2011 Australian Grand Prix discussion

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This area is for people who are attending or planning to attend the 2011 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne.

Use the comments below to share your thoughts on the race, where on the track you intend to watch from, how you’ll get to the track and more.

Taken any pictures or video at the race?

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2011 Australian Grand Prix

140 comments on 2011 Australian Grand Prix discussion

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  1. My girlfriend and I are going to the Australian Grand Prix for the first time in 2011. We bought the Jones package, which gives us seats in 4 different stands for each day. The front straight on the Thursday, the stand on the inside of corner 1, outside of corner 2 on the Friday, the stand on the outside of corner 9 on Saturday, and the stand on the outside of corner 1 on the Sunday.

    I’ve only been to Melbourne a few times before, anyone have any tips, besides pack for 4 seasons in one day?

    Also has anyone hired Kangaroo TV’s before? If so are they any good? And how much do they cost? And will they be useful considering each of the stands have a superscreen across from them, and I can get live timing on my phone.

    Also is it easy enough to get to and from the city? Do they allow pass outs? Is there much to do or see (not racing related) near the circuit? We’ll probably go do something else when the V8 Supercars are on.

    • I’ve been to Melbourne for the GP for the last two years. 2009 I only got a GA ticket, this year my friends and I did things properly and got Jones stand tickets, and for next year we have Brabham stand tix. Hopefully I can answer a few of your questions! :)

      I’ve not hired the Kangaroo TV before, but everyone says they’re amazing. After sitting behind someone that had one this year, I believe they’re worth it. I’ll be getting one for sure next year in Melbourne. There’s lots of amazing camera shots that you just can’t see anywhere else, even with a superscreen infront of you.

      I wouldn’t be relying on mobile data for timing. This year it was nearly impossible to get any data through on the Saturday and Sunday. There’s just too many people there and the network cells can’t handle it. I did however find Twitter to be good for position updates and such, as you can’t always hear the commentators over the engine noise. But that was only when it eventually loaded up, *if* it loaded.

      There’s lots of public transport to and from the CBD, and going to many other places too. There are usually free trams from the CBD to Albert Park and back on the race weekend. It’s very easy to get around the City.

      And I’m pretty sure the track does passouts, but thinking back, I can’t confirm because I don’t think I’ve made use of that before!

      Hope that helps :)

    • Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix Official Program said on 8th January 2011, 5:54

      Hi Pinball and all at F1 Fanatic,

      I’m the former manager editor and now feature writer for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix official program.

      I’m writing an F1 fan story for the 2011 Australian program this year and I’d like four types F1 fans to be part of it.

      First-timer: What I’m looking for is a first-time Australian GP goer – this means 2011 will be the first time at Albert Park.

      Family fans: I’m also looking for a family who have been to the Australian GP in the past and plan to go again – Mum and/or Dad would be all I’d need to speak to.

      The event goer: Next is the typical event goer fan – do you go to the the GP not really because you’re a huge motorsport fan, but because you go to heaps of big events and like to be part of it.

      The die-hard: And finally – the die hard fan. You know who you are.

      The story will appear in this year’s Official Program, we don’t have to use pics of you unless you’re keen or want to send us your own.

      If you’d like to star in the story please contact me on r.berry@gmx.com and I’ll tee up a time with you to have a quick chat over the phone or email.

      Thanks so much to the admin of this site.

      Cheers

      Richard Berry

  2. I’m going to my first F1 race after 10 years of being glued to the TV every Sunday afternoon (evening once I moved to Australia)

    I’m thinking of getting just general admission and spending most of my money on memorabilia instead. Is that a reasonable idea?

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 20th December 2010, 1:22

      Memorabilia is proper expensive and to be honest, I don’t usually bother to buy any when I’m at an actual event for that very reason. Because you can order team stuff online for less, I’d say it’s probably better to put the cash towards a grandstand seat if you’re considering.

    • If you’re looking out for F1 clothing, you can wait a few weeks – then make your way to clothing outlet stores to find good deals. I’d go grandstand. Pit straight for sure! Nothing better than watching all the cars light up at the same time. (Also to take photos when the drivers finish their race day parade lap)

  3. I’ll be going for my second year in a row. Last year I got general admission, and bought a stack of Red Bull merchandise.

    I cannot wait, it’s going to be awesome.

  4. I’ll be in a position to go in 2011 Aus Grand prix, Having said that, I’ve never been before, So I’m looking for advice. I’m planning on getting the Jones four corner package.

    What is the position of the GP and cameras? I’ve got a dodgy little digital one, that I’d want to take.

    I’d be interesting in meeting up with people, possibly on Thursday or something, First, Because being able to talk to other f1 fans for a change would be pretty cool, and secondly, as it might help me get an idea of where to go and what to see, to take advantage of the weekend.

