With the 2014 Formula One season already underway, we look at some of the hottest Grand Prix destinations on the grid;
Catalunya, Spain: 11 May 2014
The Spanish Grand Prix leg has been held in the city break hotspot of Barcelona for the last one hundred years – making it one of the oldest in the world. The modern Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya opened in 1991 and also hosted the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. And you’ll be pleased to know that after you’ve blown your budget on the champagne lifestyle, there are plenty of free things to do in Barcelona – wander La Rambla, admire the iconic La Sagrada Familia and chill out on the sumptuous urban beaches.
Monte Carlo: 25 May 2014
The uber-glamorous Monaco is the place to be seen on the annual Grand Prix calendar. Rub shoulders with celebrities who flock here all year round and play at guessing the value of the enormous gleaming super-yachts that cram the marina. Officially the smallest state in the world, Monaco is best known for its luxurious casinos, royal heritage of the Grimaldi family and the exhilarating Grand prix street circuit.
Montreal, Canada: 8 June 2014
Formula One fever hits the stylish French-Canadian city of Montreal for the fiftieth time this year. Hang with fellow adrenalin junkies at the race circuit on the artificial Île Notre-Dame island, then check out the local sights. Montreal effortlessly fuses French, English and Canadian influences – expect mouth-watering food, a hot music scene and sumptuous cultural sights.
Spielberg, Austria: 22 June 2014
Last held in 2003, the Austrian Grand Prix returns to the annual calendar, hosted at the fully upgraded Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. The small city is within the state of Styria which is home to the elegant Burg Riegersberg medieval castle, the intriguing planetarium at Judenburg Sternenturm and the local Murauer Bier is brewed here too; don’t miss a tour of the brewery and the odd sample.
Silverstone, UK: 6 July 2014
The only F1 circuit in the UK has hosted the prestigious British Grand Prix event since 1926. All eyes will be on the home-grown talents of Lewis Hamilton (currently second on the leader board) and Jenson Button. Silverstone is located in the heart of England in Northamptonshire and is the ideal spot to take in the other momentous cultural events of 2014, namely Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday and the special events to mark the centenary of the start of World War I.
Hockenheim, Germany: 20 July 2014
Germany could be considered the spiritual home of motorsports, boasting an incredible pedigree in both motor manufacturing (think BMW, Audi and Volkswagen) as well as iconic F1 drivers, both past and present. Nico Rosberg (currently number one on the leader board), Sebastian Vettel, and of course the mighty Michael Schumacher all hail from Germany. The town of Hockenheim itself is best known for its impressive motorsport museum; a must for all petrol-heads.
Budapest, Hungary: 27 July 2014
Next up is the Hungarian Grand Prix, which returned here post-Soviet rule in 1986. The narrow, twisting circuit promises thrills and spills, and the charming city of Budapest is equally captivating. Float along the serene Danube River, explore the World Heritage laden area around the Budapest Castle District and lose yourself in Buda’s myriad of superb Museums.