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Hey there, my name is Josh and I wanted to share my experience at the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix. As a big fan of cars and racing, I was excited to attend this event for the second year in a row.
This time around, I was offered general admission tickets which I couldn’t turn down. Last year was my first time going and I purchased grandstand tickets. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Albert Park, where the race takes place, is largely flat and accessible, which made it much easier for me to get around. Since I got my new electric wheelchair earlier this year I thought I would give it a good test at the Grand Prix.
Getting to the venue was also a breeze, as I used public transportation without any issues with accessibility. However, once I arrived at the track and needed to access the infield, I had to rely on the accessible van provided by the Grand Prix organizers. While it’s great that they offer this service, I found myself waiting for up to 45 minutes for the van to arrive, which was not so much frustrating but a little annoying. I couldn’t help but think that it would be much more efficient to use the underground tunnel, which would take less than a minute to traverse. Unfortunately, the path is not wide enough for wheelchairs, and the organizers don’t allow wheelchair users to travel on the sideways where cars drive, even though it’s one way.
Despite this hiccup, there were several viewing platforms specifically designed for wheelchair users, which provided great views of the race. And when hunger struck, there were plenty of food trucks to choose from, although the lines were a bit long. I was lucky enough to in The Field Jobs section which had perfect views between turns 10 and 11 which was close to the disabled toilets and food trucks. The Grand Prix put together a very useful link to all things accessible for the weekend’s events.
It was great to be able to see all the races before the main event including the V8 Supercars, F2 & F3. The main race was much more eventful than last year with plenty of overtakes and a few incidents especially towards the end of the race when we had two red flags within the last three laps.
However, my experience took a turn for the worse when it was time to leave the event. One of the wheels on my wheelchair fell off, which made it impossible for me to continue on my own. My brother helped me put the wheel back on, but when we reached the tram stop, we realized that it wasn’t accessible. We were stuck in the cold and dark, waiting for a maxi taxi that the tram officer had ordered for us. Unfortunately, we ended up waiting for two hours without any certainty of when the taxi booked to head back to Flinders Street station, we opted to go all the way home instead as it was already long enough of a day.
Overall, I had a fantastic time at the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix, but the lack of accessible transportation options left a sour taste in my mouth. I hope that in the future, the organizers will work to improve accessibility for all attendees so that everyone can enjoy this amazing event without any barriers.
I’m lucky enough to have the F1 Grand Prix being held in my home city of Melbourne so I did not require any accommodation but we have plenty of options for anyone wanting to get in early for next year to stay whilst attending the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix. Accessible Accommodation – Melbourne
To find more wheelchair accessible events happening in Melbourne CLICK HERE.
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