    Any other things to look out for?

    • You can bring cameras in. I think there may be some sort of restriction when it comes to HUGE lenses for SLRs unless you’ve got a press pass, but even in GA you see people with DSLRs with regular lenses.

      I bought a camera specifically to use at the GP this year. Here’s a video I took from the Jones stand – the first corner on the first lap. :)

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 20th December 2010, 1:30

      Whenever you read this, I’ll be there and I would certainly enjoy meeting you and some of the others in person for a beer or two. I’ll have to keep checking this thread over the next few months.

      If you’ve never been before, and you’re going for the four days, I’d use Thursday as a day of exploration. Check out everything outside the main entrance gate next to the pit straight and then have a look at all the stuff on the opposite side of the circuit behind the lake. Saturday and Sunday are when it gets far too busy and you don’t really want to spend too much time away from your viewing place on those days as there’s so much on-track stuff going on.

      • I’d be happy to meet up with fellow F1 Fanatics :) We should organise a meetup sometime, closer to the date of the race.

  5. dc... said on 10th December 2010, 8:41

    I’ll be going for my forth year in a row.
    Each other time iv gone i have just got general admission, and really enjoyed being able to get up close.
    Iv found a few good spots where i can get really close to the track. ;)
    Im yet to go to a race that i have genwinuly been happy with the result.
    Hopefully 2011 will be the year! :D

  6. I’m planning on ordering a Fangio on sunday, 4 Corner GS package. I’ve been for the last 5 or so years just in general admission, and before that we just parked next to the track and tried to sneak a look at the cars through the fence.

    Unfortunately i’m in Yr12 in 2011, so i won’t be able to make it during the day on thursday or friday, though my school is literally 2 streets away, so i’ll walk down after 3:30 and catch the end of the day’s proceedings.

    But yeah, first time in a GS seat, it should be pretty good! for any GA people, some good spots to watch include: the exit of T2(good access to food and bar, lots of people though), Inside of T5 (only see the cars for a second, but they are very close and there is a superscreen directly opposite.. normally empty as well), the outside on the run to T6 (Cars go fast very quickly, about 2 metres away.. no superscreen and very far away from anything else though), T9 Hill (i sat here last year for qualifying.. good view, superscreen, there was an F1F meetup here as well), Inside of T11 – Brocky’s Hill (limited views of cars going through T11 & T12 and a superscreen.. very VERY busy though).
    And thats about it.. theres lots of spots to watch, but you only get to see the cars for a second unless you have high up spots.

    I could do with kangaroo TV (on their website it doesn’t say anything about going to Albert Park though?). The commentary at the track is average at best, but the coverage is good. I strongly suggest buying a pair of ear muffs and a radio, then feed an ear budd into the ear muffs and you can listen to the radio as your ears are protected (works a treat!)

    Food is relatively expensive, and the merchandise costs a small fortune (ok, its not that bad). If you have nothing to do, have a walk around the whole track and check out all the vantage points, or cross the pontoon bridge to the support category pits, where you have close-up access to all the other race cars.

    I didn’t check for a F1F meetup last year, but i found out that it happened no less than 50 metres from where i was standing for qualifying. So it’d be good to put some faces to names this year!

    • Mark M said on 27th December 2010, 1:32

      We have been to all of the Melbourne races, and it is awsome. I f you can, buy a grand stand ticket, and if you are going for the first time the 4 corner packages are a great idea. We have done that for a couple of years and decided that the Fangio stand is still the one. Yes food is a bit expensive. We always take a packed lunch and eat it on the grass under the trees. Getting in to the event is a dream. The trams are free from Spencer Street to the circuit if you have a race ticket, and grandstand ticket holders go directly to Gate 1 and you are in the grandstand area, with food and , team merchandise and sundry other things. We have been to the Adelaide race, Singapore first year, and melbourne is definately the one for us. We are considering Korea for 2011, but not so sure with the politics over there. Have fun and do not forget your earplugs. There is on course giant screens and GP radio which can be heard on an FM station (98 I think), so radio earmuffs are a great idea. Yes Kangaroo TV is available, although we have not tried it.

  7. Jarrod P said on 3rd January 2011, 11:17

    I may only be attending on the cheap this year but have been in the Jones stand twice. The main stand is massive and extends well into the run off outside T1 but there is a smaller section adjacent that offered an excellent perspective through T1 into T2 and is very close to the track. Merch is a bit lame, obviously pricey but its not Target is it? Enjoy and hope to see you there.

  8. roberttty (@roberttty) said on 3rd January 2011, 13:13

    Hi guys,

    I am from Singapore and will be attending the Aus GP 2011.

