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Attending a grand prix


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Poll: Attending a grand prix (188 member(s) have cast votes)

Which of these best describes your viewing history

  1. I try to attend more than one grand prix per year (4 votes [2.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.13%

  2. I usually attend one grand prix per year (31 votes [16.49%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.49%

  3. I've been to several grands prix (3 or more) (52 votes [27.66%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.66%

  4. I've only been to one or two grands prix (51 votes [27.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.13%

  5. I've never been to a grand prix, but I'm determined to attend at least one before I die (37 votes [19.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.68%

  6. Regrettably, I will probably never attend a grand prix (13 votes [6.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.91%

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#1 rjtart

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:34

I first began to take notice of motor sports in 1967. By 1968, F1 really took hold of my imagination. It's hard to explain why, none of my friends, none of my family had the slightest interest. Yet, from that time through today, auto racing has been the only sport I've followed closely, and F1 is the pinnacle. However, living where I do and being of modest means, I've never been within 900 miles of an actual Grand Prix. And realistically, considering my age, residence and income I find it almost impossible to think I'll ever attend a grand prix.
I'd like to find out how many readers of this forum share my experience, versus how many have seen the racing up close. This poll is not for people who are casual fans, or people holding some sort of grudge with rule books or people running the show. This is for people who, given the right circumstances, would jump at the chance to attend an F1 race.

Bonus questions

What is the greatest distance you have traveled to attend a grand prix?
What is the most amount of money you've spent (tickets, lodging, travel, etc.) to attend a grand prix (measured by percentage of annual income)?

Edited by rjtart, 03 January 2013 - 08:51.


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#2 tifosiMac

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:52

I've been to many GP's but my last one was in 2009. The cost goes up every year and its been a while since I was given Paddock passes. With the sport getting greedier, I'd rather not go. It'll be MotoGP for me this year instead.

#3 repcobrabham

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:00

i've boasted of my experience at the 2003 british GP on this forum many times before, but one more go can't hurt ... it was a freebie as a guest of williams, so we got choppered into the paddock then given a pit tour - by peter phillips when he was a PR guy there, no less - before a champagne lunch and seats in the stand between bridge and priory (pre 2010 re-routing) where RB's race-defining pass on KR took place right before our eyes. there was also DC's HANS-decoupling and neil horan's deranged track invasion but the swirling cross-winds on the day made for exciting racing anyway with lots of overtaking.

as you can imagine, that'd be pretty hard to beat and especially on my own dime. i would've loved to have gone to adelaide (i'm an aussie, in case you didn't guess from my nom de plume) but the albert park track doesn't inspire me, although i've heard it's a good day out. my wife is brazilian so she's actually keen to attend a GP - we're thinking singapore might be the most fun but again, i find it a boring track. i'm actually keen on interlagos as it's one of my favourite tracks but she's from sao paolo and has a more 'realistic' (ie. negative) view on attending a race there. but you've got to find a way to do it once in your life.

#4 Lazy

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:11

Been to a few but not since the early eighties. Silly money thanks to the Poison Dwarf and his CVC masters.

#5 Jackman

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:16

I was wondering how many I'd been to, but I'd never counted before - turns out a broke 100 this year in Singapore.

#6 rghojai

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:21

I went to the '72 Canadian GP at Mosport (outside Toronto) when we lived in Toronto and the weather was poor so some guy at the gate where we arrived was letting people in for $0.00.

Also went to the '86 Italian GP as part of a little vacation from the UK to Italy. Can't remember the ticket price, but I wasn't making that much money and it didn't feel like a bit hit to the wallet.

Now I live about 130 km from the Abu Dhabi track, finances are better than they were in '86, but I see the ticket prices and lose interest

#7 MadYarpen

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:21

I've been to only one GP - Hungary in 2010. Great experience, loved the sound. Maybe I'll go one day again - but on a different circuit. I'll try to attend some rallies this year, go the feeling that it can be better spent time.

