What's the best grand prix to go to?

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    I’ve been an F1 fan for about 7 years now but due to the fact that I work weekends I haven’t yet been able to go to any race. I’m planning to travel to one race either this year or in 2015 and I’m trying to work out which would be the best option.

    These are my main criteria in descending order of importance:

    Quality of the location

    I’ll probably stay between 2 and 5 night so would like it to be somewhere nice with good bars/stuff to do when I’m not at the track

    Quality of the racetrack/facilities etc

    This is the area I don’t know too much about. I’m looking for somewhere with a good atmopshere and a good view of the track as well as somewhere that I’m likely to see an exciting race


    I’ll be travelling from London. I’ll have to rule out Australia as obviously its just too far however would just about consider anywhere else, I’m happy to travel if it will be worth it!


    I’m happy to spend a lot as it wont be a regular occurence for me however as I understand it to get a great experience at a track like Monte Carlo could be 3 or 4 times the cost of anywhere else so I’d want to consider this.

    The two races I vaguely have in mind are:

    Abu Dhabi of this year. I like Dubai and I know Abu Dhabi is similar. With the double points system in the final race this year this is almost certainly going to be the decisive race for the championship

    Hungary next year. I’ve been told this is a great one to visit, good atmopshere and a great racetrack with a waterpark next door

    Any help anyone can give me would be great. If anyone has visited a lot of circuits I’d be interested to hear your rankings for overall experience


    Hi Matt

    I like Monza, Spa and Canada but for atmosphere you can’t beat Silverstone. The circuit usually shuts down by approx half 8 in the evening but if you are camping the party goes on at both Woodlands and Hamilton Fields which I highly recommend. The Snoozebox experience has been recommended to me although it is expensive. For your 1st Grand Prix you really should try either Silverstone or Monza. Hope this helps.


    I too have been a long term fan but have never been to a F1 race. I am a LeMans veteran so there is alot to live up to.

    I am going on my honeymoon next week to sydney and my lovely wife suggested we stay the weekend at the stop over in Singapore for the gp. I cannot wait I am sure it is going to be a spectacle. I will update when I get back. :-)


    I’ll be travelling from London. I’ll have to rule out Australia as obviously its just too far however would just about consider anywhere else, I’m happy to travel if it will be worth it!

    Well I was going to suggest Melbourne, the atmosphere is great, plenty of support categories to keep you entertained, and there is also plenty to do in the city when not at the track.

    But fair enough if it’s too far.

    I’ve been to Melbourne 3 times now and Monza once for my first GP in 2007, although I can’t actually remember that much from Monza (as I was still a child), only that the atmosphere was also great there. Melbourne has been great though and don’t really have anything bad to say about it, other than that the nature of the track (more or less a street circuit) means that finding a good spot to watch from is hard: If you’re not in a grand stand (as I have been, at the end of the straight) then you’ll want to spend the Thursday/Friday working out where you want to sit down to watch qualifying and the race.

    EDIT: I’ll just clarify – there are plenty of good spots to watch from due to the raised mounds around the track, but some may only see a small portion of the track.


    Malaysia tickets were just 13 pounds in recent years by my memory…


    I was at the Italian GP this weekend. Great experience. Full F1fanatic review will be posted on the forum in the coming week.


    I always hear great things about Montreal during the Grand Prix weekend. Shamefully, I’ve yet to attend the GP even though I live less than 2 hours away from Montreal, but I hear that they shut down part of the downtown core so that it’s pedestrians only. Not to mention the circuit itself is on an island downtown and getting to all the great stuff in Montreal afterwards isn’t supposed to be difficult.

    It’s not an exotic location, but with the way the city takes on the GP weekend, it seems like it’d be a great atmosphere to be a part of and to experience.


    I am someone else who was going to suggest Melbourne, also been to it three times (I live in Singapore so its a wee bit nearer to be fair) good atmosphere, in the city, great place etc etc.

    Slightly nearer I would recommend Singapore (my 6th race coming up shortly, missed the first year) as again its a city race superb atmosphere, lots of stuff going on etc. Racing wise not really the best to be fair but being under the lights the big city backdrop etc does make it rather cool. It is though expensive both in terms of tickets and accommodation (as a guide a pit lane grandstand is double the price of Melbourne).

    The one I would recommend if you have serious taste for the exotic and full on motorsports fandom is Japan. Again quite far from the UK, but its a spectacular circuit especially if choose the right stand. Its reasonably accessible from Nagoya or even Kyoto as I did. Superb atmosphere, fantastic circuit, seeing and hearing Kamui get third in 2012 was priceless (I must go back!) Again though not cheap, but not as bad as you might expect.

    Not from personal experience but a business contact who is a huge F1 fan and has been to S’pore, Malaysia, Monaco, Spa etc said he we Abu Dhabi first race and would’t go back.

    Michael Moran

    I live in Austin, so have been to both USGP’s, went to Monza last year & Montreal earlier this year. My take on all 3…
    Monza has history & is in a beautiful spot. Facilities need improvement. Easy to get to Monza, but not pleasant from Monza station to track. Recommend Milan & train to the Lesmo station. Montreal was fantastic…had a really great time. Transportation around Montreal & to the track was easy & cheap. Downtown activities were fun. Austin is very similar in feel to Montreal and downtown activities. More music involved though. Three things Austin has against it right now…affordable lodging downtown, the need for a car if not staying downtown & shade at the track. British Airways does have direct flight fro London to Austin now.

    As far as watching the race, my ranking would be Austin, Montreak then Monza. Austin is the only one of the three where you can see large areas of the track from any location & has the best GA viewing areas if you want to roam & not be sitting in one spot. Montreal & Monza you’re pretty much seeing just what is in front of you & difficult to get a good spot if you’re doing GA.


