What age is too young for an F1 race?

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

At what age are children ready to enjoy F1?
At what age are children ready to enjoy F1?

Enko asked an interesting question on the 2010 British Grand Prix discussion page.

Do you think a five- and six-year-old would enjoy the race? Do you normally see children that young at F1 races?

Is it worth taking children to F1 races? And what is the right age to start taking them?

During an F1 practice session at Silverstone last year I saw a woman comforting a little boy who was clearly not very impressed with his first experience of F1. His screams were almost as loud as the cars.

Taking babies to an F1 race is obviously not a good idea – they’re just going to hate the noise. And older children who aren’t bothered by the din of the engines might still be too young to sit down and follow a race for two hours.

So when do children reach the age when taking them to a Grand Prix is a good idea?

I don’t have children of my own so I’m not really qualified to say – but I’m sure there are plenty of people in the F1 Fanatic community who can help out.

What I would say is that with children it’s especially important to take steps to make sure their hearing is protected – make sure they wear ear protectors or earplugs.

And for the sake of the rest of us, please don’t give them an air-horn…

Have you taken children to a Grand Prix? What tips would you offer to any parents thinking of going to an F1 race? Leave a comment below.

Swap notes and tips with other fans going to 2010 F1 races here:

Image courtesy of Pierre J. on Flickr

95 comments on “What age is too young for an F1 race?”

  1. I think 5 and 6 are too young for any GP. I assume they’ll get bored after a few laps but won’t be able to nap at all!

    If you do decide to take them I’d suggest making a weekend out of it so that they see it as an adventure.

    I’d also suggest painting the kids dayglo orange because the odds of getting them lost are quite high!!

    1. I’d also suggest painting the kids dayglo orange because the odds of getting them lost are quite high!!

      A vision of Willy Wonka crosses my mind there.

    2. would young children get free entry to a GP?

      1. This week I was working on booking tickets for the 2010 Canadian GP round I noticed this provision…

        “1 One child aged eleven (11) and under accompanied by an adult holding a General Admission ticket, will be admitted free of charge as a General Admission spectator. Child ticket is required. One (1) child per adult.”

        So not only do you not have a seat on raceday, but you’re now toting a little one about.

        No thanks.

      2. obviously its no. But infants can i think?

  2. While it wasn’t F1, I went to my first race at age 9, CART’s Michigan 500. This was a few yrs before the split, and while I had been watching US racing since I was 7, though I could never sit through the entire race. I fell asleep during the race; the heat and sun kinda does that to kids, but I was old enough to follow the action. I went to other races as a kid, but I wasn’t old enough to sit through the whole race until about 13 or so. I guess superspeedway ovals are that boring. From my childhood, 10-12 would be a good intro age.

  3. Myles Woerner
    5th January 2010, 8:03

    My first race was the Brickyard 400 (NASCAR) when I was 9 in 2000. I absolutely loved it. And the ONLY reason I loved it was because of the sound. I admit, I could barely put up with all the fat, sweaty, drunk rednecks, but I believe that was the first time I ever fell in love with racing (I had loved cars since I was about 2).

  4. Mouse_Nightshirt
    5th January 2010, 8:16

    Defining an age of when a kid might “enjoy” a F1 race is like trying to define a “skill rating” out of 100. It’s completely arbitary.

    All kids are very different, and any kid will be able to enjoy it if they have the apparent maturity and interest. I’m sure you have some very interested 5 or 6 year olds and some thoroughly disinterested 10-15 year olds!

  5. Prisoner Monkeys
    5th January 2010, 8:22

    I figure it’s only worth taking them once they have an interest in it. If they have no idea what the racing is or don’t really care for it the way you do, then there’s no point.

    I got into racing because I always used to watch it on the television with my dad. It was usually only the Bathurst 1000, but he’d occasionally watch the Australian Grand Prix. He also used to compete in local rallies, so if there as rallying on, we’d watch that, too. I’d watch it with him, and that’s where I got my love of it from. However, he never really felt the love for Formula One the way I do.

