40 ways to survive the off-season p1/4

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Just 143 days to go...

It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow. But at some point the off-season is going to start to drag, and you’ll be missing missing that fortnightly shot of spectacle, tension, and frenetic live blogging.

I got your F1 Methadone – here’s the first of 40 ways to get a mild F1 fix while we wait for our next real hit.

1 – Plan a 2009 Grand Prix trip

If you’re heading off to a round of the 2009 F1 championship your choice is slightly more limited than last year: France and Canada are off the schedule, but Abu Dhabi has arrived as the new season finale.

Here’s the 2009 F1 schedule as it stands at the moment: 2009 F1 calendar

And here’s what F1 Fanatic readers have had to say about the different race tracks on the F1 calendar: F1 circuits. Of the tracks I’ve been to I recommend Silverstone (Britain), Monza (Italy) and Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium).

If you’re planning on going to the British Grand Prix, this could be your last chance to see it at Silverstone before it moves to Donington Park.

2 – Join in the F1 Fanatic 2008 F1 season review

The 2008 F1 season review will begin here next week – and you can contribute by sharing your thoughts in the forum on these topics:

3-6 – Visit an F1 museum

The car Ayrton Senna won the 1993 European GP with at the Donington Collection

I only know a little of the exhibitions in Britain – if anyone knows of good motor racing museums in their home country, please post them below.

David Coulthard

David Coulthard hung up his crash helmet at the end of 2008 after 15 years in F1. Near his birthplace in Twynholm, Scotland is a modest museum displaying a collection of Coulthard-related exhibits including a 1991 F3 car and three F1 machines including a two-year-old Red Bull.

The David Coulthard Museum

Nigel Mansell

Mansell, champion in 1992, has a museum in his Woodbury Park hotel in Devon. It boasts an enormous collection of Mansell’s trophies plus his world championship-winning Williams-Renault FW14B, and his 1989 Ferrari 640.

Woodbury Park

Jim Clark

A small room to remember a gigantic talent. F1 trophies are just a fraction of the collection of memorabilia from the various motor sport disciplines where Clark routed his rivals. The Jim Clark Room is in Duns, near Edinburgh.

Jim Clark Room (Discover the Borders)

Donington Grand Prix collection

Home to a staggering collection of F1 machines. At some point in my youth I was taken here and, fascinated by the propeller on the 1978 Brabham-Alfa BT46B ‘fan car’, my growing passion for all things motor racing was spurred on. That infamous machine was no longer there when I last returned two years ago, but a vast range of F1 machines remains. McLarens and Williams dominate, but there’s also Brabhams and Lotuses and Vanwalls and more.

Donington Grand Prix collection

7 – Read the best of F1 Fanatic

From time to time a write a large series of posts on a single subject. You can find most of these collected in the ‘Best of F1 Fanatic’ section. Taken together, there’s a decent amount of material to read here, on topics including:

8 – Follow 2009 F1 testing

The 2009 F1 cars are going to look radically different to what we’ve been used to as the aerodynamics rules get a huge overhauled and grooved tyres are chucked in favour of slicks. On the inside, hybrid power devies (KERS) will be legal and engine life increased to three race weekends.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on all the developments during winter testing here at F1 Fanatic.

9 – Keep up-to-date with F1 Fanatic

The best way to keep abreast of latest updates on F1 Fanatic is to subscribe (for free) via RSS or email updates. Here’s more information on how to do that.

You can find out what else I’m doing by following my updates on Twitter. Changes to the 2009 F1 calendar, testing days and other useful F1-related dates are posted to the F1 Fanatic Google calendar.

10 – Play an F1 racing game

The new Codemasters F1 game isn’t out until 2009. But there’s plenty of other racing fun to be had in the meantime. rFactor remains one of my favourite racing games and some F1 Fanatic readers have an online league you can join in.

"rFactor" (Image Space Incorporated, 2006)

Join us tomorrow for ten more ways to beat the F1 off-season blues.

40 ways to survive the off-season

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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34 comments on “40 ways to survive the off-season p1/4”

  1. The days have started dragging already, knowing that there won’t be another race for a few more months. I’m busy downloading full season reviews of yesteryears. That, and following this site everyday should help me pass time :)

  2. hey want a real F1 fix play grand turismo 5 prologue, the Ferrari F1 2007 car online is an awesome experience on the ps3, pump up your surround sound and your off zoomin round suzuka against 6 other online players also in ferrari F1 2007’s. OK its not a mclaren…..
    A work mate recommended spa, but this year has to be silverstone.

  3. Jonesracing82
    6th November 2008, 9:00

    another idea would be to watch all of the season reviews in order! cant wait for the ’08 edition!

  4. Or write a book on F1… :D

  5. The Brabham fan car was back at Donington when I was last there (about 18 months ago I think). Their collection just keeps growing – they probably don’t have room to show everything at once.

    It’s an excellent museum to F1 – largest collection of F1 cars in the world including some of the more iconic ones (six-wheeled Tyrell, etc.)

  6. Already got my tickets for Silverstone and planning a road trip to spa next year :D

  7. I’ll survive the off-season by watching races from the 1980’s I have on DVD.

  8. 41. watch A1 GP (one on this week-end) BTW the ’93 car of Senna’s above looks stunning , esp. without all the “bits” modern ones have

  9. plan a 2009 F1 trip ? well, FIA would have to finally stop changing the calendar everytime the WMSC meets …

    my step one – go to Macau for the GP next weekend :-)

  10. Alianora La Canta
    6th November 2008, 11:13

    I’m surviving by doing NaBloPoMo (update my blog at least once a day through November), NaNoWriMo (write a novel of at least 50,000 words through November – anyone else spot a slight logistical problem?) and sorting out the details for the F1 Bloggers and Friends Karting competition and the prizes for a predictions competition I run.