#8 seahawk

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:35

Bene to a GP in the mid 80ies with my uncle. Wanted to go for a few years, but cost is insane. And if forced to decided between a GP weekend and a week of holidays somewhere sunny, the choice is easy.

#9 tifosiMac

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:37

i've boasted of my experience at the 2003 british GP on this forum many times before, but one more go can't hurt ... it was a freebie as a guest of williams, so we got choppered into the paddock then given a pit tour - by peter phillips when he was a PR guy there, no less - before a champagne lunch and seats in the stand between bridge and priory (pre 2010 re-routing) where RB's race-defining pass on KR took place right before our eyes. there was also DC's HANS-decoupling and neil horan's deranged track invasion but the swirling cross-winds on the day made for exciting racing anyway with lots of overtaking.

Sounds similar to my experience in 2008. I was a guest of McLaren and it turned out to be one of Hamilton's finest races. Got a tour of the pits, met a load of the engineers and of course Lewis and Heikki after the race. Ate Salmon sandwiches and watched the race from Brooklands hospitality. All in all a good day out, but I realise I may never get that chance again unless my friend stops using his perks on women he wants to impress :p

#10 NotSoSilentBob

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:37

I go to my nation's Grand Prix every year, 2013 will be my 11th in a row.

I have ambitions of going to a few overseas ones, but not until i'm probably closer to retirement age.

#11 Raelene

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:44

Furtherest I've gone was Auckland to Singapore - airfare, accom, tickets, probably cost around $4,000 (about US$3,300) Did that 3 years in a row until I moved here.

Closest and cheapest - last year Malaysian GP - airfare (now I live in Singapore), accommodation and tickets $150 (about US$122) - even cheaper than going to The Singapore GP now that I live here!!

Also used to go from Auckland to Melbourne each year - only cost was flight and tickets (around $1,000 - US$820) - accommodation as free as I'm from Melbourne so stay with family

this year I'll go to Malaysia (already booked) and Singapore at a minimum

#12 GSiebert

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:51

I have been to Magny Cours F1 GP in 2007 and 2008, awful race, awful show, awful traffic jam, awful price/enjoyment ratio.
Since 2009 I'm going to the WSBK event at the same track, it's just a million times better, for half the price.

#13 rjtart

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:53

I've re-worded the 4th option, for those who have attended once or twice.

#14 Rob

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:08

It's just such awful value for money that I can't bring myself to attend another.

#15 Jackmancer

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:28

I've been to two grand prix (small note, I'm 23). In 1999 to Spa with my dad, and ten years later when I was in Australia for half a year, to Melbourne (2009).

I had great times on both occasions - but to be honest, Spa is terrible value for your money. There's only 44 laps, no lap after the race and for almost 100 euro's your standing in the mud.

Australia was better value, but that was due currency rates being good (EURO>AUD). The atmosphere was amazing too.

But given the steep prize, I think I'll just continue the trend and go to some 2019 Grand Prix :p

#16 Buttoneer

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:00

It really is ghastly value for money and it's that, rather than the cost itself, which makes us think twice every year. Have been to Spa once, Silverstone twice, Monza once and Hungary twice. All in, I reckon Hungary is the best value as you can tag it on to a 7-10 day holiday in a very nice city.

I think that if you can make the effort to attend a race, then you should, as it gives you a very different angle on the weekend. The atmosphere, sound and excitement is worth the entrance fee, with diminishing returns in my opinion.

This year though, no plans.

#17 Chewie

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:02

I don’t know the exact number I’ve attended buts its 50 plus, I’ll have to dig out all the tickets and count them one day, I’m planning on mounting them all as a collage in a picture frame once I have enough.

I usually manage at least two a year, this year I’ve already got my tickets booked for Circuit de Catalunya and the Hungaroring and I’ll hopefully also get to Silverstone.

The furthest I’ve travelled was last year, 9,000 miles, England to Malaysia.




