How to save money at the Formula 1 at Silverstone

How to save money at the Formula 1 at Silverstone

The Formula 1 is expensive, criminally so in places with Silverstone attempting to profit at almost every single opportunity, we were surprised they weren’t charging for the toilets, to be honest; however, with enough advanced notice, you can improve your day whilst saving some money and avoiding some of the crazy queues.

Take a backpack (20 litres) with supplies in

It’s £7.70 for a pint of beer (you’re allowed to take 6 cans in so that’s a saving of £38 each day if you bring your own), can of coke £3.90, and some cheesy chips will cost you £6.50, and if you ask them to throw some pulled pork on top that’s £13.50+. Bringing your own food and drinks is an easy way to save money against the crazy high festival-like pricing.

To keep food and drinks cold we would highly recommend something like:

  • Yeti Daytrip Packable Lunch Bag (this can easily take 6 cans) – Yes it’s expensive but it will last a lifetime unlike most other cool bags
  • 20 Litre Hang Baggage Cabin Bag – These are superb for storing a cool bag (like the Yeti) inside, along with enough space for a coat and jumper and essentials
  • On paper they’re not allowed but we did see plenty of people with cool boxes on wheels, however, you could be turned away from the gate so it’s risky… The T&Cs state max of 20 litres.
  • You could also bring hot food in with something like this

Each day, we would bring in:

  • Variety of Snacks
  • Lunch Meal Deal (Sandwich/Snack/Drink)
  • 6 beers
  • Water / Soft Drinks
  • We could have easily brought in dinner but chose to eat out each night instead for something hot

Bring your own radio

There are speakers around the circuit however when the cars are going past it’s almost impossible to hear the commentary, of course, Silverstone will sell you a cheap radio earpiece for £15 or you could just bring your own from home which will be vastly superior and last much longer, our group used these two with no issues:

Buy your merch BEFORE you arrive

An F1 team hat at the circuit costs £60, the exact same hat on the official website was £41… Of course, the hat was out of stock in the week prior to the race… The same price hikes happen on almost all merch, yet they were literally stopping people from going into the shops at times due to them being so busy! There are some shops as you approach the circuit and these were better value for money than inside the circuit but still high, e.g. £28 hat from Amazon was £35 here.

Don’t buy water

There are water refill stations around the site, take a water bottle and refill instead

Be careful with Roaming Grandstand tickets on Saturday

There is no denying that the best views are from the Grandstands, however, on Friday and Saturday the grandstand tickets are roaming meaning you can sit in most of the grandstands around the track, this is largely great as you can experience the F1 (and other races) from a wide selection of viewpoints, however, the best seats are full from ~7.30am and these groups of people often do not move for the rest of the day, so if you arrive at 10am and fancy your chances unless you’re a single person it’s very unlikely you will get the best views. So you can either go early, risk it or do what we ended up doing and having to move to an inferior area to view from… This means your potentially good-value Saturday ticket isn’t as good as you first thought. The view in the above photo earlier on in the day was impossible to get into unless you arrived early.

If you’re buying food go and take a look at it before buying and avoid the queues by eating later

We saw some crazy prices across the weekend and plenty of clear profiteering, don’t rush into buying food go and take a quick look at what they’re serving before you order, for instance, we saw some tiny 8″ pizzas that genuinely looked like a £1.50 Ristorante pizza being sold for £14 each and so we avoided that, jacket potatoes with butter for £7.50 and chips with nuggets for £13.50… Either way you’re going to get ripped off, however, spending time to check which is the least worst rip off is worth it in our opinion, also eat at other times to avoid queues, for instance, lunch at 3pm and dinner at 9pm means hardly any queues compared with peak times.

Is hospitality worth it?

This is a very personal thing, it will depend who is considering it, how much alcohol you would drink, and if you’re paying for it personally or if it’s a work perk etc. We’ve been privileged to try Silverstone many times with a wide selection of tickets, including hospitality, and we would argue that the best viewing of Formula 1 is from the non-hospitality grandstands; it’s simply a better view compared to almost all hospitality viewpoints and whilst you don’t get served a glass of champagne every 5 minutes from a true Formula 1 fan point of view it’s a superior experience, here are our experiences of the hospitality options (green are the ones we’ve personally done, the rest we’ve seen from the other side of the track):

  • Ignition Lounge (Maggots) Hospitality – Poor general viewing, however there is a grandstand which does offer a decent viewpoint across Village/Loop/Aintree and Becketts/Chapel
  • Fusion Lounge (Stowe) Hospitality – Fairly average viewing even from the included grandstand, vastly superior view from the grandstands at Stowe or Vale
  • Legends Club (Brooklands) Hospitality – Fairly good viewing but quite limited, the viewing from Woodcote A is vastly superior
  • Trackside (Copse) Hospitality – Again you will get a vastly superior view from the Copse Grandstands opposite
  • BRDC Clubhouse (Brooklands) Hospitality – The biggest irony here is it’s one of the worst views compared with the grandstands opposite them even though BRDC own the whole of Silverstone
  • Heritage Club (National Pits) Hospitality – Awful viewpoint in our opinion
  • Paddock Club (Hamilton Straight) Hospitality – We just don’t get the fuss of this viewpoint, unless you like to celeb spot, seats in Club Corner are going to offer you a much better viewing of the race.

