Silverstone was there at the very beginning and against all odds it’s still there now. Given Silverstone’s heritage, the atmosphere and the fact that it’s a brilliant race track to witness a Formula 1 car’s power, it has to be considered one of the must see Grand Prix of the season. The drivers and teams have a great fondness for it too as for many it is effectively a home Grand Prix.
Drawbacks are the cost of tickets and the accessibility, though efforts have been made to address both of these. General admission offers great value and with free entry for children its a good family day out that won’t break the bank.
Not a lot can be done about Silverstone’s distance from the capital but much has been invested in the local traffic infrastructure and on site facilities since disastrous planning in 2012 meant many ticket holders didn’t even get to attend.
Away from the circuit, you may not be within easy reach of a buzzing international city but Silverstone’s festival like atmosphere leaves a lasting impression on many visitors and the after race party provides extra value for your troubles.
British Grand Prix Spectator Tips
- Tune in to 87.7FM for Silverstone radio commentary, or listen to commentary by the BBC 5Live team available on 693 medium wave or on digital.
- General admission at Silverstone is free for children with an accompanying adult.
- If you’re driving, stick around for the after race concert and give the traditional Silverstone traffic jams a miss
- If you’re in general admission bring a folding chair. You may choose to spend track sessions on your feet but you’ll be glad of it during the downtime.
Silverstone Entertainment – Off Track
Silverstone scores really well at keeping visitors entertained away from the circuit. There’s go-karts, a giant Scalectrix, cinema, Segways, face-painting, zorbing, all manner of games, as well as the usual array of food and merchandise stalls.
Those Magnificent Men
If there’s one thing more traditional than the traffic congestion at the British Grand Prix it’s the Red Arrows. The acrobatic display team of the RAF has been an off-track entertainment staple since 1965, wowing the crowds with precision, close formation flying and blue white and red smoke trails to boot.
Silverstone F1 Concert
The post race concert at Silverstone has expanded to become more of a four day music festival, with well-known acts taking to the stage each day and a headline act on Thursday to get things started.
It’s always a good chance to kick back and mingle with your fellow F1 fans and, if you’re driving, avoid the worst of the post Grand Prix traffic.
The show takes place in the interior of the circuit and with the exception of the Thursday concert which requires an extra ticket, the shows are free to attend with your one day or weekend ticket.
Things to do near Silverstone – attractions away from the circuit
Goodwood Festival of Speed (4th – 7th July)
Goodwood has been held since 1993 and is one of the foremost automotive festivals of it’s kind drawing over 100,000 visitors daily. Basically a petrol head’s wet dream – getting up close and drooling over hundreds of classic and new cars and motorcycles, then watching as they take to the track and take on the famous Goodwood hill climb course.
When you’re done filling your lungs with the smell of burning motor oil you can enjoy tea and scones and all things an English summer festival represents in the gentile surroundings of Goodwood estate.
Tickets are available only by advance booking from the Goodwood website.
featured image: © Ronnie Macdonald | FLICKR