Classic races, abandoned tracks and trivia teasers - 10 summer-break survival tips

BBC Sport

Formula 1's summer break is here, giving drivers, team personnel and weary journalists a well-deserved break after a flurry of five races in the past six weeks.

For the rest of us, it leaves an F1-shaped hole in our lives that can prove difficult to fill.

Here, BBC Sport presents 10 ways you could navigate these tricky few weeks.

Don't mention it.

1. Digest our half-term report

Image showing a comparison between title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, with Hamilton leading the way on 213 points to 189. Hamilton also has more wins (5 against 4) and podiums (9 against 7). Both men have five poles and one retirement this season

By Andrew Benson, chief F1 writer

So far, it has been a classic.

At stake? For Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, a huge prize - to become the first driver of their generation to be able to call themselves a five-time world champion.

For Mercedes, a chance to equal Ferrari's record of five consecutive world title doubles; for Ferrari, ending Mercedes' domination since the introduction of turbo hybrid engines in 2018, and their first title for more than a decade.

It's so close. Five wins for Hamilton, four for Vettel, three for Red Bull - split between Daniel Ricciardo (two) and Max Verstappen.

The lead has ebbed this way and that; races are turning on small twists of fate - a safety car here, a misjudgement there, even the weather - as at the last race in Hungary.

There's nothing to choose between the cars - first the advantage appeared to lay with Mercedes (although it was really Hamilton's genius in Melbourne), then Ferrari, then it swung to Mercedes, then back to Ferrari. But will Vettel be made to pay for a failure to capitalise on their obvious improvement in engine performance in July.

What happens next? Spa and Monza are historically Mercedes tracks but, with this new Ferrari engine, could favour the red cars. New engines from both are due, and that could change things. And how will chassis development go?

Hamilton has had his ups and downs, but the feeling in the paddock is he is that crucial bit stronger than Vettel. If Fernando Alonso was in a Ferrari this good, it might be another matter. But he's not.

It's been so intense that the summer break is welcome, but soon everyone will be raring to go again.

As Hamilton says, it's been "epic" so far.

Pick a winner? Right now, you'd probably say Hamilton, but it's so hard to say and it could easily swing the other way. Brace yourselves, the last nine races could be awesome.

2. Take a pilgrimage to a historic F1 venue

1959 French Grand Prix
Giorgio Scarlatti and Innes Ireland take to the pit lane at the 1959 French Grand Prix at Reims-Gueux

Travelling in France this summer? You could do worse than take a detour to the former grand prix circuit at Reims-Gueux.

The stage for 11 F1 French Grands Prix between 1950 and 1966, the circuit was closed in 1972 owing to financial difficulties but mercifully parts of the original infrastructure remain intact.

Pit boxes, the timekeepers' building and grandstands remain in place, untouched since the track's heyday.

It's a poignant place to visit - and a real treat for F1 fans.

Should your summer travels take you further afield (and still within the orbit of current F1 tracks), the majority of the current crop offer guided tours.

Abandoned grandstand
One of the abandoned grandstands at the old Reims circuit, with the old pit boxes at bottom left
BP sponsor at Reims-Geaux
The circuit and its structures are strewn with decades-old sponsorship signage

3. Watch some classic F1 action

One of the plusses of Liberty Media's acquisition of F1 has been its willingness to offer highlights to fans through social media, and that is not just limited to lobbing out snippets of current action - it has also prised the lid off the archives.

So if you need to quell those F1 pangs, you could do worse then check out this offering. Here you will find some cracking action from years gone by (not full races mind, but nicely put-together highlights).

Standout clips include:

  • Chaos at the start of the 1987 Austrian GP
  • Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux's epic tussle at Dijon in 1979
  • The shortest F1 race in history from 1991
  • Nelson Piquet coming to blows with Eliseo Salazar in 1982
  • Robert Kubica's emotional Montreal win in 2008

Enjoy.

1987 Austrian Grand Prix
The start of the 1987 Austrian Grand Prix was... messy.

4. Do a quiz

An oldie but a goodie. Very simply, how many F1 world champions can you name in six minutes? There are 33 drivers to identify.

Can you name every F1 world champion?

