Silverstone Single Seater Driving Experience

We love travelling to bucket list destinations, but we also enjoy those thrill-seeking activities closer to home which really get your blood pumping. You can imagine our delight when we received a Silverstone single seater experience as a birthday gift. Having watched many motor sports from an early age and attended racing events, like most people we always had an inner feeling that we would make a decent racing driver. But sadly, we have never had the opportunity to really test our driving abilities; until now.

silverstone single seater driving experience reviewIn our Formula single seater experience review and guide we will aim to provide all the information you will need to prepare for your own Silverstone driving experience. Including how to book, where to stay, what to expect, driving tips and much more. So strap in and get ready to follow our pace car as we guide you around this unique and thrilling experience.

A Brief History of Silverstone

Before we go full throttle in to our guide, we thought we would get your engine revving with a little bit of history about racing at this world famous circuit.

Nestled in the heart of Northamptonshire, England, lies the legendary Silverstone Racing Circuit. From its humble beginnings as a WWII RAF airfield to its current status as one of the most revered tracks in the world, Silverstone’s history is intertwined with the adrenaline-fueled drama of motor racing and the triumphs of British F1 champions

Silverstone’s story began in the aftermath of World War II when the abandoned airfield was repurposed into a racing circuit. Its flat, open expanses provided the perfect canvas for speed enthusiasts to unleash their machines. In 1948, the circuit hosted its first race, marking the dawn of a new era in motorsport.

Silverstone and Formula One

In 1950, Silverstone proudly hosted the inaugural race of the Formula 1 World Championship. The event marked a significant milestone in motorsport history, with Giuseppe Farina emerging victorious in his Alfa Romeo, etching his name into the record books as the first-ever Formula 1 race winner. Since then, Silverstone has been a mainstay on the Formula 1 calendar, as well as other motorsports and racing events. It has captivated audiences worldwide with its fast straights, challenging corners, and electric atmosphere.

Over the decades, Silverstone has played host to numerous memorable races that have become the stuff of legend. From Jim Clark’s dominant performances in the 1960s to Nigel Mansell’s heroic victory in 1987, British racing fans have been treated to an array of unforgettable moments on home soil.

In recent years, Silverstone has continued to evolve while staying true to its rich heritage. State-of-the-art facilities, including the iconic Silverstone Wing, provide fans with unparalleled comfort and amenities, enhancing the overall spectator experience. Meanwhile, ongoing improvements to the circuit ensure that it remains a challenging test for drivers, demanding precision, skill, and nerves of steel.

Fan Experiences at Silverstone

Beyond its significance as a venue for Formula 1 races, Silverstone holds a special place in the hearts of British racing fans. It serves as a pilgrimage site for enthusiasts who flock to the circuit year after year, drawn by the allure of speed and the thrill of competition. But Silverstone is not just a playground for professional drivers; it’s also a mecca for motorsport enthusiasts seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush.

Silverstone began selling driving experiences to the public in the early 1990s, initially offering basic track day packages which allowed participants to bring their own vehicles to the circuit for open track sessions. These track days provided enthusiasts with the opportunity to experience the legendary Silverstone track first hand.

As the demand for more structured and diverse experiences grew, Silverstone expanded its offerings to include the variety of driving experiences we see today. Now you can get behind the wheel of high-performance vehicles and take to the iconic circuit under the guidance of experienced instructors. With the piece de resistance being the Silverstone single seater experience.

Booking Your Silverstone Single Seater Experience

There are a few places you can buy the Silverstone single seater driving experience, including Virgin Experiences as well as directly at But you can only make your booking directly with Silverstone themselves, so we recommend purchasing from them to make life easier.

The process of booking is quite easy, simply visit the Silverstone website and navigate your way to the Single seater experience page. You will be presented with three options, gift it, book a slot and redeem a voucher. The next steps will depend on which of these you want to do.

Redeeming a Voucher

If you have been lucky enough to receive a voucher for a single seater experience, our advice would be to lock in that date as soon as possible, as this is very popular and books up quickly. Select redeem a voucher on the experience page and you will be presented with a list of voucher providers. Select your voucher and you will be taken through to the booking process.