    I can’t ever recall him seriously following it, and I actually think it might be because of me that he started taking more of an interest in it. I’d watch anything that moved. My first actual motorsport event that I attended was at Lakeside in the early 1990s, but I don’t remember it. I didn’t actually go to a single even until 2005 when we went over to Perth to see Rally Australia for my birthday (and only because we believed it was going to be the last one ever). I’d never gone to circuit racing until a month ago when we went to the Sydney 500 at Homebush Bay. And I’m yet to go to a Grand Prix.

    If ever I have kids of my own – an I doubt tat’s going to happen for a while – then I won’t try and get them interested. If I go to a race, I won’t take them with me if they don’t want to go. I’ll let them discover the races the way I did: I’ll be watching it, and they can tune in too, if they’re interested. And then, once I know they’re interested, I might take them. But I’d probably wait until they’re about eight or ten – and even then, I’ll pack some earmuffs, just in case.

    1. How was Sydney 500? Is it worth going next year? I regret not going considering it was only 30mins away from home….

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        5th January 2010, 12:46

        It’s good. I may be slightly biased, because it was my first event, but it was great. You have to bear in mind that it’s a street circuit, so your view is naturally restricted. We only had general admission passes, but we got to wonder around the infield all day and spectate at every corner but the first.

        If you’re keen, try and get grandstand tickets on the outside of turn eight. It’s that uphill left-hander at the bottom of the circuit where everyone kept going off and into the trye barriers (though that’s likely to be adjusted for next season). Not only do you get to see more of the circuit than you would elsewhere, you actually get a very good view. There was a lot of passing action going into the corner (especially Alex Davison … he was nuts). We got to see a lot, despite the fact that we were general admission and on the infield.

        If geeral admission is more your thing, you might want to consider the Acer Arena car park. It might not sound too flashy, but you’re aboveground and you’re in the shade. You’ll get to see the cars flying through that hyper-narrow double-left before the chicane, though there won’t be much in the way of passing action. And although it’s a little stop-start, the chicane around the railway station is also pretty good. You won’t see much because it’s so blind and you need to get in early because the hill in and around the final bends gets filled very quickly, but it’s still a pretty good place to spectate.

        1. Thanks! Definitely keen to go this year now!
          Though not keen on seeing Triple 8 colours on an Holden….

    2. José Baudaier
      5th January 2010, 21:53

      I guess your point also applies for women. Don’t take unless they are interested in the subject, which is not that common.

  6. About ten i would say. Kids at 5-6 might start to like cars, but they won’t enjoy the noise so there is no point bring them to a Grand Prix.

  7. I would say 10 would be the earliest, only if they have an interest in motorsport and only if they agree to wear ear protection.

    A childs ear can be seriously damaged by noise at an early age.

  8. If they show an interest it’s probably a good time to take them. If you are trying to push your interests on them I would wait till they are 12 or so.

    Who is rich enough to buy tickets for their kids anyway?!?!?!?!?

    I dream of a time when I can take my 2 boys. I once had a dream where I was at the Singapore GP with my teenage boys. Premonition maybe?

    1. Who is rich enough to buy tickets for their kids anyway?

      Children’s tickets are usually discounted, or you can sometimes buy family tickets.

  9. I don’t have children of my own so I’m not really qualified to say

    same here

  10. WidowFactory
    5th January 2010, 8:55

    I don’t think F1 is exciting enough to hold a 6 year-old’s attention for too long. I went stock-car racing last year and there were loads of kids there seeming to have a good time. There’s always loads of cars in view, you get the mud kicked up in your face, and there’s loads of greasy food and sweets. Not to mention most of the drivers have barely entered puberty themselves…

    1. WidowFactory
      5th January 2010, 8:57

      Not to mention a hell of a lot cheaper – £15 per person to get in. You probably don’t want to spend £150 on a ticket for your kid only to discover they hate it 10 minutes in.

    2. Taking them to a different, cheaper kind of racing first to gauge their interests sounds like a very good idea to me. Perhaps F3 or touring cars?

