Formula One

Formula One is the most popular annual car-race series in the world. Its global reach allows people from all over the world to attend its races. Attending a race can be an adventure in itself, and a race-goer can expect to experience a new country and culture and interact with people from all around the world. Formula One currently visits nineteen countries over five continents.

Understand

The locations of Formula One racing remain fairly static throughout the year, with only the dates of the races subject to year on year changes. Over the past few years, the number of different countries hosting a Grand Prix has increased, especially in Asia. Since 2008, circuits in Singapore, Abu Dhabi, India, the United States, Russia, and Azerbaijan have been added to the calendar, though India is not on the 2016 calendar. Because of the increase in the number of races, the German Grand Prix rotates yearly between two different circuits. Races in France, Turkey, South Korea, and India have recently been discontinued.

Weekend structure

Formula One events take place over three days, referred to as 'the weekend', starting with practice sessions on Friday, the qualifying on Saturday, and culminating with the race on Sunday. Monaco is only exception to this, where the practice sessions are by tradition held one day earlier on the Thursday, leaving the Friday free.

Support races

With only six hours of action over three days, the crowd can get restless when the Formula One cars aren't racing around the track. However, the Formula One championship is joined by many other supporting championships over the weekend to keep the track alive. The races may be shorter and the cars may be slower, but don't discount the excitement (and carnage) they may bring.

Grand Prix locations

Americas

Canada

The hairpin (L'Epingle) at the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve offers great viewing opportunities

Canadian Grand Prix - Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, Montréal

United States

United States Grand Prix - Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas

Mexico

Mexican Grand Prix - Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez Mexico City

Brazil

Brazilian Grand Prix - Autódromo José Carlos Pace (Interlagos), São Paulo

Asia

Bahrain

Bahrain Grand Prix - Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir

China

Two identical bridges tower over the start/finish straight at the Shanghai International Circuit

Chinese Grand Prix - Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai


Japan

Fans cheer as local driver Kamui Kobayashi races past during the 2011 Japanese Grand Prix

Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka International Racing Course (or simply Suzuka Circuit), Suzuka

Malaysia

Malaysia Grand Prix - Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur

Singapore

The Marina Bay Street Circuit is without a doubt the most visually spectacular circuit in Formula One today

Singapore Grand Prix - Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi ِAbu Dhabi Grand Prix News - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix News, Abu Dhabi

Europe

Austria

Austrian Grand Prix - Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria

Azerbaijan

European Grand Prix - Baku City Circuit

Belgium

The steep drop down and climb up of the Eau Rouge-Raidillon complex

Belgian Grand Prix - Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Wallonia

Germany

German Grand Prix - Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg (or simply Hockenheimring), Hockenheim, Baden-Württemberg

Note: The German Grand Prix was not run in 2015 due to problems securing a venue. The Hockenheimring and Nurburgring, near Nürburg, have a hosting agreement under which the tracks alternate hosting duties, with the Hockenheimring hosting in even-numbered years and the Nurburgring hosting in odd-numbered years. The 2016 event returns to the Hockenheimring.

Hungary

Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring, Mogyoród, Pest, Budapest

Italy

There's only one team the fans support at Monza

Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza

Monaco

The abundance of yachts in Monte Carlo's harbour means there's a grand prix just around the corner

Monaco Grand Prix - Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo

Russia

Russian Grand Prix - Sochi Autodrom, Sochi

Spain

Spanish Grand Prix - Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Montmeló (near Barcelona)

United Kingdom

The view from the Silverstone circuit's Luffield grandstands during the 2008 British Grand Prix

British Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone

Oceania

Australia

Australian Grand Prix - Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Albert Park, Melbourne

Get in

Tickets

Entry to a circuit requires a ticket. Tickets can be bought for the whole weekend (all three days) or for one specific day (they get more expensive as the weekend goes along). There are generally two types on sale:

Traffic

By car

Formula One Grands Prix are popular events, so preparations should be made for heavy traffic. If arriving by car, Fridays are often the quitest day, but don't expect to just sail through. Traffic queues on the weekend can be ridiculously long, and unless you are a dedicated soul arriving before sunrise expect to be waiting upwards of half an hour. The same can be said for leaving. A vast majority of the crowd tends to try and leave at the same time, so unless you wish to leave early (and miss some racing) or wait until late in the evening (when there is no racing going on) be prepared for more waiting. The parking areas tend to be extremely large so make a note of anything that can make identifying where you've parked easier. No one wants to be searching for their car at the end of a tiring day.

By shuttlebus

Some circuits may offer a shuttlebus service, designed to alleviate traffic problems. Cars are parked some way from the track and shuttlebuses run at frequent times to the track in their own designated lane, so this can make entry a much quicker process.

By helicopter

Arriving by helicopter is the most stylish way for the fan to enter, if you are lucky enough to be a VIP. Most tracks have some kind of heliport, if not a purpose-built one then a field within the circuit perimeter is used. All the worries associated with queueing and waiting are largely foregone, and helicopter is surely the most stress-free way of getting in.

Get around

Walking is generally the best option (and sometimes the only option) for getting from one area to another. Circuit maps are printed within official programmes and on boards dotted around the track. If you do not have a print version of the circuit map consider taking a picture of one of the boards with your phone or camera. Bridges and service tunnels connect the interior of the circuit with the exterior.

Buy

There will be many stalls situated just outside the viewing areas selling all kinds of F1 and motorsport memorabilia. Stock typically includes official team/driver merchandise and clothing; pictures and paintings; branded gear such as umbrellas, binoculars and flags; DVDs and other media; and collectible racing car models. Official programmes will also be on sale. Be prepared to pay high prices (remember you're mainly paying for the brand), but they can make excellent souvenirs from the event and the gear can be used again for future events.

Sleep

Hotels near many of the circuits can sell out up to a year in advance, so if you are intending on staying nearby book early. Some venues, such as Silverstone, allow camping on fields adjacent to the circuit. You will probably need to book a camping ticket to take advantage of this, and these too usually sell out fast so book early if you want to take this option.

Stay safe

Despite the high visibility of the 'motorsport is dangerous' notices Formula One has quite a good spectator safety record. However, no matter how safe a restricted part of the track may seem you should not venture onto these areas as they can be quite dangerous. Previous spectator fatalities at Formula One races have been caused by the spectators in question being on a restricted part of the track. Sticking to the proper areas drastically reduces the chances of being hurt in an accident. Be aware that moving vehicles operate in the paddock areas and along service roads, so keep your eyes and ears open. If someone is hurt medical tents with trained staff are located at various points around the track; these are marked clearly on circuit diagram boards.

The following general precautions should also be taken:

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.