For vouchers provided by Silverstone, you will enter your voucher number in the box provided and then be taken through to the booking calendar. There you will be able to see what dates and times are available. Simply select one that meets the value of your voucher, then complete the booking form and receive instant confirmation.

Virgin Experience vouchers work a little differently. In order to redeem your Virgin voucher you will need to create an account. Before redeeming your voucher you will need to check the live availability calendar for a date and time that suits you. Once you have your date you will then need to complete and submit a voucher redemption form, providing the voucher and driver details as well as the date and time you want to do your single seater driving experience. The Silverstone team will then verify the details and send you a confirmation once it has been booked.

Booking Direct with Silverstone

If you have decided you are fed up waiting to be gifted this amazing experience and are prepared to book it yourself, this is probably the easiest way of doing it. On the Formula single seater experience page, simply tap the “Book a Slot” button. From there you will see a live calendar with available dates highlighted in green, limited availability dates are highlighted in amber and dates with no availability are highlighted in red.

To see the time slots and prices just select the date you want to drive the single seater. All times for that day will appear with the price displayed next to them, and they use the same traffic light system to show availability for each time slot.

Once you have selected your time you will be presented with two options, experience only and experience with video. Adding the video to your experience is £40 extra, but if you are unsure, you can add it on the day or even buy it after your experience for the same price.

All that’s left to do now is to log in or create an account to complete your check out, then you can sit back and day dream about following in the footsteps of your favourite F1 driver.

Our Silverstone Single Seater Driving Experience

our silverstone formula single seater experienceSo you’ve booked or redeemed your voucher, but what can you expect from your single seater driving experience? Here we will provide you with a full run-through of the day and our thoughts on the experience itself.

But before the day of your driving experience you will need to complete a driver indemnity form online. This only takes a few minutes and is basically just to confirm the details of the person driving the single seater and agreeing to the terms of driving. It is also recommended that you and your spectators arrive at the circuit at least one hour before your allocated time slot.

Arriving at Silverstone

It’s most likely that you will be travelling to Silverstone by car, which is pretty easy. The circuit is located just off the A43, which is accessible from Junctions 10 and 11 of the M40 and Junction 15a of the M1. Before you set off, make sure you have printed your parking pass which will have been emailed to you, and pop it on your dashboard.

Silverstone is well sign posted on all approach roads and once you have exited the A43 there are signs directing you to specific areas of the circuit. You need to follow the signs for ‘Drive Silverstone’, which will take you past the main entrance where the museum can be found. The entrance to the track is just off the 2nd roundabout and you will see a member of staff waiting to greet you and direct you to your experience. Don’t do what we did, which was completely ignore him and drive past as he waved at us.

From the entrance you will then drive around the outskirts of the circuit, eventually crossing the track and making your way to the Silverstone Wing, which is an impressive building in itself. You will be directed to park up and make your way into the building and up to the 4th floor for registration. Don’t worry too much though because there are staff located at different points as you drive along, who will direct you and explain what you need to do next.

Drive Silverstone Checking In

Upon getting to the 4th floor, you will be directed to a large room which has a waiting area of tables and chairs, a small merchandise shop and check in desk at the rear. At the check in desk you will be asked for the drivers name and time of your experience, you will then need to provide your driver’s licence. You will also be told when you will be called for a safety briefing.

If you have pre purchased the video package, the member of staff will provide you with a printed code, which you can use to download your video after the event. You can also choose to buy the video package and receive your code when you check in.

Drive silverstone CafeNow you are checked in you can sit back, relax, and take in your surroundings. As you look out the windows of one side of the room, you can see the starting grid and finish line of the Silverstone circuit. Then on the other side there is an amazing view of the circuit you will be racing on. We had the opportunity to watch people enjoying their Silverstone single seater experience, which amped up the excitement. These views provide wonderful photo opportunities whilst you wait for your safety briefing.

There is also an air bridge that takes you across to the Hilton Garden Inn hotel. This is a great place to stay the night before your drive, especially if you have an early track time, but it’s also another perfect spot for picture taking.

Food and Drink

If you are hungry or thirsty, there is a small café on the lower level of the check-in area. They supply hot and cold drinks as well as a variety of sandwiches, wraps and cakes, including some decent vegan options.

