The ultimate Formula 1® packing guide
You have your ticket booked and you’ve been counting down the days since the opening race weekend in Melbourne..!!! Now finally, your race weekend is coming up and you’ve started packing, but there’s just one problem…You’ve never been to an international Formula 1 race before...
So what should you pack, what should you take to the track and what should you leave at home?
We have put this list together to help you answer those questions so that when you attend your first international race, you come prepared.
So here it goes, a few things you should always remember when packing for your first live Formula 1 event...
Prepare for all seasons
There are some tracks you can pretty much bank on the weather - for example, your going to be pretty unlucky if you experience rain in Abu Dhabi or Bahrain. However, there are other tracks like Melbourne where you need sunscreen in the morning, a raincoat by lunch and your winter thermals by qualifying, only to get tan lines on the way home. Do your research first, but at least make sure to pack
- Poncho or raincoat (go ahead, ask us how we know ;)
- Sunglasses and a hat (or be prepared to pay $80 for a team hat at the circuit!!!)
- Jumper / sweater / warm layers
Prepare to walk
There are no two ways around it, unless you have paid top dollar for tickets that include helicopters and golf carts, you can’t go to a Formula 1 event without a little walking. If you’re going all that way, you may as well enjoy both the on and off-track entertainment, as well as exploring the local city a little.
Most tracks offer lots of off-track entertainment to explore, and you can expect some walking to and from your grandstand. Plus, the local cities also come to life on race weekend, which means there is always plenty of attractions around the city as well as the local culture to experience; so expect to rack up those steps.
When you’re packing, make sure to include:
- Comfortable walking clothes
- Shoes that don’t give you blisters (and bandaids just in case they do)
- And, it might sound disgusting, but a sweat towel or rag for those races in tropical destinations.
Prepare the essentials
Your ticket: It seems obvious, but please, don’t forget your ticket. If it’s a paper ticket or lanyard, put it in your bags the night before. If it’s a print at home ticket, print it off BEFORE you fly out. Finding a printer overseas may not be as easy as you think, especially if you’re going straight to the event from the airport, and some tracks may not re-print your ticket when you arrive.
Cash: Not all events, taxis or vendors accept cards, and even if they do, it’s not uncommon for them to go down occasionally, which means if you have no local cash, you have no food, merchandise or more importantly, drinks…
Snacks: It’s the same the world over, you go to an event and the prices inflate, but go to a Formula 1 event and... well you get the idea. We aren’t saying to bring in a portable bbq, meat and an esky (good luck getting it all in), but some lollies (candy), fruit and a water bottle just to snack on through the day is always a great idea.
Things we have learnt the hard way...
Glad bags for your passport: Passports aren’t actually waterproof, so if it rains, and it does occasionally - you do not want your passport to get wet while overseas.
We’ve been there, done that (torrential rain in Singapore), and it requires a few trips to the local embassy (not always in the same city), hours on the phone to travel insurance, an emergency passport and a downer on your otherwise incredible weekend!
Marker or sharpie for autographs: This is one of those times that, at home, you would know exactly where to get one at the last minute, but overseas, you’re rushing to get to the track, you don’t know where to look, you don’t speak the local language and the list goes on, so make sure you pack one before you depart your home country!
Also, make sure you think about the colour choice, ie, if you support Red Bull, don’t bring a black marker for a dark purple cap… Oops... (lucky someone had a white marker next to us).
Look at the track schedule first (and save it to your phone!): Every event is individually run by the host city - which means that every weekend has different schedules for pre-race entertainment.
Take Melbourne for example, the track rarely goes more than half an hour, from Thursday through to the Sunday race, without some form of racing or entertainment on it. On the other end of the spectrum, go to Bahrain, and you pretty much go to watch the practice sessions, qualifying and the race, and that’s it.
So look at the schedule first, you have spent a lot of money to go to an international race, but if there is nothing on between Practice 1 and Practice 2, perhaps you would have more fun exploring the city than waiting 2.5 hours at a track with nothing to do, nothing on track, no good food and 45+ degree heat (go ahead, ask us how we know!).
After visiting many local and international Formula 1 events, figuring some things out and learning a few others the hard way, we thought it would be good to pass on our experience to anybody else wanting to take advantage of the incredible experience that is an F1 weekend.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list, there are other things you may wish to bring, for example, if you have children, or allergies (print off your allergy in the local language) but this is a great starting point for anybody getting ready to travel overseas for their first international Formula 1.
Your final Formula 1 daily packing list
- Poncho or raincoat
- Sunglasses and a hat
- Comfortable walking clothes
- Shoes that don’t give you blisters
- Sweat towel or rag
- Your ticket
- Local cash
- Water bottle
- Glad bag for your passport
- Sharpie or marker for autographs
- Daily track schedule