5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going To My First Grand Prix

Lights out and away we go (to the track).
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With 24 races on the Formula One (F1) calendar this year, you might find yourself attending one for the very first time. And you’d be wise to come prepared.

WATCH BELOW: Formula 1 2023 Opening Titles

Take it from someone who attended her very first Grand Prix last year, held at Albert Park in Melbourne, I’m glad I did my homework beforehand.

From unpredictable weather conditions to long queues to even bigger crowds; there’s a lot more I know now than I did walking through those gates the very first time.

So, I thought I’d share a few tips on making it the best experience possible from someone who is now an official Grand Prix attendee.

5 tips for attending the Australian Grand Prix in 2024

2023 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix
Chanelle Mansour at the 2023 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. (Credit: Supplied)

1. Listen in

As thrilling as it is to watch the cars drive by at impeccable speeds down the track, often they’re moving too fast to even see who is who, making it hard to keep up with what position everyone is in.

One of the ways around it is to open up Kayo Sports, pop in one AirPod and listen to the live commentary while watching the action on the track. This does wonders when it comes to actually knowing what is going on, as the speakers on the track can be drowned out by noise from the crowds and the cars.

If you don’t have a subscription already, you can sign up for Kayo Sports right here to watch F1 live and on-demand – either at the Grand Prix or at home.

2. Come prepared

If, like me, you’re opting for a Park Pass then you’d be wise to come prepared for track conditions. Arm yourself with a picnic rug as there is limited seating around the track or a portable chair for a higher vantage point.

A tote bag or backpack is also a good choice, to pack it full of things like an umbrella (for unpredictable weather conditions), sunglasses, sunscreen, water and snacks so you can skip the long lines at the various food stands. Portable phone chargers are also a good thing to remember.

WATCH BELOW: The 2023 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix

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3. Location is key

When choosing your accommodation (if you’re not a local), choose a place that is relatively close to the track so you can easily walk or travel there – especially if you have a multi-day pass.

It’ll come in handy when you want to pop back to your room during the gap between FP1 and FP2, and the next day during FP3 and Qualifying. Plus, you can save money on transportation if you’re only a few minutes of a walk away.

Check out our recommendations for some of the best luxury hotels in Melbourne here.

4. Dress to impress

One of the best parts of being an F1 fan is supporting your favourite team or driver – and what better way to do so than by wearing their merch?

While there are merchandise stalls on location throughout the race weekend, they can be quite pricey so you might want to save a little bank and start shopping earlier, especially during online sales.

Another handy tip is to dress comfortably – a decent pair of sneakers will do wonders when you’re walking around the track all day.

2023 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix
The viewing mounds at Turn 12. (Credit: Supplied)

5. Find the perfect spot

If you missed out on Grandstand tickets this year, fret not as you can still enjoy great scenes with a Park Pass by choosing a good spot.

I chose to use FP1 and FP2 to test out some viewing areas until I found the viewing mounds at Turn 12 where I perched at the very top and had access to a screen to keep track of what was happening, while also being able to see the cars drive by.

There are other four can’t-miss locations at Albert Park – the inside of Turn 2 which is a guaranteed first-lap hotspot for action, the outside of Turn 8, the curve that follows, and the Turn 9-10 chicane.

6. An extra tip

I know I said five but it’s worth mentioning to remember to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere. Odds are you’ll meet like-minded fans who are open to chatting and talking about the one thing you’re both incredibly passionate about: F1.

Shop all your Grand Prix necessities here

  • Kayo Sports Subscription, from $25, Kayo Sports
  • Apple AirPods with Charging Case 2nd Gen, $128, Amazon
  • Basil Bangs The Weekend Rug, $125, The Iconic
  • Wavy days Beach Chair Sun Lounge, $19.95 (usually $49.95), Bed Bath N’ Table
  • Terry Beach Bag, $69, Hommey
  • Mimco Mim-mazing Umbrella, $59.95, Myer
  • ASOS Desong Drama Sneakers, $36, ASOS
  • Hawkers Co Black One Ls Raw Sunglasses, $45.49 (usually $64.99), The Iconic
  • Mobile Phone Portable Power Bank Chargers, prices vary, Amazon
  • Hotels and accommodation, prices vary,
  • Formula One merchandise, prices vary, F1 Store

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