From historic rural tracks to purpose-built stadiums and city centre street circuits, learn about the top 10 circuits on the 2024 Formula 1 calendar for trackside views.
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One of the most important decisions you’ll make when deciding to attend an F1 race is where to watch the action at your chosen circuit. How much you can afford to spend on your ticket will probably be the biggest determining factor of whether you choose the cheapest General Admission access, a grandstand seat or trackside hospitality.
But which of the 24 circuits that Formula 1 will visit in 2024 offer the best trackside views? There’s a huge variety of new and old circuits on the 2024 F1 calendar, from street circuits to purpose-built stadiums and old-school rural circuits. The reality is that some circuits offer much better trackside views for spectators than others. Let’s take a closer look.
Are undulating tracks better for spectating than flat ones? Where are seating locations raised above the track to provide better views? Does the catch fencing get in the way? What are the General Admission views like? Can you get panoramic views of more than one section of the track from your seat? Are the grandstands close to the track or set back a long way? Is the circuit located in a picturesque location or is it ugly and featureless? Are there too many fans to get a good view? Can you walk around different parts of the circuit or are you restricted to a particular zone? Are the tickets good value?
These are some of the questions we’ve considered in this ranking of the ten best Formula 1 races to attend in 2024 for trackside views. The ranking takes into account not only the quality of the trackside views, but also the affordability of tickets and the overall spectator experience.
Increased Attendances Impact Spectator Experience
The other factor worth mentioning is that increased interest in Formula 1 is contributing to much larger attendances at many circuits. The official 2023 attendance figures have not yet been released by Formula 1, but we estimate that over 6 million fans* attended a race in 2023.
Sold out events and packed grandstands inevitably impact both the overall spectator experience (positively for atmosphere, negatively for overcrowding and queues) and the trackside views. New grandstands that have been added to satisfy demand are inevitably not in the best trackside locations, and more fans in General Admission means less space to get good vantage points.
Whilst the biggest races are getting more popular (Australia, Canada, Britain, USA & Mexico amongst others), there are still plenty of races that have much lower attendances and as a result, offer better trackside views and overall experience for spectators – these include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and Qatar.
*The figure of 6 million is based on 3 or 4-day attendances at each race, meaning that fans who attend every day of the race weekend are counted more than once.
10. Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2024 (September 13-15)
- Location: Baku City Circuit
- Best Seating Locations: Absheron, Azneft, Icheri Sheher Grandstan
- Learn more: 2024 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Travel Guide
Baku City Circuit makes the top 10 not so much for the quality of the views from the grandstands (some of them are not that great) but for its unique location in the heart of the historic Azerbaijani capital. Part of the circuit even passes through the old town, which dates back to the 12th century. The Absheron Grandstand opposite the pits and first corner is good for on-track action, while other recommended places to watch the action include the Azneft and Icheri Sheher Grandstands. Baku also offers the cheapest access to the Formula 1 Paddock Club on the 2024 F1 calendar, with 3-day access available via F1 Experiences from $5,000 USD.
Ticket prices are reasonably cheap in Baku but getting to the city is more difficult and expensive. There are not many direct flights to Baku from Europe, with most visitors having to transit via Istanbul or Dubai. Nevertheless, it’s worth the effort to attend the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which has quickly established itself as a favourite of many F1 insiders.
9. Formula 1 São Paulo Grand Prix 2024 (November 1-3)
- Location: Autódromo José Carlos Pace (Interlagos)
- Best Seating Locations: Grandstands A, B, G, M, N
- Learn more: 2024 São Paulo Grand Prix Travel Guide
The host of the São Paulo Grand Prix (formerly the Brazilian Grand Prix) regularly produces some of the most exciting races on the entire F1 calendar. One of the shortest circuits in F1, Interlagos also benefits from excellent spectator views. Most of the grandstands are located on higher ground and some of the best offer views over a large portion of the lap.
The pick of the cheapest grandstands at Interlagos is Grandstand A, which wraps around the long uphill section that finishes the lap, and also offers expansive views of the infield.
The downside of Interlagos, and the reason that this circuit doesn’t rate higher is that seat numbers are routinely ignored (especially in the cheapest bleacher-style grandstands), and you cannot enter different parts of the track. Your ticket only provides access to the section where your grandstand is located. But the exciting racing and lively atmosphere go a long way to making up for this.
8. Formula 1 United States Grand Prix 2024 (October 18-20)
- Location: Circuit of The Americas
- Best Seating Locations: Turns 1, 4, 12, 15
- Learn more: 2024 United States Grand Prix Travel Guide
Built into an undulating landscape on the outskirts of Austin, Circuit of The Americas (COTA) has been home to the United States Grand Prix since 2012. The General Admission views at COTA are excellent, but increasing attendance at the race means that finding and keeping a good vantage point in the open areas is becoming increasingly difficult.