#18 Currahee

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:05

I have been to Magny Cours F1 GP in 2007 and 2008, awful race, awful show, awful traffic jam, awful price/enjoyment ratio.
Since 2009 I'm going to the WSBK event at the same track, it's just a million times better, for half the price.


I was at Magny Cours in 2007 and really enjoyed it.

The traffic jams getting out was quite bad I admit but thats part of it.

I've also been to Spa 3 times and the Spanish GP twice.

Spa is the place to go.

#19 noikeee

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:10

Living in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean doesn't help, but I want to go once one day.

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#20 RobertoLarcos

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:08

I try to go to at least three races each year. All of my holidays are taken up by travelling to sporting events - I never have a 'regular' holiday.

I live in NZ now, so it's quite difficult to get to races (apart from my annual trip to Melbourne). Funnily enough, I never went to a single GP when I lived in the UK, despite the fact that the majority of them were on my doorstep in Europe!

The furthest I have travelled for a race was from Christchurch to Montreal in 2012. I had a fantastic time, despite the riots. Amazing city! Would love to go there every year, but work keeps getting in the way.

I don't have a great problem with the ticket fees charged by most race venues I have been to. For example, I think AU $400 is reasonable for four days of entertainment at Albert Park, compared to some of the other sporting events I have attended. But then again, I don't have a family or my own house etc. to pay for - the things I should be spending my money on (or so my folks keep telling me!)



#21 Lights

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:39

Been to a few Grand Prix in the last decade but I soon realized that although awesome, it just isn't worth the money and effort put into it. It's ironic how the TV coverage quality improved immensely since let's say, 10 years ago, but for the spectator nothing really changed except for more and more expensive ticket prices. The disgusting and overly expensive food is still there, and the undue hassle to get from your hotel to seat and back to hotel again. Depending on the weather I've felt like a bloated marshmallow and a pig in a mud field. Suffice to say I don't really have any plans for the near future, my TV/PC with about 50x the amount of access to an actual racing weekend from the comfort of my couch will do.

#22 IPBushy

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:01

[quote name='rjtart' date='Jan 3 2013, 08:34' post='6086105']
I first began to take notice of motor sports in 1967. By 1968, F1 really took hold of my imagination. It's hard to explain why, none of my friends, none of my family had the slightest interest. Yet, from that time through today, auto racing has been the only sport I've followed closely, and F1 is the pinnacle. However, living where I do and being of modest means, I've never been within 900 miles of an actual Grand Prix. And realistically, considering my age, residence and income I find it almost impossible to think I'll ever attend a grand prix.
I'd like to find out how many readers of this forum share my experience, versus how many have seen the racing up close. This poll is not for people who are casual fans, or people holding some sort of grudge with rule books or people running the show. This is for people who, given the right circumstances, would jump at the chance to attend an F1 race.

As I read through this I was thinking I could have written that myself - except for the residence bit. I live in England (I assume the author is American using "auto racing") so could quite easily get to Silverstone, but I need to eat and pay my rent, so simply can't afford it. Anyway, I get almost all I need from the TV. I used to go to Silverstone and Oulton Park regularly as a marshal and although I've never been to a GP I don't think I'm missing much, except, perhaps, the atmosphere.


#23 grandmastashi

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:02

British Grand Prix every year since 1997, except for 2001 when a wedding fell on the same weekend so we went to Rockingham for Champ Cars instead. Initially my Dad would pay as my annual holiday, but once I reached earning age I started paying for my tickets.

As you can imagine there's some great memories and some less great memories, but after the experience that was 2012 at Silverstone that'll be our last visit there for the foreseeable future. Whilst the organisers can't obviously control the weather, they can be at least better prepared for it - a July date is no guarantee of good weather in the UK anymore. As someone else said, the value for money in attending is terrible, especially when you see the vast improvements are being made to the areas for corporate guests, yet the paying public are forced to wade through mud, rivers, queue for eternity for toilets etc.

