Embracing Formula 1 History at Donington Museum

If you’re my Twitter friend, you may have noticed that I like Formula 1… A little bit. Okay, a lot. I recently wrote about my first ever Formula 1 experience at the Silverstone mid-season test in August and this month the Formula 1 experiences continued when I made my first ever visit to the Donington Park Formula 1 museum in Derby. This was a belated birthday present from my parents, who kindly paid for my boyfriend and I to stay overnight near the museum and obviously visit the museum itself. I would be super cliché and say I didn’t know what to expect but of course I did know what to expect… Cars. A lot of them.

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But it’s not just the cars you go there to see. Of course, they were spectacular and seeing them up close and personal was something else. They are so much bigger than I thought they were and so much more daunting than just seeing them from old videos and on TV. But the thing you really go there for is the history. And the history of Formula 1 is something I just adore.

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The museum itself was super nice – it’s based on the grounds of the Donington race track so you can hear whatever it is blasting around the track the whole time you’re there. The museum isn’t overly big: it only contains 5 rooms, the first one is the Wheatcroft Military Collection which is impressive but not what I went to see. I was surprised at how many cars they managed to squeeze into a relatively short space but I’m not complaining, of course!

The cars date back all the way to the 50’s, when Formula 1 was only a baby. You can expect to see some of the most iconic cars in Formula 1’s history including the dominant 1992 Williams, the car that would see Jochen Rindt become the first posthumous world champion and the car in which legend Aryton Senna died in, in 1994 (not the exact car he died in obviously but his team-mates car from that year which would have been the same as his. Just to clear that up).

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As well as the cars you can see tons of old photography from Formula 1 lining the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Old mechanics overalls and even fuel tanks which would have been used all the way back in 60’s. Although there wasn’t any recent cars there, the most current car I think was around 2011, the collection is spectacular and seeing so much history in the same room, the cars that the drivers actually sat in, drivers that seem somewhat mythical to me, which still included the tyres used in the race they were taken from was really special.

If you’ve ever been to the museum, I’d love to hear about your visit! Of even if you just love Formula 1 like I do, let’s have a chat!

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18 thoughts on “Embracing Formula 1 History at Donington Museum

  1. I’m a little obsessed with F1: I have been on the Singapore and Monaco tracks and I would really like to see it at Silverstone or Spar someday! 😀 I wanted to see the collection in Jersey last year, but we just didn’t have time 😦 I especially cannot wait for the Austin Grand Prix on the 22nd as Taylor Swift will be performing so it’s like a combo of two of my favourite things! I have read all of Jenson Button’s autobiography too! 😀

  2. My family are a bit F1 obsessed too! I’ve been to a car show at Donington before with all the old F1 cars racing around (I was about deafened when I went to the toilets near the track!) Beaulieu Car Exhibition is a great place for motoring enthusiasts too, there is a Michael Schumacher Experience, where you sit in a simulator and do one lap of Silverstone with Schumacher (I was sweating profusely after one lap!) 😀

    I love the old McLaren cars!! 🙂

  3. I never knew there was a museum here. I’ve been to the track to work at a trade fair, but the only peek of the track I got was when I went for a wander and peeked through the railings! There was some action going on though which was cool to hear. Looking at your pictures, I find all the different sized tyres and cars fascinating, they seem to differ so widely from year to year! My sister and I are going to Silverstone for a tour in a couple of weeks, a Christmas gift from last year we’re just getting round to using, I can’t wait to explore all the facilities there and pretend i’m a VIP!
    Amy at Amy & More

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