    That should keep me busy until at least December…

  11. I plan to watch old F1 races on video, on every Sunday, at the usual GP start of 1 pm. That should surely help my fix :P

  12. Or write a book on F1…

    I like it :-D

  13. What’s going to happen to Donington’s Grand Prix collection when (if?) they start all the building work. From the looks of the plans, the new start/finish straight runs right through it.

  14. @stevepCambsUK

    Likewise I want to do Spa, but I think with it possibly being Silverstone’s last, I’ll be heading there.

  15. What’s going to happen to Donington’s Grand Prix collection when (if?) they start all the building work. From the looks of the plans, the new start/finish straight runs right through it.

    I presume they’ll rehouse it, would seem silly to stop being home to such an extensive GP car collection at the time they start hosting a GP!!

    Isn’t the exhibition centre going to need to move as well? It’s a while since I was last at Donnington (the next time is likely to be 2010 – IF they pull off the GP me and my Dad are planning a trip down since it will finally be realistic to do there and back in a day on his bike – need to get a helmet though, anyone know where I can get a Button replica?) but I seem to recall that being right next to the track too…

  16. Mouse_Nightshirt
    6th November 2008, 13:31

    Talking about F1 games, there’s a good one online called F1Time (search on Google), which is an online team management game. That’ll keep you busy all off-season (and on season as well)

  17. I’m modelling an F1 car in 3D at work at the moment for a little experiment, but I doubt that’ll take me all winter.

    Could break out Grand Prix Manager 2 again, never gets old, that’un!

  18. I’ll probably survive the off season by watching old f1 races and season reviews but also playing Rfactor and F1 97 (Nothing beats good ol’ Murray’s commentary!!)

  19. The drag has kicked in already for me, I can survive it over christmas but that’s about it! Circuits I would definately recommend are Siverstone (although pack an umbrella!), Spa is excellent, Interlagos is a fantastic circuit visit, the best in my opinion as it is formula 1 in the raw, you don’t get the feeling that it is a buisness park for billionares like you might do at china or Bahrain.

    As for museums in other countries, there is a Schumacher’s (yes Ralf as well!) museum in their home town in Germany Copenhagen I think.

  20. Lustigson, either you are writing a book… or Keith is?

  21. I’m just going to watch that finish to Brazil, over and over again! And watch loads of montages of this and previous seasons!

  22. Sorry, that should be Kerpen not Copenhagen.

  23. Indianapolis Motor Speedway had an amazing museum which would include some F1 when the 500 was a GP event as well. It is worth checking out if you are a fan of any motorports.

  24. Terry Fabulous
    6th November 2008, 20:55

    My friend at work came to my workstation yesterday with a buzz in her eyes. Her hubby and her had tickets to next years Monaco Grand Prix! I was very excited for them, but also felt a little strange…..

    When I got home, I told my wife that a trip to Albert Park in march had shortened from $3.50 in this morning to $2.20.

    For the Aussie’s reading this bog, the museum at the foot of Mount Panorama is well worth a visit. No F1s, but plenty of touring cars plus an Indy car. I got a Peter Brock beer cooler last year with a picture of the Commodore VK he drove to win the 1984 Bathurst 1000.

    142 days, sigh

  25. AmericanTifosi
    6th November 2008, 22:08

    Practice rants in front of the mirror…

  26. Talking of F1 museums, why don’t you try the little heard of Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage, Oxfordshire – you’ll find a semi-secret Formula 1 surprise:


  27. Nick Caulfield
    6th November 2008, 22:37

    There seems to be a lot of entertainment value in just encouraging Eddie Irvine to say the first thing which comes into his head

  28. For an F1-related holiday read I recommend Sir Jackie Stewarts book “Winning is not enough”.

    For any other Aussies reading, I hear the Peter Brock museum in Yeppoon is well worth a look, see here for more information.

    Not much F1 memorabilia down under, sadly. That I know of at least. Surely there must be a Brabham museum/collection somewhere?

  29. All I can say is thank god for YouTube.

  30. Well, I will have to do many things:

    1) Watch all races from 1980 to date and fix in my mind:

    1.a Every name of each turn of every track and every detailed changes in the surface
    1.b Every interesting incident
    1.c Every record of every year.
    1.d Every Driver name and personal history and every name of their family members.
    1.e Every Team name (and history)
    1.f Every Tyre manufacturer
    1.g Every technical detail of every team in every year.
    1.h Every … thing about F1!

    2) Improve my English…

    So, I will have some opportunity next season to be not too far from the level of expertise many of you show in this blog.

    Well, at the end there are not so many, just two!

  31. Does anyone have any recommendations for an F1 racing game in the US?

    I ahve a copy of F1 2004 that I cannot play as it’s a UK version.

    GT5 is fun, but you do not get the F1 experience and tracks…

    Someone help!!!

  32. Vince,

    Race Driver 3 on the PS2 has a Williams F1 licence, and several of the tracks are those seen on the F1 calender, but it’s not really the whole F1 experience.

    Then of course there is F1 Championship Edition on the PS3. I’ve heard it’s not all that great.

    Other than that, you can’t got wrong with Grand prix 4 on the PC, or R-Factor, if you fancy the idea of a lot of user generated content.

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