My best memories of attending Silverstone were without doubt the 2003 race, which was a thrill a minute, and slightly off topic, attending a test day there in 2004. I'd recently gone for a job with Toyota (which I sadly just missed out on), but as a consolation they invited all the candidates for a day with the team. I had lunch with the drivers, stood on the pitwall as the cars blasted past and met pretty much all the drivers for the other teams too. Testing became my new jam for a couple of years after until it was stopped.

Am not sure what we'll do in terms of a race this year, maybe wait and see what the TBA date is and aim for that.

#24 Sin

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:12

I wanted to see the grand prix in germany this year.... looked at how much it costs... decided that 2014 or 2015 are a much more realistic goal

#25 Topsu

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:21

Waiting for the Finnish Grand Prix I guess...

#26 IPBushy

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:28

As there have been a number of comments here and generally about how bad it is at a Grand Prix, such as traffic congestion, parking, mud, food, toilets, view, etc. etc. why is it the attending public hasn't voted with their feet and stayed away. Is actually being there really worth the hassle?

#27 olliek88

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:35

Been to Silverstone a bunch of times, Monaco the once and Monza the once this year as well as Jerez a few times for testing. Personally, of all the venue's i've attend the one i'd rate the lowest is probably Silverstone, not because of facilities or anything as its far superior to Jerez but the overall experience, sure Silverstone is a fast circuit but its in a plain, empty, flat, lifeless airfield with zero character and its blooming expensive! Favourite is easily Monza, a brilliant experience, the old banking is immense, its a cliche but the whole place feels like its in different era, being able to get so close to the cars at the Lesmos in particular, its about 30 mins outside Milan, dead easy to get to especially on the Sunday as they lay on free trains from Milan and the italians are brilliant at food!

But it has to be said, attending any GP is far from cheap, Silverstone have well and truly lost me as a potential customer with price hikes and the fact other GPs can be incorporated into a holiday, 2 birds, 1 stone.

Edited by olliek88, 03 January 2013 - 12:36.


#28 tifosiMac

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:39

As there have been a number of comments here and generally about how bad it is at a Grand Prix, such as traffic congestion, parking, mud, food, toilets, view, etc. etc. why is it the attending public hasn't voted with their feet and stayed away. Is actually being there really worth the hassle?

That's the age old question. Some people obviously enjoy the hassle and feel its part of the experience. Having experienced a GP from the paddock and general admission area's, I have to say not enough money is spent on the majority of fans. Its great if you are in the paddock and people assume you are 'somebody', but the fans who have paid close to £200 to camp and get into the perimeter of the circuit, the organiser couldn't care less. They obviously think to pay for the privilege of being within a 100 yards of an F1 car is value for money at the extortionate prices. They charge food trailers close to 40 grand for the weekend so they hike all their prices up. £9 for a crap burger and greasy chips is the norm. I remember in 2009 I fancied a chinese off a rather extravagant food trailer but thought I would save my money until the last day. I paid near enough £13 for what turned out to be a sweat and sour chicken and rice that was in fact 'Uncle Ben's' you get in the supermarket! haha. The weekend is usually great fun but a massive rip off when you add up the cost.

#29 tifosiMac

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:47

Personally, of all the venue's i've attend the one i'd rate the lowest is probably Silverstone, not because of facilities or anything as its far superior to Jerez but the overall experience, sure Silverstone is a fast circuit but its in a plain, empty, flat, lifeless airfield with zero character and its blooming expensive! Favourite is easily Monza, a brilliant experience, the old banking is immense, its a cliche but the whole place feels like its in different era, being able to get so close to the cars at the Lesmos in particular, its about 30 mins outside Milan, dead easy to get to especially on the Sunday as they lay on free trains from Milan and the italians are brilliant at food!

