Attending race events live - Yay or Nay?



The recent talks about a possible Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix (or would it be 'Eastern USA Grand Prix' if they kept COTA on the roster?) got me thinking about the possibility of attending the race if it comes to fruition, since it's in close proximity to where I live. I'm from an area of the world where motor racing (i.e. legal races) is not a big I've never had a chance to see a race in person. Thinking it through however got me wondering: "Would I enjoy it as much?"

On one hand, being used to watching races televised, I've gotten used to seeing all the action up close from different angles, being able to monitor the stats of each driver, seeing what happens in the pits, and so on. I keep wondering if it'll be less entertaining to watch a race where you can't see the entire track from your viewpoint. I'm referring mostly to Road courses and Street circuits, as I'd imagine you have a pretty decent view of everything on an Oval course. Looking at the locations of the grandstands and other spectator areas in most, if not all races I've viewed on TV, you get a view of not a whole lot of the entire track.

On the other hand, you do get to see, and probably more important, hear what these amazing pieces of engineering sound like, in ways that recorded formats may never do justice. As amazing as V-12 and V-10 Formula 1 cars sound on tape for example, I can only imagine how brutal they must have sounded like in person. Not to mention the added social benefits of experiencing something you love with like-minded friends and family.

So, for those of you more experienced spectators: what are your thoughts of the live racing experience? Do you enjoy it more in person or televised/streamed?

elloLeo Kinnunen

Pin Head Racing
You won't know what you're missing until you try it!

First thing to say is that these days going to a race live is far less of a compromise than in the past. For most series you can get smartphone or tablet apps to help you follow the action very closely. Take some earphones and you get the same commentary as the tv feeds as well. Failing those things, even the giant video screens around f1 events will show you all the clips of what's happening or happened elsewhere on the circuit.

I think that by being lodged in just one place actually immerses you in the race in a different rather than inferior way to how you get teleported around the circuit by the tv cameras when you watch at home. You can follow a single battle or a single car for every lap, in fact you could follow most of the field every lap because there's no director who focuses on just one or two tight battle for 3-4 laps at a time.

In addition to what you hear there are many things that you'll notice trackside that tv cameras won't tell you. The cars squirming for traction, their speed up close, the scale of the track. I've done general admission standing only viewing and stadium seating. I prefer general admission ticket and i have spent the last few races I've been to wandering around the length of the circuit trying to see as much with my own eyes as possible. This is not possible at every circuit and I can't imagine Miami will have much opportunity but still worth mentioning I think.

Given that tickets can be expensive I won't keep going to my local grandprix in Melbourne. I think 3 times in the last 5-6 years is enough for me. I'd rather save up my money and go and see a race overseas instead. Indy 500, monaco historic grand prix and nurburgring 24 hour are on my to do list.
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Honestly? I love experiencing the cars & the atmosphere at an event, but tracks are pretty sucky places to actually watch a race at :p ( other than say, Brands Hatch or a similar bowl like that ). Better now there's usually screens, but then you're sitting in a drafty grandstand or standing on a hillock watching a screen instead of lounging around on a comfy sofa watching a screen. So... either works for me, really. The more open the paddock is the better it is to be there, I don't think I'd enjoy an event without being able to get up close & I don't intend to go to one like that.
I am a little mixed....
Don't get me wrong, nothing beats the rumble feeling in your chest when the cars go by as it's absolutely amazing!

But on the other hand I don't miss the cost, battling the crowds trying to leave the race and most tracks you only get to see parts of the tracks when the cars come around.
Where as on tv you get the battles all around the track....and usually the beer is cheaper at your local store.

Anyways seeing a race live is a must and amazing experience!
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