Arrival in Mexico City for the Mexican Grand Prix
Mexico City’s main airport is the Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX), and its here that most international F1 fans will arrive. Major international cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich and Torronto as well as many US cities have daily direct flights in and out of this airport. Located in eastern central Mexico City about 8km from Plaza de la Constitución and only about 3km from the circuit, onward travel from here is straight forward (see below for details).
Toluca International Airport (TLC) 50km from Mexico mainly serves low cost domestic carriers though there are also several flights from the southern United States including from Houston and Fort Lauderdale with Spirit Airlines and from San Antonio with Interjet. There are regular transport connections directly to Mexico City making it a convenient entry point, so depending on where you’re flying from it may be worth including Toluca in your flight search.
If you’re travelling to the race from the southern United States it is possible to take a Greyhound bus directly to Mexico City. This can work out to be significantly cheaper especially if you’ve left your travel plans to the last minute, but at a 24hr+ journey time means the savings will be paid for with a sleepless night.
Getting Around in Mexico City, transport to the Grand Prix and to/from the Airport
Mexico City is huge and home to 9 million inhabitants. As with any city on this scale there are myriad ways to get around here such as the metro, public and private buses networks, trolly bus, taxi and uber. You can even drive a car here – though its not recommended.
As a tourist here and a visitor to the Grand Prix you can limit yourself to just the metro and perhaps the odd taxi and you’ll be able to get just about anywhere you need to go easily. The metrobus that uses dedicated lanes on major routes can also be useful. There is no official parking at the circuit so its recommended to take public transport. Keep in mind that unlike most F1 circuits, the track is sectioned into colour-coded zones and you’ll have to enter through the correct gate to access your zone. You won’t be able to walk through another zone to get there. You can use the information below to see which gate to use and the best way of getting there.
|yellow||For: Grandstands 9, 10 and 11, Sky Box, Trackside Box, Speed Lounge.
Gates: 13 and 14
|green||For: Grandstand 1, Platinum Plus, Paddock Club, Commentary Booth Club, Sky Box, Heliport, Prestige Club and Speed Lounge.
Gates: 4, 6 and 7
Metro: Ciudad Deportiva
|orange ||For:General Admission (2A)
|blue ||For:Grandstands 3,4,5,6, 6A, Trackside Box, F1 Village
Gates: 9 and 12
|brown||For: Grandstand 15 Foro Sol Norte
|grey||For:Grandstand 14, Foro Sol Sur
Mexico City metro is one of the busiest in the world and as such can get very crowded. Compared to travelling above ground in the gridlocked traffic and choking pollution though, getting from A to B on the metro is bliss.
Tickets cost 5 pesos for any length of trip and unlimited transfers, including going to the Grand Prix or the airport. You can buy these from ticket kiosks at any station and its generally a good idea to buy several of these to avoid having to queue each time.
Mexico City metro is open from 5am weekdays, 6am Saturday and 7am on Sunday and closes each day at midnight.
..for the airport
You can very cheaply and easily get to and from Mexico’s main airport using the metro. Terminal 1 is served by the Terminal Aérea station on line 5 while Pantitlán station – lines 1, 5 and 9 – serve terminal 2. There are free shuttle buses and the Aerotren connecting terminals 1 and 2.
..for the Grand Prix
Most fans attending the race get to the Autodromo by metro using the brown line 9. Nearest metro stations to the circuit are Velodrome (gate 1), Ciudad Deportiva (gate 4, 5, 6 and 7) and Puebla (gates 8, 9 and 12). You can expect the trains to get very crowded especially on the Sunday of the race, but trains run about every couple of minutes so if one train is too full just hang on and be first in line for the next one. Buying both your ticket to the track and your return on the previous day could save you a long wait for the ticket office, especially if you’re staying in an area popular with other Grand Prix tourists.
Metrobús buses run along the avenues Insurgentes, Vallejo and Eje 4 and because they have their own dedicated lanes are a lot faster than other road transportation along these routes. Tickets cost 6 pesos (more for the airport line) and you’ll need a metro card to use them – available for 15 pesos from tickets machines). These buses run from 4.30am (Monday to Saturday) or 5am (Sunday) to midnight. They can be used to get to and from the airport and the Grand Prix circuit.
Further to this there are shuttle buses (not free) from a number of locations in the city to the circuit as well as bus services which travel the perimetre road on the venue, to travel between the various gates.
..for the airport
Metrobús line number 4 runs from terminal 1 and 2 to central Mexico, stopping at San Lázaro where you can connect to the metro. Look for the metrobus at door 7, level D in terminal 1 or door 3, level 1 in terminal 2. The fare for a single ticket costs 30 pesos.
..for the Grand Prix
Use Metrobus Line 2 (purple) to access the circuit’s south side (gates 13, 14 and 16) via either Goma, Iztalcalco, UPIICSA or El Rodeo stations on Ave. Te. From here its about a 15 minute walk to the gates of the track.
Alternatively, Ticket2Ride is a bus service from Ticketmaster directly to and from the Autodromo from several pick up points throughout Mexico City and Puebla. This is especially useful if you have to drive part of the way as you’ll be able to park your car at the point of departure.
The pick up and drop off point at the UPICSA station parking lot at the corner of Calle Vainilla and Sur 187, near the south-eastern end of the circuit, closest to gates 13 and 14 (yellow zone).
Buses leaving the circuit will start running an hour after the end of the Grand Prix and the last one is scheduled for 18.30. There won’t be a timetable for these buses, instead they just leave when full. Buy tickets in advance available from Ticketmaster.