Formula 1 paddock passes: ticket to F1 past

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Formula 1 paddock passes
Subscriptions & booklets

D he Formula 1 is an exclusive event. Those who want to go to the stands usually have to pay three-digit amounts. To get close to the paddock, a so-called paddock club ticket for more than 4,000 euros is due. Journalists are better off. You don't pay anything. However, the world federation FIA does not allow every student newspaper reporter near the F1 stars.

Proof of corresponding reporting and a certain reach of the medium are mandatory. In addition, there is personal data and a passport photo. In the past, you had to laboriously send your application to the FIA ​​in Paris by post. This can now also be done online using a complicated system. Once all documents have been checked, you can finally pick up your coveted passport at some point.

Difficult accreditation at the beginning of the 80s

Until a few years ago, pure online journalists were not even allowed in the paddock. Only recently have reporters who do not have a large print magazine or newspaper behind their backs been allowed to join the route. When auto motor und sport F1 expert Michael Schmidt reported directly from the Grand Prix circus for the first time in the early 80s, there were neither websites nor online accreditation.

'We had to go to the For example, send a letter to Monaco and did not even know when we left whether we would get an accreditation on site, 'explains the F1 veteran, who is attending his 550th race in Belgium. 'You also didn't know whether you would get access to the track, the paddock or the pit lane. Only over the years did the organizers know you and you got journalist passes with better access rights.'

Until the mid-80s The reporters had to get accreditation individually for each route. Each time a thick package with proof of work and a letter from the editor-in-chief was carried to the post office. A time-consuming affair for a busy motorsport journalist like Schmidt. In addition to Formula 1, the program used to include numerous other racing events such as the World Sports Car Championship, touring car races, rallies, Formula 2 or IndyCar races.

Paddock pass for the entire F1 season

There is now a season pass, at least for Formula 1. Anyone who can prove that they attended at least 12 GP events in the previous year will receive a card that is valid for all racesis. Of all things, the ticket from the first year is missing from Schmidt's collection: 'In 1986 the passport in Paul Ricard was stolen from my car. For the races in the second half of the season I had to laboriously accredit myself again.'

That too The reporter's season ticket from 2008 is no longer in the reporter's possession: 'The passports are also always valid for the test drives in the following year. In 2009, of all things, my suitcase was stolen when I was leaving the hotel for the last winter test in Barcelona. The card was gone. Fortunately, because the new season started right afterwards, I no longer needed the card. '

A microchip has been implanted in the accreditation since the mid-1990s, which enables the turnstile access at the paddock entrance. If a passport is stolen or lost, the loss must be reported immediately. Then the card is blocked. Incidentally, the color of the ticket controls the access authorizations. Those who only attend individual races usually receive a green pass. The owner is only allowed into the paddock, but not into the pit lane or the starting grid.

Journalists have the most freedom with a red season pass. You can go practically anywhere with it. The season tickets are correspondingly popular. However, hardly any publisher can and does not want to afford the regular expensive trips around the world.

Journalists' tickets from 3 decades

However, we believe that quality will prevail in the fast-moving online business too. auto motor und sport is the only German-speaking medium that is on site with 2 reporters at every race to provide you with first-hand information. There are also 2 permanent photographers for exclusive pictures.

For the hardcore Formula 1 fans among our readers, Michael Schmidt has dug out the accreditations from his 35-year reporter career in his closet at home. The large balls of pendants and bracelets also contained real jewelery, such as the Indy500 badges made of metal or Formula 1 passports with artistic motifs or eye-catching holograms. We show you a small selection in our picture gallery.

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