Which F1 Circuits Can You Drive in a Hire Car?
The 2023 F1 season is fast approaching and since tickets went on sale last year, race fans have been clamouring to secure the best spot on the circuit to watch their heroes speed around the track.
With 23 races this year, spanning multiple continents, many fans are eager to get closer to the action than ever before. With city streets being used as racetracks, it is possible to drive them like your favourite drivers, albeit considerably slower, in a less expensive car, and without a podium to step on once you get to the end!
We looked at the 2023 F1 schedule to see where you could drive like Max, Lewis, George or Lando!
Currently, for the 2023 season, we will see races take part on 7 street circuits. Buckle up and enjoy!
Albert Park Melbourne Australia
You can take your hire car around Melbourne’s famous Albert Park and enjoy the city views and lake. 3km south of central Melbourne, this street circuit covers just over 3 miles per lap and provides corners many would associate with a standard racetrack. The entire circuit is made up of public roads and when the roads are not required for any part of the F1 circus, you can drive pretty much all of it yourself. The sections between turns 3,4,5 and 6 differ from what the F1 drivers encounter with some blocked or rerouted. Speed-wise, you will not be enjoying 200km/h as you cruise the streets, limits here range from 40-50km/h.
Public access covers 9 months of the year with the F1 teams and other sporting events using it for the other 3. If you want to book, a trip to Melbourne and enjoy the street circuit avoid March and April in particular. Unless of course, you are going for the racing.
Why not collect a hire car in Melbourne before enjoying the circuit?
Baku City Circuit Baku Azerbaijan
The next street circuit to hit the 2023 F1 calendar is Baku, it’s the 3rd longest circuit on the calendar and covers 3.7 miles per lap. Taking you by the Caspian Sea, you can view the UNESCO-listed old city and enjoy a variety of landmarks. Of course, you won’t be hitting those high speeds and the narrowness of the roads means that extra care will be needed but driving at a sensible speed means you will be able to take in a lot of the visual treats Azerbaijan has to offer.
Circuit de Monaco Monte Carlo Monaco
Perhaps the most iconic track in F1 and the one that more people drive around yearly than any other. It carries drivers through luxurious streets that pass by glamourous yachts, high-end apartments, and designer boutiques. Covering just 2.074 miles, it is smaller than the two already mentioned but due to its tight nature, may take longer to get around. Especially as many other enthusiasts, as well as residents drive by. There are 18 corners to cover in total including the famous Casino Square and of course the tunnel. All are accessible to drivers, and you don’t have to own a Ferrari to fit in! Just avoid the end of May as the F1 teams will be taking over!
Collecting a hire car at Nice Airport means you are just a short drive from the world-famous street circuit in Monaco.
Circuit Giles Villeneuve Montreal Canada
Another iconic circuit that is loved by F1 drivers as well as the fans themselves. Outside of racing season, it is regularly frequented by those looking for a beautiful walking, cycling or driving experience. As part of the Parc Jean-Drapeau, it provides visitors with a scenic experience in a popular part of Canada. Open to the public all year except for the 2 weeks that the F1 teams base themselves there, which is typically the 1st two weeks of June. A strict speed limit of 30km/h must be observed but it allows you to see the curves of the track in great detail.
Jeddah Corniche Circuit Jeddah Saudi Arabia
One of the babies on the F1 calendar Jeddah Corniche is a relatively new one to the sport having hosted its first race in 2021. This 3.8-mile circuit is the second longest in F1 and is named currently as the fastest in the sport. With 27 turns it was seen as dangerous by many F1 drivers but due to this, is also seen as exciting.
Located on the banks of the Red Sea, this temporary circuit has some elements that you can drive on and others that will be restricted.
Las Vegas Street Circuit Las Vegas USA
Scheduled to be raced for the first time this year, the Las Vegas track will be a new experience for all except those that have already visited Vegas or live there. A disused parking lot gets the race underway and as drivers combat the 3.8-mile track, they pass some of the world’s most famous hotels and casinos. With flat-out straights and sweeping corners, it looks like F1 drivers will certainly enjoy the high speed and rapid braking elements the track brings. However, Mercedes driver George Russell claims the track is, “good for racing but not the most exciting to drive.”
You can enjoy it at more reserved speeds and stop off at the many attractions Vegas has to offer. Head to Koval lane or Sands Avenue to get yourself onto the track. Just avoid the 2 and 3rd weeks of November!
Marina Bay Street Circuit Singapore
A track that looks a little like Monaco from its track map, the Marina Bay circuit is one you must try out! Home to the first-ever night race, you can take your hire car around whether it be day or night to see what the racing drivers see, albeit it considerably slower. The full track distance is 3.1 miles and provides you with 23 turns where you can take in the city. To give more of an experience, some companies allow you to hire a sportscar to enjoy the track with a little more authenticity.
So, whilst you can’t quite drive them like the actual F1 drivers, you can still rack up a few laps of these incredible streets. Just stick within the speed limit! Driving abroad comes with its stresses and that is why we offer comprehensive car hire excess insurance. That way, should anything unfortunate occur with your hire car, you can rest assured you are covered from those costly excess fees. Car insurance excess cover can give you full peace of mind and cost as little as £0.12 / €0.14 / $0.16 per day! Get a free quote today and wave the chequered flag at expensive excess!