From historic rural tracks to purpose-built stadiums and city centre street circuits, learn about which races on the 2022 Formula 1 calendar have the best trackside views.
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when deciding to attend an F1 race is where to watch the action. 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 23 circuits that Formula 1 will visit in 2022 offer the best trackside views? There’s a huge variety of new and old circuits on the 2022 F1 calendar, from street circuits to purpose-built stadiums and old-school rural circuits. And the reality is that some circuits offer much better trackside views for spectators than others.
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 2022 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. (Scroll to the bottom if you want to read about the circuits that didn’t make the top 10.)
1. Austrian Grand Prix (July 8-10, 2022)
- Location: Red Bull Ring
- Best Seating Locations: General Admission, Red Bull A-C, Steiermark, T3
- Learn more: Tickets – 2022 Austrian Grand Prix
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 most of the General Admission areas are located (as well as the new 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.
2. Belgian Grand Prix (26-28 August, 2022)
- Location: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
- Best Seating Locations: Bronze (General Admission), Gold 8 (La Source), Gold 3 (Eau Rouge), Champions Club Tower
- Learn more: Tickets – 2022 Belgian Grand Prix
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 Tower also offers excellent panoramic views.
The fiasco of last year’s rained out Belgian Grand Prix has 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.
3. Monaco Grand Prix (May 26-29, 2022)
- Location: Circuit de Monaco
- Best Seating Locations: Grandstands K, T, Ermanno Penthouse, Sector Z1
- Learn more: Tickets – 2022 Monaco Grand Prix
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 2022.
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 cool to spend time on a superyacht in the harbour at the Monaco Grand Prix, the actual trackside views from the water are not very good at all.
Please note that tickets for the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix are sold out due to a 50% capacity limit. The release of more tickets is dependent on the outcome of negotiations with local authorities.
4. Spanish Grand Prix (May 22-24, 2022)
- Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
- Best Seating Locations: General Admission, Grandstands A, F, G, L
- Learn more: Tickets – 2022 Spanish Grand Prix
The racing may not always be the most exciting, but Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is hands down one 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, though we don’t yet know if it will still be available in 2022.
5. Singapore Grand Prix (September 31-October 2, 2022)
- Location: Marina Bay Street Circuit
- Best Seating Locations: Turn 1, Turn 2, Bay Grandstand, Paddock Club (2022 tickets not on sale)
- Learn more: Your guide to buying 2022 Singapore Grand Prix tickets
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, whilst the cheapest Bay Grandstand has quite poor views of the track but an amazing view of the Singapore skyline. 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.
6. Japanese Grand Prix (October 7-9, 2022)
- Location: Suzuka Circuit
- Best Seating Locations: General Admission (Spoon Curve), Grandstands B, Q (2022 tickets not yet on sale)
- Learn more: Tickets – 2022 Japanese Grand Prix
Sorely missed the last two seasons, the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka is finally scheduled to return to the F1 calendar this October. 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 there should be free access to almost all the grandstands); 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.
7. Hungarian Grand Prix (July 29-31, 2022)
- Location: Hungaroring
- Best Seating Locations: General Admission, Silver 3-4, Red Bull Grandstands
- Learn more: Tickets – 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix
Sharing many of the same positive characteristics as Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Hungaroring is situated in rolling hills on the edge of a large city (in this case, Budapest) and offers excellent trackside views. One major difference is that 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 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 with some of the cheapest F1 tickets sold in Europe, though the excessive summer heat and lack of shade at the circuit (only the Super Gold Grandstand is covered) impact the overall spectator experience somewhat.
8. United States Grand Prix (October 21-23, 2022)
- Location: Circuit of The Americas
- Best Seating Locations: Turns 1, 4, 12, 15 (Tickets not yet on sale)
- Learn more: Tickets – 2022 United States Grand Prix
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 (a record 400,000 fans flocked to the 2021 United States Grand Prix over three days) 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.
9. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (November 18-20, 2022)
- Location: Yas Marina Circuit
- Best Seating Locations: West Grandstand, North Grandstand, Paddock Club
- Learn more: Tickets – 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
The most expensive F1 circuit ever built at a cost of more than $1bn USD, Yas Marina Circuit has been designed with spectator comfort and views in mind. Ticket prices are expensive, but it’s worth going for one of the five grandstands at Yas Marina Circuit rather than the cheapest Abu Dhabi Hill tickets. All grandstands at Yas Marina Circuit are covered and offer excellent views of the action. The facilities for fans at the circuit are also top notch.
The West Grandstand is widely considered to be the best, but the recent redesign of the circuit has also created a new overtaking zone around the new Turn 5 (this is where Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix), making the North Grandstand a good choice as well. The multi-level Paddock Club above the pits also offers spectacular views, though ticket prices are out of reach for most fans.
10. Azerbaijan Grand Prix (June 10-12, 2022)
- Location: Baku City Circuit
- Best Seating Locations: Absheron, Azneft, Icheri Sheher Grandstands (Tickets not yet on sale)
- Learn more: Tickets – 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Baku City Circuit makes the top 10 not so much for the quality of the views from the grandstands (some of them are actually quite poor) but for its unique location in the heart of the historic Azerbaijani capital. In fact, 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 good places to watch the action include the Azneft and Icheri Sheher Grandstands.
Ticket prices are reasonably cheap in Baku but getting to the city is more difficult and expensive. There are few direct flights to Baku, with most visitors having to transit via Moscow, 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.
The best of the rest
Our top ten 10 only covers about 43% of the races on the 2022 Formula 1 calendar. What are the trackside views like at the other 13 circuits that F1 will visit this year?
The home of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone has plenty of decent grandstands (and the General Admission offer has also been improved 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. The red, white and blue run off areas at Circuit Paul Ricard may look pretty on TV, but also contribute to the views from the grandstands being very distant.
We’ll have to reserve judgement on the Miami International Autodrome, which joins the calendar in May. But the eye-watering ticket prices and the circuit’s location in the car park of the Hard Rock Stadium don’t necessarily bode well for a great spectator experience. It’s also too early to say much about the grandstands at Jeddah Street Circuit or Autodromo Imola, though the latter certainly benefits from a beautiful park setting.
Several circuits on the 2022 F1 calendar are located within city parks, notably Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada, Albert Park in Australia, Monza in Italy and Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. Watching F1 racing in a park setting is undoubtedly a positive, but none of these circuits have any elevation changes 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.
Among the remaining old-school circuits on this year’s calendar, Circuit Zandvoort scores highly for organization and good views from selected grandstands (Arena, Tarzan) but could still do with more infrastructure investment to improve the fan experience. Interlagos in São Paulo does have some excellent elevated grandstands, but like Mexico City, it’s not possible to visit other parts of the circuit apart from your assigned grandstand zone.
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. Meanwhile, the home of the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi does offer some of the cheapest tickets on the calendar, but the grandstand and General Admission views are nothing to write home about.