    Due to budget constraints, I am intending to get the General Admission ticket.

    As for accommodation, I will be booking a service apartment at Southbank.

    Will be visiting the Great Ocean Rd and Philip Island too after the GP!

    Is there anything I am missing out?

    cheers
    robert

    • Stephen Jones (@aus_steve) said on 7th January 2011, 12:36

      Will be visiting the Great Ocean Rd and Philip Island too after the GP!

      Perfect!

      i don’t think theres much else.. make sure to spend a day cruising the city (and getting a coffee from a laneway!)

  9. lythari said on 3rd January 2011, 23:48

    Bought tickets for the prost stand on the last day of 2010 in order to get gp advantage (pit walk, main straight walk, etc). Found some decent, cheap and very centrally located accommodation as well! Now to try and get my flights sorted out …

  10. Tamzed said on 5th January 2011, 5:38

    Im planning to Ride my motorcycle down to Melbourne from Sydney .. anyone keen to join ?

  11. alejandro said on 7th January 2011, 2:17

    First Formula 1 race ever for me this year.Got caught napping and could only manage GA tickets, so pretty gutted…but excited at the same time! Does anyone have any tips regarding good vantage points, and any other recomendations?? Cheers
    PS. would be nice to catch up with other f1fanatic people.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 7th January 2011, 5:10

      If you can get there, outside of Turn 1 there is a bank from where you can see the entrance of Turn 1 and the exit of Turn 2 as well as a giant screen right infront of you. The only thing is that it’s super popular so you’ll need to get there as early as humanly possible everyday to ensure you’ll secure a spot there.

      • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 7th January 2011, 5:12

        Sorry, I meant to say that there is a bank on the outside of Turn 2, not Turn 1. As in, on the ‘inside’ of the circuit, if you know what I mean.

  12. foocode (@foocode) said on 17th January 2011, 11:16

    I’m going too! First race since Adelaide ’94. :)

    Turns out the g/f has a friend who owns an upstairs apartment on the outside of turn 13, it’s across the road but apparently gives a great view of them flying down the back straight and making a couple of quick turns, plus a view of the turn to the pit straight. So that’s where we’ll be watching the race from.

    We’re flying in early on Saturday and I’m looking at options for qualifying. I’m thinking that GA might be the way to go at this stage so thanks very much for the GA tips here – please keep them coming!

    I’ve also heard of Kangaroo TV and think getting one for the Saturday would be the way to go, have they confirmed an Albert Park presence yet? No word on their website. Also, how much do they go for per day and can one be shared between 2 people?

    Getting pumped!

    • Simon said on 25th January 2011, 21:44

      Hi – going to be in Melbourne for the GP. Is it best to buy tickets direct from the official website?

    • If last year is anything to go by, Kangaroo TV should have a stand at Albert Park. Pricing on their website is 75 Euros for the weekend.

      This page provides a good overview:

  13. I’m planning on coming from NZ to Aus for that weekend. Official site is selling 4day passes which I will probably buy. But my question is, why “4″ day pass? GP weekend is only 3 days long. So what’s the fourth day for? I’m wondering cos I need to know weather it’s worth coming one day earlier.

    • The race ‘weekend’ runs from Thursday through to Sunday, hence the ’4 day’ pass. But if you want to save on accom, I’d do Friday to Sunday. That way you catch all the practice sessions as well as qualifying and of course the big race.

    • thursday’s just support categorys.. i.e; V8′s Formula Fords.

      also there will be the pit tours, walks, behind the scenes, and basically all of the drivers doing autographs.

      it’s worth going, even to just stalk the F1 Paddock, have a walk around to all the corners (while its fairly empty), and have a squiz at the other races going on.

  14. I’ve only ever gone GA at Albert Park but decided to splash out this year with some mates and we’re all going to be going nuts at the Clarke Stand.

    Quick question for the die hard fans here: What’s the best way to get autographs from the drivers? Are there particular spots that are better to camp out than others?

    Only 53 days to go!

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 24th February 2011, 8:06

      It all comes down to luck. My father and I stood around for 1 and a half hours and didn’t even see a driver – but that evening we spoke to a few guys who walked past and stood for 5 minutes and got 3 or 4 autographs. There is an official autograph stand, but you have to wait for a few hours in line – and by the time you’ve reached the front, the driver is gone. It’s good to walk past and see them in the real, however. But the autograph ‘die-hards’ camp at the gate to the paddock closest to turn 1. It’s right next to the pit exit and if you push yourself to the front, you may be lucky enough – but as happened in my case, you may be unlucky and not get anything. Have fun!