    Can only compare Nuerburgring and Hungaroring.

    Quality of the location: the Hungaroring is really close to Budapest, which is a fantastic place to stay. The Nuerburgring is a bit more in the middle of nowhere, but the environment is great and the roads are a joy to drive.

    Quality of the racetrack/facilities etc: the Nuerburgring is a great track in my opinion. The stands at turn 1 show pretty much the entire first sector as well as two more corners from sector 2. I sat at the hairpin because it was closer to the track, we thought it was a more interesting corner and it was cheaper :). The Hungaroring has a large general admission zone, which is great. For Sunday however, it is packed, so maybe we should have bought a grandstand seat.

    Travel: traffic at the Hungaroring is medium I suppose, they lead you across one highway towards Budapest. On Sunday, we decided to take an agricultural shortcut and managed to get back to Budapest in no time at all. I think I read somewhere that there’s also free public transport from the circuit to the centre of Budapest. Nuerburgring is a disaster for traffic (though not as bad as Zandvoort).

    Cost: both are similar, but I feel like the Nuerburgring has more value than the Hungaroring.


    I was also going to suggest Melbourne (been in 1997, 1999 and 2005) and without doubt it’s the best venue – full weekend of entertainment, close to city centre and great weather.

    Hungary is also good, been in 1989. Half hour from city, but cheap prices and pretty good viewing from most points of the track. Hotels very cheap, and the city is an interesting place to go sightseeing.

    Monza also good (been twice), amazing atmosphere but viewing very difficult from general admission enclosures. Also amazing to walk on the banked curve of the old circuit – really a chance to relive history.

    I hear Montreal is very good too. I believe tickets to Japan are very hard to score. Perhaps Monaco worth a try?


    Hi I don’t know if this is the right place to post this or if it’s of any help or still relevant as the last race I went to was Silverstone in 2005 but my advice for someone attending a Grand prix (particularly if they haven’t been before) would be:

    Try to get a ticket were you can move in/ out of any grandstand you want to as this way you can get different views i.e. corners show braking different racing lines compared to straights which give an idea of the speed

    A race day ticket depends of what you want as corners are generally more expensive compared to grandstands on straights in my experience. Whatever ticket you choose try to sit were you can see a TV screen (this way you can keep an eye on what’s happing in the race at different parts of the circuit)

    Have you considered taking a portable radio? As if the circuit commentary can’t be heard/ or in a different language you can tune into something like BBC radio 5 (it also helps pass the time if your sat in the grandstands and there is no on track action).

    Ear defenders are a very good idea (maybe not so much with the reduced engine noise this year) but if someone near you has an air horn… (It also has the advantage of allowing you to put ear phones underneath)

    If you stay at a local hotel/ B & B have a massive breakfast or see if you can take food away with you as when I was at Silverstone in 2005 food at the circuit was very expensive I bought 2 cups of coffee and 2 bacon sandwiches and I didn’t get much change from £15!!

    It might sound a bit of an odd thing to take but why not take along a pair of binoculars? As I was sat in a grandstand one time looking at the teams transporters and I spotted Michael Schumacher entering one talking to his engineer’s.

    If you like one particular driver, then I would advise you contacted the relevant teams press office and asked for a copy of that drivers schedule (as they will have it all worked out in advance), I was lucky in 2005 and overheard a TV crew chatting as they walked passed about Montoya’s busy day ahead and he was doing a PR event for the fans soon so as a result I was able to ensure I was at the front to get his autograph (always have pen/ paper ready in case of other surprise opportunity’s)

    The prices of some things like simulators go up over the weekend i.e. in 2005 on a Friday it was £4per person by race day it was £8 per person

    Shops selling team wear/ souvenirs etc can be very busy particular on race day for example I once had to queue for 15mins just to be served.

    But above all remember to enjoy yourself

    Wayne Whitaker

    I’d vote for Melbourne, all other things being equal.
    Given your constraints of distance I’d vote for Austin, but pick a year when the race doesn’t clash with a college football game. Austin is an interesting place, lots of bars and restaurants, nice track with good GA viewing, good bus shuttle to the track and good track food.
    My other ratings :

    Sepang..OK track, KL is an interesting city. Haven’t been since 2000 and the food was rubbish.
    Singapore..Street circuit. Poor GA viewing. Has a hawker centre in the middle of the circuit. In Singapore, you really know the F1 is in town.
    Spa..At the end of the earth. Always one wet day on the weekend, rubbish food. Supposedly a great circuit but as a spectator you’d hardly know. Once is enough.
    Monza..Handy to Milan. Great atmosphere.Rubbish food. May return.
    Suzuka..Bit of a hike from Nagoya. Antiquated facilities. Rubbish food. Good viewing. Unbelievable fans. Will definitely return.
    Sao Paulo…Good train service to the track. You can’t move around the track.Food virtually non-existent. Nice track but in desperate need of refurbishment.

    Next year I will return to Austin and do Mexico City on the same trip.

    Ben Needham

    I think the experience is what you make it, and honestly, I believe that if you research well, know what the good bits and bad bits are, you’ll have a great time wherever you go!

    I’ve been to Silverstone, Spa and Monza, and they are such different experiences, but I loved them all as much as each other for different reasons!

    Take Spa for example – we knew the weather would be rubbish, so prepared accordingly and enjoyed the downpour rather than let it ruin the weekend!


    Thank you so much for all the replies and please keep them coming! Some good tips and I’m starting to get some ideas

    Melbourne sounds like a great option if only it were a little bit closer. I’m actually travelling there via Singapore but unfortunately that will be in January!

    Dissapointed to hear no positive reviews from Adu Dhabi I’m still very tempted to watch the championship decider.

    Has anyone ever got Paddock Club tickets was it a good experience?

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