Fancy a Spring-Time Trip to Barcelona or Bahrain?

Before we jump into our obligatory sales-pitch, a quick nod a certain Haas driver. Without the improvements in safety, and the quick-thinking of those first on the scene, things could have been so much worse for Romain Grosjean. Formula One Grand Prix racing is a celebration of human potential and serves as a symbol of what is possible when people have a common purpose. But that celebration should not come at any cost and, thankfully, last weekend it did not. We wish Romain a speedy recovery!

We’ve now had two Grands Prix in Bahrain in as many weekends, so if you fancy some late winter sun then we’re offering you the perfect escape. In addition to Bahrain, the good people at the Circuit de Catalunya have also offered us their wares and we now have Spanish Grand Prix tickets on pre-release too!. So if you fancy seeing either the Bahrain Grand Prix or Spanish Grand Prix, with none of the hassle, then read-on!

Bahrain Grand Prix Package: 25th – 29th March

With prices from as little as £1,249pp, the Bahrain Grand Prix Package has to be the deal of the decade (or the Christmas period, at least). All packages include BA Return flights, 4 Nights Hotel Accommodation in Manama, and all transfers to the Sakhir circuit. If you’re looking to top-up your tan, and don’t fancy risking life-and-limb on the slopes, then a trip to the desert is the only choice. The hotels are incredible, the beaches are incredible, the 6h 30min flight time is incredible. Oh, and the GPGT Team will be on hand to meet, greet, and generally look after you.

And we’d also like to know if we’ll see George Russell in a set of Mercedes overalls a year early!

Full details here: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/bahrain-grand-prix-package/

Spanish Grand Prix Package: 7th – 10th May

The Circuit de Catalunya is a mere 30 minutes from downtown Barcelona, which means the Spanish Grand Prix Package puts you right in the middle of all the action. Barcelona really does have it all, a fantastic night-life, a beautiful beach, more tapas bars than you can shake a stick at, and Alonso making his F1 return! With Sainz in a Ferrari and Alonso in a Renault, the atmosphere at the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix is set to be epic.

Prices also start from £899pp, including flights, 3 nights 4* hotel accommodation, grandstand tickets, and all transfers.

Full details here: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/spanish-grand-prix-package/

All packages offered by Grand Prix Grand Tours come with full COVID protection, meaning that if the race doesn’t happen, you don’t pay.
Full list of Grand Prix Packages can be found here: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/f1-packages/

Provisional 2021 F1 Calendar

Provisional 2021 F1 Calendar announced by Formula One:

  • Australian GP (Melbourne) 21-Mar
  • Bahrain GP (Sakhir) 28-Mar
  • China GP (Shanghaï) 11-Apr
  • TBC 25-Apr
  • Spanish GP (Barcelona) 09-May
  • Monaco GP (Monte-Carlo) 23-May
  • Azerbaijan GP (Baku) 06-Jun
  • Canadian GP (Montreal) 13-Jun
  • French GP (Le Castellet) 27-Jun
  • Austrian GP (Spielberg) 04-Jul
  • British GP (Silverstone) 18-Jul
  • Hungarian GP (Hungaroring) 01-Aug
  • Belgium GP (Spa) 29-Aug
  • Dutch GP (Zandvoort) 05-Sep
  • Italian GP (Monza) 12-Sep
  • Russian GP (Sochi) 26-Sep
  • Singapore GP (Marina Bay) 03-Oct
  • Japanese GP (Suzuka) 10-Oct
  • US GP (Austin) 24-Oct
  • Mexican GP (Mexico) 31-Oct
  • Brazil (Sao Paulo) 14-Nov
  • Saudi Arabian GP (Jeddah) 28-Nov
  • Abu Dhabi GP (Yas Marina) 05-Dec

Full prices will be available online once we have tickets from the organisers. Until then , see outline package details here: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/f1-packages/

Provisional 2021 MotoGP Calendar Released

It was only a couple of weeks ago that we announced that the provisional F1 Calendar had been distributed to teams (in secret). Now we have an actual (provisional) 2021 MotoGP Calendar released by the FIM.