      1. Or even banger racing. £2 a person for a whole day of smash-em-up racing. The problem with that is that it’s so cheap and affordable the kids may end up pestering their parents to do it…My folks’ll never forgive me!

      2. I took my 4 year old to the Touring Cars at Rockingham a few months ago as a trial run. He enjoyed it to an extent, but bored after a few races as he didn’t fully understand what he was watching. We left at 2pm, but had had a great day. That said, he now can’t wait to go back and watch it again so will do it all again this year.

      3. When I was little I went to a lot of classic car races because my dad was a mechanic for an Aston Martin team. I remember having to wear these massive bright yellow ear defenders. I loved it though and it’s what got me into cars and racing. So yeah, I agree taking kids to other events first that aren’t as loud and aren’t as busy. Also the shorter races is a plus because I’ve seen young children not only crying because it’s so loud but even when a race isn’t on because they’re bored and want to go home!

      4. BTCC no doubt.

      5. Or karting. My first live intro to motorsports was a go-kart track my neighbor and I used to sneak out to when we were 7 or 8.

  11. I was 9 when I went to the British GP in 1999 – it was a surprise at the time that my relatives had arranged for me and my dad, although he was called home in an emergency and never got to go with us. I remember thrwing away the earplugs my mum got me because I wanted to hear the cars properly.

    I think it’s definately child specific. If they’re coming because dad is dragging the whole family along, maybe wait til they’re 11 or 12, but if (like I did) they sit and watch it every weekend maybe 8 or 9.

  12. Took our now 7 year old to Quali in Melbourne a couple of years ago. Even though he watches on TV, he preferred the V8 Supercars (partly because there was an almighty crash in front of us).

    What I will say is that it would be insanity to take them somewhere that you can’t easily escape. Melbourne is easy, I can’t imagine Silverstone would be. Insanity part 2 is not taking a proper set of ‘cans’ for ear protection for the kiddies. The din is quite distressing for them if they’re not expecting it. He’d kind of been prepared for it the year earlier by Antonio Pizzonia’s now-infamous spin around the streets of Melbourne (he broke the 25mph speed limit *gasp*)

    If it’s Silverstone I’d say no just because of the logistics. But they’re not my kids and I don’t know them. :-)

  13. The one and only time I’ve been to a Grand Prix was 2003. I went on Friday for the British Grand Prix practice and 1st qually.

    I was 14 and enjoyed every moment of it. Just a shame I couldn’t have done it around 10 years earlier.

    1. Oddly enough I feel the need to put my ear plugs in for all of the f1 cars (Apart for when the Jaguars and Williams went past). I found the lower, nosier drone of the F3000s a lot more unbearable.

      Then again being practice you hardly get to see a lot of action involving multiple cars.

      1. That should read “I didn’t”

  14. Einar Iliyev
    5th January 2010, 9:14

    I’ve never been at a F1 Grand Prix myself (although I’m hoping to do so in the next two years or so) but I started actually watching F1 since I was 7 (my first GP was Spa 1998) and enjoyed every single race since then. I don’t think that races are too boring for young kids it just depends on the person’s taste. I know I’d have loved to be at a GP weekend back in 1998 as I surely wouldve now.

  15. I have one son and he´s 11 now, first time he saw a race was last year in Spain, so, he was 10.
    I would say 10 as the right age to be introduced to the sport and like it!
    Depends from the kids and how much they like cars as well, my son likes to take long rides and spends lots of time in cars, so i guess in some cases 12-13 years old, can be the right age.

  16. Spot on with the dont give them an air horn point!

    1. A pet hate of mine. Or perhaps I’m just a miserable old curmudgeon. Let’s not have a poll on that…

      1. José Baudaier
        5th January 2010, 22:14

        You’re not alone on that. What I’m worried is that blowing horn haters like us won’t like the World Cup so much this year, with all those noisy Vuvuzelas. At least air horns don’t go on forever.

