Beat the off-season blues

Five months without Formula One? What on earth can you do with all those Sunday afternoons? Fear not – we’ve put our heads together and devised a range of activities for petrolheads to keep the nagging withdrawal at bay??????

A1 Grand Prix

A1 Grand Prix couldn’t be better for the F1 fan in winter: the only single-seater series that runs during the F1 off-season! Three double-header rounds in and France’s duo of Alexandre Premat and Nicolas Lapierre narrowly lead from Brazil’s Nelson Angelo Piquet.

There plenty of ex-F1 drivers in there: Jos Verstappen, Ralph Firman, Tomas Enge, Alex Yoong and Hideki Noda, plus plenty of future stars and sons-of-champions to keep an eye on. The feature races are the ones to watch, with standing start grids and compulsory tyre changes. The phenomen of one car passing another on the track rather than in the pits is called ‘overtaking’.

Donington Museum

Donington Park owner Tom Wheatcroft has a fablous range of old F1 machinery on display to the public, including a vaste range of McLarens and Williams from the 1980s. The legendary Brabham-Alfa ‘fan car’ is there, too. Double it up with a day at the ciruit and you’re onto a winner.

DIY

No, not faffing around with screwdrivers, get behind the wheel yourself! Arrive-and-drive karting is buckets of fun and pretty cheap in the off-season when there’s more rain about and you get ten times the action!

Minority sports

Outside motor sport there are lots of other (lesser) games short on support that you could lend until March rolls round. In England the Premiership football series is rather popular, and just like F1 it’s awash with excesses of money that are gradually choking the life out of the game.

Unlike F1 performance is rather sluggish: the players move around at only limited speed and rain tends to worsen matches rather than liven them up. Going to a match is about four times cheaper than going to a race – but it lasts an hour and a half rather than three days. But everyone else seems to like it and sometimes it’s best just to go along with the crowd. Go on you?????? erm?????? Spurs! Yes, they’ll do??????

Former glories

Re-acquaint yourself with bygone eras of Formula One: the official video reviews collection extends back to 1981 (and we’ve reviewed them all) and there are many other documentaries and histories of earlier years available. If you’ve never given this a try you’re really missing out on something – the 1982, 1986, and 1993 videos are particularly worth checking out.

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