Road to Formula 1
You can enjoy an F1 holiday without seriously depleting your savings account. Here’s how you can do it:
When it comes to watching costly motor-sport events live from the arena, Formula 1 is definitely at the top of the table. One may think that it is beyond our means to attend such a premier event, but with careful planning one can have a Formula 1 holiday without having to blow up all your savings. A simple and least expensive full weekend (Friday-Sunday) F1 holiday can cost roughly US $ 500-1000. The cost includes weekend package tickets, accommodation and spending money for food and souvenirs, but it may not be enough to cover travel expenses. If spending US $ 500-1000 is a big ask then one can opt for general admission tickets for race day only (which is Sunday) for around US $ 100.
What should I choose, Organized Tour or DIY?
What must be taken into consideration is the time and money you are willing to spend for an F1 holiday. An organized package is a complete package and the tour operator organizes everything for you if you are prepared to pay for it. Yes, an organized tour is expensive but if you are too lazy to plan your F1 holiday a year ahead and the idea of such a holiday comes to your mind only a month or two before race day, then it is certainly the one you should choose. As mentioned about, the two websites not only help you with the tickets but also tour packages. However, if you are a budget traveler, you need to plan an F1 holiday three to four months in advance. Check out the flight and stadium tickets first and if both are available according to your schedule, then it is time for you to look for accommodations that suit your budget.
The F1 Tickets
Making the decision to go to an F1 race is just one of the many decisions that you need to make. The next step is to choose which F1 races you want to go to, what type of ticket you want to buy and from where you can get them. The best and most affordable races for Nepali people can be the Singapore Grand Prix, Malaysia Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which take place in mid September, first week of October and end of November respectively. To get more information regarding the cost and dates of F1 races, tickets and tour packages, go to grandprixevents.com or f1experiences.com.
How to get there
Most F1 circuits are now located inside or near major city areas which does make traveling easier for F1 enthusiasts, but it doesn’t come cheaply. So, it’s not just the race track you need to research, it’s the city also. Instead of choosing airports near the city, go for other airports or airline tickets that are cheaper. You should also have information regarding public transportation and how much it costs in order to travel from your location to the race track.
Where to stay
If you are on a budget and an outdoor enthusiast, try the most affordable accommodation available – camping. It is still popular in F1 races in European countries where they would take a tent or ride their van to the race track and completely indulge themselves for a weekend of F1 action without having to miss any race track action.
Staying in a hostel is also a budget option. The F1 cities do have hostel-style accommodation in which you have to be ready to share a room with other people. It is certainly not a luxury accommodation but surely cheap. This type of accommodation is best for people who just want a place to sleep and do a whole day of sightseeing around the city or race track.
Yes, there are budget hotels too starting from US $ 100-150 per night. There are mid-range hotels for around US $ 200-300 per night and for a five star hotel the cost can be upwards of US $ 500. Be smart when choosing the hotel location as you don’t want to be spending too much on public transportation while traveling to and from the race track. Do a thorough research of the whole city, your hotel location and the circuit to fulfill your F1 holiday as per your plans otherwise you will be just accumulating extra expenses.
What should I pack?
Pack less with comfortable clothing and shoes that are just required for a weekend and in which it will be easier for you to move around. Remember that it’s a race you are going to on holiday, not some exotic and fashion related holiday. Carry dri-fit clothes which are good to soak up sweat and also dries quickly. Taking a camera is a must to capture your F1 moments. Try not to overload you bag and keep in mind that you will want to leave some space for the cool F1 souvenirs.
Make sure that you have done proper research of the city before arrival. If you are still confused, carry a printed map of the city or simply go to Google Maps. Upon arrival, look for the official F1 race program which are available at news agents in the host city. This is because the race program provides all the valuable information about the weekend Grand Prix event and you can plan your weekend according to it.
Inside the track
Remember to pack and carry a small and handy backpack with necessities like raincoat, umbrella and spare clothing, hat, sun screen lotion, and most importantly, a camera before leaving for the track. A traveler on budget can also take food and drinks along with them as the cost of food inside the race track are high.
After getting inside the track, find the entry gate as per your ticket with the help of the circuit map provided with the ticket. Next, you need to find your seat, keep the ticket safe and ready for inspections that can happen throughout the day.
When it comes to transportation, taking public transport is the cheapest but it can also get overcrowded. So, when you are leaving for the track, plan to reach the track an hour or two before the others so that you can settle down and also catch the practice session. As for your departure from the stadium, delay your exit by an hour or so after the race. You don’t want to miss the post celebration that happens after the race. Just a few minutes after the race ends, the track is opened to fans and you can join other fans to see the podium celebration. For this you need to hustle and is not for the faint hearted which is what F1 races is all about.
Although each year more than half a billion fans watch F1 races on their television, only a few million get an opportunity to watch the sport live from the race track. It is a must-go-to race event for auto-sport enthusiasts and if you get to experience an F1 Grand Prix, don’t forget to have fun.