        1. I’m afraid to ask but… what on earth is a vuvuzela?

          And does it count in Scrabble?

          1. José Baudaier
            6th January 2010, 6:22

            If it counts on Scrabble I don’t but I would believe it does. Anyhow, I see you didn’t watch any game on last year’s Confederations Cup, on South Africa. Vuvuzela is a South African blowing horn very used on their stadiums. Just check out any highlight video of any football game host on South Africa.

    2. I took an airhorn to Donington for the Moto GP last year. Not one of those that you blow into either, it was a full on industrial honker.

      I used it once, gave a load of people around me a fright, they all glared at me, and I never used it again. Now I only use it occasionally when I feel like annoying my flatmates!

  17. I started when I was 9, but just on TV.
    But if my father had taken me at a live Gran Prix I would have been absolutely grateful!!!

  18. It varies depending on the individual child and their level of interest in the sport. I’ve seen children as young as 3-4 at Grand Prix and the experience always looked wasted on them. Personally, I couldn’t envisage taking my daughter to a GP until she is at least 10 – and then only if she’s very interested.

    One thing to consider is that race meetings usually last all day, which is a long time to keep the attention of a small child no matter how much they enjoy watching races on television. Also bear in mind that views at most tracks are restricted to just a couple of corners at most – the novelty of watching cars zoom past may wear off quickly, especially if there’s no chance of overtaking.

    Another thing is that there are often long gaps between the on-track action, although these have been reduced and partly filled at many circuits. 30 minutes for an adult may be just enough to stretch their legs and read a bit of the programme but it always feels a lot longer for a child.

    Weather is another factor – be it hot, cold or wet a small child will feel the weather more than an adult. One of the last race meetings I went to was plagued by Arctic winds and freezing cold. I’ve also spent entire race weekends up to my ankles in mud. At the other end of the scale, it’s incredibly easy to burn by spending a day under a hot sun with little shade.

    It would be worth taking your child to a club race or national meeting before shelling out for a GP. It’s cheaper, likely to be nearer and you can get closer to the action. I grew up watching this sort of racing (up to Formula 2) and little things like being able to walk down the pitlane make a big difference. A good option would be a historic F1 race. One note of caution though is that pitlanes and paddocks are dangerous places and any child needs to be kept under close supervision.

  19. At the Australian GP, children under 12 can go all for days for under $100, so if they like it I highly recomend it.

  20. I didn’t see that many children under the age of 10 at the British GP in 2008, however I have seen them at other events at Silverstone.

    Personally I think the number of young children attending a race event is inversely proportional to the cost of the event, other factors exist, such as when the event is held (ref: British F1 testing).

    For example the last two Renault World Series days at Silverstone there were kids (millions of them!) as young as 5/6 that were clearly not enjoying the experience, most resorting to running behind the barriers and kicking the stones about. However this cannot detract from the fact that for those who are interested it offers a great and cheap method of getting involved.

    At the last two FIA GTs at Silverstone there was a generally lower attendance, but the proportion of kids were significantly reduced, still a few floating around.

    The last F1 test at Silverstone in 2008 was also mid-week (I think this was in term time) so there were only a handful of enthusiasts in attendance.

    I think the parents are more inclined to take their kids to a free event (such as the RWS) or a cheap event like a day at the FIA GT. Of course it’s really only the kids that can decide whether the will or will not be captivated by the action, I would this the greater proportion of young attendees are not captivated by the racing.

    Just my two cents,
    Ben

  21. slow news day?

    1. No, someone posted a question which I thought other users of the site would be able to help with. This isn’t just a site for news.

  22. The first race I remember watching on tv was the monaco 96, but I can hardly remember because I was 6 years old. The race tha made me love F1 was spa 98 and I was just 8 years old and I would be greatful if my dad had the same passion and took me to a race weekend.
    I think there isn’t a standard age which is perfect for racing, depends on the child itself…

  23. My first race was in Jerez when I was 7. I had a very cheap ticket where I couldn’t see many things, but I really liked the experience, but oif course it was less comfortable than TV. If your children already like F1 on TV, try it

  24. Kids are actually fascinated by the bright & colourful liveries, at least I was in 1991. My mum says I was two when I fell in love with the yellow Benetton of 1991.

