The Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit is a circuit located in Northampton, England, and can be found next to the village of Silverstone from which its name originates. Best known for hosting the British Grand Prix, Silverstone an iconic venue in British motorsport.
- The circuit clocks in at a length of 5.891 kilometres (3.660 miles) and features 18 turns
- The Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit features high-speed corners such as Copse, Maggots and Becketts, which are favourites amongst drivers and fans alike.
- The circuit was built on the site of a World War II airfield, RAF Silverstone. No longer needed following the war, the first-ever race at the venue was held in 1948, known as the Royal Automobile Club International Grand Prix.
- The circuit was originally used for both car and motorcycle racing, but it eventually became primarily a car racing venue.
- The British Grand Prix has been held at the Silverstone GP Circuit since 1987
- In recent years, the circuit has undergone significant upgrades, including the addition of a new pit and paddock complex, and a new grandstand overlooking the final corner of the track.
- The Silverstone GP Circuit has also hosted other major motorsport events, including the MotoGP British Grand Prix and, in recent years, a round of the World Endurance Championship.
In this track guide, we will be showing you how to master this high-speed venue. Focussing on racing lines, braking points, apexes and acceleration zones, let’s jump right in.
Turn 1 (Abbey)
Turn 1 is a fast-sweeping right-hander that is deceptively tricky. The entry is taken in fifth gear in a GT3 car at high speeds, and your apex is well hidden so precision is crucial.
Approaching the corner entry, position the car over to the left-hand side. Following the outside curbing, look for where the grass ends and where a runoff road starts. This is between the 100-metre and 50-metre board.
As you reach the access road on the left, start to turn in and progressively lift off the throttle. You’ll be aiming for a relatively late apex and you’ll want to get your inside tyres over the orange sausage curbs while keeping your outside wheels inside the white line. Don’t get too greedy here as you will exceed track limits and this will ruin your lap.
While going through the corner, keep your steering inputs smooth to avoid any scrubbing of your front tyres.
As you pass the apex, start to get back on the throttle. If you have carried too much speed, you will find that you run out of road on the exit. Keep your steering lock as you try to open the entry for Turn 2.
Turn 2 and 3 (Farm Curve and Village)
Turn 2 is a flat-out left-hand curve. Keep your steering smooth once again to avoid scrubbing your tyres, and your main aim here is to not run wide on the exit. You’ll want to keep nice and tight to the left to open the entry for Turn 3 – the first heavy braking zone of the lap.
Keeping left, look out for the 100-metre brake board. Get on the brakes hard initially as you downshift from fifth gear to second, but start to trail brake as you pass the 50-metre board.
From here, you’ll also want to start turning in. Village is all about keeping tight on the apex and getting on the power early, so don’t square off the corner. Just before you reach the apex, you should be off the brakes and already slightly on the power to help rotation as well as keep momentum.
Don’t run the car out wide on the exit as you’ll need to come back over to the right for the entry of Turn 4.
Turn 4 and 5 (The Loop and Aintree)
Turn 4 is a tight left-hand hairpin and is the slowest corner on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit. It is crucial to get a good exit out of The Loop as this corner leads onto the Wellington Straight.
Approaching Turn 4, look out for a green astroturf patch on the inside of the track, which is your turning-in and braking reference. Move the car closer to the outside to try and open the entry.
As you come alongside this green patch, hit the brakes and gear down to first. Trail braking is key here to get the front end to respond to the sharp steering input.
Turn in earlier than you think as you catch the inside curbing and immediately get on the power as fast as your traction will allow. The exit is also wide so open up your steering as you apply the throttle to maximize road usage. If needs be, slightly short-shift up to second gear to help get the best traction.
If you did not apex correctly though, you will understeer off onto the grass as you fight the car to get on the power early.
After The Loop, Turn 5 is an easy flat-out left-hand curve. Keep steering smooth and precise as you turn in early. Aim to cut the inside curbing and gently open up the steering on the exit. Avoid running wide on the exit and exceeding track limits.
Turn 6 (Brooklands)
Turn 6, Brooklands, is a long U-Shaped left-hand turn with a fast wide entry. However, it quickly tightens up on you on the exit.
Stay right as you approach the corner and start to brake after the 100-metre board. Immediately trail brake as you turn in and keep the car tighter to the inside than you think you should.
Because you are turning and braking at the same time, it is important to time your downshifts to keep the rear of the car stable.
Shift down to second gear and aim to cut the inside curb very late (just after the second small orange sausage curb). Try to get on the power at the apex to carry momentum into Turn 7, but don’t be too eager on the power as this will cause wheelspin due to the lateral forces on the tyres still being high at this stage in the corner.
Don’t run wide on exit and it will cause the entry of Turn 7 to become tighter. You almost want to drive straight between the 2 corners.
Turn 7 (Luffied)
Turn 7 comes almost immediately at you after the exit of Turn 6. Luffield is the opposite of Brooklands in that it is a long U-shaped right-hander that opens up on the exit. It is another crucial corner due to it leading onto a straight towards Copse Corner.