Accessible from the café is an outside walkway, which was great for watching Aston Martin cars going full throttle across the finish line. Toilets can be found on the upper level near the lifts.

Safety Briefing

The time you choose when booking your single seater experience isn’t actually your race time, it’s the time of your safety briefing. But you still want to make sure you arrive at least an hour early, so you don’t miss your briefing and forfeit your experience.

At your allocated time, a driving instructor will put a call out for your experience and time slot, to take you to the safety briefing. No matter how many people you are travelling with, this briefing is for drivers only.

The briefing will take place in one of the hospitality suites on the lower level. During the briefing you will be taken through pertinent information needed to ensure you make the most of the experience.

silverstone single seater safety briefingThe first of which is about the circuit and safety instructions. Here you will be told about the track and how they will control driver safety with the use of flags and notice boards to deliver instructions. There are strategic points around the circuit where racing stewards position themselves. So it’s important to make a mental note of where you are likely to see these instructions, as this is the only way they can communicate with drivers.

The next part of the briefing is about the single seater racing car. The instructor will talk you through the vehicle controls and provide some interesting information about the vehicle. The good news is, a formula single seater is a fairly basic car with a simple start/stop process, 4 gears and the usual clutch, brake and accelerator system. So, there are no over complicated steering wheel controls like you would find in an F1 car, the wheel is simply used to control the vehicles direction.

Finally, you will watch a short video of an instructor driving the circuit, which includes advice on how to handle each bend. You will be told the best way to approach corners, optimal braking, turning and clipping points for a fast lap time. The instructor in the room will then run through some dos and don’ts, offering advice how to best handle the car to avoid any spins or accidents, and finishing the briefing explaining what will happen throughout the rest of the single seater experience.

Getting to the Track

Following the briefing, you will be led back upstairs to the check in area to re-join your friends and family. Once all the drivers and spectators from your timeslot have gathered, you will then make your way back to your own car. From there you will all follow the instructors vehicle from the Silverstone wing to the single seater racing circuit.

Upon arriving at the circuit you will park up in the secure area and make your way to the race prep building, which is situated in front of the pit lane. Here you will be provided with a single use balaclava, your helmet, a pair of gloves and a camera to record your session.

At the same time as you are being prepped, your friends and family will be informed where they can stand to watch your race and any dos and don’ts to ensure they remain safe. There’s a mound at the bottom of the circuit which is where most people will stand. It’s easily accessible but it can get a little muddy when it’s been raining, so be careful not to slip. There’s also a two-level porter cabin which is on one of the bends, or you can stay at the race prep building which is warmer, but the views aren’t as good.

Once everyone is ready you will head out to the pit lane to start your experience. Although they have toilets in the track building, our advice would be to use the ones in the Silverstone wing before heading to the track. You tend to get swept up in the excitement at the thought of getting in the car and using the toilets can easily slip your mind.

Single Seater Race Track

Stowe circuit - single seater race trackThe Silverstone single seater driving experience takes place at the purpose-built Stowe circuit, interestingly this is one of only a few tracks of its kind in the world that is used for this kind of an experience. When the track is not being used by Drive Silverstone, Aston Martin use it as a test track for their vehicles, so you know this isn’t a mediocre circuit.

As for the track itself, it consists of all the elements you’d want to experience on a racetrack. It has two long straights that give you ample opportunity to put your foot down, two hairpin bends, a chicane, and a couple of standard bends, all designed to put your skills to the test.

Silverstone Single Seater Racing

Now you have your gear, and you are armed with the knowledge of the track, the last thing to do is jump into your single seater. The instructor will allocate a vehicle which you will need to stand next to until a staff member instructs you to get in. Your family and friends can go to the car with you to take pictures and videos, before they head off to the designated spectator areas.

They will check to make sure you are comfortable and that your mirrors are positioned correctly, then buckle you in and get you to start your vehicle. Before being strapped in make absolutely sure you are comfortable, we learned this the hard way. Initially we felt the seat was too far back to be able to fully depress the clutch, so had it moved forward. But after being buckled in and starting the engine, it became clear we were now too close, as our legs were at a slightly awkward angle. We could still work all the pedals and manoeuvre the vehicle, but we were also told there would be an opportunity to adjust it again. Now the adrenaline starts to build as you can hear and feel the roar of the engine of your car and the other racers.

