Going to the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne

Going to the 2015 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park

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    Discussion area for people going to the 2015 Australian Grand Prix.

    Nic Morley

    I’m thinking about going for the first time next year. I’m from Tasmania so flights and accommodation and all that would be involved. Does anyone have any suggestions of where to stay and what grandstand? I was thinking the Jones, but is it worth the money?


    Hi Nic.
    Inwent to the 2011 race, and did my own tour of the first sector myself. At the start of the race, I was on the hill at the exit of Brabham (T2). It was chockers and very difficult to see the cars drive past. Turn 3 has a little grandstand of 3 of 4 rows which was right up against the barrier, which i think would’ve been a fantastic spot on the first lap. From there onwards its all private viewing or something.

    The pit straight is pretty self-explanatory, you can sit infront of the S/F line, get a good view of the podium, etc.

    Turn 1/2 has lots of viewing spots. There is grantstands left, right, and center, and there is the mound i mentioned earlier. The grandstand the drivers fly towards before turning into T1 is actually placed slightly left (driver’s right) for run-off, so if you want to see as much of the pit straight, book tickets for the furthermost seating possible on the right hand side (driver’s left).

    Your decision really is pending on whether you want to get on the track invasion or whether you want to just watch the race and get the Spirit of Tasmania whenever it leaves. Given the podium’s positioning, it will be difficult to see it if you are running from Jones. Sitting straight infront means you can jump the fence and watch from below.



    It all depends on your budget mate!

    Stands- I sat in Prost Stand this year (last corner) but also got to swap with mates and have a session in Jones (T1). I preferred Prost Stand to be honest but the seats in Jones were right down the front, so if you go Jones certainly go higher in the stand. Prost was good as you get them around the last 2 corners, down the straight or see them into the pits and also you have a big screen. The screen where we sat in Jones not as good, but a better seat would fix that position wise.

    I have not sat in any other stands at the back of the circuit so cant comment there, but just having a walk around the GA hills are pretty packed, especially around the fast chicane. I think the good stands in Melbourne are between $450-600 AUD so quite reasonable so if you can get the best seat as there is not too much variation really. Also get yourself to “Pete’s Bar” near the Paddock Club entrance near the pits- some great songs and a good party tent!
    I have been in the Paddock Club the previous two years before this one, and a very expensive exercise (Around $4200 AUD) if you can do it (at least once!!) please do so- you do get to see the drivers, teams, cars up close and you may sneak a garage tour if you whoo the right person- I have :)

    Hotels- 2012- stayed at the Rendezvous on Flinders St just opposite the train station. Nice and clean, cheap at about $200 per night, no pool for an early morning dip and the one bar empty- F1 fans were not abundant really. If on a budget its fine and right in town.
    2013- Splashed out and went Crown Towers- best of the best and we paid about $600 per night (about $1000 if not in Paddock Club with their discount), you will see drivers and the teams all the time, but they are not siting around in the foyer. A great hotel but not quite worth the money really.
    2014- We won a trip through Australian GP Corp and they put us up in the Oak On Market (Just off Flinders street), its 5 min walk to Crown Casino, great room, clean, good breaky and a nice bar. We didn’t pay but speaking to F1 fans (heaps compared to the 2012 hotel above) it was about $300 twin share per night, so quite reasonable. I would recommend this one for sure.

    I didn’t stay there but mates were at the Crown Promenade (opposite Crown Towers) a very nice hotel, great bars, you will have a few teams and drivers there and they booked last minute at around $360 per night. Value for money this is a lot better that the Towers!

    There are plenty of good restaurants in Melbourne of course, but many quite expensive. If you like Chinese food head to the Dragon Boat in China Town- I have been there 6 times in the last 3 years- try the satay entrée :)

    Flights- As the race starts late arvo for Europe TV viewing, to get from the track after the race to the airport is extremely hard, unless Bernie lends his helicopter. We done it in 2013, were late, just got on and will never do it again (this is just MEL to ADL). My suggestion is to spend Sunday night, go to the Dragon Boat for a feed and fly out Monday morning or arvo.