The 2020 MotoGP calendar has been absolutely decimated as a result of Covid 19. Now, with enhancements to treatment, track and trace, and a multitude of vaccines in the pipeline, there is renewed hope that racing can get underway properly in 2021.

The 2021 MotoGP Calendar kicks off in the middle east at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. This is followed by an Argentine and American double-header in mid April. The European season begins in Jerez on 2nd May. The French, Italian, Catalan, German and Dutch rounds follow in quick succession.

One absence from the calendar is Brno, in the Czech Republic, though the “TBC” placeholder in the middle of the calendar. However, Brno does have a contract in place for 2021, therefore a date should be on the final/approved calendar. Should this not go ahead, there are a number of ‘provisional’ rounds in the form of Portugal, Indonesia, and Russia.

While we don’t yet know final dates or prices, if you’d like an idea what our 2021 MotoGP Packages will include, take a look at our list here: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/motogp-packages/

As per the past 12 months, the globe is still battling with a pandemic, and all the disruption that this is causing is likely to have some affect on the calendar. As ever we want to reassure all our guests that in the event of a race cancellation, or race behind closed doors, they will be entitled to a full refund. All 2020 guests were refunded within that statutory 14 day period.

Full Provisional 2021 MotoGP Calendar:

TESTING:
14-16 February – Shakedown Test
19-21 February – Sepang Test
10-12 March – Qatar Test

RACE CALENDAR:
28 March – Qatar
11 April – Argentina
18 April – America
2 May – Spain
16 May – France
30 May – Italy
6 June – Catalunya
20 June – Germany
27 June – Netherlands
11 July – Finland**
TBD – TBC
15 August – Austria
29 August – Britain
12 September – Aragon
19 September – Misano
3 October – Japan
10 October – Thailand
24 October – Australia
31 October – Malaysia
14 November – Valencia

RESERVE VENUES:
Portugal – Algarve International Circuits
Indonesia – Mandalika International Street Circuit**
Russia – Igora Driver Circuit

Provisional 2021 F1 Calendar Released (in secret)

Depending on how much time you waste on Facebook, you may have seen us post a bit of gossip about a ‘leaked’ 2021 F1 calendar. And with itchy trigger-fingers itching, we went and updated our website to reflect that calendar. Which you can find here: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/f1-packages/

No firm dates unfortunately means no firm prices, so everything feels a bit “TBC” right now. But the packages shown online should bear a pretty close resemblance to what you’ll get when we have everything locked-down. “When will that be?” we hear you ask. Well we’ve been asking that since August, and an answer might be a little closer.

It was revealed this morning that Formula One is to release the proposed calendar to teams in a ‘secret’ meeting this afternoon. This meeting will presumably take place in an underground lair, with a solitary bright-red telephone on a boardroom table, where henchmen dressed in identical grey jumpsuits will render any dissenters immobile with a solitary kung-fu chop to the windpipe . Or on Skype. Either way, it looks like plans for 2021 are gathering pace, which is fantastic news for everyone.

What will that calendar look like? Incumbent Grand Fromage, Chase Carey, has been quite clear that he wants the 2021 calendar to resemble the 2020 calendar as closely as possible. So if you enjoyed Mugello, Eiffel, and Portimao, you might be in for a bit of a wait to see them again (hopefully 2022). But if you enjoyed seeing actual fans enjoy an actual race yesterday, then hopefully it wont be long before you can do the same. Watch this space!

Hondas F1 Departure and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Deal

Hondas most recent departure from F1 has some interesting implications, and not just for Red Bull and Alpha Tauri. Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, and Max Verstappen suddenly become the main protagonists in a saga set to add extra chilli to an already spicy 2020 season. Lets look at how.

It is no secret that Mercedes have long had their eye on Max Verstappen, only missing out on his services in 2015 because Red Bull Racing had space in its stable to offer him a full race seat. This once in a generation talent is the heir apparent to an ageing Lewis Hamilton who, until recently, was tipped to sign another three-year deal with the benchmark race team. But could this deal be kicked into the long grass?

