Learn more about Paddock access with F1® Experiences
Posted on 15 December, 2023
Go behind the scenes to experience the ‘backstage’ area of Formula 1® with Guided Paddock Access from F1® Experiences.
At the beating heart of every Grand Prix™ is the exclusive F1® Paddock. Located behind the team garages, access is strictly limited to team personnel, sponsors, media, and employees of Formula 1® and the FIA. In short, you usually need a pretty good reason to be in there!
There is, however, another way to gain access — and that’s with F1® Experiences!
At every race, we’re provided with a limited number of passes that are used to take our guests on exclusive guided tours of the Formula 1® Paddock. How do you get one of these, we hear you ask? Let’s walk you through it…
What is Guided Paddock Access?
Guided Paddock Access is a benefit our guests enjoy with selected Champions Club and Paddock Club Packages, allowing you to access the F1® Paddock with the guidance of our Expert Hosts. Our Legend Package guests also receive access, however, theirs include a full day pass rather than a one-time guided tour.
Unless you one day become an F1® driver or team sponsor, it will likely be your best opportunity to meet and interact with the stars of Formula 1® during the race weekend, as well as observe up close how the sport works from the inside.
Based on past tours we’ve given, the feedback from guests has been overwhelmingly positive, and it might just be our most popular inclusion of all!
When does Guided Paddock Access take place?
Guided Paddock Access is granted at set times through the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Formula 1® race weekends, or Thursday through Saturday for the races in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Las Vegas.
Usually limited to groups of 8-10 at a time, it’s worth noting tours do not take place during live Formula 1® track sessions. This actually benefits our guests as it ensures you don’t miss any of the on-track action, and it also greatly increases the chances you’ll see a driver strolling through the paddock during your visit.
Upon your first arrival at the circuit, it’s advisable to head straight to either the Champions Club or F1® Experiences Paddock Club suite, where you will be notified of the time of your tour and where you should meet.
What access is provided on a Guided Paddock Tour?
During your tour, our Expert Host will show you some of the key features and places of interest within the F1® Paddock, and also explain generally how the Paddock operates on a race weekend.
This means you’ll most likely get to walk the entire Paddock from one end to the other, however, access to the team garages and team hospitality suites is strictly off-limits.
That won’t stop you from seeing plenty of notable people during your tour, and you’re free to watch the teams, drivers and media personnel at work provided you stay within the areas designated by your tour guide.
Exactly who you see and interact with in the Paddock tends to be down to luck and timing, but it’s very rare for our guests not to bump into a famous face or two during their tour.
What else should I know about the F1 Paddock?
Although the layout of the F1® Paddock is different at every race, it always comprises an area adjacent to each team’s garage where engineering staff can work, race tyres can be stored, and team personnel and sponsors can meet.
With the teams being mostly European-based, equipment is transported via road during the European leg of the season. This means the F1® Paddock is often full of large truck trailers that get converted into engineering bases, tyre storage facilities and hospitality suites.
With space at a minimum and road transportation impossible for the long-haul races, the F1® Paddock tends to look very different at the so-called ‘flyaway’ rounds in the Middle East, Asia and the Americas where equipment is shipped to the circuit by air or sea.
The F1® Paddock in places such as Singapore, Las Vegas, and Abu Dhabi will look considerably different to those at European races such as Silverstone, Monza and Spa, but that simply adds to the unique charm of each event.
Which F1® Paddock would you most like to take a tour of?