Many Formula 1 races offer unrestricted access to all grandstands on the first day of the event, which is a great opportunity to check out some different vantage points. Here’s the lowdown.
What is Free Friday?
Sadly, it doesn’t refer to free entry to the circuit on Friday. Instead, it refers to the practice whereby some circuits offer unrestricted access to all the grandstands on Friday. Commonly referred to as Free Friday, it is also known at some circuits as ‘roaming access.’ You still need a ticket to enter the circuit (except in Monaco), but once inside, you are free to check out the views from different grandstands. It’s a great way to get to know a circuit and see the cars from different vantage points. Friday is the least attended day of the Formula 1 weekend, though the F1 cars are on track for two 90-minute sessions and there’s often additional action from support categories. The following races are expected to offer Free Friday in 2021:
2021 Monaco Grand Prix
2021 British Grand Prix
Circuit Access Around the World
The circuits listed above that offer Free Friday provide some of the best access on the calendar. Hungary no longer offers Free Friday (it was discontinued in 2015), but you can purchase access to select grandstands on Friday for a reasonable price of €20. We also recommend the circuits that have a single General Admission zone within the circuit; this zone is open to all ticket holders (including those with grandstand tickets) and is definitely worth checking out, especially on Friday. Some of the best circuits on the calendar for General Admission viewing include Spain, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, the USA and Australia.
Unfortunately, many circuits now place restrictions on where you can and can’t go within the circuit. The worst culprit is Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, home of the Mexico Grand Prix, where you are restricted to the zone of your grandstand and cannot explore other parts of the circuit. Other circuits with a similar policy include Yas Marina Circuit (Abu Dhabi) and Interlagos (Brazil). The Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore is also separated into zones, but you can buy General Admission tickets with access to all of them; we recommend Premier Walkabout with access to Zone 1.