Where to take the best motorsport photos at Silverstone

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Our resident Silverstone expert Jonny Henchman tells us about the best vantage points for taking photos at the home of the British Grand Prix.

All photos by Jonny Henchman / Fireproof Creative. Follow on Instagram, Twitter or Flickr.

Silverstone is the UK’s premier racing circuit. Having grown up on its doorstep I’m a little biased, but it’s also my favorite. Currently, it’s the only place you can see top flight racing series like F1, MotoGP and the World Endurance championship in the UK. I’ve been watching cars and bikes blast around Silverstone for more than 25 years and 15 of them have been spent with some sort of camera, so I like to think I know my way around when it comes to photography.

BE PREPARED

As most of you will no doubt know, the British weather is pretty unreliable to say the least. A decent set of waterproofs (both top and bottom) as well as a pair of sturdy walking boots can make for a drier, if not comfortable experience. Don’t forget protection for your camera, purpose made rain covers are a necessity, with even cheap disposable ones having served me very well in the past. The rain can make for some of the most dramatic shots and tends to be worth suffering for. Be aware that Silverstone is flat and quite open, so standing on a raised bank in a thunderstorm is best avoided.

THE FOLLOWING SILVERSTONE GRANDSTANDS OFFER UNOBSTRUCTED VIEWS OF THE CIRCUIT

  • Large sections of the International pit straight
  • Farm outfield, there is a corporate stand on the inside of Farm as well, this is usually locked or reserved for sponsor usage at bigger events.
  • Village, although the direction of cars/bikes here is generally away from you unless you are positioned very far left to view Aintree & the entry to Wellington straight
  • Large sections of Woodcote and National Pit Straight
  • Maggots and Becketts
  • Hangar Straight on the infield, there is a small stand here but be aware this is generally unavailable at events where center access is restricted.
  • Club Corner, covered and uncovered stands

SILVERSTONE GENERAL ADMISSION AREAS WHERE YOU CAN SEE OVER THE CATCH FENCING

  • The south banks of the bridge crossing Wellington Straight.
  • Sections of Luffield terrace, with the better options at the opposite end to the national straight.
  • The exit of Copse Corner on the outside of the circuit, at the very top of the terraces (you’ll need a step or have to balance on the hand rails here).
  • The inside north bank of the bridge on Hangar straight, not always accessible
  • The bank on the inside of the circuit at Vale, not always accessible
  • An area of waist high fencing between the open grandstand at club and the disabled viewing stand at Vale (this is a favourite camping spot for photographers, often pitched up for hours preciously guarding their space – its fence free but in all honesty, quite a dull angle)
  • You can also shoot over the start/finish line from the viewing terrace at the south end of the Wing Complex. There is also a view at the north end too, but the angles are tight and they come at you blind.

Avoid the crowds!

There are a number of sections around Silverstone where most of the pros won’t shoot because there is no track-side access and no photo holes, so shooting through the fence can give you some exclusivity in this regard. Wherever you stand you are likely to find you are not alone for long as photographers seem to be magnetically attracted to one another, thinking ‘if they are shooting there, then there must be something to see’, break this cycle and avoid other photographers to help bring some extra variety to your images and keep moving around.

Ready Jonny’s series on “How to take awesome F1 photos”

Part 1: Equipment

Part 2: Getting the shot

Part 3: Capturing motion

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About the Author ()

Jonny Henchman is a Northampton based 35 year old graphic designer and motorsport photographer working under the name Fireproof Creative. Starting out more than 15 years ago as an enthusiastic camera toting spectator with a love of cars, he has since gained regular professional media accreditation for numerous different championship racing series including the FIA World Endurance Championship, British GT, International GT Open and the Race of Champions, in association with the Canadian motorsport picture agency, Flag World. His prize winning images have been featured in a number of international photography publications including Digital Photographer and Photo Plus magazine.

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