United Arab Emirates

Always Wanted to Drive a Formula 1 Car? Here Are 4 Places Where You Can

Always Wanted to Drive a Formula 1 Car? Here Are 4 Places Where You Can

With Formula 1’s 73rd season just off the starting line, motorsport’s premier race series is in the midst of a turbocharged popularity surge thanks to last year’s riveting battle between seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and heir apparent Max Verstappen—not to mention the Netflix documentary series Formula 1: Drive to Survive, with its focus on the real-life drama both inside and outside the cars.

But for the ultimate thrill, try a turn behind the wheel of an actual pedigreed F1 racer. Even decades-old competition chassis remain among the most high-tech, demanding and rare vehicles on the planet, and with the ability to pilot them around some of the world’s most famous circuits, you can consider the rest of your automotive bucket list obsolete.

1. Bovingdon Airfield

Hertfordshire, England
Instead of an F1 circuit, TrackDays will have you flying around England’s Bovingdon Airfield in the same Jordan EJ12 that Takuma Sato piloted through his rookie season in 2002. Before drivers take on the ex-Sato sled and its nearly 600 hp, 10,500 rpm V-10, the five-hour curriculum (starting at approximately $1,300) includes a preparatory 14 laps of skill-honing drills in a sports car, plus another 20 laps in an open-wheel F1000. For the finale, 10 laps in the Jordan await, though up to 20 more can be added for a supplemental charge.
Race Car: Jordan EJ12
Engine: 3.0-liter naturally aspirated Judd V-8
Power: 600 hp
2. Circuit Paul Ricard

Le Castellet, France
Founded and run by former F1 test driver and Formula 3 champion Laurent Redon, LRS Formula offers three levels of action. The Bronze experience includes a 650 hp Benetton B198 from 1998 or a 2001-season Prost AP04, while the Silver option introduces the 750 hp Jaguar R3, circa 2002. But it’s the Gold selection, priced from around $6,500, that unleashes the real fury: a 2011 Williams FW33 producing 750 hp at 18,000 rpm. (That’s down from the KERS-enhanced 830 hp on hand when Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado were in the cockpit, but don’t flatter yourself that you’ll miss it.) Drive days take place at acclaimed circuits in France, Spain and Portugal, and begin with stints in 200 hp Formula Renault 2.0 cars, the type Kimi Räikkönen raced prior to finding F1 glory.

Race Car: Williams FW33
Engine: 2.4-liter naturally aspirated Cosworth V-8
Power: 750 hp
Other Circuits: Dijon-Prenois; Nevers Magny-Cours; Barcelona-Catalunya; Portimão
3. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

Stavelot, Belgium
With 22 years in operation, Italy’s Puresport Racing School puts you behind the wheel of the A18 racer campaigned by 1996 World Drivers’ Champion Damon Hill during his 1997 season with the Arrows team. Originally fit with a 700 hp Yamaha V-10, the car is now propelled by a 3.0-liter Cosworth V-8 delivering 500 hp at 9,000 rpm. (Prior to buckling in to Hill’s former ride, drivers warm up with 10 laps in a 255 hp Formula 3 machine.) With sessions starting at $4,300, set dates are available across famed European circuits in Belgium, Germany and Italy, where participants experience the tracks in their entirety. There’s also the option of a camera car to record your personal Grand Prix performance.
Race Car: Arrows A18
Engine: 3.0-liter naturally aspirated Cosworth V-8
Power: 500 hp
Other Circuits: More than a dozen, including Hockenheimring, Imol and Monza
4. Dubai Autodrome

Dubai, UAE
Although the United Arab Emirates (UAE) currently hosts Formula 1 in its capital of Abu Dhabi, neighboring city Dubai is home to what is known as “the heart of UAE motorsport,” the Dubai Autodrome. Through the latter’s F1 experience, starting from about $2,700, drivers will familiarize themselves with the Autodrome’s 1.52-mile Club Circuit configuration in both a BMW 330i and a Radical SR3; after that, the real deal: a stint in a 550 hp version of the R1 race car used by the Jaguar team during the 2000 season. (You can also climb into an Arrows A23, also with 550 hp, from that team’s short-lived 2002 campaign.) That means a minimum of four laps around the FIA-sanctioned track, in the same type of vehicle British driver Johnny Herbert finished his career, and the exact car driven by his teammate Eddie Irvine.

Race Car: Jaguar R1
Engine: 3.0-liter naturally aspirated Judd V-8
Power: 550 hp

HH Sheikh Mohammed Marks the Islamic New Year with an Inspiring Message

HH Sheikh Mohammed Marks the Islamic New Year with an Inspiring Message

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Photo: WAM
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has shared an important message to mark the Hijri New Year. Taking to Twitter, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai outlined what can be learned from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 1,443 years ago as he migrated from Makkah to Madinah. Today, August 10 (Muharram 1), would mark the first day of the year 1443 according to the Hijri calendar. Sheikh Mohammed outlined that it is one of the most important lessons for the Muslims of today.
“We congratulate the people of the Emirates and the Arab and Islamic nation this year,” he began, adding that migration is “a symbol of transformation from one condition to another. “[It’s] a symbol of movement and rejection of stillness, a symbol of striving and not stopping..migration represents effort and sacrifice to build a better tomorrow,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote, adding, “This is the most important lesson for Muslims today.”

عام هجري جديد ..نبارك لشعب الإمارات وللأمة العربية والإسلامية هذا العام..الهجرة رمز للتحول من حال إلى حال..رمز للحركة ونبذ السكون..رمز للسعي وعدم التوقف..الهجرة تمثل البذل والتضحية لبناء غد أفضل..هذا أهم درس للمسلمين اليوم بعد ١٤٤٣ عاماً من هجرة نبينا وحبيبنا صلى الله عليه وسلم
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) August 9, 2021

To mark the Islamic New Year, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also shared a public congratulatory message on Twitter. “Congratulations to the UAE people and Muslims around the world on the occasion of Hijri New Year,” he said, adding, “May God bless all of us this year with peace, prosperity and good health.”

نبارك لكم عاماً هجرياً جديداً….جعله الله عام خير ورحمة وسلام على بلدنا والأمة الإسلامية وشعوب العالم أجمع.
— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) August 9, 2021

On this occasion, UAE citizens and residents in the private sector will have a day off on Thursday, August 12, as announced by the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) last week. Combined with the Friday-Saturday weekend, this will result in a long three-day weekend for many across the country.
Read Next: 10 of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s Wisest Quotes to Live By

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