If you’ve been following the blog long enough you know by now that we are Formula 1 fans, and that since W. and I got married, we go to a Grand Prix every year at least once. In fact, our honeymoon included the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2013, and in that year our tradition began. This year was a very different and special one for us, it was the first time we took our baby daughter to a GP and I must say that we loved the experience, and so did she.
When I was still pregnant and we were at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2017, we were already planning and deciding which GP would be ideal for us to take Baby M. Our pick was the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim, one that we had the chance to attend to in 2016. Of course, we had to consider a few important aspects before paying for our tickets, and for those of you planning to attend a Formula 1 Grand Prix with a baby, here are (according to us) the 3 most important aspects to consider when choosing a circuit to take your little one:
♦ Check if the Grand Prix accepts babies: some circuits, such as the Brazilian one, only accepts children from 5 years on (see at the end of the post the list I made with the circuits’ policies towards accepting babies).
♦ See if the circuit offers covered seats: the best option to protect your baby from the strong sun or rain.
♦ Find out if near your seats there are nice areas where you can spend time with your baby so you don’t have to be seated the whole time. It can be a park or grass, which is normally easy to find on most circuits. Recently, Formula 1 event organizers introduced the Kids’ Zone, at the German Grand Prix there was even a Ferris Wheels and a fake beach, which is where we spent our time between the sessions.
Something that also really helped us to make our decision was the fact that we’ve been to Hockenheim before and were familiar with the circuit. So if you’ve been to a certain circuit before and think it can be a good one to take your baby, go ahead. Other circuits to which we have been before and would definitely take Baby M with us are: Spielberg, Abu Dhabi, Barcelona and Hungary.
As for the ideal age, I would say it’s best that your baby can already sit down by themselves, which is about 6 to 7 months old. Baby M was 10 months when we took her, it was a great age, though I even think that at 8 or 9 months could have been even better, because that’s when she was less active (haha).
The MUST packs for a Formula 1 Grand Prix with a baby
» Baby ear defenders
» Water bottle
» Baby food
» Picnic blanket
» Diaper bag (with everything you need to change your baby on the go)
» Stroller/Baby carrier
Whenever the cars were on the track, Baby M was wearing her ear defenders, and to our surprise it didn’t bother her to have it on her head most of the time. At first she wanted to play with it, but with time she got used to it and didn’t even realize she was wearing it. She was sleeping during half of the qualifying session and the race!
Watch out for these circuit’s rules
♦ Not every circuit allows strollers: Hockenheim doesn’t (even though I saw many families taking strollers) so we took the baby carrier, which ended up being very practical to walk among the crowd;
♦ Most (if not all) circuits don’t accept glass bottles/containers for safety reasons, which means you need to avoid bringing baby food in glasses and instead put them in plastic containers;
♦ Apart from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, babies don’t pay for a ticket. However, many circuits request that while booking your tickets you also book the “baby ticket”, which is free but needs to be included together with yours.
These and other rules you can always find on the circuit’s official website or with your tickets’ provider.
Going to a Formula 1 Grand Prix with a baby is not the same as when it was only me and W., but we did love to have our little one to share our passion with us (even if she had no clue what it all meant) and we can’t wait to take her to another one in 2019. To make the most of your time at the Grand Prix with your baby, here are a few of our personal tips:
♦ Lower your expectations;
♦ Dedicate some time to play with your baby;
♦ Watch out for the nap and feeding times: don’t let the excitement distract you from your baby, you don’t want to have a grumpy little one exactly when the race is about to start or when your favorite driver is about to make pole position;
♦ If you’re driving to the circuit, plan ahead in terms of parking: see where is the closest parking space to your seats, and try to go also on the Friday, as depending on the circuit you might get a guaranteed spot for the rest of the weekend (Barcelona’s circuit does that for a fee of 20 Euros). Some circuits offer early booking of a parking spot too.
Formula 1 Grand Prix circuits’ policies regarding babies
Australian GP: allows babies
Bahrain GP: allows babies
Chinese GP: advises not to bring children under 3
Azerbaijan GP: babies are not allowed
Spanish GP: allows babies
Monaco GP: allows babies
Canada GP: allows babies
France GP: allows babies
Austrian GP: allows babies
British GP: allows babies
German GP: allows babies
Hungarian GP: allows babies
Belgian GP: allows babies
Italian GP: allows babies
Singapore GP: allows babies (a form needs to be signed by the parents and given to the circuit’s event organizer freeing them from the responsibility of risks)
Russian GP: allows babies
Japanese GP: allows babies
USA GP: allows babies
Mexico GP: allows babies
Brazilian GP: babies are not allowed
Abu Dhabi GP: allows babies, though a full price ticket is required (!!!). In all other circuits babies have free entrance.
We were excited and kind of surprised to see how many families took babies and kids to the German Grand Prix (we probably didn’t notice it before as we still weren’t parents). Despite the noise, it is definitely a very child friendly event and if you’re skeptical about taking your baby/child to one, don’t be, you will all have a great time.
Previous to our decision on taking Baby M to a Formula 1 Grand Prix, I’ve searched the entire web for some tips and honestly didn’t find as many as I’d liked, so I hope this post can help all the parents fans of Formula 1 out there who would like to take their little one along to a race weekend. Have fun!
Pin it up!