I love holidaying in Italy but I personally found Silverstone a much better atmosphere than Monza. That might be partly because the tifosi in my area of the circuit were leaving in droves when it looked like the Ferrari's were out of the running. I got the impression its Ferrari or nothing to most of them and the racing comes secondary. I've always found the fans of mixed intelligences a lot more friendly at Silverstone and the camp sites always have a good atmosphere at night to meet some good people. I understand what you are saying about the circuit feeling like you are watching a different era though.

#30 karne

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:53

As there have been a number of comments here and generally about how bad it is at a Grand Prix, such as traffic congestion, parking, mud, food, toilets, view, etc. etc. why is it the attending public hasn't voted with their feet and stayed away. Is actually being there really worth the hassle?


Yes. It is.

If you really love F1, there's nothing like the feeling of having them roar past and feeling the shriek of the engine in your very bones. (Most effective in the overpasses over Albert Park track.)

I try to go to Albert Park every year. It's a great atmosphere (the apocalyptic rain on the Thursday in 2011 was a bit much though), the crowds are usually great (the tifosi are hilarious, although the drunk Poms aren't usually that nice. The Scottish guys were funny though. And of course the Polish Kubica fan who must have died and gone to heaven in 2010...)

It's a great circuit, well-situated...last year I ran out of credit on my phone (before I set up the automatic thingy), got a pass-out of Gate 1, stepped on a tram, five minutes later, walked into the newsagent at Southern Cross Station, bought credit, walked out, stepped on a tram, and five minutes later was back at the track...on Race Day, I might add. Every day we walked to the track from where we were staying - a nice, leisurely walk. Brilliant.

If I won the lottery, I'd go to overseas Grands Prix, but alas, it stretches the moneys enough just to hop down to Melbourne.

#31 Buttoneer

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:58

I paid near enough £13 for what turned out to be a sweat and sour chicken and rice that was in fact 'Uncle Ben's' you get in the supermarket! haha.

I guess it's hot in those kitchens.

@karne; There's a law of diminishing returns IMO. My first race was an amazing experience, but last year I was 'meh' and got more enjoyment from the support races. I can't see me doing one this year.

#32 seahawk

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 13:02

In my experience the test days in Spain offer a very good deal, especially if you extend your stay to a holiday.

#33 f1madmatt

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 13:05

I've done the Canadian gp 2008, Australian GP 2009, Malaysia GP 2010, Spanish GP 2012 & Hungary 2012, + Indy car Toronto in 2011.

#34 goldenboy

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 13:07

After about 5 years of planning and failing to organise a mates trip to melbourne GP, I gave up on them and popped my cherry at monza this year, 3 day grandstand ticket at inside 1st turn. Was awesome but part of a trip around europe where money was not an issue except it was there to be spent :p

If I had a family to take though? Forget it!

Very keen to do canadian GP holiday.

Edited by goldenboy, 03 January 2013 - 13:07.


#35 ayali

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 13:17

Dunno how many I attended really as my dad took me to GPs every year from a very young age.

Later I usually attended 1 race a year or maybe a 2nd one if it could be incorporated in a holiday.
It used to be Spa, Hockenheim or the Ring as those are rather close.

Later I took one-off trips to Monza (really great), Monaco, Magny Cours, Silverstone and Valencia.
Furthest I've been was Canada (really really fun venue) and Singapore but those were part of a holiday/business trip.

On the to-do list is still Japan, Brazil and Australia

Don't get the negativity about visiting a race from some, sure it's expensive but that's F1 for you.
Just inform yourself well (online) and you know what you can expect for your money.
Don't wanna stand on a muddy banking with a limited view then save for a proper grandstand ticket.

Expensive food, sure it's there but at many tracks you can just bring your own (within limits)
Traffic jams? Get in early and leave early or late.

For me it's worth it 100%, the sound of the cars, the atmosphere at the track, awesome!! :)



#36 RobertoLarcos

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 13:54

I have to say not enough money is spent on the majority of fans. Its great if you are in the paddock and people assume you are 'somebody', but the fans who have paid close to £200 to camp and get into the perimeter of the circuit, the organiser couldn't care less.