Sadly, you’re not quite ready to be let loose just yet. Your experience begins with 10 minutes driving around the track behind a pace car. This is a great opportunity to get a feel for the car and learn the nuances of the track. The pace car will follow the optimal racing line around the track, albeit at a slower pace, so pay attention to when they brake, turn and accelerate. But don’t worry if you are concerned about remembering all of this, as they mark the turning and clipping points with yellow cones and there are break signs on the side of the track on the approach to each bend.

After your 10 minutes behind the pace car, you will return to the pit lane and line up single file at the pit exit until all cars have left the track. This is where the real fun begins.

Now the track is clear, you are ready to race. In the final part of your Silverstone singe seater experience, you will be let loose on the Stowe circuit for a whole 20 minutes of racing. When it is your turn to enter the track the instructor will signal for you to hold until the coast is clear, then you will be given the green light to go and enjoy yourself.

After you come tearing out of the pit, there is a slight bend which will have you tempering your speed a little before hitting the first long straight, where you can really start to accelerate. But not for too long as you will soon encounter the chicane before reaching the first hairpin bend. Upon exiting this bend the road opens up to the longest straight of the track, this is the opportune moment to really floor it.

At the bottom of the straight there is a tight left hander that you will need to slow down for, maybe even dropping down a gear. This is followed by “The Esses”, a quick right and left hander before you approach the final bend which is the second hairpin. As you enter the second hairpin bend you will see the entrance to the pit lane, this is where you will exit the track if instructed to do so early or at the end of your session.

Despite your run behind the pace car, it may still take a few laps to get use to the track at full speed, but you will eventually get the hang of it. Annoyingly, we took too long to find our bearings and really let loose, but once we did, we found it exhilarating. We feel this initial apprehension was down to the briefing, where we were told not to be too eager when accelerating, braking, and turning, otherwise this could lead to a spin. But In hindsight we were being overly cautious, and we feel a spin would be a rarity.

During the slower laps we were overtaken on several occasions, this led to us gaining more confidence and opening the car up a lot more. It’s also the perfect segue in to how overtaking and track etiquette works.

Race Track Etiquette and Safety

single seater track safetyOn the inner ground of the track there are two steward stations, one at each hairpin bend. This is where they will communicate with you during the race, so there are some flags and signs you need to be aware of.

The first flag is pretty self-explanatory, and that’s the green flag. This signifies it is safe to exit the pit lane, so you need to wait at the line until you see this flag. Thankfully we weren’t forced to pit during the free racing, so this was only used to begin our session.

The most common flag you are likely to see is the blue flag. If you see the steward waving this flag and pointing at you, this means there is a car behind you that is going faster than you. In this scenario you need to avoid accelerating away from the corner and move to your right to allow them to overtake, then check your mirror to see there are no other cars approaching and accelerate. Overtaking is only allowed on the two straights, so there is no jostling for position on the corners. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are going slow around the track, just that they have either raced before or have settled in quicker than you.

Three flags that you need to watch out for but are not likely to see are the yellow, red and black flags. The yellow flag means there may have been an incident or obstruction on the track. If this flag is waved you need to ease off the accelerator and slow down to give staff time to clear the track. Usually it is just something simple like a clipped cone that has drifted on to the track.

The red flag means you must leave the track on your next approach to the pit lane. This can be for a few reasons, including a serious incident or they can see there is an issue with your car. Overtaking is not allowed when either of these flags has been waved.

The black flag is definitely something that nobody wants to see. This is only used in serious circumstances, usually where the staff feel you are driving carelessly or are a danger to other drivers. The black flag signifies disqualification and means you must immediately return to the pit lane.

The final flag used is the chequered flag and we all know what that means. Sadly your session has come to an end and you need to return to the pits. All drivers are required to slow down and again, overtaking is not permitted.

There are also some signs that will be used for safety reasons, these include visor, go to pits and speed up. The visor sign is just a reminder to close your visor when leaving the pit lane, go to pits is pretty self-explanatory. The speed up sign is just to avoid any congestion at the corners, this is usually used when they feel someone is a tad apprehensive and is capable of pushing the car harder.

