Calling all speed demons: the F1 season is back from its summer break, which makes it the perfect time to think about which races should be on your radar in 2022 – and the ideal time to take a closer look at our favourite F1 destinations.
The options range from far-flung jaunts to short city hops, so make sure you check out our carry-on tips for your packing.
It’s hard to beat the Singapore GP (F1’s first night race), not only because it’s home to one of the most exciting F1 races, but because of what goes on away from the track. In recent years, performers have included the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Maroon 5 and Katy Perry (at the 2022 race event, which kicks off on 30 September, Green Day, Suede and Marshmello will take to the stage), and the entire destination comes alive during race weekend, when F1 cars speed through the streets, burning rubber to a backdrop of buildings such as the Marina Bay Sands hotel.
Bag a ticket for this race and you’ll get great value for money – the long, twisting circuit and the high number of safety car appearances is the reason it's almost always the longest race of the season. A fun fact? Preparing for the race is no mean feat, and one task relates to manholes. Every manhole on the track must be welded shut prior to the race to prevent the cars sucking up the metal covers.
Planning on attending the calendar’s most exciting street race? You’ll struggle to get tickets for 2022, but if you’re heading there in 2023, I suggest bagging a seat in the waterfront grandstand near turn 18/19 – you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Singapore’s skyline, and the cars pass right beneath the grandstand.
Based on two people travelling from Friday 23rd Sept to Sunday 2nd Oct.
Another F1 race famous for its entertainment (Britney Spears, Kool & The Gang and Billy Joel have all performed there), the F1 in Austin, Texas takes place at the legendary 5.513-kilometre Circuit of The Americas – one of just five circuits on which cars race in an anti-clockwise direction.
The inaugural race took place in 2012 – the first stateside race since 2007, when the event took place in Indianapolis. But this isn’t the only reason it’s earned a spot in the history books – the race was Lewis Hamilton’s last ever win in a McLaren before he switched to Mercedes.
It’s a circuit full of high-speed stretches, whether it’s the section between turns 12 and 15, which recall Hockenheim’s legendary stadium section, or the supersized uphill stretch which leads into turn one, and has been the setting for countless dramatic overtakes.
Based on two people travelling from Friday 21st to Friday 28th Oct.
The Australian Grand Prix takes place in Melbourne in April, and it’s a circuit which incorporates sections of purpose-built track alongside public roads (if you’re keen to drive one of the circuit’s road sections outside of race weekend, I recommend the Lakeside Drive stretch).
It’s been the setting for numerous famous incidents (including one in 1993, when Martin Brundle launched his car into the rear of Johnny Herbert’s Sauber) and is one of the fastest races on the circuit – average speeds hover around 235km/h.
Reasons to head down under for an F1 fix next year include accessibility (the circuit is just five kilometres from Melbourne’s city centre), the balmy temperatures (the race takes place in April, which is Australia’s autumn) and the city’s brilliant nightlife and food scene, whether it’s the fine dining restaurants in St Kilda, which is Melbourne’s oldest beachside suburb, or the achingly hip bars which line the stretch of the Yarra River which streaks through the city centre.
Based on two people travelling from 31st March to 2nd April 2023.
I love this particular track because it’s an easily accessible circuit surrounded by lush greenery and vast expanses of water – hardly surprising given that the race takes place on the manmade Notre Dame Island in the middle of the St Lawrence River, a short metro ride from the city centre.
It’s a fast, twisting circuit which is one of most popular amongst F1 drivers, despite the fact that many have had their races cut short here, proof of which is the Wall of Champions, which earned its name during the 1999 race, when Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher all careered into it.
The entire city truly comes alive during race weekend (in mid-June) which is partly why it’s one of my favourite F1 destinations. Locals (or Montréalais, as they’re called) are famously laidback, and June is the perfect time to explore the city, famous for its parks, beautiful architecture and rich history. Don’t leave without visiting the beautiful Notre Dame Basilica, or walking down Rue Saint-Paul, Montréal’s oldest street.
Based on two people travelling from 16th to 23rd June 2023.
Fancy seeing how the other half live, without the need to own a super yacht, be a billionaire or blow a billion or two at Europe's most famous casino? Head to Monaco for your next F1 race. It’s a brilliant people-watching spot, and this particular Grand Prix is one of the most exciting on the calendar – a twisting street circuit which somehow squeezes between Monaco’s oldest buildings before streaking past the superyacht-filled harbour.
The first Grand Prix was held here in 1929, when cigarette tycoon Antony Noghes decided to organise a motor race for his mates from the Automobile Club de Monaco. It was first added to the F1 calendar in 1950 and although it’s not a circuit where you’ll see much overtaking (in 2003, there were no overtakes at all) it’s still one of the most exciting circuits.
I suggest bagging a spot in or near the L or P grandstands – you’ll get great views of the famous Swimming Pool section of the track, as well as of the tightest chicanes on the circuit.
Based on two people travelling from 24th to 31st May 2023.
This particular circuit is the only one which isn’t a short hop from the nearest city centre, but the Hungaroring track is still incredibly easy to get to from Budapest, via a combination of train and shuttle bus or a single 40-minute taxi ride (I recommend using Bolt, Budapest’s version of Uber).
The lack of straights at this track is the reason it’s often compared to a go-karting track – think lots of corners, often in quick succession. It’s also a great race for spectators, largely because the circuit is in a natural bowl – whether you bag a spot in the grandstands or opt for a general admission ticket, you’re almost guaranteed great views here.
My top tip? Make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen – the Hungary Grand Prix, which takes place in August, is typically hot and sunny, although if it all gets too much you can head for a post-race dip at the nearby Aquaréna Magyarország water park.