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Attending the Aus gp (my first ever gp)


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#1 wattoroos

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 06:02

I was wondering what is the chance of seeing drivers and what happens on thursday. the description for my silver pass saids "Behind the scenes day- held on thursday before the big race- includes morining and afternoon pit lane walks, interviews and access to the paddock club viewing deck".

If any one has attended a gp or in particular the Aus gp and could let me know what thursday is like and whether you met any drivers or saw drivers or cars. Any replies on this is must appreciated, thanks in advance

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#2 Igorr

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:50

im in the same situation, im thinking of getting the different corner grandstand package with sitting on the Clark stand on Sunday. The only thing that im worried is, because i missed the GP Advantages packages, are there any other track activities on thursday that i will be able to see or its not worthed to get the ticket? Thanks

#3 karne

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:44

I can probably help out here. I've been to the AGP three times over the last three years and the last two were Gold Advantage.

@watteroos

The pit lane walks vary. Sometimes they're interesting, sometimes they're not. The year before last, the walk was great! Plenty of time, no need to rush, lots of interesting car bits to see, and SO MANY people taking pictures of Senna's name above the HRT garage I lost count. The only downer that day was that Ferrari, McLaren and disappointingly Red Bull had put up big screens so you couldn't see in.

Last year, however, I did the afternoon walk on the Thursday and it was rubbish. I got drenched to begin with, the entry to the pitlane was impossible to find, it was like being in a tin of sardines, and I don't reckon I got a quarter of the way down the lane before the marshals started yelling to "move along, move along" because they were closing the pitlane. They'd allocated something like half an hour, which was of course far too short! I was squished, jostled, bumped, missed half the garages, and ended up being spat out the end of the pitlane rather unceremoniously. Terribly organised. But I did get to see the STR being wheeled past, close enough to touch!

I spent a lot more time in the Advantage Bar (gold members get to go upstairs! :p ) which is very awesome and AIR CONDITIONED (I managed to suffer a mild bout of heat exhaustion on the Thursday the year before last, and sitting in the Advantage Bar sinking Gatorade was gooooooooooood). I never got onto the "viewing deck" last year and at any rate was reliably informed that throwing things at Helmut Marko was probably going to get me kicked out, so I can't help you on that one. :lol:

Unless you're prepared to run straight over to the Autograph stage as soon as the gates open, you're unlikely to meet any drivers. They come out on stage for 15 minutes, sign, and go away. Always huge lines and TONS of disappointment. (Last year Webber and Vettel played dodgems with their PR person. The PR person was trying to herd them off the stage. They kept dodging them and signing more stuff. :lol: Alonso was amazing too - he signed a bunch of driver cards and started throwing them into the queue!) A better place - and one where you can get lucky more often than the Autograph stage - is the paddock entrance, but you have to get there REALLY early because the tifosi camp there, I swear. In the mornings and evenings most of the drivers come by, and most of them are good enough to sign some things. Kubica spent forever signing there one time and the Renault person kept tugging on his shirt and muttering stuff to him.

It can be very hit and miss, though, and if you want to get lucky at the paddock entrance you really need to be prepared to get there early, and spend a LONG time there. Like, hours. Half the day. I met this one guy there a couple of years ago who'd flown all the way from Poland to watch Robert race! When Kubica was coming down the line signing things, he kept calling out "ROBERT! ROBERT!" He got the signature and looked like he'd died and gone to heaven. (I can only imagine his reaction on Sunday when Kubica came second.) Plus, not all the drivers come through. Hamilton hasn't used the public entrance in a few years.

One last warning for the Autograph Stage - there is NO SHADE. Absolutely none. Not a skerrick to be had. And of course, unless you've got a mate to hold your spot, there's no leaving. So bear that in mind! The year I suffered with the heat exhaustion, I was not the only one. There were quite a few in the line that wound up in the First Aid cabin.


@Igorr

There IS actually track action on Thursday - the V8 Supercars come out to play! Sometimes other support races too, although that was rather thin on the ground last year. I don't know what's coming this year.

Plus, the way I see it, Thursday is the day to check everything out - buy your merch, find all the grog stands, pick up Kangaroo TV, locate the rides, stuff like that.