After Your Race

single seater racing lap timesOnce your Silverstone single seater experience has ended and you have pulled up in the pits, you will need to remove the camera from your car and make your way back to the race building. Here you will hand back your helmet and gloves, but the balaclava is yours to keep.

Take a moment and really let what you have just done sink in, then look around at the other drivers and the smiles on their faces, the collective joy is an amazing feeling. The instructor will then hand out everyone’s track times and read out the names of the three drivers who recorded the fastest laps. Sadly, we didn’t make this list, but we definitely intend to do this experience again and improve our times.

You will then need to hand back the camera that was attached to your vehicle and receive a receipt with a QR code on it. This receipt is needed if you want to download the video of your Silverstone single seater experience.

That is now the end of your experience and you can return to your car and leave the circuit. Most people then head to the Silverstone Museum to extend their day at the circuit.

Get Your Video

When our experience was booked it included a photo package, but shortly before we went, we were notified that the photo packages had been discontinued and they now only offer video. As we checked in on our race day, they had a quick look to see if we had been refunded the £20 that was paid for the photo add on. As it hadn’t, we were able to pay the extra £20 to receive the video instead and we were handed a receipt with a pass-key on it.

Regardless of whether you have pre-paid for it, you will be given a camera when you are gearing up to record your single seater drive. Just hand the camera to the staff member helping you in the pit and they will attach it to the car. Once your session has finished, they will detach it and hand it back to you.

As we stated earlier when you hand the camera back in, you will be given a printed receipt with a QR code. To retrieve your video simply scan the QR code to visit the site where you can request your download.

You will be presented with two options, buy video or already purchased video. As we had pre-paid we had to select already purchased. From there we were asked for our email address and the alpha numeric pass-key which was printed on our purchase receipt.

Once the details have been verified a message will appear to confirm your video is being processed in their system, and that you will receive an email when it is ready with a link for you to download. You will have 30 days from when you make this request to download your video.

Silverstone Museum and Interactive Experience

As part of our package, we were given two free tickets to the Silverstone Museum. But don’t worry if yours doesn’t include Museum tickets, all single seater experience drivers are entitled to 50% off entry to the Silverstone Museum for themselves and up to 4 guests.

Silverstone Museum and Interactive ExperienceThe Museum is situated at the main entrance to the circuit, so we decided to head over after our race. Just like our experience with Drive Silverstone, there is lots of signage to help direct you to the car park, with the Museum being a short walk from there.

Upon entering the building there is a quick bag check before you head to the ticket desk, which has two queues, one for purchase tickets and one for prepaid tickets. For prepaid, you just need to show them the tickets or QR code you will have been sent via email and provide your driving experience booking reference number. You are then given a wristband and are free to wander at your own pace.

The ground floor of the Silverstone Museum entrance consists of a small shop, where you can buy race inspired clothing, memorabilia, and merchandise. Beyond that is good sized café which serves a wide variety of hot and cold food and drinks, including vegan options and there are also some public toilets. After the café you will see a doorway at the back of the building, there is a self-guided circuit walk that is accessible through those doors.

The circuit walk is only short and covers an older section of the famous Silverstone circuit that is no longer used. There is also a stand that overlooks Luffield corner. During our visit there were a variety of vehicles racing around track, carrying out some testing, which was a nice addition to our day.

When you are ready to begin your Silverstone Museum interactive experience, you just need to head up the stairs next to the ticket desk. To the right of the stairs a member of staff will greet you and explain the start of the museum, which is a timed video introduction, so you may need to wait for a few minutes before you can enter.

Once you have watched the introduction video, which is pretty nostalgic, you will enter the interactive museum. As you would expect there are lots of impressive items of memorabilia from all forms of racing that has taken place at Silverstone. They also walk you through the history of the site, from its use as an RAF base, right up to modern day racing.

Along the way there are a variety of interactive games and displays to help explain the history and how modern day racing vehicles work. There are also some great photo opportunities dotted about to add a little fun to your day.

The final experience of the museum is another video, which takes place in a large domed theatre. We again found this video nostalgic and fun to watch, and it was a great way to finish off the Museum experience.

