Formula One racing takes place in and around some of the most glamourous cities in the world – even before Lewis Hamilton and friends come to town.
Nothing quite beats the sense of excitement that follows this high octane sport, and if that’s not a big enough incentive to go and experience it for yourself, then there’s the pull of the cities themselves. Sunshine, shopping and sightseeing abounds, and you don’t have to have Ecclestone-level wealth or a penchant for Ferraris to swing by for a visit, either.
So if you fancy a city break with a sporting twist, here’s our pick of the best places around the world to catch some Formula One action this year.
Date: 9th – 11th May
Taking place in Barcelona, the Spanish Grand Prix is the fifth race on the F1 calendar. The race has been held in the Catalan city since 1991 with Spanish hero Fernando Alonso coming out on top last year. If you’re combining your trip to the Grand Prix with a stay in Barcelona, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. Soak up the atmosphere along the Ramblas, marvel at some of Gaudi’s famous architecture including the Sagrada Família, or simply relax on one of the many beaches there.
Famous Moment: Aryton Senna and Nigel Mansell going wheel-to-wheel in 1991 before the latter came out on top.
Date: 18th – 20th July
There have been 73 German Grand Prix races since the first in 1926. If you fancy going to the 74th, you might want to head to Hockenheimring in July for 67 laps of high-octane racing action. Located in the Baden-Württemberg region of the country, the circuit is not far away from many of Germany’s biggest cities including Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Munich, so the Grand Prix is ideal if you’re planning a short break in Germany.
Famous Moment: Nelson Piquet coming to blows with Eliseo Salazar in 1982 after a collision that forced them both to retire from the race.
Date: 5th – 7th September
Monza has been the permanent home of the Italian Grand Prix since 1950, except in 1980 when it was held in Imola. Michael Schumacher has had the most victories here (five), while another German, Sebastien Vettel, was triumphant last year. Monza is just 10 miles away from Milan so is ideal for anyone wanting to enjoy a break and combine it with the race in September. There you’ll be able to visit the spectacular Duomo cathedral (above), see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper or enjoy a football match at the San Siro Stadium.
Famous Moment: In 1971, the track witnessed the closest F1 race of all time with Peter Gethin coming from fourth on the final lap to win by one hundredth of a second.
Date: 21st – 23rd November
The final Grand Prix of the season will see the drivers travel to the Yas Marina Circuit in Dubai. Every corner is unique here which always makes for a thrilling race and the perfect finale to the F1 season. Located just 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi, the race is a great day out if you’re planning a holiday there towards the end of the year.
Famous Moment: The Drivers’ Championship was decided in Abu Dhabi for the first time in 2010. Sebastian Vettel won the race ahead of Fernando Alonso and subsequently sealed the World Championship.