Use the inside road that turns into grass as your braking reference. As that tarmac ends, dab the brakes and stay in second gear to carry the momentum. Initially, come close to the curb and then let the car naturally run a bit wider.
Wait for the car to settle and coast until you see the third orange block on the inside curb. Here, you will start to get back on the power as you come close to the inside curb once again. By the fourth orange block, you should be flat-out and already starting to unwind the steering to maximize the exit. The exit curb is very lenient and you can use the green astroturf runoff area as well.
Turn 8 (Woodcote)
Woodcote is a corner that’s easy to ignore in any vehicle, but there’s still an advantage to be found.
An easy flat-out right-hand curve leading onto the old start-finish straight, cut the inside curb to reduce your driving distance before running the car out onto the left-hand exit curb.
Turn 9 (Copse)
Turn 9 marks the start of an ultra-high-speed section of the track where precision and smoothness are key factors. Copse is a fast right-hand sweep that leads onto another short straight, where a lot of time can easily be lost.
Approaching the corner, stay left and use the striped curbing to open up the corner.
Just after the 100-metre board, there is a lighter patch of grass, and as you reach this point, stab the brakes and shift down to fourth gear before you start to turn in.
The apex is completely blind, so it’s important to have a good turning point as a reference as you fully commit to the entry. Crank the steering lock on as you pass the 50-metre board and aim to place your apex between the two orange sausage curbs on the inside. Coast until you reach the apex.
At the apex, get back on the power as soon as you can, but watch out for the understeer on the exit as the car will naturally run wide. As long as your inside wheel stays within the solid white line, you will not exceed track limits.
Turn 10 and 11 (Maggots)
One of the most famous sequences of high-speed corners is up next. Through Turns 10 and 11, be precise and smooth with the steering to keep the car balanced and stable.
Approaching Turn 11, stay right and turn in early. It’s important to look far ahead to anticipate the corners coming up. Use the first left-hand turn to open up the next corner and enter the left turn flat-out.
As you pass the apex curb, start to brake and shift down one gear for the right-hand turn, Maggots. Try to cut the inside curb and immediately get back to full throttle at the apex.
Leaving Maggots, you should be positioned in the middle of the track for the entry of Turn 12, which is a left-hand turn.
Turn 12, 13 and 14 (Becketts and Chapel)
As the green astroturf ends on the inside, start to brake once again and shift down to third gear. Aim to hit the apex in the middle of the corner and cut the curb over the two orange sausage curbs.
Sacrifice a little bit of speed through this corner to really set up the exit of the following right-hander.
For the last right turn of the sequence, it’s all about getting the best exit possible. Coasting in, aim to get close to the early part of the curb. Place two wheels on the track and two wheels on the curb as you immediately start applying the throttle.
By the curb’s last orange block, you should be flat-out. Open up the steering and make use of the available exit curb and astroturf and fly through the left-sweeping Chapel.
Overall, the Maggotts and Becketts sequence is all about finding your flow and learning to sacrifice one corner for the benefit of the next. If you can find that balance, you’ll make up a lot of lap time.
Turn 15 (Stowe)
Following the Hangar Straight, Stowe – a long sweeping right-hand turn taken in third gear – is a great overtaking spot.
Approaching the corner stay to the left, and prepare to start braking after the 100-metre board. Time your downshifts and get your braking done as early as you can.
Turn in as soon as you start to slow down, and aim to get to the inside curb before the first orange block. At this point, you will already be getting back on the power as you want to carry your momentum down to Club.
Just after the last orange block, get back to full power and open up your steering to use all of the track on the exit. Keep two wheels inside the white line at all times.
Turn 16, 17 and 18 (Vale and Club)
The last sequence of the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit requires heavy use of the brakes, precision on the throttle pedal and a perfect racing line.
First up, Turn 16 is a tight left-hand turn. It feeds directly into a medium-speed right that makes up the final chicane, which, on exit, leads you into another, higher-speed right-hander sweeping onto the Hamilton Straight.
Heading into Vale, stay to the right and spot your braking point which is just before the 100-metre board. Brake hard and get through the gears quickly as you downshift from fourth gear into first. Turn in early and aim to hug the inside curb. As you pass the apex, keep the car tight to the inside to open the following right-hand turn.
Before Turn 17, lightly lift off the throttle to get the front end turned in, and immediately get back on the power as early as you can. Watch out for wheelspin as the car will be fighting for traction at this point. Aim the car to the exit curb and use this to open up the entry of the last corner.
Finally, the last corner is deceptively difficult. Turn 18 is a flat-out right-hand curve, but, too much steering angle or too much usage of the inside curb will cause the rear end of the car to step out. Be wary of this.
However, too little steering angle will cause you to run out of room on the exit and you might exceed track limits just before the finish line. So, drive the car to the limit of the front-end grip and keep your steering smooth.
Shooting out of Turn 18 completes a lap at the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.