Having just been to the British Grand Prix, I feel like it may be time to have a list of items that itís essential to remember when attending a race.
You need these to get in the door, but make sure you think carefully about what kind of tickets you want before the event. General admission tends to mean you donít get a seat and have to stake your claim on a patch of land with a good view, and stay there for the entire day. Grandstand seats donít always come cheap but it is much more enjoyable to have a guaranteed spot to rest in, or take shelter if the weather takes a turn. Also, make sure you get your tickets from a reputable supplier, as it has been known for "too good to be true" deals to leave fans without tickets and money.
2. Ear Plugs
These are almost as important as the tickets. Even if you feel comfortable with loud noises, itís worth having a pair just in case. F1 cars can be really, really loud, and depending where you are on the circuit, the pitch and volume will vary. You can get plugs to fit snugly into your ears, or defenders that look like oversized headphones. Unfortunately theyíre not particularly fashionable, but health comes first.
3. Appropriate Weather Supplies
In Britain, it was both sunny and wet, so we had to take umbrellas, wet weather ponchos, wellington boots, flip flops, sun cream and a hat. We have to be prepared for every possible outcome in the UK. In other countries, it may be easier to prepare for one particular type of climate Ė never forget the sun cream because you can be stood in one place for a prolonged period of time. Likewise, the umbrella can be a lifesaver.
Keeping hydrated is very important when youíre outside for the entire day, and although there will most likely be tea, coffee, alcohol and soft drinks available, the queues can be long and the prices high. Itís worth bringing a couple of bottles of water with you, even if it makes your bag slightly heavier.
Useful for making notes of things you want to see and what time they are on, things you want to remember, and even as a communication tool when watching the race.
To remember the event, and capture some of the beautiful machinery as it goes past at 200 km/h.
7. Mobile Phone
Essential for keeping in touch with other members of your group, and even more useful for text messaging, as the cars can be pretty loud.
There are support races and other events besides the F1 sessions, so either make a note beforehand, or pick up a programme while you are there of what will be happening, where and when.
9. Sensible Footwear
You may be on your feet a lot, especially if you decide to walk the track, or if you have standing tickets only. Itís worth investing in some comfortable but sturdy footwear, and if itís wet, be aware that you may get said footwear muddy.
10. Kangaroo TV
I will write more about the Kangaroo TV in a dedicated article, but pick up one of these when you get to the track. They can be pricey, but are a handy piece of equipment to keep up with whatís going on out on track Ė almost as good as if you were sat at home.