Some of the best grandstands include the Turn 1 Grandstand (situated on the top of a steep hill with excellent panoramic views), the Turn 4 Bleachers (next to a fast and technical section of the circuit) and the grandstands situated next to Turn 12 and 15, which offer views of several slower corners near the end of the lap.
7. Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix 2024 (June 21-23)
- Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
- Best Seating Locations: General Admission, Grandstands A, F, G, L
- Learn more: 2024 Spanish Grand Prix Travel Guide
The racing may not always be the most exciting, but Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya remains of the best venues for spectating on the current F1 calendar. Built into rolling hills on the outskirts of Barcelona and home to the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991, it’s hard to find a bad place to watch the action at this compact circuit.
Almost all General Admission areas and grandstands are elevated above the track and catch fencing, and many vantage points offer panoramic views of more than one section of the circuit. Ticket prices are reasonable and ‘Free Friday’ (when you can sit in any grandstand you want) is an added bonus.
6. Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix 2024 (September 20-22)
- Location: Marina Bay Street Circuit
- Best Seating Locations: Turn 1, Turn 2, Premier Walkabout
- Learn more: 2024 Singapore Grand Prix Travel Guide
The second of three street circuits on this list makes the cut for the incredible backdrop provided by the city of Singapore. Admittedly, the actual grandstand views are not spectacular in Singapore. With no elevation, the catch fencing hampers the views from lower seats in most grandstands. And few seating locations offer more than the view of a single corner. But street racing in the heart of a bustling South East Asian city – at night – provides for some spectacular trackside views.
The Turn 1 and 2 Grandstands are best for on-track action. The best General Admission views can be found in Zone 1. As well as being less crowded than other zones, it also offers some raised viewing platforms with good views of the action – you’ll need a Premier Walkabout Ticket (or any grandstand ticket in Zone 1) to access the best vantage points.
5. Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix 2024 (July 19-21)
- Location: Hungaroring
- Best Seating Locations: General Admission, Silver 3-4, Red Bull Grandstands
- Learn more: 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix Travel Guide
Sharing many of the same positive characteristics as Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Hungaroring is situated in rolling hills on the edge of Budapest and offers excellent trackside views. Unlike Spain however, all of the spectator areas in Hungary are located on the outside of the circuit; the infield is off-limits to fans.
Where the home of the Hungarian Grand Prix excels is that almost all of the spectator areas, including General Admission, are located on higher ground and provide very good views of the circuit. Most grandstands are also located quite close to the track, rather than being set back a long way behind large run-off areas.
The compact nature of the Hungaroring also means that many seating locations (especially above the final corner) offer expansive views. Hungary is a very affordable destination offering the cheapest F1 tickets on the calendar, though the excessive summer heat and lack of shade at the circuit impact the overall spectator experience somewhat. It is also getting more crowded, but this is true of almost all races.
4. Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix 2024 (April 5-7)
- Location: Suzuka Circuit
- Best Seating Locations: General Admission (Spoon Curve), Grandstands B, Q
- Learn more: 2024 Japanese Grand Prix Travel Guide
Suzuka is an old-school circuit that’s hugely popular among the drivers, and the spectator views are excellent. Most grandstands have good elevation and are not too far away from the racing line. Tickets are also pretty good value, and the Japanese fans are amongst the most passionate on the calendar.
The best time to explore Suzuka is during Friday’s practice sessions, when you can access almost all the grandstands, regardless of your ticket; make sure you visit the General Admission areas furthest away from the start/finish straight. Some of the best grandstands include Q1 and Q2 on the final corner and B2 on the outside of the first corner.
3. Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix 2024 (May 23-26)
- Location: Circuit de Monaco
- Best Seating Locations: Grandstands K, T, Ermanno Penthouse, Sector Z1
- Learn more: 2024 Monaco Grand Prix Travel Guide
Monaco scores highly for trackside views because the grandstands are so much closer to the track than almost every other circuit on the current F1 calendar. The tight confines of the principality mean that there is very little room for grandstands, and those that can be fitted in are generally very close to the track. It’s true that very few grandstands in Monaco offer more than a view of the corner directly in front of you, and ticket prices are amongst the highest on the calendar, but you won’t get closer to the action in 2024.
If you are thinking about splashing out on hospitality access at the Monaco Grand Prix, some of the best panoramic views can be found from the various apartment terraces overlooking the circuit (such as the Ermanno Penthouse). On the other hand, while it may be a cool experience to spend time on a superyacht in the harbour at the Monaco Grand Prix, the actual trackside views from the water are not that good.
2. Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix 2024 (July 26-28)
- Location: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
- Best Seating Locations: Bronze (General Admission), Gold 8 (La Source), Gold 3 (Eau Rouge), Champions Club Tower
- Learn more: 2024 Belgian Grand Prix Travel Guide
If this ranking was only about spectacular views, then Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps would be a clear winner. Watching Formula 1 cars tackle the long, hilly and forested circuit in the Ardennes mountains is a special experience, even from the cheapest Bronze (General Admission) areas. Recommended grandstands include Gold 8 at La Source and Gold 3 overlooking Eau Rouge – the Champions Club Business Tower from F1 Experiences also offers excellent panoramic views.
The fiasco of the rained out 2021 Belgian Grand Prix undoubtedly left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans (and rightly so) but don’t let that put you off a visit to this magical circuit. Despite the relatively high ticket prices, poor access and lack of local accommodation, it’s still one of the best places in the world to watch Formula 1.
1. Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix 2024 (June 28-30)
- Location: Red Bull Ring
- Best Seating Locations: General Admission, Red Bull A-C, Steiermark, T3
- Learn more: 2024 Austrian Grand Prix Travel Guide
Featuring only ten corners, the Red Bull Ring is one of the shortest and most compact circuits on the F1 calendar. It also happens to be located in a beautiful part of the world with lovely natural views all around. And the home of the Austrian Grand Prix tops this list as it offers some of the best General Admission and grandstand views on the calendar. From some vantage points, it’s possible to see the cars for well in excess of 50% of the lap.
Built on the side of a fairly steep hill, the views are best from the top of the circuit, which is where the General Admission areas are located (as well as several newer grandstands, the best of which is the T3 Grandstand). But some of the grandstands closer to the start/finish straight at the bottom of the hill – such as Steiermark and Red Bull A-C – also offer panoramic views. Sealing the Red Bull Ring’s position at the top of this list are very reasonable ticket prices (including generous early-bird discounts) and excellent trackside organization.
Best of the Rest
Our top ten 10 covers less than half of the 24 races on the 2024 Formula 1 calendar but what are the trackside views like at the other 13 circuits that F1 will visit this year?
Autodromo Imola almost makes the list thanks to its beautiful park setting with some excellent elevated viewing areas (such as Grandstand R, pictured above) but is let down by typically chaotic Italian organization. The other Italian circuit, Monza, would have made this list several years ago – and even topped the list for best General Admission on the calendar in an opinion piece we published a while ago – but much higher attendances in recent years has exposed shortcomings in the organization of the Italian Grand Prix. The General Admission areas at Monza have also been heavily reduced in size to make way for new grandstand seating.
Among the remaining old-school circuits on this year’s calendar, Circuit Zandvoort scores highly for organization, atmosphere and good views from selected grandstands (Arena, Tarzan) but could still do with more infrastructure investment to improve the fan experience – particularly the small and overcrowded fanzones and walkways near grandstands. It is worth noting, however, that the General Admission areas at Zandvoort have good elevation and close proximity to the track, though overcrowding is an issue at this race.
The home of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone has plenty of decent grandstands (and the General Admission offer has also been improved a lot in recent years) but most seating locations are set back a long way from the track, and a lack of elevation also means that the catch fencing gets in the way for seats closer to the track. Tickets are also very expensive at the British Grand Prix.
Several circuits on the 2024 F1 calendar are located within city parks, notably Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Canada), Albert Park (Australia), Monza (Italy) and Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (Mexico City). Watching F1 racing in a park setting is undoubtedly a positive – and these are still some of the best races to attend for the overall fan experience – but these circuits don’t have any elevation to speak of, which impacts General Admission and grandstand views. The trackside atmosphere in Mexico City is excellent, but not being able to move around other parts of the circuit (aside from the zone where your grandstand is located) is a big minus.
Bahrain International Circuit does produce some great racing under lights but is located in the middle of a flat, featureless desert and only has five grandstands to choose from, with no General Admission access available. Lusail Circuit shares many of the same characteristics as Bahrain International Circuit. The race is held under lights at a purpose-built circuit in the middle of the desert. The pick of the middle-eastern venues for trackside viewing is probably Yas Marina Circuit, the most expensive circuit ever built. There’s only a handful of grandstands at Jeddah Street Circuit, most of which are located on the Main Straight, but Saudi Arabia has produced some very exciting racing in its short history.
Finally, the two newest circuits from the USA. The location of Miami International Autodrome in the car park of the Hard Rock Stadium doesn’t provide for the best trackside views at all (and ticket prices are very high), though the organization is improving and the racing in 2023 was exciting. The much-hyped Las Vegas Grand Prix finally joined the calendar last November and the race itself was one of the most exciting of the whole season, though losing most of the running on the first day was unfortunate. The iconic Las Vegas Strip provides a fantastic backdrop, but ticket prices are very high and earlier start times would be a great idea for 2024.