Verstappen is signed to Red Bull until 2023. But all teams, and all drivers, have get-out clauses in their contracts (see Sergio Perez 2020, and Kimi Raikonnen 2009). Added to the fact that if a driver doesn’t want to race for you any more, there’s not much you can do about it (see Nico Rosberg 2016, and Sebastian Vettel 2007).

For Red Bull, 2020 and 2021 were supposed to be building years, as they geared up for their title push in 2022, spearheaded by Verstappen and powered by Honda. But how committed is Honda going to be when they know that at the end of the year they’re off?  It might be an unfair question, but its certainly one that Max Verstappen will be asking. He’ll also be acutely aware that he’s not a fresh-faced 17 year old anymore, and if he wants to surpass Lewis Hamilton he needs to get on with it. So if you were Max, would you be checking your contract for the bit that says “if we don’t have a works engine deal, I can go where I like”? And who would you be picking up the phone to?

Toto Wolff heads up the best team ever, with (arguably) the best driver ever. But Lewis Hamilton is also a driver who turns 37 in 2022, and charges a Kings Ransom for his services. So if you knew you could secure a driver 12 years younger than Lewis, with potentially the same skill and speed, would you pass up such an opportunity? Maybe not.

Christian Horner might argue until he’s blue-in-the-face that “our drivers are under contract until 2023” but he knows the deal, and he knows he’ll be shot if he doesn’t cover all bases. If Max goes, then that leaves him with Alex Albon, Danil Kvyat, and recent race-winner Pierre Gasly. All three have driven for the senior team, with varying degrees of success. If Max goes, who do you promote to Red Bull, and who do you bring in to Alpha Tauri? Antonio Felix da Costa has been mentioned, but Red Bull doesn’t have a great history of bringing in previously discarded talent (see Brendan Hartley).  If you want a regular point-scorer, and someone that can be relied upon to get the most out of the car, without intermittently sticking it in the wall, then you need to look outside your current line-up. Enter Sergio Perez! Perez is an ex-Ferrari Junior, ex-McLaren driver, and 8-time podium finisher. He also brings a huge amount of experience, and an even bigger amount of sponsorship from long-term backer (and Telmex CEO) Carlos Slim.

Surely this would go against the Red Bull philosophy of only promoting from within? Well, not really. Sebastian Vettel wasn’t a Red Bull junior, he was a BMW junior. Similar story for Max Verstappen, who had no connection with RBR until they hired him. In fact, up until Monza a few weeks ago, the Red Bull driver academy has only produced one race-winner, Daniel Ricciardo.

So there you have it, Perez to Red Bull for 2021, a 1 year extension for Lewis, and Verstappen to Mercedes in 2022.

p.s. in the highly unlikely scenario that I’m right, you heard it here first!

COVID & How We Protect Our Guests Funds

Not a day goes by when we don’t see, or hear, more bad news about COVID and the problems we all face. That’s why Grand Prix Grand Tours have changed the way we do business, to help protect our guests, and deliver a service that inspires confidence that nobody will be left out to dry.

It’s very easy to say “100% Money Back Guarantee” and similarly bold statements, but what do those words actually mean? In the event a company ceases trading, that “100% Guarantee” is little more than words and good intentions. But Grand Prix Grand Tours is different (we would say that, but it is true). When you book a holiday through us, we do not see a penny of your money until your holiday is complete. That’s because your money is held in trust by the Travel Trust Association. So if the worst happens, our guests hard-earned holiday money won’t have been used to pay for our office space, it will be sat there with the TTA. Gathering dust, you might say, but very secure.

Such a set-up doesn’t come without its own challenges. Cashflow is a challenge for even the most successful businesses. But extra headache for us, means peace-of-mind for you. To us, that’s worth its weight on gold.

So if you’re thinking about booking a holiday, but aren’t sure who to trust, then look for the “Travel Trust Association 100%” logo at the bottom of your Tour Operators website. Because if the worst happens, you can be sure that your money is secure.

