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Silverstone hoping fans will make late ticket buying surge
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 May 2013   |  4:02 pm GMT  |  98 comments

Ticket sales for this year’s British Grand Prix are down on this time last year, according to the circuit’s managing director Richard Phillips.

There are a number of factors to blame for the slow take up of tickets this year, including lack of British winners in 2013 as well as bad memories and bad publicity hanging over from last year’s event, where torrential rain led to chaos; many fans were asked not to attend on Saturday in order that the operators could repair the circuit’s car parks for race day. Around 400 public events were cancelled in the UK that weekend, but Silverstone had to go ahead and this was felt to be the only way to achieve it,

“In retrospect that was the right call,” said Phillips, “What happened last year was unprecedented, but it was also a wake up call.”

A crowd of almost 300,000 attended the three days of the Grand Prix last year, but the “stay away” notice was an embarrassment for the circuit and for the sport. The untold story was the total figure of £1 million which had to be paid back to the 10,000 fans who claimed their money for the unused Saturday tickets, although due to insurance covering the loss, the event still made a profit for the circuit – one of the few F1 venues to do so.

In response, this year Silverstone has invested “hundreds of thousands” of pounds in infrastructure and drainage updates to ensure that there is never a repeat of 2012. Some of the materials have come from the Olympics, such as the matting to lay over grass car parks.

Additional campsite space has been allocated for this year and a new transport plan is in the works which will see Silverstone working with train companies and bus operators to bring more people in by rail with a bus transfer from Milton Keynes.

In the last six years, having secrured the rights to the British Grand Prix for the long-term, Silverstone’s owner the BRDC has invested £42 million in upgrading the circuit, developing the new pits complex and other features, as it strives to make it a centre of excellence for motorsport.

In September a new school will open, close to Copse Corner, for 14-18 year olds with an emphasis on performance engineering and event management alongside traditional subjects.

The British Grand Prix is round eight of this year’s championship and takes place on the weekend of June 29/30, leaving less than two months for the tickets to sell out. Silverstone’s revenues are entirely based on ticket sales as the other commercial revenue streams are all taken by F1’s Commercial Rights holder.

Philipps and his team along with BRDC president Derek Warwick are hoping that fans get behind their national event; 70% of the 300,000 who attend Silverstone each year are UK residents.

* Are you going to the British Grand Prix this year? If you planned to but have decided not to attend, please tell us why in the comments section below.

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We r doing spa this year and got ferry 3 days camping 3 days circuit pass for £255 each!!! And they wonder why u wud rather go abroad… Bring on Belgium.


Just got back from my first grand prix @ silverstone and it was amazing….cost wise we expected it – it’s once a year and considered a special treat for me and my mom. But would love to go abroad to watch more grands prix. Where did you book spa this year (possibly next year for us) for so cheap? If we continue going to the races, want to save as much as possible. Do let me know, thanks.


We booked everything separate, ferry from hull to zeebrugge £96 each, eau rouge campsite £50 each and ticket we booked soon as calendar came out which saved us about £40 each for early booking £95 each, so all in all after postage and booking fee it was £255 each which we thought was a good deal.. It is only 2hrs to circuit from ferry so an easy drive down hope this all helps and u manage to get booked for nxt year..


Far too dear – just greed or so rich that they are totally detached from real world finances of people. Also, if wanting to sell tickets I suggest a big heading at the top of the sight that says “TICKETS” so people can easily access how to but them? I still cant find Ticket Saleson this site. was going to buy a ticket as a present – too dear and not easy to do.


Great circuit, better than Monza, not as good as Spa. Price has always been an issue. It’s never going to cheap now. Fans favourites ‘McLaren’ not doing so well at the start of the season and well now will not be helping ticket sales.


Going to be our last Silverstone. Tickets so expensive that this year we are going to sit in the open. Pay for three days and then cannot even sit in grandstands as they are saved for corporate guests. Yet we are told we have a roving ticket for Friday and Saturday. Even camping getting expensive £165 for 4 days. Cannot help the weather but can make it more affordable.

Darran Davenport

At £750 this year for a family of four plus £145 campsite fee for three days,Silverstone and local campsites have priced us out. Ten family and friends have been going since 2008,this year zero! Looks like Spa next year.


£165 3 days and thats just for general admission i understand they rely on money from this event but for me general admission ticket should be about £100 for raceday and £120 for 3 day


Travelling doing the grandprixs from Australia. Paid $1000 aus to get sat and Sunday tickets at casino square and high k. Just about $600 australian would only get me a seat at a slow corner, much less value for money. Frankly it’s a rip off even for such an event. 170 pound for Sunday general admission is a absolute joke. I’m no tight arse but I don’t believe in paying for a Ferrari and only recieving a ford focus.


If you want to do the full weekend with a certain level of luxury, as in have a seat in a stand and stay in a camp site near the track, it does start to add up. For that same kind of money you could get a week in the Med. My last visit was in 2009, it may have been just that, my last.


I live in the Channel Islands and its much cheaper for me to go to Spa than it is to British GP. Even more, you can get tickets to the Indy 500 Race for about the same price as a ticket for Friday practice at Silverstone. Wimbledon is on the same week so I’m spending my weekend there instead and it’s cheaper.