Get into the feature races (F2/F3 and Porsche)…

The racing is often as good but the grandstands are often half empty during these other races, and during qualifying or practices you’re lucky to see 1/3 of the grandstands with people in them, if you get into these other races you will maximise your enjoyment, if you do this alongside a roaming grandstand ticket you can maximise your viewing by trying other grandstands across the weekend as well.

Are Grandstand tickets worth it?

The answer is a big yes. While it’s painful cost-wise, there is little denying that the best views are from the grandstands (a few exceptions apply), and you don’t have to worry about getting a poor view on race day as your seat is allocated. You can, however, with some planning and likely a GA Plus ticket, get similar views for less. However, it’s unreserved, so you will likely want to arrive early, know exactly where you want to sit and, like a German husband on holiday, get up early and secure your sun lounger… I mean camp chair!

Car Park? Park and Ride? Shuttle Buses? Camp over?

This is a real hard one and our answer here won’t really help you, in short, you’re screwed either way here, so take the option that works best for you and your group. We ended up buying the shuttle bus, but upon arrival on Thursday at Milton Keynes station, the insane 2+ hour queues pushed us to change our plans and head towards the track by car and buy parking on the way instead because there was a group of us it made the parking more cost-effective but this will drastically depend on:

  • Where you live
  • How far you’re traveling
  • How many days you’re staying
  • Where you plan to sleep
  • If you want to drink alcohol
  • How many of you there are.

This year, for some reason, Silverstone stopped all taxi and family/friends drop-offs, so instead, there were shuttle buses. However, whilst it did improve across the weekend, these shuttles involved long queues (~ 2 hours+ at times), followed by 40-minute travel (with at least 1 bus breaking down) and up to 1 hour at the gate entry (as they stupidly sent all shuttle buses to just 1 entrance).

Car Parking was expensive and if you didn’t arrive early involved a good 1-2 mile walk in/out… And to leave we spent a good hour trying to enter and leave (the majority of local roads are just tiny), some of the fields were like mud baths by Saturday morning and cars struggled as well.

Park and Ride we’ve never experienced but we feel that’s a good middle ground to save a bit of money compared with car parking.

Camping seems a great shout if you’re staying for multiple days. However, the weather really can vary around Silverstone, so you need to factor that in, as it was basically a storm on Friday evening, and that could have easily ruined your weekend if you weren’t prepared.

Bring in other essentials:

Here is our list of everything you should take to Silverstone:

  • A phone with plenty of battery & a battery bank – Tickets are all digital and you don’t want to run low as whilst there were phone charging areas these came at additional cost
  • Clothing layers, even in the lovely sun it can be cold there as it’s an old RAF base, you will want a decent windproof jacket and jumper/mid layer with you at the very least.
  • Suncream – The sun can be harsh here
  • 20 Litre Hang Baggage Cabin Bag for essentials
  • A cool bag like the Yeti Daytrip Packable Lunch Bag or similar
  • A Solar Powered / Wind Up Radio or Portable Radio with headphones
  • Ear Protection – This isn’t so much for the F1 but more for the feature races as they’re often much louder – Remember if you have Apple AirPods Pro these can offer similar benefits with additional support like transparency.
  • A hat – Again, the sun can be harsh here, and you won’t feel it due to the wind – Remember to buy these beforehand though, as onsite prices are extortionate.
  • A seat – If you’re not in a grandstand, this is a must; a cheap and flimsy (worth £5 max) Silverstone branded one will set you back £25 on-site!

Maximise your time at the event

The number of people who would simply rock up to watch the F1 parts of the day and then appear to leg it to get home seemed oddly high. Sure, we’re all different, and it would be a boring world if we all thought the same, but surely if you’ve paid to come to the F1, you would want to watch other similar races and experience what’s on the stages, etc, as they’re all part of your ticket cost.

Things we wouldn’t take to the Silverstone F1:

  • Sunglasses – Now this will vary depending on where you’re sitting/standing but in July this year we didn’t need them at all as the sun was very high, they sat in the bag unused all weekend, however, they’re lightweight so if you’re not sure where you’re going to be seated it’s probably worth taking them anyway.
  • An umbrella, you’re not allowed to use these within any grandstands and you will annoy others elsewhere especially when walking around, we saw several that were stupidly big and looked a faff to use and hold.

Go to another country to watch the F1…

We hear you, the UK and Silverstone is a rip-off and if more people went elsewhere ticket prices would eventually drop back to normal levels, it’s insane it’s cheaper to fly to another country in Europe and get a hotel for less than a weekend ticket at Silverstone…

Be a financial rockstar and share this with your friends, family and co-workers to maximise savings:

More posts:

Important things to remember with everything we post:

  • If you earn over your personal allowance (currently £12,570 a year) HMRC need to get their % cut (even if the money is in cash or from another country)
  • If you’re working for yourself / earning an income on the side you need to let HMRC know – There are numerous benefits but also some drawbacks
  • You need to always ensure whatever you’re doing is legal and not hurting anyone else – be careful and always think twice
  • Some income streams may require you to have DBS check, licence, insurance or qualifications before you can start to profit from it, do your research.
  • Be careful that any additional income doesn’t compromise your studies or main income/job
  • If you work for a company check your contract, if you don’t inform them you’re working on other side projects outside of work they may have grounds to ownership on this work

Most popular this month

More 10ways posts:

Legendary Deals:

Remember to follow us!