Visiting the Formula 1 Exhibition in Madrid

New fan Natalia visits the Formula 1 Exhibition in Madrid for her first ‘real life’ encounter with the sport.

Ever since it was announced, I wanted to attend the F1 Exhibition in Madrid. I was able to travel in June to see it for myself during a holiday in the Spanish capital. The F1 Exhibition was my first encounter with Formula 1 ‘in real life’. I have yet to attend a race but my plan is to go to the Austrian Grand Prix next year. I think it is important to mention as I suspect my feelings about the exhibition would be different had I already seen Formula 1 cars live on the track.

Practical Info

I took metro line number 8 to the Feria de Madrid station. The entrance to the exhibition is a very short walk from there. When not being used for major trade fairs and events, the area surrounding IFEMA Madrid does not really offer anything else for tourists, though it’s worth noting that this location has been rumoured as a potential new venue for the Spanish Grand Prix in the future.

The only available bathroom is near the entrance of the exhibition itself. Close to it there is a small coffee shop. I am not sure whether you can leave your luggage at the entrance. Additionally, you are not allowed to carry your bottled water in your hand for the duration of the exhibition. Thus, be sure to carry a big enough bag to put in your belongings. The building is air conditioned. When entering you will receive an audio guide which works well. You can listen to the videos placed throughout the entire hall. I would say the exhibition was busy but there was no queue when I wanted to enter. However, I should note that I purchased the flexible ticket. All videos and descriptions are available in English and Spanish. 

The gift shop at the end of the exhibition is small. Merch of certain teams is available with the dominance of Ferrari. You can also purchase a few items dedicated to Ayton Senna. 

Is It Worth Visiting the F1 Exhibition in Madrid?

The short answer is it depends. If you’re interested in learning about the history of Formula 1 the exhibition will be a disappointment. The ‘Once upon a time in Formula 1’ was a letdown to me. A lot of important moments were glossed over or barely mentioned in a way that doesn’t help the visitor to further research the subject.

However, if you want to learn more about what goes into making a Formula 1 car, the ‘design lab’ and ‘revolution by design’ exhibits are a treat. I found the informative videos very easy to follow. A lot of car parts and electronics were on display which was very interesting. You could take a close look at the development of front and rear wings, and of the cars themselves.

Additionally, you could see a few race suits, and many helmets, Sennas’ notes on Circuito Estoril for the 1985 Grand Prix, to mention a few. The remains of Roman Grosjean’s Haas from the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix were also on display in a separate room. It was interesting to witness the car so closely as it also gives more insight into the materials from which the car is made, not to mention how lucky Grosjean was to survive that crash.

Learn more about visiting the F1 Exhibition in Madrid, which is only open until August 20, 2023. Adult tickets are priced at €16; discounts are available for children and families.

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