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

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

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

  1. For visitors to Shanghai: wait outside of the circuit and you can possibly have a good bargain for a 3-day main grandstand ticket of RMB 1,000-1,500, aka $150-$210.
    By the way, next year Expo will start in May, so probably the flights and hotels will be much more expensive than usual. Normally, an average standard room with two beds in downtown cost you $35-$60 per night.

  2. jose arellano said on 20th January 2010, 17:43

    Keith, Im planning to go to the Montreal GP race, but im struggling to decide wich tickets to buy.. can you help me out, or anyone in here!

    thanks

  3. Hmm interesting indeed as I payed about £150 each for general admission to Spa in 2009. That was about 2 months before the race though.

  4. I paid $85 at Indy in 06 for the race day for a covered seat on the main stretch thought it was not opposite to the podium. The Price was pretty much the same all along the 7 years. I thought that was a decent price.

    Surprised to see Silverstone expensive than Monaco.

    I heard Bahrain and Abu Dhabi has great 3 day packages especially with the Ferrari Theme park at Yas Marina.

  5. Rugel said on 20th January 2010, 19:06

    I’m in Canada and I paid $200 for bronze tickets 5 years ago and I’m sure its gone up now.

  6. Kathryn S said on 20th January 2010, 20:22

    The USGP was a fantastic bargain as TMAX says–at $85…we had tickets for several years right across from the pit out and under cover. We were able to see up to about turn 7 where most of the action happened. We paid separately for Saturday–just $20…and could pretty much sit where ever we liked throughout the day. We usually sat in the midfield stands for practice and right across from the pits during quali.

    We are headed to Montreal this year…YAY! Booked the hotel the day the race was announced and discovered they hadn’t raised the rates yet except for right downtown, so we found a place close to a Metro stop for parking convenience at a bit over $125 a night. Tickets for the race are a lot more than Indy–especially since all four of us go…but I think the total will be pretty similar to our Indy trips. Surprisingly, Montreal ends up being just 15 miles farther away than Indianapolis was…and not having to spend hours on the Pennsylvania and Ohio turnpikes is probably a good thing!

  7. As per UN & USAID “Third world” is a deregatory term. In simple terms nations are either called “Developed Nations” or “Developing Nations”.

    Also a new terminology or bloc that is emerging today is “BRIC” (Brazil, Russia, India, China) .

  8. Journeyer said on 21st January 2010, 2:27

    Keith, 2009 Singapore GP tickets should be at singaporegp.sg

    No surprise that most of the cheapest races are here in Asia. But it’s counter-acted with more expensive races (Singapore, Japan probably, Abu Dhabi) as well…

  9. Adlanzr said on 21st January 2010, 6:29

    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 don’t think so. The sepang management also gives 50% discount for student, children below 12 years old and Malaysian handicapped. They are not going to make profit but just want to encourage people to watch live F1.This is how Malaysian government entertain Malaysian and motorsport lover.

  10. I did Valencia and Monza last year. Valencia was a rip off and Monza was god value.

    Must say I was very disappointed with the entertainment show ie only F1 and GP2. There was no other support races or other entertainment. I expected alot more from the supposed top form of motorsport.

    I understand Australia provides great value as you can sit in different seats over the weekend option and there is alot of racing and entertainment.

    • yep, Australia is awesome. i went in 2007 and last year. loved it so much i’m going again this year. the thing that makes it so awesome is that you’re so close to track no matter where you sit. you can walk around anywhere (which is awesome for amatuer photographers), heaps of paddock entertainment and support categories. last year i just walked around to various corners for friday sessions and saturday morning to take photos and then just stayed in the grandstand for qualy and the race. look for me in the grandstand on the outside of turn one durig the race. i’ll be the one in the front row with the massive zoom lens. can’t wait. oh and on thursday they usually have driver interviews and signings for all the drivers at various times throughout the day. oh yeh, and the package i got this year was a 4 grandstand ticket (different grandstand for each day) abd it cost $435AU (roughly 220pounds).

  11. BMW boy said on 22nd January 2010, 2:14

    Interesting. Just to get some perspective, could we also have some idea as to attendance figures as well as circuit capacity?

  12. Surely, of all of these then Turkey looks like great value. Cheapest tickets, good circuit, plenty of capacity and in a very interesting part of the world from a tourism point of view. Thinking of going this year – turn 1 seems best place to be I think.

  13. David Swinstead said on 15th April 2011, 11:44

    A follow up article for the ticket prices of the 2011 season would be awesome. Any plans for one?

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