    Again aged 3 I used to support yellow liveries whatever sport they appeared. I supported Aussie over england during the 1992 world cup just because they sported yellow attire!

    Maybe mine was an extraordinary case, but I believe at around 7 or 8 children are fully prepared to absorb the sport.

    My first F1 race was the 1993 British gp & Damon almost won that race. I still remember the disappointment on dad’s face.

    1. And may I ask who is that cute child next to the 08 Honda nose? Keith’s son? :)

      1. No, the picture is from a chap called Pierre on Flickr who kindly allowed me to use it:

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/7969902@N07/

  25. Last time I was at a motorsport event I was chatting with a marshal (Red Andy’s tip for getting the most out of your motorsport experience – befriend a marshal!) and she pointed out a nearby child who was clearly not enjoying the experience because of the noise. I concur with the opinions about ear protection but I don’t think there’s an “age” where live motorsport suddenly becomes suitable for kids. I was an F1 fanatic by the age of 8 or 9 and would have loved to have gone to a race then, but some kids would obviously hate it.

    If you want an example of an event that really is unsuitable for kids, I was at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party last week and a few people had brought kids there. Midnight, fireworks, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, lots of alcohol – I’m not surprised the kids I saw looked thoroughly miserable.

  26. Esmond Poynton
    5th January 2010, 10:38

    Took my 11 month old along to Monaco this year. He had ear protection and even feel asleep beside one of the GP2 cars while it was running ;) So with good ear protection noise is not a issue.

    Having said that I think about 7/8 is the age they will enjoy it from. The 11 month old only came as we did not have a sitter and

    1. Esmond where did you sit with your 11 month old? In the grandstand or general admission? Did you have to buy a ticket for them? Mum and dad love and F1 so we would like to introduce our child to it as early as possible :)

  27. I first took my sons to Silverstone GP in 2007, when the youngest was 8. He loved it and we have been to F1 each year since, including our first trip abroad in 09 to Belgium.
    My only comment would be don’t expect them to sit down at 8.30 in the morning and not move until the the last race finishes. The roaming tickets at Silverstone are great for kids on Friday and Saturday. Find a spot for each session and then move on, bit off off track stuff in between and I have never had a problem, a complete lap of Silverstone over the course of a day has them ready for a good sleep and me ready for a beer!
    the off track stuff at Silverstone is great fun for the kids, as is the camping. Justifying the cost to my wife is not so much fun!

  28. I started to see F1 as soon as I arrived home from the hospital. My father was crazy about it. It was very good if I would go to a Grand Prix, but taking young children there isn’t recomended, not just because of their ears, but because as soon as they start to see it as boring, they would start to cry and incomodate people around. So, don’t take them (unless they really want it)

  29. I was 9 when I went to my first car racing event(Surfers Paradise 2005 on the sunday) and had no interest in racing cars whatsoever. However I loved it. I have been going to every motorsport event within 3 hours of Brisbane since. So that age would be OK I would think. Noise did not bother me at all.

  30. keepF1technical
    5th January 2010, 11:14

    a couple of us (all dads) went to the A1 at Brands last year and we concluded that it would have been brilliant for our eldest sons who are 4,5 ages.

    To be honest we mainly wanted our kids there when we saw lots of other kids going up to all the pit girls asking for pictures (for their dads!). Some guys definetly went home with pictures of ALL the girls.

    BUT only intersting to little ones as there was so much going on during the whole day. They would probably have struggled to watch the whole A1 race without being able to walk around to different places.

    By contrast my memories of silverstone for a GP (in the Mansell era) are overcrowding and not enough stnads of other things to do before the race.

    1. To be honest we mainly wanted our kids there when we saw lots of other kids going up to all the pit girls asking for pictures (for their dads!). Some guys definetly went home with pictures of ALL the girls.