F1 Packages to Look Forward to in 2021

As the 2021 F1 calendar is due to be released in the (hopefully) coming weeks, we’d like to give you a flavour of what we have in store for our guests next year.

Dutch Grand Prix Package

The race that was supposed to come out of retirement this year is now happening next year. Local favourite, Max Verstappen, will be hoping to prove a point as he ramps-up for a title-winning campaign. Our package includes 3 nights accommodation in a range of hotels in Amsterdam, giving you a fantastic opportunity to explore this incredible city. Sign up for pre-release tickets: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/dutch-grand-prix-package/

Spanish Grand Prix Package

Barcelona is a city that has it all, history, architecture, nightlife, beaches, and an F1 circuit that hosts the opening round of the European F1 season. With Alonso and Sainz lining up on the grid, it’s going to be an incredible atmosphere to boot! Flights to Barcelona take around 2 hours, and once there you’ll be escorted to your hotel to relax and enjoy everything the city has to offer. The following days you’ll have the chance to watch all the action unfold. Sign up for pre-release tickets: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/spanish-grand-prix-package/

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Package

Brazil used to be the location of the F1 season Finale, but now it’s the stunning Yas Marina circuit. If you want glamour, then Abu Dhabi is the place to be. Hop on a night-flight from the UK and you’ll be in Abu Dhabi in time for coffee and cornfalkes (or caviar). Hotel options include the incredible 5* Corniche Hotel and Rosewood Hotels. All packages include 3 nights accommodation, plus transfers to the circuit for race & qualifying. Sign up for pre-release tickets: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/abu-dhabi-grand-prix-package/

Plus Many More….

We hope you like the selection of Grand Prix we’ve outlined above, but this is merely the tip of 2021 iceberg. We’ll also be arranging the following: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Singapore, Monza, and many more. Take a look at our provisional list of 2021 events here: F1 Packages: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/f1-packages/

Monaco Grand Prix and Historic – to Fly or to Drive?

Picture the scene, a sunny spring Friday morning arrives. After your coffee and croissant (or tea and Weetabix), you grab your hand luggage and head for the airport. Within a couple of hours you’re on European soil and, depending on your package, you’re met by your chauffeur or your helicopter pilot and whisked to your hotel.


Over the next 3 days you’ll have had more coffee, croissants, and rose, than you can shake a stick at. You’ll also have seen modern or historic F1 cars qualifying and racing. For the F1 Grand Prix in May you’ll realise that, within the confines of small city streets, contemporary F1 machinery is still very loud. For the Historic Grand Prix in April, you’ll be reaching for your earplugs before you get to your Grandstand!

Once racing is over, you’ll head back to your hotel for an opportunity to explain to your husband/wife/friends, that “if I was driving Max Verstappens Red Bull, there’s no way I would have binned it at the exit of the tunnel”. And as the eyes roll, and the drinks flow, you’ll be sipping your Kronenbourg thinking about next years trip!

As Sunday evening means your Grand Prix weekend is almost over, for some other Grand Prix Grand Tourists, it’s barely begun…..

Picture the scene, slightly after dawn on a sunny spring Friday morning, you hop in your car and head for Folkestone. After some complimentary coffee and croissants you head for the Euro-tunnel and into France; your Grand Prix Driving Tour has begun! The miles done on Friday set you up for the rest of the trip, because the next day you attack the Route Napoleon in anger. 200 miles of twisting, mountainous roads, taking you directly to Nice that evening.

The next day you head to the Grand Prix for an opportunity to sit back and see how the proper drivers do it. After seeing Kimi Raikonnen trying to make a recalcitrant Alpha Romeo do things beyond its design capabilities, your experience of the Route Napoleon makes you realise “I cant do that” and you’ll have a newfound respect for these drivers (even the slow ones).

