Silverstone National Pit Straight: View, Grandstand Seat Plan…

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Silverstone National Pit Straight view

The National Pit Straight at Silverstone is the ‘old pit straight’, which is actually half way around the new Grand Prix circuit. The pit garages here are now home to F1 and Moto GP support race vehicles plus the series that use the National Circuit, such as the BTCC. 

This article provides details on spectating and viewing here, including grandstand seating plans, images and videos of the view and more.

Contents

Where is the National Pit Straight at Silverstone?

The National Pit Straight at Silverstone is located between the exit of Woodcote corner and before the entry to the incredibly fast Copse Corner. 

Copse was once the first corner on the Grand Prix circuit, but now it is half way around the lap.

Map below courtesy of the Silverstone Website.

The National Pit Straight used to be the main pit straight at Silverstone, even for the Grand Prix races. It also used to be where the start / finish line was situated. However in 2010 the new ‘Arena’ layout was first used as the new Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, which had the addition of the infield section of track and the Wing building. 

In 2011 circuit management decided to move the start / finish line from the National Pit Straight to its current location of Hamilton Straight (or International Pit Straight as it was called at the time). This also coincided with the pitlane and pit garages moving for F1 and MotoGP.

When the National Circuit is in use (for the BTCC, for example), the National Pit Straight is still the start / finish straight and the active pitlane.

hWy did Silverstone move the pitlane?

The construction of the Arena layout and Wing building was Silverstone’s show of investment in to the circuit over the following years. This proved their ongoing commitment to being the home of the British Grand Prix, and landed them contract extensions from F1 management to host the race for the foreseeable future.

The Wing building was entirely new, and not only does it hold larger, more modern pit garages but there is a huge conference centre and hospitality suite above it. There are more grandstand and viewing areas along the Hamilton Straight than there are on the National Pit Straight.

With its increased capacity for fans and race teams, the decision was made to move the pitlane and start / finish line to the Hamilton Straight, as well as the podium. For F1 and MotoGP at the time this also meant a relocation to the new, larger pit garages.

Is the National Pit Straight a good place to sit?

The National Pit Straight is a good place to sit if you want to get a sense of speed from the cars and bikes coming past you at full throttle. From the exit of Luffield and Woodcote corners F1 cars can build to almost 190mph down this straight before they enter the flat-out right hander of Copse.

Depending where you sit and view from, there is very limited visibility of anything other than the straight. From the grandstand you can just about see the exit of Woodcote and the entrance to Copse, but not a lot more.

As stated above the F1 and MotoGP pitlanes are now both housed in the Wing Complex, so for those big events there will be no pitlane action to see here. If you are at an event like the BTCC which uses the National Circuit you will be able to see the start of the race which usually is filled with drama. Plus you’ll be front row for any photo finishes as the cars cross the line at the end of the race.

Where is the grandstand?

The National Pit Straight grandstand is around 100 metres before the start / finish line of the National Circuit at Silverstone. It is on the outside (left hand side) of the track just after the exit of the fast right-hander Woodcote.

The image above shows the location of the stand in relation to the start line for the BTCC races here which run on the National configuration.

It’s set back about 50 metres from the edge of the track to allow for the large gravel trap. It’s a South facing grandstand.

If you are camping at Silverstone, some of the nearest campsites with the shortest walk to this grandstand include Cartmel Fields, West End Paddocks and Windmill Farm.

Is the grandstand covered?

The National Pit Straight has a roof over the top, however the first four rows are uncovered. So officially is classified as ‘partially covered’.  So if you don’t want to get wet, sit in the fifth row back or higher (see seating plan info below for more details).

The sides of the grandstand are not covered, which means people sat on the end seats may get a little wet but they will have a great, unobstructed view.

Are there TV screens visible from here?

For the Formula 1 there will be two large TV screens visible from this grandstand. They will be positioned behind but above the hospitality buildings on the other side of the track. They are situated to allow people sat at either end of this grandstand to be able to see them.

What's the view like?

The view from the National Pit Straight grandstand is primarily of the exit of Woodcote and the whole straight. Only the turn-in point for Copse Corner is visible, with the cars going out of sight by the time they’ve hit the apex. 

You cannot see anything before Woodcote, like Brooklands, as pitlane and hospitality buildings on the other side of the track block your view.

If you are sat here for an event that uses the National Circuit, the old podium is still visible so if that is used for the trophy presentation then you’ll have a great view of it. Additionally any series that run on the National Circuit which have mandated pitstops will put you in the front row seats to watch those.

There is no general admission spectating directly in front of the grandstand as it is pretty close to the catch fencing. There is a general spectating a to the left of the stand, between it and the Stirling grandstands.

The image below shows the sections of the track visible from the National Pit Straight grandstand highlighted in pink.

This video provides a great example of how much of the track can be seen from this grandstand, and the TV screens at the F1.

National Pit Straight grandstand seating plan

Below is the seating plan for the National Pit Straight grandstand. Enter your name and email in the form and the full hi-res seating plan will be sent straight to your inbox. 

The rows go from A (front / lowest) to Q (back / highest) and the seat numbers run from 1 (closest to Woodcote) to 189 (closest to Copse). There is no row I (eye). There are around 2500 seats in this grandstand.

To avoid getting wet I’d avoid the first four rows at a minimum, but to play it safe I’d be looking at row H and above.

Best spectator entrance gate

To get to the National Pit Straight gates 3, 5 and 6 are closest. Gate 3 is the nearest gate to the grandstand.

See our other article on the full details of all spectator entrance gates for more information, maps and directions to the different entrances.

Other Silverstone Grandstands

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Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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