Everyone knows the concept of the skybox at a Champions League game or courtside seats at NBA games. The latter sells tickets like hot cakes, and we often see world famous stars taking in games watching the likes of LeBron James or Steph Curry. Formula 1 is no different, often welcoming the big name Hollywood stars, who bring the ‘glitz and glamour’ with them, particularly when Grand Prix racing turns up in Monaco. Where previously it was almost impossible for fans to get as close to the F1 action as the likes of Michael Jordan, Brad Pitt or Serena Williams, the paddock gates are now being slowly opened. “We have noticed a huge increase in demand for exclusive tickets in recent years,” Director of Commercial Experiences at F1 Experiences Daniel Merino says. “We therefore want to help all fans, but of course exclusive tickets come at a price.” In the various F1 paddocks that RacingNews365 annually visits, we see more and more fans, who enjoy a unique experience. Yet they still don’t come close to the newest venue that Formula 1 is currently using: the pit lane. “In NASCAR, of course, anyone can get into the pit lane, which is not the case in Formula 1,” Merino points out. “Still, we can offer tickets where fans get to walk along in the F1 paddock for a while. That way they can experience up close for a moment what happens in such a paddock. “We accompany the fans with F1 experts and also some former F1 drivers like Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa share their expertise with the fans we show around the paddock. “This is how we try to get the fans closer and closer to the action. They briefly feel as if they are part of a Drive to Survive episode.” Interview continues below photo of Daniel Merino (left) Miami experiences At various racetracks, such as Miami, where F1 will descend on in just under two weeks, some fans who dig deep into their pockets will get a special experience. Namely, they can take a seat in the so-called ‘F1 Garage’. “By now there is a lot of talk about the F1 Garage, which we will be using again in Miami,” explains Merino. “It’s almost impossible to imagine, but for a limited company we have a garage box available in the pit lane. Of course, you can’t get any closer than that. You feel like a member of an F1 team, so to speak, because when you walk out you step right into the paddock! “It’s like having courtseat tickets at the NBA Finals, but at the same time sitting in exclusive hospitality where the food is prepared by a two-star Michelin chef. “Not only do you see the drivers and pit crews in action on the asphalt, but you also get to experience what goes on before, during and after a race. “In my opinion, there is no more exclusive or better place to sit during a race in the entire professional sports world.” Formula 1 remains exclusive, however, and so there is also an exclusive price attached to a weekend ticket for the ‘F1 Garage’. “We can welcome a maximum of about 50 to 60 people in the ‘F1 Garage’ and a ticket costs 30,000 euros,” adds Merino. “That is a price gladly paid by people, precisely because it is such an exclusive environment. Make no mistake, most people who go for the ‘F1 Garage’ love the sport. They have usually been fans of the sport for many years and are eager for an exclusive experience. “In addition, logically, it is also an ideal place to expand your network, because that is also what the F1 is all about. “We are thus responding exactly to the wishes of the current F1 fan, who wants to get closer and closer to the fire, and we are happy to fulfill that role for them.”

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