Score: 0 / 33
07:00
You scored 0/33

Copy and share link

RankHintDriver
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33

5. Check out our best quizzes from the season

Before the race in Hungary, we asked you to name the four drivers who celebrated their maiden victories at the Hungaroring. They also have four world championship titles between them.

How many maiden winners can you name?

Score: 0 / 4
01:30
You scored 0/4

Copy and share link

Drivers

In Austria, we asked you for the six drivers to have won the event more than once since 1970. Five are world champions, one is a championship runner-up.

Can you name all six drivers?

Score: 0 / 6
04:00
You scored 0/6

Copy and share link

Drivers

Before the race in Germany, we asked you to name the seven German drivers to have won a grand prix since the 1960s.

How many German winners can you name?

Score: 0 / 7
02:00
You scored 0/7

Copy and share link

Drivers

6. Discover more with BBC Sport's F1 videos

Media playback is not supported on this device

WATCH: The tech driving Formula 1 races

Media playback is not supported on this device

How does a super expensive F1 steering wheel work?

Media playback is not supported on this device

How does it feel to drive an F1 car at Paul Ricard?

7. Select your F1 calendar

Map of the world
F1 has expanded to become a truly global series, but is it time to reduce the number of races?

Over the summer break we are also asking what you think a 16-race F1 season should look like?

Make your selection from our shortlist of 25, which we have put together by listing this year's races plus four wildcards. We'll collate your choices and publish the results at a later date.

Your dream Formula 1 season

Choose from the list below

8. Catch up on our latest features and insight

Jolyon Palmer
Ex-Renault driver Jolyon Palmer has joined the BBC F1 team for 2018

9. Check out our 2018 race reports

Media playback is not supported on this device

Dear F1: Please, please, PLEASE be more unpredictable

In the video above, BBC F1 commentator Jack Nicholls made a pre-season plea for a more unpredictable campaign, and so far we have we had just that.

As the title race has ebbed and flowed, we have been treated to a titanic battle between two four-time champions that shows no signs of abating as the year reaches its climax.

Australian Grand Prix - winner Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari F1 driver Sebastian Vettel celebrates winning the 2018 Australian Grand Prix

Melbourne, 23-25 March

Read the full race report here

Bahrain Grand Prix - winner Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari F1 driver Sebastian Vettel celebrates winning the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

Sakhir, 6-8 April

Chinese Grand Prix - winner Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo celebrates winning the 2018 Chinese Grand prix

Shanghai, 13-15 April

Azerbaijan Grand Prix - winner Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton wins the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Baku, 27-29 April

Spanish Grand Prix - winner Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton wins the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

Barcelona, 11-13 May

Monaco Grand Prix - winner Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo celebrates winning the 2018 Monaco Grand prix

Monte Carlo, 24, 26-27 May

Canadian Grand Prix - winner Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari F1 driver Sebastian Vettel celebrates winning the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix

Montreal, 8-10 June

French Grand Prix - winner Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2018 French Grand Prix

Le Castellet, 22-24 June

Austrian Grand Prix - winner Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen

Spielberg, 29 June-1 July

British Grand Prix - winner Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari F1 driver Sebastian Vettel celebrates winning the 2018 British Grand Prix

Silverstone, 6-8 July

German Grand Prix - winner Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2018 German Grand Prix

Hockenheim, 20-22 July

Hungarian Grand Prix - winner Lewis Hamilton

hamilton wins in hungry

Budapest, 27-29 July

10. Plan a trip to one of the final nine races

A good many of you will be devoted attendees of grands prix, but for plenty of others it is largely an armchair pursuit.

Well, the second half of 2018 offers the chance to visit some of the most famous F1 locations on the calendar, among them Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Suzuka and Interlagos. You could do a lot worse than getting along to one of these.

Travel costs will of course vary widely, but in terms of general admission prices, there are bargains to be had.

A adult race-day general admission ticket for the Italian Grand Prix, for example, is £78 (the same access would cost you £135 at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix), while the same ticket for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa is £114.

The best value-for-money ticket to be had over the remaining races can be found at the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, where a three-day adult general admission starts from £62.

Russian GP at Sochi
The Russian GP at Sochi from 28-30 September offers some of the cheapest tickets on the calendar

Top Stories