Hard to argue with this. It seems that the trend in the past 10 or so years has been for spectators to get 'less bang for their buck' despite ticket prices increasing (cheers Bernie). From speaking to long-time racegoers at various venues, common complaints include a significant reduction in the number of General Admission vantage points (as in Montreal) and ever-decreasing numbers of support races (which I think applies to a few GP venues).

However, I'm still willing to pay what they charge (for now). I've had some of the best days of my life on my F1 holidays. Spend a week in a vibrant city (such as Melbourne, Singapore etc) with the lads, doing the touristy stuff before the action starts, having a great time at the track and then hitting the bars/clubs at night. Love it!



It's a great circuit, well-situated...last year I ran out of credit on my phone (before I set up the automatic thingy), got a pass-out of Gate 1, stepped on a tram, five minutes later, walked into the newsagent at Southern Cross Station, bought credit, walked out, stepped on a tram, and five minutes later was back at the track...on Race Day, I might add. Every day we walked to the track from where we were staying - a nice, leisurely walk. Brilliant.

Yes, the Aussie GP is a superbly-run event. It's so simple to get around. Great fun. The organisers actually make an effort to entertain the crowd - on and off-track. Silverstone, for example, was nowhere near as enjoyable - it was good, but not great. Almost everyone I have spoken to who has attended both events agrees that the Aussie GP weekend is streets ahead of Silverstone. I'd like to hear from other forummers who have been to both events and find out what their impressions were.

Much happier that my 'home' race is now at Albert Park! I wonder if many people in the UK have been put off attending other F1 races due to a previous bad experience at Silverstone...

Having said that, I'll probably be at Silverstone this year as I'm in the UK for a wedding that week...



Very keen to do canadian GP holiday.

Do it - you'll have an incredible time. There's a reason why it's one of the few races to sell out and why the drivers/teams love going there.

If you go once, you'll want to return every year!

#37 tifosiMac

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:03

However, I'm still willing to pay what they charge (for now). I've had some of the best days of my life on my F1 holidays. Spend a week in a vibrant city (such as Melbourne, Singapore etc) with the lads, doing the touristy stuff before the action starts, having a great time at the track and then hitting the bars/clubs at night. Love it!

I'm a young married man and money is tight. We don't go on holiday abroad every year so I couldn't justify spending the money on just myself. For me its our home GP or nothing right now and even that has become less desirable over the past few years. I'm less keen to spend my money on F1 since the introduction of Satellite exclusive coverage too. I may attend a race in a couple of years time, but it I attend anything this year it'll be MotoGP and I stand a good chance of getting free tickets to that. My parents live close to Silverstone and traffic isn't a problem as most of the spectators are bikers. The road system around the village has improved greatly over the past 7 years but its still a stupidly early start if you want to drive to the circuit on a GP weekend. It would be fantastic to go to Oz for a race and mix it in to a holiday but I can't myself ever doing that unfortunately.

#38 RobertoLarcos

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:26

It's all about priorities. I suspect my F1 travelling days will be over when I get my own missus and family! I might as well make the most of the last throes of youth...

Good to hear about the improved access to Silverstone as I really don't fancy camping this year :down:

Will need to check out MotoGP at some point as well - by all accounts it is much more spectator-friendly than your average F1 race...

#39 SealTheDiffuser

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:30

Early Season Testing in Barcelona/Montmelo or Valencia is good value for the hardcore and also not so hardcore fan.


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#40 Clatter

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:48

As there have been a number of comments here and generally about how bad it is at a Grand Prix, such as traffic congestion, parking, mud, food, toilets, view, etc. etc. why is it the attending public hasn't voted with their feet and stayed away. Is actually being there really worth the hassle?


IMHO it's because the problems are generally exaggerated by the press and the vast majority of people do not have problems. When things do go wrong, like last year at Silverstone, then most fans can recognise that the weather is not in the control of the organisers.

