Going to the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne

Melbourne F1 seats

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    Tom Padlucci

    I hope to visit Melbourne for the first time in March.
    Which seats do you recommend?


    Depends on your budget Tom, please check out “Going to the 2018 Australian Grand Prix”, it will give you heaps of info.

    If you are looking to spend a bit more there are a few Corporate options and are good value.

    I have done Paddock Club (too expensive) Ricciardo Stand (Turn 4), Schumacher Stand (Last turn), Prost turn (same, just one stand over) and borrowed tickets for an FP2 Jones (entry to T1- don’t get these).

    This year we are doing first two days in the Paddock Club (no F1 on Thursday but great Paddock access so see drivers) then Sat & Sun in the Upper Pavilion Chicane on T1 (First time, looking forward to that).

    If you want a grandstand the Schumacher Premium is probably the best near the pits, you can see all the main straight but also them coming in the back of track, as well as pit entry- good for photos. As Melbourne is a street track normally you don’t see heaps of the cars, in this stand you will. We went Ricciardo Premium a few days in 2018 and that was great. Its also has its own bar/food and toilets so not as crowded as some of the other premium stands.
    The benefit of most of the Premium grandstands over the normal tickets is that its undercover- worth in in Melbourne as it can be burning hot or pouring with rain. Ricciardo is also undercover but better facilities, as per above.

    If you have a bit more to burn I have always liked the look of Corporate T3 & 4 Or T15. You get drinks & food and a better view, but a fraction of the price of the Paddock Club.

    In Melbourne you can also get combination tickets- both grandstand and corporate options, so if you fancy a look at different views of the circuit each day these can get great options.

    If you have any other questions please feel free to ask- have you looked at accommodation yet?


    When I say ‘you don’t get to see heaps of the cars” I mean they come around the corner then they are gone, in somewhere like Sepang you can watch your driver up to 50% around the track in places, so better viewing.


    It depends a great deal on what you can afford and what you want to see. I can’t afford paddock club. I’ve done grandstands overlooking the main straight and while seeing something of the pitstops in the refueling era was great, it’s less exciting now.

    A 4 day general admission pass which gets you many amazing viewing positions is about AU$175.
    The turn 3, 4 and 5 precinct is my standard place all weekend.

    For me the greatest thrill is being as close to the track and cars as possible, and turn 5 at Albert Park is about as close as you can get at any track anywhere in the world. Position yourself on the outside of the exit of turn 5 and watch the cars coming right at you before they turn away at about 200kph.

    In 2016 I saw Alonso walk away from his stupendous McLaren accident. I’ve seen Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel, and many others up close after they have crashed or broken down in this area, standing waiting for the mashall on a motorbike to take them back to the pits.

    In terms of value for money, this is a great location. I’ve been every year since 2003. The track has changed over time but this area has got better as the corporate stands have been reduced and the general admission area has increased.

    You’re not going to literally feel the air displacement of the cars hitting you up in a grandstand, but you will at turn 5.


    Yeah, it’s a great track to get close to the cars. T5 is great, and also the inside of t13 is good, and loud, but doesn’t have the facilities of other parts of the track.

    If you can’t afford a grandstand ticket, there’s some great spots in GA to watch from. Some favourites for me are the mound at T9 and the run to T3. The fast change of direction through T11 and 12 can best be experienced at ground level and the aforementioned T5.

    I’ve enjoyed the atmosphere of the Brabham grandstand over the last number of years. Race starts and battles exiting the pits have the crowd cheering every time, and everyone talks in awe with eachother of that they saw.

    My faviourite spot for the whole event though (considering car displays, fighter jet airshows, food, watching the racing) would have to be Turn 9. You have to get there pretty early, but you really are the center of everything there. It’s also just a short hop to get the the fan zone on the other side of the lake via the bouncy bridge.

    Shade is usually at a premium, so take a hat and sunscreen!

    Tom Padlucci

    Thanks to you that replied to my questions. I cant afford paddock club and it sounds like
    this is a great track for GA viewing. Normally when I go to races in the US I buy GA
    tickets and wander through and watch from various locations during the weekend and don’t
    reserve bleacher seats so I think that should work well at Albert Park.

