Which F1 races offer Free Friday in 2020?

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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 2020:

Chinese Grand Prix

  • When? April 17-19, 2020
  • Where? Shanghai International Circuit
  • What? All ticket holders can access the Main, H & K Grandstands at the circuit on Friday.
  • More info: Travel Guide / Buy Tickets

Spanish Grand Prix

  • When? May 8-10, 2020
  • Where? Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
  • What? All ticket holders can access the grandstands at the circuit on Friday.
  • More info: Travel Guide / Buy Tickets

Monaco Grand Prix

  • When? May 21-24, 2020
  • Where? Circuit de Monaco
  • What? Monaco offers free entry to the circuit on Friday, but there’s no F1 action on this day. It’s still worth going for the Formula 2 feature race around noon and the chance to do a track walk in the afternoon.
  • More info: Travel Guide / Buy Tickets

British Grand Prix

  • When? July 17-19, 2020
  • Where? Silverstone Circuit.
  • What? Ticket holders, including General Admission, can access all the grandstands on Friday. In addition, grandstand ticket holders also receive “roving access” to all grandstands on Saturday.
  • More info: Travel Guide / Buy Tickets

Italian Grand Prix

  • When? September 4-6, 2020
  • Where? Monza Eni Circuit.
  • What? Ticket holders (including General Admission) can access all the grandstands on Friday, with the exception of the Centrale Grandstand.
  • More info: Travel Guide / Buy Tickets

Japanese Grand Prix

  • When? October 9-11, 2020
  • Where? Suzuka Circuit
  • What? Suzuka operates Free Friday with unreserved access for three-day ticket holders to all grandstands apart from Grandstand V2 on the pit straight.
  • More info: Travel Guide / Buy Tickets

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.

Have you taken advantage of Free Friday? Which circuit offers the best viewing in your opinion?  Leave a comment below.

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