    The Australian Grand Prix is excellent and the on and off track action is the best world wide- enjoy Tassie Devil!! :)

    Wayne Whitaker

    I find St. Kilda convenient for access to the track. If I’m flush it’s the Cosmopolitan though I have stayed at the Acland St. Easystay. Acland St. has plenty of cafés and restaurants . I stay in the Clarke stand. That way I get the 16 Tram to St.Kilda in St. Kilda Rd. which avoids the Canterbury Rd.crush.


    Hey guys, bought my tickets for the 2015 weekend the other day! Finally decided on the Brabham 4 corner package with the Gold GP Advantage stuff, and its fair to say that Im pretty excited already!

    Has anybody been to the GP and sat at either the Brabham, Fangio, Jones or Clark grandstands? If so, what did you think of them?

    Cheers guys!


    I’ve sat in Jones the last 3 years, once in B and twice in A. I thought it was a great view, with the superscreen across the way, the sun to the back left during the race, and a clear close view of the first and second corners. I think row J and above you don’t get the fence in the way of the screen. Despite mainly seeing the back of the cars after they turn I was very happy, as they slow down from the main straight and also exit the pits and rejoin the race. Sitting low enough in A you can see right down the pit lane exit. In 2015 I decided on the Fangio Premium to sit in the shade (and out of the rain!) and get a view of the pits and podium, as 3 years on Jones with a similar view was enough. Brabham is facing the sun on race day, but from what I’ve seen it’s still a great view. With a 4 day grandstand you’ll get a great mix of views, with Jones being the best for raceday. But for those that have the same seat for the four days, try getting to a different vantage point for the first two practice sessions. Corner 4 is really good and has public seating as well as good spots to stand right near the barrier, corners 9 and 10 are OK, and near 13 and 14 is alright too. After the race I stick around and wander the track (on the track) until the grounds have cleared. It’s also a great time to check out all the grandstands to see what the views are like for next time. There is still HEAPS to see after the race is over, including lots of action in the pit lane. Otherwise it’s a mad crush to get to the trams. Do NOT book a flight out on raceday. You may not make it in time as the trams are packed, the lines are suffocating and move like a glacier, and taxis no longer exist.


    BTW, it is absolutely worth the money. I ‘splashed out’ in 2012 for Jones, costing over $500, plus flights accom and spending money. In total it was at least $2k for a four day holiday. It was such a good experience that I’ve been going back ever since and will keep going until the extended contract expires.

    If you’re already excited, you will not be dissapointed. Just bring wet weather gear!


    I went to the 2014 event and purchased the four corner package (Fangio), which meant I sat at Clark on Friday, Brabham on Saturday and Fangio on Sunday.

    Fangio doesn’t have a good view of any corners as it is on the main straight. You can see the cars exit the final corner, but the bridge over the track obstructs the view of Turn 1. It does give you a view of the pits (although obstructed by the teams pit wall boxes). You do get to see the buildup of race day. If you purchase the four corner package, you will be put in Section J, which is down near P13/P14 on the grid, not near the front row.

    Brabham gives you a good view of Turn 1/2. It’s fairly centrally located amongst all the side attractions. If you chose the Four-corner package, it’s a toss-up between the Brabham and Fangio package as to the better combination. The Brabham package gives you Fangio (Saturday) and Brabham (Sunday), while Fangio is the opposite.

    As for accommodation, I would look in the CBD. I stayed opposite the track this year, and the facilities weren’t really up to scratch. Staying in the city gives you more options, hotels near the track charge substantially elevated rates and getting to the track is a non-issue. On GP weekend, they run a tram every minute, and it’s free for GP ticket holders (although a myki pass allows you to explore a bit more of Melbourne). It takes maybe 5 minutes to get from the tram station near the track into the city.