Where to Stay

As you can imagine, given the stature of Silverstone, there are lots of hotels that you can stay in, including the on-site Hilton Garden Inn. This hotel can range from £114 to £230 per night (as of April 2024) depending upon the demand of the day you want to stay. If you want a nice relaxing build up to your day and don’t mind the expense, then is a great choice as it has a bridge that connects the hotel to the Silverstone Wing.

Other hotels in the area can vary widely, with those close to the circuit being a little higher in price. We opted to stay on the outskirts of Northampton, as it was only a short drive, and we had an 11:10am start time for our experience.

Our hotel was the Campanile Northampton and it was only £58 for the night, but we found it a little noisy as you could hear general conversations going on in other rooms, which wasn’t the best prep for a race day. There were however, several hotels in the area that were a similar price, including this Holiday Inn which we wish we’d stayed at.

As Silverstone is easily accessible by car, you can’t really go wrong if you pick any of these hotels that are within 20 minutes’ drive.

Is the Silverstone Single Seater Experience Worth It?

silverstone formula single seater track day valueWhen we found out that this experience package had cost £320, we were gobsmacked as it was a lot of money, but we have ways of reducing that below. We expected it to be similar to other track days we’ve done, where you have to purchase extra insurance on the day and only get a few laps around the track. So, we were worried it wouldn’t be value for money, but boy were we wrong.

This has to be one of the best and most exhilarating experiences we’ve ever had the pleasure of doing. The fact that you are left to drive around on your own at high speed, and for such a long period of time, means the Silverstone single seater experience represents excellent value for money.

Photo and Video packages at other driving days have been expensive, but again, Silverstone offer excellent value with theirs. The fact that you are getting your pace car run and your full racing time caught on video for just £40 is amazing. Watching it at home brought an immense smile to our faces and brought the thrilling feeling flooding back.

We would definitely do this experience again and honestly can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of a formula single seater. But this time we would adopt everything from our tips below to make it an even better experience.

Formula Single Seater Driving Tips

Having actually taken part in the single seater driving experience, we can offer some useful insight and tips for improving your day, something we wish we had beforehand. Although we thoroughly enjoyed the day, there are a few things we wish we had done differently.

Save Money

Our first tip is for those who may have balked at the price like we did when we found out how much our experience cost. Despite it being worth every penny, we appreciate not everyone can afford £300 for a gift or driving experience. Thankfully there are cheaper options for the same great experience.

If you book your track day on a Friday, prices are reduced to £199, which is amazing value. On some Saturdays and Sundays, you can find early or late sessions priced at £199 and £249, but you have to be quick as they sell out. So, if like us, you need to stay nearby, you could book the cheapest session and a hotel for less than the full price of the experience.

Advice for Driving

As for the driving itself we feel you could learn from some of the slight mistakes we made. The first is not ensuring our driving position was comfortable before being buckled in. Although we could still accelerate, change gear, and manoeuvre the car, we feel the driving position we settled with hindered our performance slightly.

Secondly, don’t let talk of spinning or coming off the track during your briefing have too much of an effect on your drive. This is very rare and as long as you don’t get reckless and respect other drivers and the circuit, the car has excellent handling capabilities. Admittedly we were overly cautious to begin with and took too long to really test the single seater and hit full speed on the straights. But once we did, it was a truly amazing experience.

Finally take a moment before and after your formula single seater driving experience to truly appreciate what you are doing/have done. As this will be your first time, you will never be able to replicate the nervous excitement in the build-up or the sheer exhilaration you will feel afterwards.


As you have probably guessed, we thoroughly enjoyed our day at Silverstone, both as a driver and spectator. Whether you are researching the single seater experience to buy it as a gift or to do yourself, you or the recipient will not be disappointed. This is actually a rare experience with only a small number of tracks offering anything close to it worldwide. If budget is a concern, then use our tips for picking it up at a lower price.

But the most important thing to remember is to relax, pay attention in your briefing and let your inner Schumacher fly!

If you do decide to drive a single seater at Silverstone, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram so we can enjoy your day with you.

For those of you eager to try this incredible driving experience, then why not add it to your bucket list. If you have yet to make one, then let us help with our guide on ‘How to Start your Bucket List’.