I am going this year for the first time with 4 friends. We are camping for 3 nights from Thursday so we’re there for the duration. I view it as a mini-holiday. No, it’s not cheap (£250 each) but on the other hand I view it as a long weekend break with F1 thrown in.

Personally I can’t wait and I really hope the weather is kinder this year!


I won’t be attending this year’s race not because of ticket prices but purely because I hate the way F1 is now with the DRS & Pirelli tyres.

These artificial gimmicks have killed my 35 year love of F1 & I’ve no interest in attending another race until DRS is banned & Pirelli start providing Race-able tyres.


Also every member of my family & most of the friends I used to attend & watch races with feel the same.

My youngest son has stopped watching F1 altogether.

So thats 24 people who won’t be attending F1 races anymore & who won’t be watching races on TV after many years of doing so.


Would be an absolute dream for me and my 2 and a half year old to attend first GP but the price is out of this world.

Was thinking of taking him to Friday practice to let him see a few hours of on track action but if i spend £70 or whatever it is for tickets and i’m stuck in a 16 mile traffic jam i think we’d both be crying!

The BRDC are making it extremely clear what calibre of people they want there and at the moment my young (and very passionate about F1!!) family don’t fit in their bracket.

Massive shame, think of all the future Sennas, Stewarts and Schumachers they could be restricting from attending. Shows what this sport is about now…

££££ (I’ll stick with the BTCC!)

Brett Williams

I’m going, will be spending a bit over a month in the UK (coming from Australia) based on Cambridge. MegaBus have pretty cheap tickets to take me to & from Silverstone on both the Saturday & Sunday so I’m really not that worried about the potential transport snares.


Sorry. Outrageous ticket pricing and the loss of free-to-air across the whole calendar means I have switched my primary allegiance to MotoGP. F1 is now a secondary interest. Going to my first two-wheel GP this year.



moto gp looks to be heading totally behind a pay wall for next season.

John M Edwards

I have attended the British grand Prix since 1965 at the various venues but the prices are beyond my reach now for the equivalent of £111 I can get a 3 day pass at the the American race in Austin. All of us in the office would got the grand prix but with the situation and the way this government is making us all poorer at the moment none of us can afford to go. I wrote to Silverstone about the prices [even included a stamped address envelope for a reply]but they didn’t even have the decency to respond probably to busy counting there money. This is huge disappointment to me but maybe Bernie needs more [mod]

John M Edwards


I attended Silverstone last year and it was a bit of a mess. Don’t get me wrong, when I eventually got the the circuit the qualifying and the actual race were great, but it took so long to get there, (by official bus), that I was only at the circuit for about 3 hours on the Saturday and not much more on the Sunday. Very expensive for 3 hours per day.

I was tempted to go again this year, but after last year’s experience I have decided to go to Goodwood instead and just watch the British GP on TV, (BBC, of course).


A proportion of the loss of interest in the race has to be put down to Sky’s entry in F1 broadcasting.

UK unique TV viewers were down 16.93% last year, and even Sky alone are currently down 17% on last years audience already this year.

Less people watching races on TV has to equate in some way to less interest in attending races.


I have to say that I went to the 2010 Grand Prix at Silverstoneand I thought it was fantastic.

Admittedly it was sunny, but I went on all three days using a variety of methods to get there (parked on Friday, motorbike on saturday and park and ride on Sunday) and it was all easy and straight forward.

I think that the whole weekend cost me around £1,000 including fuel, hotels, nights out etc. and it was totally worth it.

Yes, they should sort out the car parking as every other year it does rain, but it really is a grat experience and well worth the money.

The only reason I am not going is that I live in Australia!


The cost of watching a two hour race, with few additional attractions, is my reason for stopping going.

When Silverstone signed the F1 contract up to 2017 they agreed an annual increment in the fees paid to Bernie and his cronies which was far in excess of any likely inflation.

Presumably Silverstone were confident that they could just charge the fans more and more each year.

Well the fans are beginning to bite back and there’s still five years to go on the contract.


Cant afford it. in this day and age its a luxury for the likes of me.


One other thought, I paid £25 for WEEKEND tickets to BTCC at Donny the other weekend, incredible value for money given the support programme and the action is always good.


Price is too high and it’s so crowded I found it hard to relax and enjoy the day with general admission tickets.

If I ever go back to Silverstone it would be with grandstand tickets but the price is excessive.

I was also disappointed that at Silverstone the drivers do a parade lap on the back of a truck (which I missed trying to find somewhere to stand) whereas at Barcelona they all toured round slowly in these beautiful classic cars.


Still debating whether to go. Money is not the issue for me but the familiarity. In other words the winner will be either a Red Bull driver or Alonso as has been the case since 2009.

I will only be going on Sunday this year if I do go.

Another problem is that the British GP does not seem to have a confirmed date until December. More often than not in my place of work those dates are already taken by someone. Not Silverstone’s fault but its frustrating when considering that other sport events I would like to attend in 2014/15 and even 2016 already have dates published.


They should just create a media campaign saying that “this year might be the last one as Bernie [mod] wants too much money”.

Everyone will then suddenly decide that they HAVE to attend as there might not be another chance. Melbourne has been doing it for years and it works a treat.

Trouble is – we all know they have a contract to hold the race until 2017.

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