Unless you have a rare pass to the paddock, your chances of meeting your favourite driver, taking a photo or getting an autograph are limited. However, it's not impossible, so don't give up. Here are our tips:
Some drivers will be taking part in the programme in fan zones as part of their endorsement deals. Keep an eye on the social networks of the organisers, teams, drivers, and sponsors supporting your favourite. You might be able to find out when and where you can catch a glimpse of your favourite driver.
Before the race
Some drivers stay in hotels rather than at the circuit. There are usually reserved car parks near the main entrance for owners of the most prestigious parking passes. This includes the drivers. You can try to wait nearby. However, be sure to get there early, as the drivers usually arrive at the circuit before the start of the race programme each day to avoid the traffic jams.
There are differences between racers and how they treat fans.Therefore, you should always follow some basic guidelines. Firstly, never delay a racer when he is really trying to get somewhere. Racers are under a lot of pressure, and if they don't want to stop with you, don't demand it or get angry with them.
If you want an autograph, your chances are always better if you have official driver’s merchandising to sign. Anonymous t-shirts, bras, skin, or paper is not the way to get a driver’s "pass", as there are more waiting fans for his signature.
Want a photo with a driver? It's not out of the question, but again, be considerate. It is always better to let someone else take your picture. If you want a selfie, always be considerate of the driver’s personal space. Not everyone likes to be hugged by strangers, especially if there are dozens of them.
One thing about F1 is that if you have a great idea, there are usually tens of thousands of other people thinking the same way. Going to the toilet during a short break? Eating lunch? Everyone wants to do that. Try to make your schedule different from everyone else. Anticipate when you need to eat or pee, so you don't spend the best part of the day queuing for toilets.
Our grandstand guides always give tips on where to go and what you can see from a particular grandstand. It's a good idea to know what you're interested in advance. If you really want to get as close to the track as possible, or if you're a keen amateur photographer and want the best possible shot, plan accordingly, know which ticket you're going to buy, and how you're going to get around. Seat tickets usually include general admission, so it's no problem to watch the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix from different locations throughout the weekend.
One thing to bear in mind when planning your movements around the circuitisthe distances. The distances around the circuit can be quite long, and some of the transitions between grandstands can take tens of minutes, especially if there are a lot of people on the circuit. Try to keep transitions as short as possible.
Some races organise a "track invasion" after the race. The organisers open the entrances to the track for fans to watch the podium ceremony right under the podium. To find out if this is happening at your race, check out our Fan Zone Guide and Fan Programme. If this experience is the highlight of your day, make sure you choose the grandstands closest to the podium so you can join in.
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