With the start of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship under way, many fans will be looking for ways to indulge in their chosen sport, either on a budget or with an element of extravagance that befits the glamorous lifestyle experienced in motor racing.
Contrary to the high-octane glitz however, are the practical low budget packages that suit the majority of Formula 1 fans. Leger Holidays, a coach travel company with over 30 years of experience offer deals to see a number of traditional races in Europe – notably Monaco, Italy and Belgium for little more than the cost of a cheap four day city break. In addition to travel and accommodation, travellers get general access to the circuit and can upgrade to grandstand seats as an extra. Those that struggle with long coach journeys shouldn’t necessarily rule Leger out either, as flight options are available for selected events too. The result can be long hours watching European countryside flow by, talking to like-minded fans of the sport and enjoying the quirks of comedic drivers, fun quizzes and a style of travel reminiscent of the heyday of coach travel.
At the other end of the scale lies organisations such as Motor Sports Travel whom pride themselves in offering a more bespoke service to races further afield. With destinations like Singapore, where the lights go down for one of the few Formula 1 night races, as well as Abu Dhabi and Australia, fans can choose to see almost any event from the year’s calendar. The number of nights, flight arrangements and ticket level, including VIP access can be altered at a cost and those seeking to splash out, either at the race itself or beyond, may simply enquire as to how the package can fit around them. Perhaps the most useful aspect of booking this way, is the ability to make use of the event as a holiday, seeing the sights and attractions in the chosen location in days either side of the Grand Prix.
Ultimately, an individual approach might suit fans who want a more independent experience. Many of the European races have a tradition of offering camping facilities and general access areas where flags, fold out chairs and BBQs can be erected to create a festival atmosphere amongst the smell of burning rubber and roar of today’s hybrid power units. Those seeking adventure may wish to drive, cycle or otherwise travel through a number of locations to reach the circuits, which often lie off the beaten track, away from large international cities.
Rather strangely, for British fans, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone whilst having the advantages of being centrally located only 60 miles from London, is as much of a commitment financially as Belgium, France or Spain. Arguably, with 4-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton leading the pack in recent times, nothing can beat cheering home-grown talent to another home win, but those with a tight budget may benefit from crossing the channel instead.
Though the sport comes across as a niche interest for wealthy enthusiasts at times, the reality is that Grands Prix are more accessible than most people think and as the season progresses and excitement builds, there is no doubt that the temptation grows to see things first-hand.