, even when the sun is behind the clouds).
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Ear defenders, ear plugs or in ear headphones – the noise of the cars is immense.
  • Radio – this is an essential item.  You need a radio with either in ear headphones or a pair of big bins to cut out the background noise.   This way you can follow the action via 5 live radio or the local Silverstone radio station 88.7 FM.    Whilst you can purchase radios on the day, it’s better to take your own.   I just used my mobile phone.    You can also hire small TV sets at the circuit.
  • Packed lunch – food is seriously expensive, so take your own.
  • Waterproofs and umbrella.   Especially if you are not under cover in the grandstand.
  • Money.   The official programme is £16,  beers start about £4.   Burgers about £6.   Hats are £25.  T-shirts start at £50
  • Camera
  • Binoculars – great for checking out the pit lane girls and the cars 🙂

Parking and logistics

If you are going for the weekend, then camping is the best option.    I tried to book a hotel almost a year in advance and they were already fully booked, most of the local B&B’s want a minimum of 2 nights stay.   For parking I would highly recommend the park and ride system.   You need to book this when you purchase your main tickets.    There are 3 different sites. Hinton Airfield off the M40 and 2 sites off the M1.

  • It took us 90 minutes to get from junction 11 of the M40 to the park and ride site at Hinton Airfield (Farthinghoe).  All roads into Silverstone are small and slow.  Be prepared to queue.
  • You park on the airfield, then jump on one of the waiting buses (there are plenty of buses waiting).  First bus depart at 4:30am.  Last departure is 11am.  We had no wait time for boarding the bus.
  • 15-20 minute journey from park and ride to Silverstone (single drop off at main entrance).  Buses get some of the priority lanes
Everything went smoothly apart from the pickup from Silverstone.   There were multiple queues and no one on hand explaining what to do.   It turned into a free for all,  we got lucky and kinda  jumped the queue saving over an hours wait.

I’ve since found out that the local schools in the area also offer parking for Silverstone.  Check out the details here :

To give you an idea of timings, we left home at 7.20am Sunday morning and got into the circuit for 11:20 am.   People with general admission tickets would leave much earlier in order to secure a good spot.   If you want to see the build up and morning races then you need to leave much earlier too.   All cars must be collected from park and ride by 9pm.   The red arrows flew over about 12:15.


Whilst the McLaren performance was poor, racing not particularly close and I missed being able to follow all the action on TV,  I’d definitely go again.   The atmosphere was excellent and well worth experiencing.   Post race they open up the barriers and allow spectators to walk round the track and get closer to the pit lane.    I’d love to get paddock access in the future.


Got pretty close to the BBC camera’s, but not sure if we made it onto the Forum show or not as forgot to record it.  Eddie Jordan and the team were great sports with the crowd.


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19 Comments on “Top Tips for attending Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone”

  1. Thanks, great tips.

  2. From what I can recall I think there would have been a very strong likelihood that you did appear on the F1 forum as, like in 2013, the cameraman tended to look up and down the pit straight at the crowds.

    I’m going to the Friday practice for the 2013 MotoGP (only £15 and my 1st time at Silverstone) and my ticket will allow me to go “roaming”. I anticipate that I will be spending much time at Maggotts/Becketts. Does anyone know how long it would take me to walk the perimeter of the circuit? For symbolism i’d like to go down Hanger Straight but, for action I think I should head the other way towards Woodcote.

    Great informative article

  3. Thanks Chris – hope you enjoy the MotoGP later this month. Not sure on the Silverstone perimeter walk to be honest.

  4. Hi
    Am taking two children aged 9 on Saturday 19th July 2014 and having never been to Silverstone would be grateful for approx. distance from main entrance (car park 50) to pits with a roving ticket. Also best place to try and get a seat for speed and overtaking.



    • Hi Tiffany. I’ve not used that car park before, but I believe it is close as they use it for disabled parking also.
      The pit straight might be a good place to start watching as you get the speed and overtaking, plus you are within a walk of club corner at one end and Abbey at the other end.
      Have a great day.

  5. hi I’ve booked club corner tickets 410r so just above where you
    Sat , this may be a repeat silly question but is the view
    Good especially podium and start ? This is a Xmas present
    For hubby cost a bomb but as you say won’t be doing it again
    I’ve only ever run silverstone track at a lot less speed than a f1 car 😉

    • Yep – those seats will be great. Nice view of the start / finish straight and podium. Take some binoculars and portable radio with earphones. Hope its a great race for both of you.

  6. I’ve got seat R361 – is that a pretty similar view to this?

  7. I would take/buy ear defenders instead of ear plugs as I want to listen to the radio and the defenders cut out the noise so I can hear the radio commentary.
    Also choose lightweight binoculars! 🙂

  8. great post

  9. Hi
    I found schools parking for Silverstone from your website which looks great – thanks.

    I was getting annoyed with Silverstone as you can’t book a parking space if you only have one person ( I did a few yrs ago).

    There was an extra booking fee which went up from £3 to £7 after a few days. I couldn’t get through on their charging phone and they don’t reply from their enquiries email.

    Also I had to mess about with registration and payment quirks to get the ticket booked and I’m not even sure if they are sending tickets.

    Anyway your info made the difference as I really wanted to go this year but didn’t have the time for public transport as I’ve just become a Dad

    and cheaper too..


  10. Hi, We are staying in a hotel an hours drive away up the M1 at Leicester Forest, what time do you think we should be setting off for Sunday F1, we are parking 600m up the road. My husband and I are taking our 2 children who will want to take a look round. Do people leave chairs in positions for the race on the grass or is it case of finding a spot and one of you staying there all day??


    • How did you get on Kirsty? When I attended the GP the roads Silverstone were very busy (small little A roads). It took ages to get into the parking so I would always recommend leaving early and allowing plenty of time.

  11. Hi,

    I have general admission tickets for the race on Sunday. Any advice on how early I should get to the M40 park and ride, and also the best place to view the race from?

  12. hi 50th birthday surprise so I want to get it right as is a one off lifetime trip due to the expense! Have booked Club Corner and been put in Block 3 on row A 079/080 ….is this a good row? Is it all covered if it pours down, even on the front row? … Iif it is not a good row can I phone and change it ? Thanks for your help really appreciate the tips …really nervous about getting it right!

    • Lisa – yes agreed. I was nervous too about getting it right. Club corner is covered yes but obviously if the rain is driving in hard at an angle due to wind then there is a chance the front row might get wet. You are closer to the action on the front row but then higher up you get a more elevated view of the circuit. Pros and Cons. I’m sure you will have a great time in Club Corner.

  13. Hi
    just received my tickets for the 2016 British Grand Prix, I’ve been issued seat numbers L0179 and L0180 for the International Pits Straight but can’t find a seating plan online anywhere to see where I’m actually sitting. Would much appreciated any assistance.

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