    • drmikki said on 25th February 2011, 11:55

      All the drivers and team bosses stay at Crown. I’ve been almost hit by a car driven by Felipe (I was getting out of a taxi…), seen Flavio and (literally) run into Gerhard Berger, and given up on getting into a restaurant without a reservation when the bloke in front of me in line was turned away (one F. Alonso)!

      And no, I didn’t get autographs from any of them, but that’s just me…

      • Pink Pirelli said on 21st March 2011, 9:10

        Most of the diehards hang around the media centre where the drivers come in. It’s at the end of the garages, opposite Fangio. You need to put in the hours, but for the last five years Mr Pink & I have gotten every driver’s autograph, as well as some others along the way, John Travolta springs to mind.

        Having said that, I’ll be there at 8am thursday for gate open, to get up to my usual driver stalking antics. I have a Jones 4 corner pass, so just look out for me in the sparkly pink cap (pictured in the gravatar).

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 21st March 2011, 11:39

          I stood there for hours and didn’t see anyone! Well, Rubens came over, but he only singed about 5 things. :( Still, I was mega excited to see an F1 driver up close. He was nearly shorter than me – and that is a good effort! :P

  15. Pinball said on 19th February 2011, 1:29

    Hey guys I received an email from Kangaroo TV the other day, they are now called Fan Vision, and they are accepting orders for the Australian Grand Prix now. It costs $99 AUD to rent one for the weekend. Direct link is http://f1.fanvision.com/F1-weekend-rental-Australia-device

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 21st February 2011, 0:22

      Bought.

      Never tried one before, but sounds pretty interesting. Had any experiance with one yourself?

      • Pinball said on 21st February 2011, 3:03

        I’ve never used one before. It’s my first time at the Grand Prix. I look like they should be useful, I ordered one.

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 24th February 2011, 8:11

          Can you guys tell me exactly what they are? And how can you possibly hear the commentary over the engine sounds? :)

          • foocode (@foocode) said on 24th February 2011, 8:19

            I’m thinking of picking one up but I’ll only be able to use it on the Saturday (I’m watching Sunday’s proceedings from an overlooking apartment).

            If anyone wants to go halves in one ($50) each and can drop it off to the Kangaroo TV booth at the end of Sunday, do let me know!

          • RedBullRacer said on 25th February 2011, 12:43

            I’ve got Kangaroo TVs at the last two GPs I’ve been to and will definitely be getting one again this year. My favourite aspects are that you can choose whether to listen to the trackside commentary or the (far superior, imho) BBC 5 Live commentary. Also you get the live timing screens, which are great for quali – last year I was opposite one of the giant superscreens but still my eyesight wasn’t good enough to see the times, so I’d have been lost without the Kangaroo TV. During the race I had the Kangaroo set to the timing screen throughout, so I could watch the action on the track and superscreen, then check my Kangaroo TV to keep track of positions/lap times etc.
            Also there are loads of functions like the ability to select your favourite drivers and get their onboard footage/team radio etc, if you are so inclined.
            It’s definitely worthwhile, really enhances the race-viewing experience.

      • drmikki said on 25th February 2011, 11:49

        I won the use of one the first year they brought them to Melbourne. Quite neat to use, means you can get stats, livetiming, onboard footage and a selection of commentaries, as well as pit-to-car radio that isn’t broadcast elsewhere. The downsides are that everyone near you wants to have a look, and that you might end up watching the screen instead of the track!

        Great noise-cancelling earphones came with it, but I put on my big F1-watching headset over the top to further enhance audibility.

        Best use was for quali, in my opinion, as that is the hardest to follow from the stands unless there is a giant screen right in front of you!

        I’ll be watching from Fangio, just down from the podium – might see you there :-)

    • i’ve heard about it.. and it looks interesting.
      the main selling point is the onboard cams, since i have a superscreen directly across from where i’m sitting

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 25th February 2011, 11:14

        Who else is going to be in the Brabham stand? I will be there for all four days. I also think we should organise a meet-up at some stage. I think the best places to meet would be either the golf course or the grassed area next to the paddock where there is often an old F1 car on display. They’re reasonably central to everyone (especially the latter – considering the majority of the stands are in that area) and I would love to meet some fellow F1 fanatics! :)

        • i’m going to laugh so hard if you are sitting 2 or so rows away from me..

          golf course sounds good. i’d like to flog some of you in the simulators if i get a chance!

        • JarZ said on 6th March 2011, 18:12

          I’m in section C of the Brabham stand for all 4 days :)

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 15th March 2011, 1:06

            I’m section E. I am not sure which block I am in though. Hopefully I have a good view. Anyway, who else is going to be willing to participate in a meet-up? I am probably going to make a thread on the forum because this little corner of the site doesn’t get enough traffic. :)

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