Monday 17 July 2017

Silverstone Grand Prix 2017

Through a unique set of circumstances we got to Silverstone Grand Prix as campers in their Woodlands Campsite.

Woodlands Village,Silverstone Campsite

Woodlands Village,Silverstone Campsite fairground

Silverstone Grand Prix Camping Layout

Every so often I post something more personal for general interest and maybe as a helpful resource for others to enter this blogspace.  Above are pictures in and around the Woodlands Campsite and the specially constructed "Village" made up of a food supply shop, many take away stalls, music venues, a village pub and its own Force India Fan zone and Bar area and stage.

The toprighthand grey marked area is the Silverstone track itself and below you see the position of the camping areas.

Vids of the village area including the musician inside the "village pub".

Sunset at Silverstone Woodlands Campsite

Gents Toilets Woodlands Campsite Silverstone

Gents Showerblock Woodlands Silverstone

Woodlands wristband and gold Pitwalk band
When you enter the site you are given a Woodlands wristband which is your admission ticket to the camp area. You drive in then leave your car for the duration, and if its not over muddy you can park by your tent. NO driving offsite except by special permission from the site managers and nobody does.

You walk everywhere unless you meet one of the shuttles ferrying you from the village to the track.
There are the above washing and loo blocks providing toilet cubicles shower cubicles wash basine then exterir pot washing sinks.

if you apply early you can get electrical hookups for camping. We were late and camped without any electrics, which means daily purchase of food, and no charging mobiles , Kindles etc.

Toilets are a very long way from most tents. You are told NOT to bring Toilet tents....well if your tents and pergolas are not too big you can squeeze them in. You are also told not to bring barbecues but many do. All tents are on top of each other so utmost fire precautions are needed.

Although loudspeakers are used on the track, the cars are incredibly loud. TV gives hardly any impression of what it is to have state of the art racing vehicles tearing past you, whose volume effects your sternum. Silverstone will sell you an earpiece  radio for the whole event for £10 which is set to 87.7 FM and like many track events cannot be picked up on a normal FM radio . So check if you have one that fits the bill !!!


Food of all varieties is available and Woodlands village shop does containers of salad. BUT that is just about it for healthy food.  In this day and age when more and more of us rely on healthier eating
stores on the roadside like Marks and Spencers and Waitrose.....Silverstone is still quite backward
in supplying yes, great variety, but supplied with chips and virtually no salads or greenery to be seen.
Even Glaswegians now know what greenstuff is so this comes as quite a shock.
Both all round the track and all round Woodlands village is every type of food imaginable, together with bars and hot drinks stalls.

Everything but everything will leave you penniless.
Teas and coffees are £2-4.50 depending how much they have seen a coffeebean or tea plantation.
So for three of us two rounds of hot drinks , (and Becketts can be incredibly drafty and cold) can be from £15-20

All meals start at a very small portion meal for £5 to a more usual £7-9.
A steak at the meat restaurant in Woodlands costs £19.95 I was told.

Work out ways of making your own stuff some days, then splurging others.  A good quality all metal top of the range unbreakable Thermos is definitely THE right investment for these events. We didn't want to be carting it around....but we probably should have.  We had no idea that being elevated on the Becketts stand would make such a difference to how cold it would be even in July!!!!


In Woodlands alone there was
A Big Top for main event groups
a smaller big top for great cover acts
a village pub for more pub type entertainments at a personal level
a Bob Harris Country tent where he had put together some of his great signature finds that are on Radio 2
Force India used their stage for Interviews with drivers and the Force India CEO but also had quality DJs

In the Village area, the central part of Silverstone track, as well as merchandising shops eateries and loos, was a big stage for the biggest acts.
Friday was Sara Cox and with guest singer Carol Decker doing T'pau material, as well as Aswad.
Saturday was The Severs, the Hoosiers and Glastonbury heavyt rock band The Reef
Sunday had the late Rick Parfitt's son also called Rick J Parfitt whose self named RPN Band do everything that Status Quo used to do in lifting a crowd to great heights, but covering an incredible array of pop genres.
The Pit Walk

As a further build up to the event itself Silverstone let you apply for a free pit walk across the front of all the pit garages. We were lucky enough to be granted a gold wristband so were in the first group on the Wednesday. We have many many photos of virtually each pit, the only drawback was the huge volume of people in the very narrow pit walk area. Then they drove two safety cars along that area in the opposite direction to where everybody was walking. My son Ben got isolated after we had all crossed to the other side of the track again. They shipped him on a bus to the main arena area. None of this was pleasant and felt like being herded like beasts. Possibly smaller numbers are necessary. There was no access to water, we were standing in blazing heat together with some ill and infirm, and certainly without access to toilets for a two hour stretch.

The Races

We saw the practice sessions , the qualifying events and the main races of
GP 3
Formula 2
but especially ofcourse Formula 1 Grand Prix which we were again lucky enough to witness Lewis Hamilton win his 5th UK grand Prix, and with ease.  He was seconds ahead of his nearest rivals.

We saw some great interviews on stage with
Daniel Ricciardo
Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso

But there was none better than this interview after he had won the Grand Prix, and features the rest of his family too.

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