Red Racer Books Adventures During F1 Summer Break – A Tour of the F1 Arcade in London, England and the FIA Museum and Hall of Fame in Paris, France.
What is F1 Summer Break?
F1 summer is a period that lasts for 14 days after the last Grand Prix in July, and all F1 teams are required to shut down their factories. This year’s break occurs after the Belgian Grand Prix and according to the FIA rule book (Article 21.8 of the sporting regulations if you want to be specific) only activities and departments unrelated to car development are allowed to operate during this period. Things like design and production connected to the car's development are strictly forbidden. This much needed break provides teams with an opportunity to take time off from work and traveling around the world to relax, recharge and spend time with their families.
Our Personal F1 Summer Break Experience:
In sync with F1's summer pause, we embarked on our own adventure. While we didn't soar in private jets or cruise on lavish yachts like certain drivers, our European journey provided a taste of F1 thrills. Amidst exploring landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace's guard change, we seized the opportunity to infuse F1 exhilaration into our own family vacation.
🇬🇧 First stop London 🇬🇧 – The call of the brand-new F1 arcade was irresistible.
During our London visit, I had to check out the new F1 arcade – and it didn't disappoint. For Americans, the best thing I can compare it to is Top Golf, but make it F1. The main attraction here is the full motion racing simulators that allow multiplayer racing. With my wife, two kids Blanca and Joaquin, we raced "Head-to-Head" – competing against each other on our own racing sims that feel incredibly real, especially if you find yourself in the gravel (which happened to me a lot!). It was so much fun to race side by side and see each other’s overtakes on track. Sim racing is not easy but they have four different levels of difficulty and we raced on rookie level each time. We had lunch there and the food was great – I had a delicious chicken burger and kids ordered from the kids menu. Plus everything is F1 themed, including drinks like "Box Box Box." Which was one I enjoyed. Plus It's super kid-friendly, with a kids’ menu and coloring sheets for them to design their own liveries and helmets. Oh and I can’t forget the challenging reaction games that turned out to be much tougher than expected. We loved playing them and testing our skills just like the real F1 race car drivers do. As you race you can also collect points that convert to “Arcadiums” which can in turn be used to play other games, and everything is tracked on your player account.
Is the F1 arcade worth it?
In my experience, yes it certainly is. Especially if you go during off-peak hours, when the pricing for
the sim racing is reduced. The food and drink prices were reasonable for London which is a rather expensive city. Let’s just say I’ve had much more expensive food at much higher prices at Grand Prix and nowhere near as good. Plus it can get crowded so I recommend you reserve your spots ahead of time. They also host watch parties and I can't think of a better place for F1 Grand Prix watch party! Learn more here.
Is the F1 arcade kid friendly?
100% kid friendly although I can see it getting rowdy in the evening hours. We were there on a Friday at lunch time and there were several other groups of kids and what looked like a few birthday parties. I wish we had one in Miami because we’d become regulars, and I’m sure my son would love to have his birthday party there. They have a kids’ menu and coloring sheets. And If your kids can't reach the pedals on the sim racing machines, like mine, They provide booster seats and cushions to raise the seat and bring you closer to the controls. Plus on rookie mode you don’t have to shift through gears; it does so automatically as you accelerate. My daughter’s arm was broken and she still had a blast racing one handed. Reminds me of Senna!
Where is the F1 arcade?
The F1 arcade is conveniently situated adjacent to St. Paul's Cathedral, with the nearest tube (underground metro) stop being, you guessed it, St. It’s located on the second floor of a shopping center with floor to ceiling windows, so you can see it from the street. There’s an entrance on the street level with a big F1 Arcade sign that says 'Racing For All,' so you can't miss it.
🇫🇷 2nd Stop: FIA Head Quarters in Paris 🇫🇷
The FIA Headquarters and Hall of Fame, sometimes referred to as the FIA museum.
After a couple days in London, we embarked on the Eurostar train to Paris, where we visited all the classic spots like the Eiffel tower, louvre and Seine River cruise among other gems. Several crepes and croissants later, I guided my family towards the FIA headquarters.
That’s right the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile – you know the organization managing racing integrity and safety in all international motorsports. Well, they are based in Paris, hence the French name. And it's located at an iconic location, Place de la Concorde the city’s largest plaza, located between the end of the Champs Elyseé and the Tuileries Garden. You know, the one with the giant Egyptian obelisk. We’re talking prime real estate and seriously historic, but I digress. Info on finding it in images below.
While the offices themselves are not open to the public, a single hallway is, housing memorabilia and gear from champions and an exhibition celebrating Formula 1, WEC, and WRC racing champs. It’s got what looks like real helmets from Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, a Ferrari Jumpsuit worn by Michael Schumacher, Max Verstappen’s racing suit, Sebastian Vettel’s racing shoes and that’s just the Formula One stuff. There’s other memorabilia from champions of the FIA World Endurance Championship aka WEC and the World Rally Championship or WRC. The hallway also features wall of video screens that feature videos for every single world champion that includes a quote, a video montage and lists each year they have won. The other way features a timeline of each year starting with 1950 until 2022 with a block for each winner across the three racing categories F1, WRC and WEC. It maybe small, but it’s also free, quick, and pretty neat for racing fans like me. So if you can find it, I highly recommend making a pitsop here. Can you visit the FIA Headquarters? Yes! Well at least the entry hallway which features a great little exhibition they call the Hall of Fame. And it’s free to enter and check out this cool spot. According to their site the hours of operation are 9AM to 1PM.
Where is the FIA Hall of Fame?
According to google maps it’s address is Hôtel de Crillon, 8 Pl. de la Concorde, 75008 Paris, France. Yes it’s a fancy address, in a fancy city at a prime location. Would you expect anything less? If you google FIA Headquarters you will find the address and the closest metro stop is Concorde but it’s so centrally located, and close to so many other attractions you may have passed right by it and never noticed. If you end up at the doors that say Automobile Club of France then you are on the right track, it’s one door over.
Is it visiting the FIA Hall of Fame kid friendly?
Totally, particularly due to all the video screen – to them it was like a wall of ipads, a dream come true. My kids loved watching them and finding their favorite drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Personally, I really enjoyed seeing the videos of drivers from older days like Juan Manuel Fangio, a personal hero, Graham Hill, Alberto Ascari, Mario Andretti and so many others.
Learn more and check out the videos here.
If you would like to add a little F1 tourism on your travels here are some more tips!
Q1: How can I infuse F1 excitement into my own travels?
A1: Research F1-related sites or historical connections in your travel destination. You might be surprised by the racing history waiting to be discovered!
Q2: Is visiting F1-related sites suitable for families with kids?
A2: Absolutely! Exploring F1 connections can be both educational and thrilling for children, fostering an interest in history and motorsports.
Q3: Can you recommend other F1-related destinations?
A3: Certainly! Outside of England and Paris, places like Monaco, Melbourne, and Spa-Francorchamps offer unique F1 experiences worth exploring. Also, there is a big F1 Exhibition located in Madrid, Spain, which is high on my own list of places to visit.
Remember to follow us @RedRacerBooks for more travel and F1-inspired content! And reach out if you have any questions!
If you're interested in sharing your passion for Formula 1 racing and race cars with your children, don't miss out on our book series. Order today at www.RedRacerBooks.com and we ships internationally.
Not Affiliated with F1
Red Racer Books LLC is not associated in any way with the Formula One group of companies. F1, FORMULA ONE, FORMULA 1, GRAND PRIX and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing B.V.