The following day you’re up early, for this is where the real driving begins. The next two days you will drive some of the roads that a previous generation of racing drivers actually raced. While you’re standing at the top of another high mountain pass you’ll think “How on earth did anyone race up here?”. You’ll get to drive The Furka Pass (as featured in Goldfinger), the Great ST Bernard Pass (The Italian Job), not to mention every great road you’ve seen on Top Gear (The Stelvio Pass, Colle del Nivolet, and many more). These roads are exciting and stunning in equal measure, and these are experiences you will not forget in a hurry.

A Grand Prix Driving Tour also has a generous helping of luxury. Whether you’re on the Monaco Historic or the Monaco Grand Prix Tour, you’ll get to spend your evenings in stunning lakeside hotels in Maggiore and Lugano, as well as the historic spa town of Baden-Baden. On a Grand Prix Driving Tour the stories you tell won’t be of what you saw other drivers do that day, but what you experienced, how you felt, and what you saw.

Helping Our Partners Run Their Tours

When we’re not running tours, booking F1 packages, we also have a number of partners that we work with. This week we’re helping out the hugely successful Queens Square Bristol Drivers Club run their European Tour. Being a fully regulated tour operator means we can arrange tours for large groups that car clubs or individuals might find administratively painful. Being ATOL and TTA regulated means that all our bonding, travel insurance, and health & safety requirements are taken care of, without our partners having to lift a finger. Here’s the fantastic package that we’ve organised for the gang from Bristol:

The QSDC European Tour: 2nd – 5th October

As we (hopefully) approach the end of Lockdown, QSDC begins to turn its attention to what we can offer our members to celebrate all things automotive. We are planning a weekend taking in everything that Europe has to offer. We’ll be staying at a Chateau in Luxembourg, driving the old pit-straight at Reims-Gueux, visiting the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, and taking in the fantastic alpine roads of the Black Forest.

There will also be some great nights out and wonderful group dinners, including the incredible Grand Casino in Baden-Baden. The cost? Only £1,420 for 2 people. Read below for more details and let us know if you’d like to come. Spaces are limited.

 

Day 1: Calais – Reims Gueux – Luxembourg

  • Stop off at the old French Grand Prix Pit Straight for the obligatory photo opportunity.

  • Lunch in the capital of Champagne region, Epernay.
  • Head to Clervaux, north of Luxembourg.
  • Stay at Chateau d’Urspelt, a stunning 18th Century castle.
  • Dinner at the Chateau.

Day 2: Luxembourg – Stuttgart – Baden-Baden

  • Visit to the Porsche museum in Stuttgart.

  • Head to the beautiful spa town of Baden-Baden.
  • Stay at the Badischer hof Hotel.
  • Casual dinner of Schnitzel and Pilsner in the centre of Baden-Baden. Or, for those looking for some fine dining, head to the Michelin starred Brenners Park restaurant.
  • If you’re keen on a glamorous night out, spend the rest of the evening at the Baden-Baden Casino (Jacket & tie required).

Day 3: Baden-Baden – Black Forest – Feldberg Pass – Trois Epis Hillclimb – Strasbourg

  • Day 3 is driving day! First stop is the incredible Black Forest Road. An hour of flowing curves to really stretch your cars legs.

  • South of the Black Forest Road is the Feldberg Pass; a high mountain pass that sits 4,000 feet above sea level. Twisting and technical, with views to match.
  • Thereafter on to the Routes des Trois-Epis, location of the famous hill-climb of the same name.

  • Head to Strasbourg, and the Sofitel Strasbourg Grand lle, for an opportunity to unwind and freshen up for the nights fun.
  • Group dinner and awards ceremony for the club members that excelled themselves on the road (and off it).

Day 4: Strasbourg – Calais

  • A final lunch stop in Epernay.
  • On to Calais for duty-free, and our chariot to the UK.

