Probably no other sport in the world is as glamorous as Formula 1 motor racing. This is the world of movie stars, amazing venues, millionaires and speed. When F1 comes to town, the whole world watches and the town in question changes, incredibly. To plan a trip of this kind takes forethought and organisation. Hotels get booked up very quickly, travel becomes more expensive and logistical problems get compounded. The only easy part is probably getting tickets which, whilst expensive are normally available, if you apply early. The British Grand Prix for example, is the biggest single sporting event in the country. Only someone who has attended a Grand Prix can possibly understand the enormity of the event, the glamour and the excitement. It is quite simply, unbeatable.
1 – Choosing the group
Your particular group will to a certain extent choose itself. Opinions get polarised when it comes to motor sport. People are either into it or they are not. Though I have to say, those who are not, could well change their minds by attending a race. Financial restraints will be an issue unless you happen to live close to one of the races. This is not a cheap sport, by any stretch of the imagination.
2 – Decide on the venue
Here you have the world at your feet! Twenty F1 Grand Prix venues cover the entire planet and are as glamorous as they come. Here is the list for the 2015 season: For all ticket information click here
Circuit: Albert Park
Length: 3.295 miles. Capacity: 80,000
Date: 12 – 15 Mar
The Australian race moved from the street circuit of Adelaide to the current Albert Park venue in Melbourne in 1996. The track is set next to a picturesque lake and is found just 2 miles to the South of the City.
Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
Circuit: Sepang International
Length: 3.444 miles Capacity: 80,000
27 – 29 Mar
Seeping is adjacent to the International Airport making it possible to simply fly in, catch the race and fly out again after. Not the best of circuits, K.L. is though a great city to visit.
Circuit: Bahrain International
Length: 3.363 miles Capacity: 70,000
03 – 05 Apr
This track opened in 2004 and was the first race held in the Middle East. In 2007 the circuit became the first Grand Prix circuit to be awarded the distinguished FIA Institute Centre of Excellence award.
Circuit: Shanghai International
Length: 3.387 miles Capacity: 200,000
17 – 19 Apr
This enormous venue first hosted a Grand Prix in 2004 and has been a regular fixture ever since. It was built on swamp land at a cost of $450 Million. It is located in the Jading area of the city.
Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona
Length: 2.892 miles Capacity: 140,700
08 – 10 May
Opened in 1991 it has hosted Grand Prix ever since. It is a popular track with drivers and crew as it is used frequently for testing. It is notorious difficult with regards to setting up the cars, as the wind can change direction extremely quickly.
Monaco (Monte Carlo)
Circuit: Circuit de Monaco
Length: 2.075 miles Capacity: estimated at 200,000
21 – 24 May
Arguably the most romantic venues in world sport, this is generally number 1 on any racing fans bucket list. The official capacity is only 37,00 but with people climbing onto every available building is is probably around 200,000. It has hosted races every year since 1955 and is the one that most drivers claim to want to win. It’s the only Formula 1 race to hold practices on Thursdays, as the streets are reopened on Friday to ease disruption of the working week.
Circuit: Gilles Villeneuve
Length: 2.710 miles Capacity: 100,000
05 – 07 Jun
Originally called the Ile Notre Dame Circuit it was renamed in honour of Canadian Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve and is located in the Parc Jean-Drapeau area of the city of Montreal, on an island in the St. Lawrence River.
Circuit: Red Bull Ring
Length: 2.688 miles Capacity: 225,000
19 – 21 Jun
Originally known as first the Osterreichring and then the A1 Ring, it now carries the name of its owner, the soft drinks giant Red Bull. It is located in a particularly beautiful part of the Austrian countryside.
Great Britain (Silverstone)
Length: 3.667 miles Capacity: 150,000
03 – 05 Jul
The British Grand Prix was formally held at Aintree and more famously Brand Hatch. It moved to Silverstone permanently in 1987, the track being the best location, travel wise. It is by the village of Silverstone in Northamptonshire. It was formally an RAF bomber station.
Length: 3.199 miles Capacity: 150,000
17 – 19 Jul
Whilst the venue has not been decided yet it is more than likely to be at the Nurburgring. They have been alternating between the Nurburgring and Hockenheim since 2006. Both are great circuits and both offer different challenges. This tree lined circuit is one of the most easily recognised in the sport. Jackie Stewart nicknamed the old track here “The Green Hell”. It is considered by many to be the most demanding and difficult purpose-built racing circuit on Earth.
Length: 2.722. miles Capacity: 200,000
24 – 26 Jul
There have been Grand Prix in Hungary since as long ago as 1936, however the war in Europe and political unrest in the country meant that it took a 50 year hiatus, only returning in 1986, becoming the first ever Grand Prix behind the Iron Curtain. Notoriously difficult to overtake, the track was modified in 2003, but it still remains one of the more difficult circuits.