      Hahaha, bravo! What a genius trick ;-)

  31. I attended my first F1s at age 6, but that was only practice. I couldn’t even sit still enough to watch the race on tv, let alone be at the track.

  32. You can take young kids to other types of racing but make sure they have some big ear muffs.

    At World Series people took their kids for a day out and I don’t think realised HOW LOUD it would be and a lot of kids were in tears.

  33. 12+ if you want them to appreciate and sort of understand whats going on i reckon.

  34. I think that children must create interest in the sport. We can use TV and our knowledge of the sport to do this. I remember watching Senna and Prost battling together for the WDC when I was 6. That year my dad went to Estoril to see the Grand Prix (I believe that was the year of 1989) with his friends. He obviously though that I was too young to go and kept it a secret. Afterwards when I found out, I got really sad. I wanted to go. Badly! Even if I went to sleep in the middle it would be a great experience that I sure would remember for life. Unfortunately that was the closest I got from a GP.

    I can’t remember but I know that, when very young, my parents took me to see Rallying. Those Group B monsters. I guess my love from Motorsport came from those engine noises.

  35. I have a friend who’s been into F1 since he was 3 years old…

  36. I have to say, I was amazed at how many children were at the Spa GP last year that didn’t have ear defenders. I even wore some myself and I’m 21 now. I can’t believe parents don’t make they’re children wear ear protectors when they’ve probably dragged the child there for selfish reasons.

    Like some other people have said, it completely depends on the child when it comes to deciding what age is suitable to take them to a race, but I guess around 8, but only if they’re actually interested in the racing, not just because the parents want to go on an F1 holiday or something.

    If they’re going to appreciate it, and their ears are protected, then I guess it’s fine to take them.

    Like TommyB said, I saw young children crying at Renault World Series because it was so loud, they clearly weren’t at all interested in the racing. As the event was free I guess a lot a families thought it’d be a fun day out, but they really should have considered how the children would react! Those 3.5 litre cars are probably louder than an F1 car!

  37. i think that 8 year olds could be the youngest because that was the age when i got hooked up on F1.

  38. I don’t have kids, but here’s a thought that occurs to me…

    …they need to be old enough that they understand when you tell them that they can’t have a burger because it costs £10…!! ;-)

  39. They like the idea of racing cars at that age, but I doubt most will be bothered by F1 until they are older. When I was young I would only watch a few laps but it wouldn’t hold my interest, now as an 18 year old I can really appreciate the sport.

  40. Well I started watching F1 on TV just after i turned five and as immidiately hooked. I went to my first race aged nine and thoroughly enjoyed it!

  41. @keepF1technical

    now I’m well into my teens that trick doesn’t work anymore… :(

  42. i started watching grand prix when i was 8 and was fully, obsessively committed to knowing everything about it. maybe for children with less aspergers-like tendencies, it would be harder to hold their attention.

  43. really depends on the kid – I’ve been to a GP with a 5-year old and he really enjoyed it! :) the key is the kid should be interested in it on his/her own. Do not expect them to start liking F1 at the track! Not for a whole GP – they’ll either die of boredom or spoil your weekend :-)
    ah, yes, make sure you get some extra cash – for refreshments, Kangaroo TV, eventually a pit pass – to keep the little fan interested – their attention span is really a few laps, max ;-)

  44. You have to ease them into it. I took my then 6 yeard old niece to a Ferrari Challenge meet in Miami a coulpe of years ago. They were also running some FXX cars and a few F1 cars from prior seasons that had been sold to customers. There were large breaks in action, so the noises weren’t overwhelming for her. She enjoyed it as a day out, but didn’t show much interest in wanting more, so no point in taking her to a real F1 race in my opinion.

  45. I would say you probably have to be at least 10-12 to properly appreciate a race unless you’re already into carting. I went to watch touring cars with my dad when I was about ten but I hardly remember any of it (might of been a bad race, cant remember :P).