 

What’s included:
  • Eurotunnel returns
  • All hotels on a B&B basis
  • Parking at all hotels
  • Motorway Vignettes (not French tolls)
  • Group Dinner & Drinks on final night (3 course meal and wine)
What’s not included:
  • Lunches
  • Dinners (except final night)
  • Fuel
  • Speeding fines

The Post-Lockdown Grand Tour (12th – 16th September)

With the 2020 F1 season a complete wash-out for spectators, the team at GPGT Towers have been scratching our heads to think of something to do instead. After literally several minutes of head scratching, we have come up with (drum-roll please): The Post Lockdown Grand Tour!

If the idea of waiting until 2021 to get on the road fills you with dread, then put your fear to one side and read on. Because what the Post Lockdown Grand Tour lacks in F1 action, it absolutely makes up for with fantastic roads, cols, mountain passes, and fun!

Day 1 – UK to Lyon

Starting bright and early on a Saturday, we’ll get most of the boring mileage under our belts on the way to Lyon. So set the cruise control to 130 (KPH, not MPH) and get trucking. There’ll be a stop in capital of champagne country, Epernay, for lunch and then on to Lyon.

Day 2 – Lyon to Monaco

To the initiated, you’ll know that starting in Lyon means only one thing – The Route Napoleon. Covering fractionally more than 200 miles, the Route Napoleon takes in some of the most scenic driving roads that you will ever get to drive. Don’t believe me, take a look at the below:

No Grand Tour would be complete without a bit of luxury. So once the driving is out of the way we head straight to Monaco and the Fairmont Hotel. For those that are unfamiliar with Monaco, The Fairmont is the iconic hotel that sits directly on the hairpin of the Grand Prix circuit. Monaco is always good fun, even on a Sunday in mid-September when the carnival has left town. There are numerous casinos, Nikki Beach at The Fairmont, and enough bars and restaurants to keep even the most dedicated hedonist happy. Here’s a picture of the Fairmont (and what it looks like when Sebastian Vettel is pootling past):

Day 3 – Monaco to Chamonix

Mornings after a night out in Monaco can often be a little painful. Fortunately the first few hours along the SS1 coast road, towards Genoa, are relaxing and scenic in equal measure. Carved and bored out of miles of solid rock, the SS1 is an engineering marvel that justifies the tolls. Turn left before Genoa, and head into Italy and the excitement begins. Depending on your energy levels, or what time you woke up, you have the option of driving any of the following: the Col de la Lombardi, the Maddalena Pass, Col Agnel, Col d’Izoard, Mont Cenis, the Colle del Nivolet, and Little St Bernard Pass! You can try all of them, but we recommend just picking a few and then heading to the bar (this is a holiday after all):

Day 4 – Chamonix to Baden Baden

Final day of ‘proper’ driving, and what a day it is! Every great road that you have ever seen on a James Bond film will appear today. Fancy fast winding curves of the Black Forest? You can drive it. Big fan of the chase scene in Goldfinger? You’ll be driving it (the Furka Pass). Fancy driving the most beautiful mountain pass that god put on this planet? The Routes des Cretes is there too!

Once the driving is out of the way, then get your dinner jackets and ball-gowns ready! Not really, jeans and a shirt will suffice. The final night of any Grand Tour is Awards Night. Awards will be decided by the GPGT Team, and are based on the exceptional antics of the Grand Tourists. Categories from previous years have included: Grand Tourist to Have Caused a Diplomatic Incident, Grand Tourist to Have Broken Down Prior to Leaving the UK, and Grand Tourist With The Most Inappropriate Car.  What is guaranteed is that the final night is great fun. And after dinner is finished, and Awards are unceremoniously cast-aside, we can all head to the stunning Baden-Baden Casino:

Day 5 – Baden Baden to UK

Final day of any Grand Tour is usually a trip back to blighty. But while this is usually a sad day, Baden-Baden is also perfectly located for a trip to the Nurburgring. While we cannot guarantee it’ll be open to drive, there is almost always something going on. And for those of you who are fans of Sabine Schmidtz, we strongly recommend lunch at her parents restaurant, The Pistenklaus.

To book your spot, or to see a more detailed itinerary, take a look here: https://www.grandprixgrandtours.com/post-lockdown-driving-tour/