Monday, 16 December 2013

Monaco Race Day Experience 2013

                                 (Ben Johnston 2013)

Formula One can be an extremely expensive sport to support If you want to attend a Grand Prix for example, depending on where the race there are a number of factors that need to be taken into account. Firstly you need to decide what race you want to go to. The next step is to decide the sort of ticket that you want either General Admission or do you go all out for a three day Grandstand ticket?

Once you have decided the race you want to go to and booked your ticket’s you then have to sort out accomadation and flight’s depending on the race you going to. In the end it can be extremely expensive.

What if there was another option where you could get behind the scene’s access to a Formula One team?

Well now you can, a number of team’s offer fan’s the the opportunity to experience a Grand Prix weekend from inside the walls of the factory the Lotus F1 Team offer a Race Day Experience as do the Williams Grand Prix team.

                                               (Ben Johnston 2013)

To go to one of the major Grand Prix like Silverstone for example, the cheapest Three Day Grandstand ticket will cost £225 and that is for the National Pit straight.

General Admission ticket’s for Silverstone cost £165 per person. For the Monaco Grand Prix the cheapest three day grandstand ticket costs £264.97. The ticket price’s exclude accomadation and flight’s.

The Lotus F1 Team run Three Race Day Experience’s the first one is the Monaco Grand Prix. The event with Lotus is held at their Enstone factory and costs £175 excluding VAT £210 all inclusive.

For that price you get:

A continental Breakfast upon arrival at the factory
A look at the Sunday papers.
A review of qualifying from the day before from an event MC
Glass of Champaign
A Q and A session with a member of the Lotus F1 Team at the circuit
Brunch- a go on the F1 Sim and tyre change challenge
Uninterrupted Live coverage of the race.
Debrief and Q and A with the Team MC, PRIZE giving and the chance to purchase some 2013 Lotus F1 Merchandise.

So when you weigh up the cost of going to a Grand Prix and what you get in term’s of access for your money it is extremely expensive. A Grand Prix weekend runs from Thursday to Sunday and on Thursday driver’s sign autograph’s and if you have a grand stand ticket you can gain acccess to the pit-lane but you are not guarnteed to meet the driver’s.

This year I am not attending a Grand Prix but instead I am attending the Lotus Monaco Race Day event. I am am flying with Ryanair and my flight’s were €38 return. I fly into Birmigham and then I am getting the train from Birmingham to Oxford and that single ticket costs me £12.50, I am then staying overnight in a Premier Inn which cost £70

So when you factor in those cost’s not including taxi fare it’s comes to roughly £312. This is a very reasonable price when you consider you get your food and drink including in the price.

At a Grand Prix, a burger could cost you £10 and if you add chips to that you could be looking at £15 - £18 in total for the two and then if you want a drink, a soft drink could potentially cost you £5 at least and then an alcoholic beverage will cost you more.

Looking at the price of hotel accomadation for a two night stay at the Ibis Lodge in Northamppton from 28th – 30th June (The Silverstone weekend) booking it now would cost £416.10, however booking for a Grand Prix would usually take place a year in advance if you are extremely organised.

Another thing that should be considered is the cost of official Frmula One merchandise. Team gear can be very expensive, particularly when bought at the circuit because although many team’s have their own stands in the Grand Prix village a lot of team gear is sold by merchnadise vendors and as a result it can be more expensive as they may take a commission.

That is why in my opinion, it is a better idea to purchase merchandise online as team’s have dedicated online store’s and it also means that you will be in a position to purchase the most up to date merchandise. In many case’s it is cheaper to purchase merchandise online.

I recently ordered 2013 F1 team gear online and including shipping it cost me €41.32.

In recent season’s Formula One has been accused of not being accesible to the fan’s however I would argue that with the like’s of Team Race Day’s it is a fantastic way for fan’s to get a behind scene’s look inside a team.

                                  (Ben Johnston 2013)

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