A surge in Formula 1’s popularity means that a glimpse into the high-octane world of the sport has become increasingly appealing in recent years. Long-time race attendee Nicky Haldenby helps fans plan their Grand Prix weekends at a leading F1 travel website. Here, he gives you the inside track on planning a trip to a Formula 1 race.
Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. It is industry-leading technology and fast-paced precision racecraft. It’s pure drama and incredible skill all played out at over 200km/h (124mph). What’s not to love?
To witness all of that in person is a thrill that never dulls. In fact, if anything, it gets better with each passing year. The more you know about going to a race, the easier and more relaxed the experience becomes. I’ve been attending Formula 1 races since 2012 and I thoroughly believe that the best way to get the most out of your experience is to go as prepared as possible.
Below are all the tried and tested tips you need to get a jump start in maximizing your visit to a Grand Prix. Beware: attending F1 races can be highly addictive and you may find yourself coming back for more, at different locations, year after year. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Day or night? Street circuit or road course? Off-track experience or on-track action? Take your pick.
Formula 1 races in a variety of settings across its record-breaking 24-race 2024 calendar, from the exotic artificial islands of the Middle East to the rolling green mountains of mainland Europe. From tight city tracks which needle their way through the confines of usually bustling streets, to classic road courses out in the open countryside.
Deciding which race to attend all depends on what you want to get out of your visit. Some events lend themselves more to the off-track experience than the on-track overtakes, while others get the balance between the two just right.
Here are some top picks for F1 races that should definitely be on your bucket list.
Silverstone is one of the classic tracks – along with Monaco, Monza in Italy and Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium – that appeared on the very first F1 calendar back in 1950 and is still visited by F1 today. The legendary British circuit oozes racing heritage, and races here always rank amongst the most exciting of the season.
The best-attended weekend of the year, with attendance figures close to 500,000 in 2023, the British Grand Prix is a true racing spectacle and massive gains have been made recently in improving the trackside experience for fans, including the introduction of world-class nightly entertainment.
The race is held at the height of the British sporting summer, meaning there’s scope to extend your trip into a true British holiday full of events. For a blend of
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The gardening team of this estate near Totnes takes the first few months of the year seriously: spidery yellow witch hazel flowers and snowdrops are the precursor to daffodils and bluebells. Trails allow everyone to explore the 800 acres (Tramper mobility scooters can be arranged). There’s accommodation at different price levels, too, including hostel rooms and those in the original 14th-century building. Dartington does things a bit differently. When most gardens do light shows in winter, Dartington has one based on Alice in Wonderland, running from 8 March to 3 April. Food choices range from pub grub to bagels baked on the estate. B&B doubles from £129; dartington.org
We’re in the final stretch of winter, which means it’s time to start planning Spring Break trips and summer vacations. If you’re in need of some inspiration, Tripadvisor just released its 2024 Travelers’ Choice Award for the world’s best beaches.
I’m in Torremolinos. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – and you’d have a point. But I’m not here for the sun, cheap booze and a full English, although there are plentiful supplies of all the above. I’m here to relive my well-spent youth (albeit in a decidedly middle-aged fashion) at the 30th Rockin’ Race Jamboree, an international rockabilly festival that takes over Spain’s much-maligned resort for one wild weekend each February – and has been instrumental in boosting the town’s fortunes.
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