#4 king_crud

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 13:52

it's a while ago but in 96 & 97 I was at the paddock entrance from 7am and I got almost all the drivers autographs (Schumacher, Hill, Hakkinen, Vellenueve, etc etc). I don't think it was as crowded then as karne says it is now. I used to have bleached blonde hair and unlike most of the people there I knew what ALL of the drivers looked like, so after a while people were saying "just follow the blonde kid", getting autographs from people I was asking autographs from, then asking me who they were. They can now say they have the autographs of such legends as Riccardo Rosset and Pedro Lamy.

#5 karne

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 22:21

king_crud, nowadays the gates don't open til 10am so you can't get in that early anyway, but as well as that, the paddock entrance spot is now in the middle of an Advantage-only area (IIRC), which means that the people at the paddock entrance DEFINITELY know who they're stalking!

#6 RobertoLarcos

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:19

I also attended the race last year and my Thursday experience was the same as karne's.

The afternoon pit walk was overcrowded and poorly organised. I was also kicked out after 15 minutes or so. We saw the Ferrari pitstop practice up close, which was awesome. I saw both Force India drivers, who were chatting away and signing autographs. I remember seeing Webber in his garage, strangely in full racing gear (maybe he was taking part in one of the speed challenges or something like that). There's also a morning pit lane walk at 0930, which I didn't arrive in time for. I'd imagine it wouldn't be as busy as the afternoon, but you would probably see fewer drivers. According to the official site, we have access to the Paddock Club viewing deck all day on Thursday, so that may be a further chance for driver-spotting 9from a distance).

The autograph stage is incredibly busy. I recall people queuing for up to 2 hours before the drivers came on. Obviously the smaller teams won't have queues as long . The paddock entrance can be a good spot. I think only grandstand ticket holders can access this area. I've seen most of the drivers there leaving the circuit at the end of the day's racing. Almost all of them stop and sign autographs and the crowd are good-natured. I remember seeing poor Jonathan Legard sprinting past the crowds in 2010, no doubt fully aware that he'd be getting a lot of abuse :lol:

Don't spend too much time autograph-hunting and make sure you see all the attractions on offer. Albert Park is beautiful and there's loads of entertainment, both on and off-track. Puts most other races to shame.

Only 19 days to go!

Edited by RobertoLarcos, 25 February 2012 - 09:22.


#7 karne

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 22:20

The autograph stage is incredibly busy. I recall people queuing for up to 2 hours before the drivers came on. Obviously the smaller teams won't have queues as long .


Hi Roberto! The funny part is we probably crossed paths last year without knowing :drunk:

While that is a general rule (that smaller teams won't have queues as long), it's not always the case. In 2010 I got Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok's autographs because no-one was interested in HRT and they were all holding position for RBR and Ferrari (although once Bruno appeared quite a few more people joined in the line!). The line itself usually organises itself to allow people who want, say HRT, to get autographs without having to join the main line.

But also in 2010, I went down with a friend who was a massive Heikki fan, and she wanted to try and get his autograph (having failed on two previous attempts). Team Lotus was on stage RIGHT after Ferrari, and a lot of the people who missed out on Ferrari just hung around to get Heikki and Jarno's autographs even if they didn't give a toss. We missed out.

So while usually people can be accommodating of fans of smaller teams, it doesn't always happen, just as a warning.

#8 Raelene

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:04

I always skip thursday - waste of a day IMO.

re: Clarke GS - I've sat at that one about 5 times - I like it as you see the drivers working .. has been okne of my fav spots

#9 karne

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 00:46

I always skip thursday - waste of a day IMO.


Really? Love Thursday. Exploration day. :wave:

#10 Exar Kun

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:00

Yep, Thursday is a great day for me too. I've been heading down to Melbourne for a while for the race now - this will be my 14th year in a row - and I always find Thursday the best day to check out some good support category action and see all the merchandising. The Ultimate Speed Challenge thingy even does a couple of test runs on Thursday so you get to see and hear an F1 car still.

I also did the Thursday afternoon pit walk last year and found it pretty abysmal. The weather that day was horrid which didn't help the cause. Got a couple of mates running the FFs this year so will head on over to their paddock and hang out there for a bit me thinks.

#11 Raelene

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:35

Really? Love Thursday. Exploration day. :wave:


plenty of time friday, Saturday and sunday to explore...and I've been to enough to sometimes just only turn up just before qualy and the race I'm only interested in the F1 - nothing else. This year I'm going to Malaysia (as I'm now living in Singapore) - I'm turning up about 3 hours before the race...

#12 Blutch

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:25

Wattoroos :wave:
Whatever happens or not, you will enjoy it, and be ready for your first real turn breaking, you'd think "it's never going to pass", have fun, for sure you will. Man I'm jealous.