#41 tifosiMac

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 14:57

IMHO it's because the problems are generally exaggerated by the press and the vast majority of people do not have problems. When things do go wrong, like last year at Silverstone, then most fans can recognise that the weather is not in the control of the organisers.

Anybody who has visited Silverstone on multiple occasions knows the facilities for general fans could be improved greatly. They have been improved in recent years of course. Unfortunately most of the gate money doesn't go to the track owners in order for these changes to happen. Far too much money goes to third parties so £75m houses can be bought for status on reality TV shows. I don't blame Silverstone, its once again the greedy individuals who promote the sport and the failure to share the wealth for the good of the sport.

#42 Garagiste

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 15:25

Went to the Spanish GP in 2002, which at that time represented great VFM over Silverstone. Flights, 3 nights acommodation and Granstand tickets were cheaper all in than just general admission at Silverstone, so for a bit more we made 10 days out of it. Usually not the best GP, but what a great city.
Silverstone dropped their prices a bit in the following years and I went a few times but really I only attended because I knew I could get my hands on Paddock passes.
Since that's not the case any more, I haven't bothered as without that huge carrot it's just not a justifiable expense.

#43 Clatter

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 15:32

Anybody who has visited Silverstone on multiple occasions knows the facilities for general fans could be improved greatly. They have been improved in recent years of course. Unfortunately most of the gate money doesn't go to the track owners in order for these changes to happen. Far too much money goes to third parties so £75m houses can be bought for status on reality TV shows. I don't blame Silverstone, its once again the greedy individuals who promote the sport and the failure to share the wealth for the good of the sport.


I go every year and yes the facilities could be improved, but they are not really worse than any other outdoor event I have attended.


#44 olliek88

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 16:25

Anybody who has visited Silverstone on multiple occasions knows the facilities for general fans could be improved greatly. They have been improved in recent years of course. Unfortunately most of the gate money doesn't go to the track owners in order for these changes to happen. Far too much money goes to third parties so £75m houses can be bought for status on reality TV shows. I don't blame Silverstone, its once again the greedy individuals who promote the sport and the failure to share the wealth for the good of the sport.


Have to agree, Silverstone isn't perfect (Being in the middle of nowhere is a big issue) and it needs investment, better, more efficient use of park and ride and even a local train station of some sort but all of this requires significant investment and thats not something thats forth coming in the current climate sadly.

Although i didn't have the bad luck to attend this year i've found that with the improvements Silverstone have made its not to bad to get in and out of, of course once you get to the circuit there's a a queue into the car parks but if you get there early enough its not a massive problem. I live about 40 mins away from Silverstone on a clear run and i think the longest it has taken me to get home from a GP is about an hour and a half or so, which isn't bad going.

I think most people recognise that last year was an exception though, 2012 was the wettest year in England, ever, with a lot of rain falling before and over the GP weekend resulting in a lot of farmers closing private car parks/camp sites resulting in the traffic chaos, it couldn't of been easy for those effected but i'd be surprised if something like that happens again unless it rains in biblical proportion like last year.

#45 race addicted

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 16:44

I've been to Silverstone, Spa and Monza. Silverstone is by far the best, but then I didn't really have the best tickets at Monza - at the end of the start-finish straight.
Spa was good, but doesn't compete with Silverstone mainly because of crappy food at the track, and extremely annoying guards at the gates.

#46 F1EC

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 16:47

I travelled from the UK to Montreal for my first grand prix last year. The ticket costs seemed reasonable compared to some other tracks (cheapest grandstand), my airfare was free thanks to airmiles, I got a very good hotel deal, and I turned it into a longer holiday by combining it with a cross-Canada rail trip. Montreal put on a very good show, Lewis won (yay), McLaren gave me a garage tour, the circuit had wifi and pleasant places to chill out under the trees between sessions, etc, so it was a great trip ... very special, and I'm glad I did it. But I felt I missed out on a lot of the race action by being limited to a small view of the track. The glare (it was very sunny) meant I couldn't easily follow live timing on my phone. So I'm currently undecided on whether to go to another GP. I think I probably will, but I'd want to be certain that I could keep up with all the race action, which means preferably VIP access of some sort, or another good way to watch live timing and driver tracking. I've bought the 2013 F1 app, so if I could be sure of it working well at a circuit I might give it another go.