    I went in 2014 and, like DavidS above, got the 4 corner Fangio package. My Sunday seats were actually front row in section H which were pretty good despite the railing being a small viewing obstruction. This put us about 10m away from Kimi’s grid position, a very clear view of the buildup on almost the entire grid and a nice view straight into the Force India garage. A lot of the pit lane action was obstructed by the wall.

    A very easy jump of the barrier and a sprint meant we were fairly close to the podium at the end of the race and had a good look at Parc Ferme. This spot was also a very short distance from the GP Advantage bar which was great to get out of the heat and have a drink without having a ridiculously long walk back to your seats.

    This year I can only make it for Sunday and still haven’t purchased my tickets. I still want a stand but maybe Schumacher or Webber stands aren’t worth it… Anyone been in these stands before?


    Gong this year for the third time, the first time (2010 Button won on his first McLaren outing!) I had a seat in the Webber stand however because I’m tall (6’5″) I found the seat way to cramped and decided I wouldn’t be able to manage the whole day bent in half packed in there, so that year I stood against the fence at the end of the Fangio stand opposite the pit exit which was an awesome spot, I had already worked it out on the Saturday and went straight there on Sunday with enough food and water to last the day (I didn’t/couldn’t leave until after the race or I would have lost my spot) when I went again in 2013 I decided stands were out for me because they’re too cramped and from 2011 onwards they have blocked the area at the end of Fangio with tents so I went for the turn 15 premium area which is an OK spot for watching the race and to get on to the track at the end (although you will need to be a sprinter to get down the main straight in time to get a vantage point for the podium), will be at turn 15 again this year. I like to wander around the track during FP1,2,3 etc, so It would be a waste for me to buy grandstand tickets for those days. I go to the GP on my own and spent as much time as possible at the track so I just book a dorm bed at a backpackers this year 4 nights is costing AU$165, I also fly back on Tuesday because it gives me a day unwind in Melbourne and the flights are way cheaper on Tuesday my whole GP weekend flying in from New Zealand is costing less then NZ$1,000.00 this includes all tickets, transfers and accommodation.


    After the race I stick around and wander the track (on the track) until the grounds have cleared. It’s also a great time to check out all the grandstands to see what the views are like for next time.

    Do they check tickets at the entrance to each stand during the day? I’ve got a Thursday Webber Stand ticket, but I’d like to briefly enter the Prost Premium stand to film a shot.

    So I can be in the shot, I’m actually looking to pay someone who’s attending Thursday to film the shot for me. I’ve posted an Airtasker job for this.


    @Mark Each stadium is fenced in from the general admission area, and they have security at the entrance points to each stadium checking tickets throughout the entire event. I’m pretty sure they check that you’re entering the right stadium, although they might be more lenient on Thursday considering that crowds in the stands are very low because only the support categories are on track (I’m not sure about this though).

    Just out of curiosity, what shot are you trying to achieve in the Prost stand?


    Thanks David, that’s helpful.

    I just want to film a shot that pans down the line of Melbourne signs above the pits, then to the Melbourne sign above the track, then to me. Looks like the left (Melbourne sign) side of the track arch can be seen from the far left of the Webber stand, though because the pits are far left of Webber, the Prost Stand should give a better shot, with Prost Premium the best because it’s high enough to keep the fence out of shot.

    Even better would be a shot from the track. But it seems I would either need Gold tickets or be there after the race on Sunday. I’ve booked my flight for Thursday.


    I’m bringing my DSLR with a wideangle and a tele this year, and have Gold GP Advantage. I’m travelling with a mate, so I don’t think I’ll be able to do a ticket swap. Besides, the grid walk is only allowed on the Sunday morning (and after the race finish that evening).

    I’d be happy to shoot a few shots for you around the track throughout the weekend, and could do a few with you in the general admission areas on the Thursday. There’s a great view of the Melbourne CBD from the western edge of the pontoon bridge, and there’s going to be some nice displays of older cars, or the pits to the support categories (which is general admission).

    I’m in Jones (Thursday), Clark (Friday), Brabham (Saturday), Fangio (Sunday).

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