Austin Formula 1 Grand Prix Travel Guide

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Chances are that you or some of your friends have really gotten into Formula 1 lately.

Global motorsport has conquered the American market thanks in part to the resounding success of the Netflix docuseries Drive to Survive. And while new fans enjoyed the races from their couches on Sunday morning, many are itching for the logical next step: attending a Grand Prix in person.

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However, the process is not that simple. With a calendar zigzagging across five continents and only a few races in the US – the series will head to Austin for the US Grand Prix on October 23, in addition to races in Miami and Las Vegas next year – there will be one Watch Formula Live A race can require an extensive itinerary. For Americans who have never competed in a race, the whole weekend can be confusing, not to mention the expense.

If you’re dying to watch your first F1 race but don’t know where to start, fear not: these tips will help you plan your trip — and hopefully save you a few bucks in the process.

Book in advance, especially for hotels

First things first: You should find out which race you want to participate in and where you will be staying. The earlier you plan the better as finding a hotel can be one of the most difficult parts of a Formula 1 trip.

Shortly after the official Formula 1 calendar was released (the 2023 schedule was released last month), downtown hotels in host cities are starting to fill up quickly. Their rates are increasing as the race nears – most Austin hotels are over $400 a night during the upcoming US Grand Prix – so you should start researching your hotel options early, almost a full year in advance, if you want to find the best deals.

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If downtown hotels are beyond your budget, there are other options: you might be able to find a good deal on an Airbnb from a host who might not know that the city hosts a Formula 1 race. Or you are looking for accommodation in a neighboring town. For example, if downtown Austin seems limited, you can find some cheaper hotels in nearby San Marcos, just a half-hour drive from the racetrack.

If you’re traveling with a group of friends, splitting the cost can save you money.

Don’t sleep in Friday practice

An F1 weekend is much more than just the two-hour race on Sunday. Each Grand Prix is ​​a three-day festival featuring a variety of racing series and a variety of shows and attractions, from hot air balloons to motocross stunt shows to rock concerts. Each circuit creates a carnival atmosphere.

Most new fans feel compelled to attend Sunday’s race, but that’s not necessarily the best option: These tickets are incredibly expensive (grandstand seats often exceed $500 per ticket) and the viewing experience can be lackluster. Many sections of each circuit don’t have video screens, so you often rely on Twitter to find out what happened to your favorite driver.

Suffice it to say, it is very unlike on TV.

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Typically, for a fraction of the price (think $50 instead of $500), you can attend Friday’s Formula 1 practice day and catch a variety of on-track action while still enjoying the atmosphere of the venue.

The slightly reduced crowds mean it’s much easier to get around rather than waiting in uncomfortably long lines, and you can often choose where to sit as the grandstands aren’t as crowded as they are the rest of the weekend. If you are entering your first race and not sure how you will like it, this is a great test. It’s a great experience that’s often overlooked.

Get tickets from the home circuit

Formula 1 isn’t like an MLB or NBA game where you can just hop onto StubHub a few days before and snag cheap nosebleed seats.

Race tickets purchased at face value through the Formula 1 website sell out very quickly, but don’t lose hope: you can also find tickets on the independent website for each host circuit (Circuit of the Americas for the US Grand Prix in Austin; Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in June).

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Some of these sites also have verified resale portals, which is helpful since resale sites like StubHub, Viagogo, or Vivid Seats don’t always have many options.

And be warned: Ticket prices for newer races – like Miami, which debuted this year – tend to be steep expensive, especially in the resale market.

Do your homework for each Grand Prix city

Because Formula 1 is such a global series, each race is very different in terms of safety procedures, ticket prices, track access, catering options and accessibility.

F1 Experiences, a travel organization that offers all-inclusive ticket packages, has a free blog that offers helpful guides on each route and host city, as does the F1 Destinations website. Be sure to research the race you plan to enter, especially if it’s an international race, so you know exactly what to expect.

It’s also a good idea to check out social media, particularly the Formula 1 subreddit, to get a feel for what fans were saying at last year’s Grand Prix. You might get tips and wind of bigger problems that have arisen: Were there not enough water filling stations? Should you avoid the shuttle buses by taking the subway or driving?

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