The five best F1 circuits in the world to spend a weekend break
The 2017 Formula 1 season began two weeks ago, with Sebastian Vettel winning the opening race in Australia on March 26.
19 weekends remain on this year’s calendar with races being held across the globe in countries including Italy, China, Canada, and Brazil.
F1 is not just about the race on Sunday. The event begins on Thursday or Friday morning as drivers compete in three practice sessions, before battling to qualify for pole position on Saturday in order to make the best possible start to the Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon.
Three or four-day tickets are available for fans who live and breathe the sport, ensuring they never miss a thing on the track.
Those who choose to work an entire weekend around the racing are usually left with a lot of free time as practice sessions and qualifying only last an hour and a half each day.
This gives fans plenty of time to check out places around the circuit, so here are the top five tracks to spend a weekend at.
MONACO – CIRCUIT DE MONACO, MONTE CARLO
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most anticipated races of the year. On week six, thousands flock to the track to witness one of the most glamorous sporting events in the world.
Away from the speed, passion, and noise of the race, fans can take a stroll by the famous harbour, mix with celebrities on a night out or try their hand in one of the districts’ many casinos.
Be warned, because Monte Carlo is one of the most expensive places in Europe, so accommodation for the weekend won’t be cheap.
ABU DHABI – YAS MARINA CIRCUIT, YAS ISLAND
Abu Dhabi closes the F1 season in 2017 and it would be tough to find a more spectacular setting to do so.
Fans will be hoping that the Drivers’ Championship will go down to the final day as it did so last season to ensure the competition adds to the spectacle even more.
The Ferrari World theme park is a must visit for any petrolhead, but the weekend doesn’t have to just be about racing. It’s also a chance to taste some of the world’s best food, stay in five-star accommodation and relax on beautiful sandy beaches.
BELGIUM – CIRCUIT DE SPA, STAVELOT
The Circuit de Spa has been home to the Belgium Grand Prix since 1950. It’s one of the most famous tracks in the world.
There’s only one place for F1 fans to go on a weekend here, and it’s the city of Spa itself. A vast choice of outdoor cafes and restaurants mean that spectators can soak up the sun before returning to watch one of the greatest races of the season.
For lovers of the sport, the Nurburgring is only a short drive away, giving fans the opportunity to visit another former F1 track.
AUSTRIA – RED BULL RING, SPIELBERG
Surrounded by alpine scenery, the small town of Spielberg is the ideal destination for those who want to spend their time away from the track chilling out.
The race is scheduled for July, meaning fans won’t see any snow, but the mountains and hills surrounding Spielberg mean there’s plenty of opportunity for mountain biking and hiking instead.
AZERBAIJAN – BAKU CITY CIRCUIT, BAKU
Baku hosted its first Grand Prix in 2016 and is another great destination for F1 fans. The circuit itself is one of the fastest and most challenging street races in the calendar.
There’s something for everyone to do here too. The Old City offers an insight into the capital’s great history and for the kids, Fountain Square is home to Europe’s largest indoor amusement arcade.
Of course, racing is the top priority for any F1 fans travelling to these destinations. But there’s no reason they shouldn’t make the most of the time they spend away from the circuits too.