  46. I don’t know what age is good,I started at 13.Giving the fact F1 is not popular at all in Bangladesh.But I think 10+ is a good age.Because by that time you get to slowly start to learn the sport.

  47. In answer to the original question I would recommend a simple test. Get them to watch an entire F1 race on telly. If the child stays glued to the programme and interested from beginning to end, you might be in with a shout. Personally I would imagine 9 or 10 is likely to be the sort of age where a child might be able to follow enough to properly get the picture. Before that it could be an expensive wasted day.

  48. I watched my first F1 race when I was 9.

    But only when I was 10 did I really “understand” how to follow a race properly.

  49. My 1st race was the Pepsi 400 in Daytona (nascar). I was 5 and it was awesome. I loved racing then as I do now so I enjoyed it. If I didn’t like racing then I would have hated it! That day was hotter then hell! Plus as a kindergartner it was hard to follow and way too loud for a kid. Either way I loved it!

  50. I don’t think “age” is a good factor on wether a kid is ready to go to not only an F1 race, but any sporting venue. The kid needs to follow the sport already, and if you’re going to take a kid to a race be sure they won’t get tired. You don’t need that annoyance because they can’t fall asleep.

    Not to go on a rant or anything, but iving in Philadelphia PA USA, Phillies (baseball) tickets are the hardest to get in the country. Their average stadium capacity is filled an average of 102% of the time, meaning standing room tickets are also very hard to get. It frustrating trying to get tickets for a good game only for them to be sold out and I KNOW that numerous people leave waaay early because their kids are uninterested, tired, or are such a pain in the rear they can’t take in anymore. That leaves those seats open when die hard fans, adults and kids alike, could have kept them warm for the entire event.

    1. Just to add to my think of age not being a good way to decide if kids are ready for a sporting event, I’ve seen kids from ages 1 to at least 12 fall asleep during a sporting event. Maturity is a big factor, and all kids are different. Some may be uninterested and not fall asleep because, even at a younger age don’t want to look like fools or ruin it for the rest of their group.

  51. I think if they are into it and can understand it, any age would be ok. I was into f1 at 9 (1992), can’t say I was that aware of it before then but became hooked very quickly.

    I think I had seen it at 7 it would have had the same effect.

    Every kid is different so I don’t think you can say, but they need to be interested.

  52. Wow, thanks for the wealth of information. I agree with most points made. Now I feel justified in telling the wife that it is her and me only at Silverstone 2010. :-)

  53. Depends to an extent if you are in an area where you can move to other parts of the circuit. Took my grandson to a hiilclimb when he was 6 and been since then but was able to walk all around the paddock and the track. He also enjoyed Santa Pod age 8 but don’t think I could expect him to sit still in a grandstand for an entire race.
    He does love cars and enjoyed Brooklands, Mercedes Benz World & Haynes Motor museum

  54. I took my son to Saturday Practice in 2007 (Albert Park). He was 5. I had a plan to watch practice, then duck home for quali, then back on Sunday for the race, alone. It was a good decision. He had industrial earmuffs on, yet when the first car came screaming around the bend (between turns 10 and 11), he lost the plot and screamed “I wanna go home!”. I calmed him down and found a spot on the hill overlooking 11-12 (quieter), bought him a toy BMW-Sauber for 10 bucks and made it to the finish of practice. Needless to say, he hasn’t returned – or been offered….

  55. Scott Joslin
    6th January 2010, 1:12

    I think 8-10 years is about right depending on the childs attention span and previous exposure to circuit racing. It is an excellent idea to take then to a national event first to see if they can handle the task of following a race and picking up the leader and so on, but also the length of the day.

    I was taken to club events from the age of 6 or 7 and I got bored, cold and damp. I was more interested in what toys were in the toy shops or investgating if there was any hidden treasure underneath the grandstands.

    The penny dropped as I got a few years older and I was more interested on the track action.

