Most people only see Formula 1 drivers while they’re at the track driving their incredible machines as fast as possible. But when they’re not at the track, far less is known about what the drivers get up to. This can leave many fans wondering where F1 drivers stay on race weekends.
F1 drivers stay at hotels close to the circuit on most race weekends, along with their crew members, which is paid for by the teams. During the European races, many F1 teams and drivers bring their own motorhome which can be parked close to the circuit.
It can sometimes be difficult for drivers as many fans will flock to their location to try and meet them. Below, we go through this in more detail, to find out where F1 drivers stay on race weekends, and where they stay in between races too.
Where Do F1 Drivers Stay During The Race Weekend?
Formula drivers need to stay close to the circuit during Grand Prix weekends. They do not want to be spending a lot of time travelling between the circuit and their hotel as they often need to arrive early in the morning, and they also leave the circuit late in the afternoon.
Ideally, the drivers and crew want to be no further than a five or ten-minute drive away from the circuit. This means that they do not have many options when it comes to choosing their accommodation for the race weekend.
Many drivers will stay in hotels close to the circuit. These hotels are paid for by the team, since it is technically “business travel” for the drivers (it’s a real job after all). These hotels are often the best of the best and feature a high level of security to ensure that the drivers are always safe.
Some drivers bring their own motorhomes or stay in the team’s motorhomes during the European races. This is because the locations are closer together making it easier to travel along public roads. Some drivers will also stay in their own apartments in some locations, especially at the Monaco Grand Prix, as many F1 drivers have homes in Monaco.
Do F1 Drivers Stay In Hotels?
Formula 1 drivers will usually stay at the closest 5-star hotels. In order to limit their travel time as much as possible throughout the race weekend, they will always stay at a hotel that is relatively close to the circuit.
For example, at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, most drivers will stay at the Yas Hotel, which is the one that is on the circuit and is only a few minutes’ walk away from the paddock. Ideally drivers would like as much privacy as possible when at their hotels, so they try not to book into hotels in busy areas.
Sometimes Formula 1 drivers do not stay in hotels though. In races such as Monaco, many drivers stay at their own apartments. This can also be the case if any driver has a property close to another circuit on the calendar. At some races, the drivers may stay in their motorhomes instead too.
Where Do F1 Drivers Stay Between Races?
F1 drivers will usually stay at home between races if the gap is long enough. When there’s only a week between the races, this isn’t normally possible, but when there are two or more weeks in between, the driver may head home or to the factory to help the team with development.
When the drivers aren’t racing it’s a difficult situation. There are different time gaps in between races, for example. Some races might be back-to-back and for others there might be a week in between. Triple header races are also becoming more common nowadays.
If there is a week in between races the drivers will likely fly out directly to the next country that they need to race in. In some cases, they might stop over somewhere else for a day or two (such as their home country or wherever they have property), but in the majority of cases they fly straight to the next venue and take a couple of days to rest and prepare for their next race weekend.
A Longer Break
When there are two weeks or more in between races this is usually not the case. Usually, drivers will take the off weekend to head home or to go to the factory if they need to do simulator work or give feedback on the car.
After the weekend is over the drivers will fly over to the next venue, and all the drivers will normally be there by Wednesday morning at the latest. The Thursday before the race weekend was traditionally when the drivers would do their media duties, but this has since been moved to the Friday morning, so drivers may arrive on Thursday instead.
Do All F1 Drivers Have Motorhomes?
Not all Formula 1 drivers have their own motorhomes. Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have been known to bring their own private motorhomes to the European races, but it is unclear whether many other drivers do the same.
Many drivers use the team’s motorhomes, which travel to every Grand Prix in Europe. This allows the drivers to stay at the track without the need to travel to a hotel each day. Many drivers have their own personal rooms in the team motorhome where they can stay in between sessions.
Where Do The Rest Of An F1 Team Stay On Race Weekends?
Formula 1 teams do not just have to take care of their two drivers. They may have hundreds of team members that need to travel with them to each race of the season. These team members also need to be taken care of in terms of accommodation.
The Formula 1 crew members will also be booked into a hotel that is relatively close to the circuit. It can sometimes be further away from the circuit than the drivers’ hotels are, and in some cases, it can be the same hotels that the drivers are booked into.
The crew members will generally all stay together in the same hotel, and they will often use the same transport from the hotel to the circuit. This could be carpooling in rental cars, or it could be a minibus arranged by the team.
When Do Drivers Leave The Country?
After the race on Sunday afternoon, we don’t see much of the drivers. We might see one or two drivers doing interviews and from there the world feed cuts off. We usually don’t see them again until we get to the next race.
Some drivers leave the country on the Sunday evening right after the race. This can either be to make a stop at home or in another country before heading to the next race, or it could be to get to the next race venue as quickly as possible so that they have more time to adjust – especially with jet lag for flyaway races.
Some drivers might only leave the country on the Monday or the Tuesday depending on what they have planned. Some drivers need to attend sponsors events during the week for example, or they might take some extra time in the country where the race was hosted, either for business or to simply explore.
When Does The Rest Of The Team Leave?
The rest of the team has a lot of work to do. All of the cars need to be stripped down and packed up. They need to be shipped to the next race venue as quickly as possible, and this can take some time as the team has already worked hard throughout the weekend.
Most teams will have their cars and gear packed up and ready to go by the Monday. The team will only leave once everything has been sent off to the next venue. This means that the crew members will generally fly out on either the Monday or the Tuesday after the race.
If there are back-to-back race weekends the team will fly directly to the next race venue and begin to unpack and rebuild the car in time for the race weekend ahead. However, if there is a weekend in between, they will have the chance to go back home to see their friends and family before jetting off to the next venue.
F1 drivers will often stay in hotels as close as possible to the track in between races, along with their teams. Some drivers have their own personal motorhomes that they use instead of hotels during the European races, and if there are longer gaps between Grands Prix they may head home.