Bucket List or Must Do!
Words and pics by Jason McGarry.
I was very fortunate this year to be able to attend the Monaco F1 as part of my return trip from the UK. All I can say is that if you have any sort of motor racing interest this has to be a must do!
Even my poor wife Debbie who has no interest in motorsport and doesn’t understand why I would spend thousands of dollars just to get another second out my Caterham just so I can beat Dick Reynolds, had a wonderful time. Our travel agent booked the experience through Sportsnet Holiday who provided exactly what they said they would.
We flew into Nice on the Thursday and stayed at the Hyatt for 4 nights as staying in Monaco was far too expensive. We commuted by train each day from Nice to Monaco which is about 30 minute journey, the only trouble is French trains are not very reliable so you need to give yourself a buffer of an hour.
On Thursday and Friday it is free for everyone to enter track and there are a number of practice sessions and racing for other categories such as the Porsche Supercup with our very own Matt Campbell from Warwick competing and doing a fine a job to date. We had a pit walk and track walk on Friday as well. The pit walk is extremely crowed but very worthwhile, it took around 90 minutes to force our way through with opportunities to get up close to the drivers, especially if you are female (my wife obtained several selfies with F1 drivers).
On Saturday we had tickets in Grandstand “O” which had an awesome view of corners 14, 15 and 16 and a view of the pit lane. Corner 16 was where Stoffel Vandoorne crashed his McLaren and Esteban Ocon (Force India) punted it into the wall as well. The way the track staff handled these multi-million dollar cars was very interesting. The qualifying session for the F1’s turned out to be the best part of the weekend especially seeing Lewis Hamilton missing out being in Q3.
Race day had all the excitement as you would expect with all the hillsides and balconies full with people. We had seats in Grandstand “K” so we were able to watch the cars go up the hill towards Beau Rivage then come out of the tunnel and around Tabac and back to corners 14 and 15 in front the pool. We were looking straight across to the boats or ocean liners in the harbour.
The event was very well organised with the food and drinks very reasonable, a baguette and a Heineken for under $10 was great value. If anyone wants more information or is thinking of going please feel free to contact me on email.
Next trip is Le Mans in 2018. Don’t think the wife will be wanting to spend 24 hours nonstop beside the track!