    I am a lot older now and despite my age I still find going to Grands Prix very tyring. So if you have young children, just think of the amount of piggy back rides you will have to give them to keep them happy

  56. I would say it depends on the child’s interest and the venue. The Bahrain GP is very child friendly and family oriented, so families are encouraged to bring their children along. Other than the races there are lots of entertainment available for children to enjoy (entertainers, jugglers, men walking on stilts, face painting, kids play area, etc…)I’ve seen children of all sorts of ages attend, even toddlers, but I don’t believe they sit through the race, parents may prefer to bring them on the Friday or Saturday.. The tickets are at half price for the little ones which may still be expensive if you’re not sure your child will enjoy it or not.. I’m sure this isn’t applicable to other GPs where more hardcore fans make up the majority of the spectators and alcoholic beverages are available.. Oh and I completely agree about the ear defenders at all times for the little ones, I get too annoyed by the number of children and adults without them! When walking around the merchandise area, one can get away without them, specially if other cars not F1 are racing but when the F1 cars start it gets quite deafening ;)
    I’ve seen 9-7yr olds have a good time, but as they get older they begin to understand and appreciate it more.. After all you wouldn’t want to go through all the trouble only to have them whine about it and ruin your experience.. So it depends on the child & venue..

  57. I would say whenever a child begins to study science in school. Physics, to be more precise. It could really serve as a way to spark a child’s interest in science.

    “You hear that son? That’s called the Doppler Effect. It’s the change in frequency of a wave for an observer moving relative to the source of the wave.”

    I pray everyone here knows what the Doppler Effect is, right?

  58. I don’t have any children yet ( I’m 16)
    but my first race was 11 yrs ago at Laguna Seca ( an IMSA sports car race I imagine)
    I loved the sound of the cars , and just all of it.
    My father and I are the only people in our family who love racing. He’s shown me the countless pictures he took at the German GP (1971-1974) at the Green Hell

    Realy the age that you take the child does not really matter
    it’s just depends on how interested they are.

  59. I took my (then) 4 year old to a few events at Zandvoort. He didn’t care much for the races, but the demonstrations in between the events he loved. Lots of tyre smoke from cars doing donuts and a quad bike with a jet engine.

    The quad bike lost a wheel and the jet engined thing tipped over right in front of us. That’s one of those moments that you wonder if bringing the kid was such a good idea …

    He’s 6 now and I try to get him involved in watching F1 with me on tv. He generaly like sthe cars, but I can’t keep him interested for more than 15 minutes. To be honest I find myself dozing off during a race often too :0

  60. As a father of two boys, aged 5 and 7, I’d say try another meeting before a GP.

    I took them to Thruxton for the BF3/GTs, and they had a whale of a time, we strolled around the paddock in the morning, to look at all the cars, and they chose their favourites, people were really kind, and lots of teams let them sit in various cars, which they loved, and then when we watched the races, they cheered for the ones they’d chosen.

    They watch the GPs on the TV with me, but get bored after about 15 minutes and wander off, so I’ll wait until they start to watch a whole race before taking them to a live GP.

  61. I’m hoping to go to the Monaco grand prix in May 2010 for my 30th birthday, but it would involve my wife and I taking our 20 month old son with us.

    From the comments above, it looks like this is not going to work out :(

    Any signs of encouragement from anybody, or should I just forget this little daydream?

    1. How did it go?

      We are considering Singapore race next weekend with a 22 month old. Afraid it will be too much trouble. She doesn’t fall asleep as easily as she used to when out.

  62. I must add to this, dont take anyone under the age of 15 as they just do not appreciate it! its a waste of money!

    1. That’s different from person to person. I really liked f1 and wanted to go to a race a long time before 15.

  63. Does anyone know if kids under the age of 5 receive any discounts on entry to the Monaco Grand Prix, Also do grandstand tickets include admission to the race and finally would a young child aged 4 be allowed to sit on a parents knee in a grandstand or would they be required to have their own ticket ? any help would be much appreciated.

    1. James, we are looking to go to Monaco in 2011 and have the same questions. Can’t wait to hear the responses from other keen f1 fans out there?

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