Circuit: Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps
Length: 4.352 miles Capacity: 70,000
21 – 23 Aug
Known by racing enthusiasts simply as Spa, this is one of the most popular circuits for drivers and fans alike. The original triangle-shaped course used public roads between the Belgian towns of Francorchamps, Malmedy, and Stavelot. It used to be the fastest circuit in Europe and therefore was quite dangerous. In fact the 1969 race was boycotted and safety has now improved.
Circuit: Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Length: 3.600 miles Capacity: 137,000
04 – 06 Sept.
Long straights and fast corners make this one of the fastest circuits in F1. The fastest, Curva Grande, is located after the Variante del Rettifilo, which is at the end of the front straight and is usually taken flat out by Formula One cars. In the early years of motor racing it was notorious for fatal accidents and has claimed the lives of 53 drivers and 35 fans. It is now much safer but still draws criticism from the drivers.
Circuit: Marina Bay Street Circuit
Length: 3.147 miles Capacity: 82,000
18 – 20 Sept.
An Anti-clockwise circuit and races held at night drew large criticism early on, but these were soon assuaged as people saw the venue. It is quite simply breath-taking. Established in 2008 it has quickly become one of the favourites among fans. Singapore is one of the most beautiful cities on earth and having the Grand Prix is a major coup. Hotels are at a premium and as such are very expensive on race weekend. The 82,000 capacity is swelled by people viewing from hotel rooms.
Circuit: Suzuka Circuit
Length: 3.608 miles Capacity: 155,000
25 – 27 Sept.
It was designed in 1962, as a Honda test track, by Dutchman John “Hans” Hugenholtz. It is one of few circuits in the world to have a “figure 8” layout, with the long back straight passing over the front section by means of an overpass. It has been modified three times and is now a firm favourite.
Circuit: Sochi Autodrome
Length: 3.649 miles Capacity: 55,000
09 – 11 Oct
This is a street circuit in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi and is in the Olympic Park built for the 2014 Winter Olympics. 2014 was its inaugural year. The Russians campaigned for a full 30 years in order to have the right to stage a Grand Prix.
United States (Austin)
Circuit: Circuit of the Americas
Length: 3.399 miles Capacity: 120,000
23 – 25 Oct
The Austin based circuit was first proposed in 2010. The circuit was the first ever in the United States to be purpose-built for Formula One. The sport grabbed the imagination of Texans immediately with the inaugural race drawing a crowd of 117,000. This is another one of the few anti-clockwise circuits.
Mexico (Mexico City)
Circuit: Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Length: 2.758 miles Capacity: 100,000
30 Oct – 01 Nov
Named after the famous Mexican racing brothers, Ricardo and Pedro Rodríguez. Ricardo was killed in practice here soon after the track opened. in 1962. The circuit was closed between 1970 and 1986 because of concerns over crowd safety. It was decided in 2001 that the circuit again needed upgrading and F1 did not return until 2013 when the first of a 5 year deal’s races was held. Bumpy track conditions and the thin air here, makes this a demanding circuit for the drivers.
Brazil (São Paulo)
Circuit: Autódromo José Carlos Pace
Length: 2.677 miles Capacity: 60,000
13 – 15 Nov
Formally known as and still called by many, Interlagos was renamed after Carlos Pace, the Brazilian Formula One driver killed in a plane crash in in a 1977. The original name of the circuit means, “between lakes” and derives from its location in the neighbourhood of Interlagos, a region that sits between two large artificial lakes, Guarapiranga and Billings. The F1 mad, Brazilians create a unique atmosphere on race day. The development also includes a theme park, a water park and residential areas that houses hotels and beaches.
Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
Circuit: Yas Marina Circuit
Length: 3.451 miles Capacity: 50,000
27 – 29 Nov
Built on Yas Island, 30 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi, The Marina circuit was opened in 2009, becoming the second of the Emirates to hold a Grand Prix. This, like Singapore, is an anti-clockwise, race, its a day/night event and is favoured by most but not all the drivers.
3 – Be mindful of your budget
This can be and often is a tricky subject. The best way to deal with it is openness with the group members, whilst at the same time showing discretion if anyone expresses financial concerns. Early discussions regarding a realistic budget will save embarrassment later on.
Pick a budget, get the agreement of the group, then stick to it. Bearing in mind that this will be an expensive trip, try and minimise expenses by booking as early as possible.
4 – Location location location
This, of course, is down to a choice between the twenty races. Discuss the venues with your group and pick the most popular choice, for travel, cost and location.
