By complete chance I found myself on holiday (a quick pre-season break) in the South of Spain last week, as it happens, just as the F1 teams were having their second of four pre-season tests at the nearby Jerez.
Of course, how could one resist popping over to the circuit to check out what was going on, so off I went to see what testing is cracked up to be in terms of a fan experience… and first of all, it costs only €10 for the whole day and that, my fellow readers is a complete bargain – here’s why:
You get full access to the whole circuit, i.e. sit where you like (ok, so the one grandstand opposite the pits will set you back €20 – hardly a rip off!) and with it being a test session, there’s far less than 100,000+ other fans there, so you can get a great vantage point from anywhere without having to peer over shoulders or get there incredibly early as you would with a general admission grand prix ticket.
That said, there’s plenty of people there to create an atmosphere, and of course with this testing being at the Spanish Jerez circuit, there were plenty of cheers every time a certain ex-world champion in a red car went past.
It was great to see other fans (and readers of Badger!) who made it to the testing too, here they are sitting comfortably by their huge England flag, cheering on Jenson as he put his all-new McLaren through it’s paces
It may seem a little annoying that final European test is now already underway, but you never know, what with the current situation over in the Gulf, the last pre-season test there ahead of the season opener may end up being in Spain too… for now here are some more shots from the Jerez session…
So there we have it – Badger’s seal of approval on the idea of going to a test session – it’s the fraction of the price of a GP ticket, you get to see F1 cars live in action, driven at full-pelt and if you can’t make it to an actual race, I can’t recommend visiting a test as a fan enough – it’s ace.
One of Badger’s readers (and guest contributor), Jade is over at the Barcelona tests right now and will be sharing her experience with you all when she’s back next week, in the mean time though, you can follow her updates via Twitter here and of course follow Badger’s Twitter too. We have an official accredited photographer at the test, who’ll be magically beaming over the latest photos of the new 2011 motors every day – look out for them over the next few days.
And finally – here’s to more testing sessions, it’s not only good for new drivers, but great for fans too!
If you’ve been a test session, share your experience in the comments below, we’d love to hear how you go on…