    A few other questions. Do I need to get to the recommended GA sites early and find a spot
    and stay there or can I easily wander around the track and watch at various sites? Do the
    recommended sites have ground seating or is it standing room only? I have already packed a hat
    and sunscreen, thanks for the tip.

    Another question, this is my first trip to Australia/Melbourne, and need to book lodging.
    I don’t plan to have a car. Can you recommend safe/clean/reasonable lodging in town
    with good Albert Park tram and train access (all I need is a safe place to leave my suitcase
    and sleep at night) and access to things to do in the city? If not specific hotels what
    neighborhoods should I look at?



    Melbourne provides a significant tram service to shuttle fans directly to and from the track and the city during the race weekend in addition to the normal tram and train services that continue to run throughout the weekend, so transport is easy. You would not want to have a car as parking near the track is impossible.

    It would help to study a map of Melbourne and see where the track is – it is in the middle of a relatively wealthy inner city suburb in between the city centre and one of the major dining and entertainment precincts in the suburb of St Kilda. Staying in the city centre is probably the most convenient. Melbourne is a large city with many hotels.

    The best viewing positions in GA will be standing room only at the exact corner point (turn 5), but some of the areas are very large (turn 9) where thousands of people sit. You can easily walk around and try the various corners, but it’s best to choose one for the race and get there an hour or two beforehand. Friday is quiet with few people and great for doing reconnaissance.

    Regarding the weather, Melbourne is known for unpredictable weather. It may be 35C, hot and dry, or it could be 15C, wet and windy. Be prepared for the varying conditions.

    Wayne Whitaker

    For a number of years I’ve stayed in St.Kilda.
    Because of it’s ease of access to St.Kilda Rd. I book the Clark Stand. Canterbury Rd. after the race is too much of a crush for me.

    Tom Padlucci

    Thanks for all the inputs.
    I have air tix from US and lodging in St. Kilda.
    Now for admission tickets. What are the differences
    between GA and GA Concession tickets? Which are recommended?
    Do you recommend any websites to purchase them from, should
    I use tickets.formula1.com?



    Buying from the official F1 site tickets.formula1.com is safe as you you don’t know if others are legitimate and can be trusted.

    Concession tickets are for people with official concessions, eg children, students, age pensioners etc. Not for most people.

    If you are arriving a day or two before the weekend it may be easier to buy your ticket in Melbourne. GA never sells out.

    Tom Padlucci

    Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I had a problem in 2016 when I arrived at the gate at Monza
    and was told GA was sold out so I am a bit gun shy. Good to know I can wait.


    Tom Padlucci

    Just as an FYI in the US one of the meanings of concessions is places where vendors
    sell food or merchandise. It sounds like it has a different usage in Australia, thus
    my confusion.



    Melbourne may have healthy spectator numbers compared to many countries but it is not Monza! The grandstand seats may sell out but not GA. The only time I know GA sold out was the final Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide in 1995, where 205,000 GA tickets sold out (I was there!). Melbourne gets about 100,000 on race day.

    The queues can be long at the track but you can buy from a Ticketmaster outlet in the city beforehand and they usually have a temporary F1 outlet in Federation Square.


    There are several large merchandise and food and drink areas around the track all accessible to GA ticket holders. At a minimum there is usually food, drink and toilets at most corners.


    Tom, as @fitzroyalty points out General Admission can be very crowded, so if you are a bit shy, as you say, if you can afford to fly from the USA maybe look at a cheap grandstand, then you get a reserved seat. Some pretty cheap. You can do Piquet stand and also a short walk to T5 and as Fitz says a pretty cool way to see an F1 car up close.

    https://www.grandprix.com.au/ – here is the official Melbourne F1 Site, if you haven’t booked yet use this, I have done many times. Just look at when you are flying compared to when you arrive- often for overseas visitors its better to pick tickets up from the gate rather than have them delivered at home (F1 runs on short time frames- even for tickets). It seems funny to travel to another country with no tickets, but trust me, tickets arriving the day before you leave is more stressful (done that).

    Any other questions feel free mate!

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