#47 FerrariFanInTexas

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 16:50

Dallas 1984
Indy GP 2001
USGP Austin 2012

For both Dallas and Austin, I lived in the host city so my costs were nominal, other than the cost of the ticket (which is way more today than it was in '84; but of course I was a struggling college student in '84 and everything seemed expensive).

For Indy in 2001, I saw the same sky-high hotel, rental car, and other costs that people were complaining about in Austin this year. So much so in 2001 that I chose to fly into Cincinnati, drive to Indiana, and stay in a small hotel in a town along the Interstate, about 30 miles east of Indianapolis. I drove my rental car into downtown every morning at 7 am, parked and took the shuttle to the track.

Here in Austin this year, my friends (who stayed at my house) and I followed the same plan. We drove from my suburban house to the shuttle facility, stood in line for maybe ten minutes each day to catch the shuttle, and were at the track as the gates opened every morning. I spent less than $100 per day at the track, and that includes buying my wife a Ferrari shirt so she'd be properly outfitted on race day, and one or two smaller mementos. By far the longest line/wait/delay was waiting to get on the shuttle to leave the track at the end of the day. I'd say it took thirty to forty minutes on Friday, about an hour on Saturday, and an hour and a half on Sunday. Not too bad overall, and similar to the wait to get on the shuttle following a day at the ACL Festival here in Austin every year. I do think the folks who are planning events in downtown or wherever need to take that delay into account and not schedule major events until 2-3 hours after the day ends at the track, to give folks time to get there.

Otherwise, each of my three race experiences has been great. It is a very different experience from watching it on tv, but there are so many other senses involved that it more than makes up for not having in-car camera shots, and maybe missing seeing a pass on a part of the track you can't see from your seats. The giant video boards help with that, and at the Austin track you really can see a lot of the track from anywhere. We were at T11, the hairpin before the back straight, and could see the cars coming over the hill at T9, and with binoculars had a fine view of them going into T12 at the end of the straight more than a kilometer away. Overall a good seat, and nothing compares to hearing the engines live, smelling the exhaust fumes (especially when the engines are not quite warm, they must burn a little rich), feeling the air pressure change in your ears and on your chest when three or four cars drive by at once).

And finally, it is great to be there after the final lap, when the drivers are finishing their cool down lap and are waving to the fans, driving near the walls to see the fans better and such. This year, Sergio Perez was getting all kinds of ovations as he did his cool-down lap, and it was great to see.

#48 taz

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 17:32

i'm an F1 fan since 1997 but i've never attended a GP.. i've seen Heikki Kovalainen in a Renault at Circuit Zolder but that's it..

Spa-Francorchamps, Nurburgring, Hockenheim and Silverstone are all within a few hours drive, so i hope to go to Spa this year :)

#49 ayali

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 17:46

So I'm currently undecided on whether to go to another GP. I think I probably will, but I'd want to be certain that I could keep up with all the race action, which means preferably VIP access of some sort, or another good way to watch live timing and driver tracking. I've bought the 2013 F1 app, so if I could be sure of it working well at a circuit I might give it another go.

Next time rent the Fanvision thingy at the track, that way you have timing, driver tracking and on-boards available to you.

#50 ayali

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 17:50

Otherwise, each of my three race experiences has been great. It is a very different experience from watching it on tv, but there are so many other senses involved that it more than makes up for not having in-car camera shots, and maybe missing seeing a pass on a part of the track you can't see from your seats.

Thanks for your description of your Austin race.
Nice to see a positive review in contrast to the habitual moaning :up:

I certainly would consider going to Austin, great city and now with what seems a very well organized GP.