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Ready to test the water - How does a trip to testing stack up compared to a Grand Prix?

Published by Christine

Suddenly today, out of nowhere, I felt like I wanted to go to the pre-season testing in Spain. It's been a while since we saw an F1 car in action, and we're not heading to Autosport this month to tide us over. So, we were discussing the upcoming testing action, and I started pondering whether we might go, if only to convince Mr C that testing isn't a waste of time. The most important thing is that it is in the immediate future. There are ongoing plans for trips to many different races this year, but they all seem so far away. Testing is just next month, so deliciously close.

Red Bull ready to skip first test
Red Bull ready to skip first testCredit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

It's also a lot cheaper than visiting a GP. Somewhere in the realm of 30 Euros for a three day ticket, although getting there and staying there are another matter. I can't quite work out the websites for Jerez and Catalunya, though. Jerez has testing on the calendar, but no apparent place for ticketing, whilst the Barcelona circuit doesn't seem at all sure there is testing about to happen at all.

That leaves Valencia, who have a much more user friendly site, with ticket prices and everything. The problem with a potential visit to Ricardo Tomo is that there is at least one launch the night before - and we've been making plans and looking forward to covering launches from the comfort of our own desks. There's also the possibility that Red Bull are skipping the first pre-season test of the year, and I think I'd want to see all the teams if I had the chance.

None of these are big problems, of course, I just wanted to share my thought process as I navigated the various possibilities. Sidepodcast traditionally leaves everything to the last minute, so we'll not be making any decisions yet. What about you? Is testing even an interesting proposition, or would you rather save your coppers for the real thing?