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Formula One fever
Pix courtesy: SOTC

If you’re a diehard motor sports fan, isn’t it time you caught the Formula One Grand Prix Championships live? Now, you can travel the world to catch your favourite motoring stars in action.

In between the races, catch up with the sights and sounds of your destination. Be it the pulsating rhythm of Budapest or the romantic splendour of Italy, you could savour the best of Europe.

If you’d prefer a more Asian flavour, take off for Japan and soak in the country’s rich culture. Or, you could go to Abu Dhabi that’s hosting its first Formula One Grand Prix Championship.

For those who’d like to travel to even more exotic destinations, there’s always Sao Paulo. It’s the venue for the Brazilian Grand Prix and it’s also famous for its spirited culture and great nightlife.

Here’s a dekko at some of the hot and happening Grand Prix destinations of 2009.


Pix courtesy: Cox & Kings

The Hungarian Grand Prix is traditionally held at Budapest. The first Grand Prix was held in 1936 at the twisty Hungaroring racing circuit, which remains the Grand Prix venue. The championship will be held from July 24 to July 26 this year.

The legendary River Danube splits the enchanting city of Budapest into two halves (yes, one side is Buda and the other is Pest). You could sail up and down the Danube Bend or even walk down the streets surrounded by beautiful buildings and charming cafés.

Hot ticket!

At Rs 1.05 lakh per person on twin-sharing basis, SOTC Sport Abroad is offering a two-night and three-day package for Budapest. The price includes economy class one-way airfare (ex-Mumbai), three-star accommodation, breakfast at the hotel and dinner at an Indian restaurant, general F1 tickets for two days (for the qualifying and final rounds), airport and track transfers and all taxes except airport tax.


Pix courtesy: Cox & Kings

The Italian Grand Prix is one of the oldest events in motor racing — the first race took place in 1921. The 2009 Grand Prix will be held at Monza from September 11 to September 13 at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza Circuit.

Monza, situated on the Lambro River in Lombardy, is about 15km away from Milan. Its numerous churches and cathedrals are several centuries old and represent Monza’s rich heritage.

At Milan, you could indulge in soul-satisfying retail therapy at the city’s numerous stores. Car enthusiasts can take a short trip to Bologna to the Ducati and Maranello factories.

Hot ticket!

At Rs 53,334 per person on twin-sharing basis, Cox & Kings is offering a seven-night eight-day package for travel to Milan, the Amalfi Coast and Rome. The price includes three-star accommodation with breakfast and taxes, airport transfers, sightseeing and inter-city train travel.


The Japanese Grand Prix is typically one of the last races of the season, alternating between the Fuji Speedway and the Suzuka racing circuits. This year, the races will be held at Suzuka, one of the oldest motor-sport venues in Japan, from October 2 to October 4.

Tokyo has innumerable sights for the tourist like the imposing Tokyo Tower. At Suzuka, you could visit Motopia, a popular amusement park.

Hot ticket!

At approx. Rs 1.14 lakh per person on twin-sharing basis, Inside Japan Tours is offering a seven-night and eight-day package for travel to Tokyo and Nagoya. The deal includes airport transfers, Tokyo Pasmo cards (commuter passes for Tokyo’s trains and buses) worth 2,400 yen, three-star accommodation, breakfast, all transport, seven-day Japan rail passes (including Bullet train passes), lower Grandstand passes and a complimentary information pack. You can customise this package to suit your budget. Go to


The Brazilian Grand Prix was first held at Interlagos in Sao Paulo in 1972. This circuit has witnessed some of the most memorable races in recent F1 history. The Brazilian Grand Prix will be held from October 16 to October 18 this year.

You could visit the beautiful Ilhabela rain forest and ecological reserve at Sao Paulo. The city’s nightlife is to die for; you could also catch a few capoeira performances while you’re there!

Hot ticket!

At Rs 94,810 approx. per person on a twin-sharing basis, Grand Prix Tours is offering a four-night five-day package for travel to Sao Paulo. The price includes accommodation at the Transamerica Sao Paulo Hotel, track transfers on Saturday and Sunday, breakfast, a Brazilian Grand Prix itinerary and taxes. You can book race tickets for additional charges. Go to


Abu Dhabi is hosting its first Grand Prix and the final race of this year’s racing season from October 30 to November 1. The event will be held at the Yas Marina circuit, one of the world’s newest motor sport venues. What’s more, all the grandstands are covered — another first for Formula One.

There’s a charming nature reserve on Yas Island that’s home to numerous indigenous species. Also, look out for exciting theme parks and shopping destinations while you’re there.

Hot ticket!

This one is expensive at roughly Rs 3.32 lakh per person on a twin-sharing basis. Grand Prix Tours is offering a three-night four-day package for Abu Dhabi. The price includes stay at the five-star Al Raha Beach Hotel, welcome drinks, breakfast, airport and track transfers on Saturday and Sunday and taxes. You can book race tickets for extra charges. Go to

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