Unless you have a rare pass to the paddock, you have limited opportunities to meet your favourite driver, take a photo, or ask for an autograph. But it's not impossible, so don't give up. Here are our tips:
Some drivers participate in the programme in fan zones, as their advertising contracts prescribe. In particular, keep an eye on the social networks of the organiser, teams, drivers and sponsors that support your favourite. There you will probably find out when and where you can catch your idol.
In front of the circuit
Some drivers do not sleep on the circuit but in hotels. There are usually reserved parking lots near the main entrance for holders of the most prestigious parking passes, including the riders. You can try to wait nearby, but be sure to get there early; drivers usually arrive at the circuit before the start of the race programme each day to avoid dense traffic.
There are differences between racers and how they treat fans, so you should always follow a few basic guidelines. First - never delay racers if they want to go somewhere. They are under a lot of pressure, and if they don't want to stop with you, don't demand it or get angry with them.
If you want an autograph, your chances always increase when you have an official rider's merchandising to sign. Anonymous t-shirts, bras, skin or paper are the way to get a rider's "pass" when more fans are waiting for his signature.
Do you want a photo with the driver? It's certainly not out of the question, but again - be considerate. The better option is always to have someone else take your picture. If you want a selfie, always consider the driver's personal space. Not everyone likes to be hugged by strangers, especially when there are dozens of them.
One thing is true in F1 racing - when you think you have a great idea, tens of thousands usually think the same way. Run to the bathroom on a short break? Have lunch? Everybody wants to do that. Try to adapt your schedule differently than everyone else. Be anticipatory with eating or peeing so you don't spend the best part of the day in a queue for the toilets.
In our grandstand guide, you will always find tips on where to go and what you can see from a given grandstand. It's a good idea to know what you're interested in beforehand. If you want to be as close to the track as possible. Or if you're a keen amateur photographer and want the best shot. Plan accordingly, what ticket you're going to buy and how you're going to move around. Seat tickets usually include general admission, so it's no problem to watch the F1 Grand Prix Austria from multiple locations throughout the weekend.
One more thing to watch out for when planning your circuit movements - distances on circuits can be pretty long. Some of the transitions between stands can take tens of minutes, especially if there are many people on the circuit. Instead, try to keep the transitions as short as possible.
Some races organise a so-called "track invasion" after the race. The organisers open the track entrances for fans, who can then watch the podium ceremony directly below the podium. If this also applies to the race you are going to, you can always find it in our guide to the fan zones and fan programme. If this experience is the highlight of your day, be sure to choose the stands closest to the podium so you won't miss it.