I'm wanting to go to an F1 race this coming season (2005), has anyone been before? If so, can you recommend a track and/or seating position as there are so many different options available and it's hard to know how you can get the best from your mega $$$$$$! Are there any seats that you can advise to avoid? Any tips in general?
I've been to see one but it was in Melbourne not in Europe. Great day out but I must admit that besides seeing the cars zip by, most of the race was actually watched on a big screen
Anyway, I sat out on the grass, not on one of the stands and that worked out fine. In Melbourne you can walk around on the whole middle section of the track so get a great view from different angles throughout the race. There was a pretty hefty crash about 50 metres from where I was standing while I was there.... safe to say that's nothing short of spectacular!
I went to one as well, but it was in Montreal. We sat in the stands, but walked around a lot as well. Damon Hill won that one...Jacques Villeveuve placed second (but led for part of the race!). I believe that it was in '95 or '96. We watched a huge chunk of it on the big screen too, because you can't tell much with the cars going 300 km/hr.
It's actually pretty funny, I met one of my present co-workers at that race. He's known to love racing and cars, so when I started working at the place I'm at now, it all just fell into place. lol, I doubt that he would remember that I met him then!
Anyways, where ever you go, I hope you have fun! (I would imagine the Monaco Grand Prix would be beautiful since the ciruit is the streets).
The most prestigous race in the season is the Spa-Francorchamps one in Belgium. If you want good seating you should try to get a seat in the Eau-Rouge corner, you can see them coming from the top and the corner seperates the men from the boys as the pass by with 340 km/u. Sometimes they crash pretty hard...
But it is expensive, on Spa you can only buy tickets for the whole weekend, which is around 280 pounds (for the Eau Rouge corner) Cheapest tickets are around 135 pounds. I was there in 2002, and in my opinion it is the best circuit in the world!
I've been to quite a few over the years, and think it's a fanatastic experience. I love it, but it's increasingly expensive.
I would disagree with Tim and say that Moinaco is definitely the most prestigious one, although it is probably the least 'normal' one - there's not so many average fans, as all the glitz/glamour/people wnating to be seen all appear for that one. has a special atmosphere though. I would say that Spa is an incredible place to watch.
If i was going to suggest one, i'd say try and get in the main grandstands at either Hockenheim (Germany, especially if Schumacher is doing well in the champs) or Monza (Italian tifosi are mad, and it's worth going even if you can't even see the race!!).
General advice - get there early, and don't plan anything afterwards. getting away from all of them without a chopper is generally hell and all race's tend to have several support races in the mornings before the F1 main event, which are often more exciting racing, even if atmosphere is less. Try and stay nearby, and if you can, go for the whole weekend. It's much easier to get prime spots, or even sneak into the paddocks on the days preceeding the race when it's more relaxed/friendly than race day which is manic, but from a spectator point of view can involve large spells of just waiting/soaking atmosphere.
Ideally, you want to be in the main grandstand, and somewhere where you can see a big screen and the pit lane, Otherwise, you get long spells of not much happening, or random cars going past which you can't always work out which order apart from the top 1 or 2. It's expensive, but if your going to do it, do the whole weekend, and pay that bit extra for a decent spot, especially if it's going to be a once in a lifetime experience.
I would say however that whilst F1 are great, some superbike races (Assen, Netherlands is a particular favourite) and the Le Mans 24 hour are even better, although i couldn't tell you why. Le Mans in particular should be done, and with a group of you camping by the course, but not sleeping during the race.
if you want to know more, just ask!
Sounds great, can't wait!
Thanks for all your advice & tips! Food for thought, keep them coming.
I will start looking into prices for tickets/travel/accomodation over the next few weeks so everyone's help is much appreciated. There seems to be so many options and things to take into consideration.
Looking forward to it!