Being the home of British motorsport, there is more to Silverstone than just the F1 weekend. The opening round World Endurance Championship (WEC) is the perfect occasion to soak up the atmosphere of a premier motorsport event that is as spectator friendly as it gets.
During the weekend, the teams and drivers are accessible to all as the paddock is kept open for the duration of the event. It is a great opportunity to see factory teams such as Audi Sport, Toyota Racing or even Aston Martin Racing in the thick of the action. You may also get the chance to bump into former F1 drivers (Kamui Kobayashi, Bruno Senna, Sebastien Buemi, Nick Heidfeld and Vitantonio Luizzi to name a few) or Le Mans legends (Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, Alex Wurz, etc).
Photo: Jean-Michel Le Meur / DPPI for FIAWEC.COM
The weekend is also unbelievable value for money. WEC tickets cost a fraction of what you'd normally pay for F1 and give you access to all grandstands open on that day to watch the cars from a different angle. Corporate hospitality packs a lot of bang for your buck too.
The Chinese Grand Prix is one of the best value for the money grands prix on the calendar. It is amazing how much of the track you can see from most grandstand seats. The Shanghai International Circuit (SIC) is easy to get to, has outstanding facilities and most grandstands boast views of several turns, over the safety fence.
It is also one of the best F1 weekend to get in touch with your favourite driver or team personnel. The Chinese round is well known by journalists for its red tape nightmare. Access to Facebook and Twitter is difficult too. As a result, a lot of the media doesn't even bother turning up to Shanghai for the Formula 1, giving the main actors of the show some reprieve, and the resourceful fan a chance of meeting some of their heroes.
Grandstand A - Photo: FREDERIC LE FLOCH / DPPI for Renault Sport F1
Shanghai is China's most accessible city for westerners and a modern metropolis offering some fascinating sightseeing opportunities, good bars and restaurants. It is also just five hours away by train from Beijing, via a high-speed rail link.