#13 wattoroos

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:03

Yeah im looking forward to it massively, cant wait only 3 weeks now getting closer, sittingin the clark stand for the race and on the main straight the other days so should be good, webber for the win! and if not the win at least better than 5th

#14 wattoroos

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 00:25

I can probably help out here. I've been to the AGP three times over the last three years and the last two were Gold Advantage.

@watteroos

The pit lane walks vary. Sometimes they're interesting, sometimes they're not. The year before last, the walk was great! Plenty of time, no need to rush, lots of interesting car bits to see, and SO MANY people taking pictures of Senna's name above the HRT garage I lost count. The only downer that day was that Ferrari, McLaren and disappointingly Red Bull had put up big screens so you couldn't see in.

Last year, however, I did the afternoon walk on the Thursday and it was rubbish. I got drenched to begin with, the entry to the pitlane was impossible to find, it was like being in a tin of sardines, and I don't reckon I got a quarter of the way down the lane before the marshals started yelling to "move along, move along" because they were closing the pitlane. They'd allocated something like half an hour, which was of course far too short! I was squished, jostled, bumped, missed half the garages, and ended up being spat out the end of the pitlane rather unceremoniously. Terribly organised. But I did get to see the STR being wheeled past, close enough to touch!

I spent a lot more time in the Advantage Bar (gold members get to go upstairs! :p ) which is very awesome and AIR CONDITIONED (I managed to suffer a mild bout of heat exhaustion on the Thursday the year before last, and sitting in the Advantage Bar sinking Gatorade was gooooooooooood). I never got onto the "viewing deck" last year and at any rate was reliably informed that throwing things at Helmut Marko was probably going to get me kicked out, so I can't help you on that one. :lol:

Unless you're prepared to run straight over to the Autograph stage as soon as the gates open, you're unlikely to meet any drivers. They come out on stage for 15 minutes, sign, and go away. Always huge lines and TONS of disappointment. (Last year Webber and Vettel played dodgems with their PR person. The PR person was trying to herd them off the stage. They kept dodging them and signing more stuff. :lol: Alonso was amazing too - he signed a bunch of driver cards and started throwing them into the queue!) A better place - and one where you can get lucky more often than the Autograph stage - is the paddock entrance, but you have to get there REALLY early because the tifosi camp there, I swear. In the mornings and evenings most of the drivers come by, and most of them are good enough to sign some things. Kubica spent forever signing there one time and the Renault person kept tugging on his shirt and muttering stuff to him.

It can be very hit and miss, though, and if you want to get lucky at the paddock entrance you really need to be prepared to get there early, and spend a LONG time there. Like, hours. Half the day. I met this one guy there a couple of years ago who'd flown all the way from Poland to watch Robert race! When Kubica was coming down the line signing things, he kept calling out "ROBERT! ROBERT!" He got the signature and looked like he'd died and gone to heaven. (I can only imagine his reaction on Sunday when Kubica came second.) Plus, not all the drivers come through. Hamilton hasn't used the public entrance in a few years.

One last warning for the Autograph Stage - there is NO SHADE. Absolutely none. Not a skerrick to be had. And of course, unless you've got a mate to hold your spot, there's no leaving. So bear that in mind! The year I suffered with the heat exhaustion, I was not the only one. There were quite a few in the line that wound up in the First Aid cabin.


@Igorr

There IS actually track action on Thursday - the V8 Supercars come out to play! Sometimes other support races too, although that was rather thin on the ground last year. I don't know what's coming this year.

Plus, the way I see it, Thursday is the day to check everything out - buy your merch, find all the grog stands, pick up Kangaroo TV, locate the rides, stuff like that.


What is kangaroo tv?

#15 Igorr

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 00:49

i got a ticket for the waite stand, so has anyone been to this stand before to share the experience so i know what to expect for the gp. Thanks

#16 karne

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 00:50

What is kangaroo tv?


I don't know if they've changed the name - actually they might have, I think it's called Fanvision now - but it's basically a hand-held device that enables you to watch footage and timing on the screen, and choose which driver to go onboard with, etc. You could hire them for the whole weekend. They're quite good, but a little pricey. I don't know if you can still hire them - last year they were trying to get everyone to buy them :eek:

#17 Exar Kun

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:55

Yes you can still hire them. Mine was $99 for the weekend. I think it's cheaper if you book online now (then pickup at the track). https://www.fanvision.com/f1