Hey Australian, I was invited to the AusGP Paddock Club this year by a vendor… Its the 2nd time I’ve been to the paddock club. Having been a Formula 1 fan since early 90′s, I’ve done General Admission at Adelaide GP in 87 & 89, MelbGP 1999-2008 (Turn 9), in 2009 I was in Corporate Box at the end of Pit Straight on the Friday and on Weekend had Grandstand Tickets on Pit Straight, right near the start line. So I’ve been to almost all the vantage points and I can put hand on my heart and say that Paddock Club is without doubt the best experience…
- Food is top notch
- Drink is plentiful and as much as you want
- You get to stand on top of the Pit Garages and look down on it all
- Get to stand over the top of the Podium Celebrations
- You get to sit at a table with your food
- You can see the track live
- You can watch the tv sets for commentary and actually hear it
- There are celebrities, left right and centre.
- You share toilets with the drivers (Someone sitting next to me on our table went to the toilet standing next to Mr. Barrichello) ;)
And there are extras that you get access to, like pit lane walks.
- Lots of snobs
- Dress code is smart casual (not a problem for me, but might be for some)
- Unable to really yell and cheer for your driver(s) as its more of a “civilised” atmosphere
- Segregated suites, so as much money as you fork out for your ticket, someone will have a better one in a better suite…
Hope this helps :)
All up the pros in my view outweigh the cons… Grandstand was a good experience as well, but you still had to “rough it” in queues at the food/drinks vendors, but at least you had a guaranteed seat…
I did the paddock club a couple times at the US Grand Prix in ’00 and ’01. The only driver I got to meet was De La Rosa. He was standing by the garage (Arrows I guess) for pictures and autographs. Everyone else was either in the garages where we couldn’t go or not even in sight.
But Pedro was really nice, probably why I have a soft spot for him.
Granted I was a guest of Speedvision, the channel showing F1 here, so I can’t really comment on whether it was worth the money but I think it was definitely a great way to see the race.
Quick edit-I did see other drivers out in the paddock club, when I met DLR it was during a pit walk.
Sounds pretty good but I’d like to hear from anyone who has spent their own hard earned cash on the paddock experience. Dont get me wrong, I don’t begrudge anyone getting a freebie but is it really worth A$5000? That said, is anyone in the club actually paying their own way or is it all corporate sponsorship giveaways?