Are F1 fans getting ripped off? Cheapest and dearest tickets prices revealed

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

British Grand Prix visitors will pay the most for general admission in 2010
British Grand Prix visitors will pay the most for general admission in 2010

F1 fans will pay between ??18 and ??822 for a three-day Grand Prix ticket in 2010.

But which circuits offer the best value deals – and which track has the most expensive tickets? (Clue: it’s not Monaco…)

Compare the prices of the cheapest and dearest F1 tickets on sale below.

Tickets are now on sale for every round of the 2010 F1 season, apart from some of the later ‘flyaway’ races (see below for details on which). When all those tickets are available, which will probably be around May, I’ll add them in and update the analysis.

Cheapest three-day tickets with no seat

Cheapest three-day F1 tickets in 2010 (click to enlarge)
Cheapest three-day F1 tickets in 2010 (click to enlarge)

NB. No such tickets were available for Bahrain, Valencia and Interlagos. See ‘notes on the analysis’, below.

Cheapest: Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang – ??18.29 ($29.78 / ??20.98)
Dearest: British Grand Prix, Silverstone – ??130 ($211.71 / ??149.11)

British fans wanting to see all three days of the action and are happy to bring their own chairs will have to fork out the most – a general admission ticket at Silverstone costs ??130.

The same ticket for the Malaysian Grand Prix costs 100 Ringgit – 86% cheaper than the Silverstone ticket, though I suspect there’s a significant difference in average salaries between the two countries as well.

I’ve included Monaco’s weekend tickets (Saturday and Sunday) and Melbourne’s four-day tickets (Thursday to Sunday, though there are only support races on Thursday) here for ease of comparison. They are the second and third dearest tickets respectively.

What the three cheapest tickets have in common is that they’re all at circuits which are new additions to the calendar. We’ve talked before about the difficulty some of these race organisers have drawing in fans, so the lower prices will in part be a reflection of that.

There’s also the question of how desirable standing tickets are at some venues. I’ve watched the Turkish Grand Prix with a general admission ticket standing in the blazing sun (when the race was still held in August) and if I were to go again I would certainly get a seat in the shade.

What this data can’t show us is how much less tickets sell for on the black market when corporate guests who’ve received them for free sell them on. As Mark Shen explained in the comments recently, that is common practice at venues like Shanghai.

The average price of the cheapest three-day ticket for an F1 race is ??79.11.

Cheapest three-day tickets with a seat

Cheapest three-day F1 seat tickets in 2010 (click to enlarge)
Cheapest three-day F1 seat tickets in 2010 (click to enlarge)

Cheapest: Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul – ??62.93 ($102.48 / ??72.18)
Dearest: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo – ??453.71 ($738.88 / ??520.40)

It will come as no surprise that three-day tickets for the glamorous Monaco Grand Prix are twice as expensive as any other race bar Belgium.

Looking at all three graphs Spa-Francorchamps consistently has some of the highest ticket prices for a ‘regular’ European round. But the great circuit is clearly still a big draw for fans the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix discussion page on this site is one of the busiest.

The average price of the cheapest three-day ticket for an F1 race with a seat is ??165.

Dearest three-day tickets with a seat

Dearest three-day F1 tickets in 2010 (click to enlarge)
Dearest three-day F1 tickets in 2010 (click to enlarge)

Cheapest: Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul – ??230.73 ($375.73 / ??264.64)
Dearest: Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos – ??822.25 ($1,338.99 / ??943.11)

It was a bit of a surprise to find the dearest public tickets were for Brazil rather than Monaco.

It turns out the top-priced tickets for Arquibancada E, costing 2,385 Reals, include more than just the seats. Visitors are served a ‘buffet’ menu on each day of the event and the stand has security guards and a receptionist. The stand overlooks the second part of the Senna S and offers a view of much of the Interlagos circuit.

Inevitably Monaco has the next most expensive tickets but Silverstone ranks only eighth – indicating it has a narrower range of prices than some venues. The cheapest tickets may be dearer than at other tracks, but their top-priced tickets are less expensive.

Aside from the new venues, Montreal has some of the cheapest tickets across the board, with even the premium three-day tickets costing less than ??300.

There are probably two reasons for this. Bernie Ecclestone is believed to have lowered the price of the race by doing a deal. And, as in America, there is so much competition for the money people spend on leisure pursuits in Canada, like going to a Grand Prix, that a higher price would not attract enough fans.

The average price of the dearest three-day ticket for an F1 race is ??447.39.

Conclusions

Going to an F1 race is expensive and it pays to do a lot of research before going to a race you haven’t visited before. Can you get early discounts on ticket sales? Is it cheaper to buy tickets at the track on the day? The links below will help you find other F1 fans who can answer these questions.

We’ve only scratched the surface with this look at ticket prices. Once the full prices for 2010 are available we’ll take a complete look at how much fans paid to go to races in 2010. Next year we’ll be able to take a look at how much ticket prices have increased by. Please suggest any improvements in the comments.

Notes on the analysis

All prices were obtained either from the official website for the Grand Prix or F1.com. Prices were not available for the Singapore, Korean, Japanese and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix.

Prices not quoted in pounds sterling were converted on January 19th 2010. All prices quoted exclude early purchase discounts. Prices do not include booking fees, car parking charges or other costs. Corporate hospitality not included.

Some prices quoted may be for tickets that are no longer available.

‘Seated’ tickets include bleachers, folding seats or grandstands but not grass areas.

Over to you

What do you think of F1 ticket prices? Which tickets are the best value? Is it worth getting a General Admission ticket and putting up with having to get up early?

Have your say in the comments.

Going to a Grand Prix in 2010

Planning an F1 race trip in 2010? Swap notes with other fans who are going to this year’s races here:

Image (C) Brawn GP