5 – Think Outside the Box
Don’t let yourself be limited when planning this type of holiday. Booking as early as possible you should be able to arrange restaurant meals and other such add ons. It is a huge anticlimax if the race ends and so does your experience. Most races will have huge parties attached. For example at Singapore in 2014 Robbie Williams wowed the crowed with a dazzling performance in the rain. Finding out too late about this sort of addition would be a terrible faux pas.
When the trip does, in fact, come to an end, send out a follow-up email to gather feedback. This is a great opportunity to thank the group for participating and also gather information, useful in planning future trips.
6 – Use Your Group Buying Power
It is important to remember that at all times while making inquiries into the cost of travel, accommodation or activities, that you have the strength of your group buying power. Any business that can see a booking coming their way with upwards or 10, 20 or 30 people will definitely not want to loose out, and will be happy to offer incentives to win your custom.
If you take for example the many businesses out there that are offering up to a 80% discount on their services including administration fees, to post discount deals on some of the most renowned discount sites like Groupon.com and LastMinute.com and many other sites like these, to try and gain customers to promote their services. Bare this in mind if you’re a bit shy when it comes to haggling for discounts, go for it as you’ve nothing to loose, as all they can do is say no.
7 – Choosing Accommodations
There are many options for choosing accommodation that need to be considered when considering the level of budget for the overall group. The first and most obvious option is hotel accommodation.
Hotel Accommodation is in abundance on many price comparison sites, but sometimes you already know where you want to go based on recommendations from others who have visited the area where you wish to travel. It is always best practice to contact the hotel directly to see if you can get your own discount for your group booking.
Recommendations from others are most helpful in deciding your accommodation, as you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere!
You can view many of the most popular hotel booking service providers on the Hotels Section of DIYHolidays.com.
Private Properties are also another great option for affordable accommodation with a twist. There are many fabulous private luxurious villas available for short-term rentals. Some of these villas are like those in which you would imagine movie stars living in. Some of These will have features beyond your wildest imagination, including private swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and a room for everyone in the group!
The cost of renting these villas can be surprisingly affordable when you divide the cost up among the members of your group. There are many websites that provide these options for you, but you can see them all in one location on the Private Properties Section on DIYHolidays.com.
B&B’s are also an option to consider as this might suit a smaller group traveling, especially if you are heading to an area that can be quite expensive for accommodation. This can also be an adventurous option as you are dealing with local people presenting their local hospitality, and local knowledge. You can also view a multiple of service providers offering B&B accommodation from all over the world on the B&B Section on DIYHolidays.com.
Hostel’s are a very cost effective option to consider as this might suit a smaller group traveling, especially if you are heading to an area that can be quite expensive for accommodation. Hostels do have rooms with a number of bunks in it that might suit the number of people in your group.
This can be a great solution as sleeping can be the last thing on the itinerary for your group, although it can be a noisy option if everybody comes back at different times with a little too much to drink! There are many Hostel booking agents available on line for booking Hostels all over the world and you can see them all in one location here on the Hostel Section on DIYHolidays.com.
8 – Keep your Group Informed
It is always best to inform the people in your group of exactly what costs are involved, what is included in the trip and what, if any, discounts you have managed to squeeze out of service providers.
Collecting the money can also be challenging as this can sometimes create difficulty especially when deposits have to be paid. This is where you avail of the services of GroupandPay.com.
GroupandPay.com is a hugely popular online platform that is free for organisers to use when informing their group of what has been arranged for them, and it also provides an easy hassle free system for collecting the money. It prides itself on being very user friendly.
Watch this video to see how it works!
9 – Travel Insurance
Many people overlook this, but it is so important especially if traveling abroad. Group insurance policies are readily available and do not have to be expensive. The peace of mind that it brings is worth it, especially for the organiser. Many companies specialise in this kind of cover. There are many service providers listed here on the Travel Insurance Section on DIYHolidays.com for you to choose from!
10 – Need inspiration for Planning your Group Experience?
Check out DIYHolidays.com as they inspire individuals and groups to travel, especially around their interests and hobbies.
Here you will see a multitude of interests and hobbies for you to get inspired from and for each one you will see enthusiasts recommending amazing places to go. You also see them sharing their experiences through videos, photos, and blogs. You can participate in live surveys, or ask questions and partake in live discussions. You can also view all the most popular online specialists stores from all over the world for each interest and hobby, all in one location, and you can even play related online games.
And as you have probably guessed it, DIYHolidays.com is a sister company of GroupandPay.com, so we are all about Inspiring Individuals and Groups to do more Traveling and enjoy more Social Engagement!!!
Tell us about your Experiences and Offer Recommendations
If you have created a group travel experience for your buddies that turned out to be an awesome experience, then don’t keep it to yourself, tell us about it in the comments section below.
It’s all about sharing the love on #GroupandPay.com