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Buckle up folks, because my trip to the F1 Arcade in London was a wild ride that’s coming to Birmingham soon. From the moment I walked in, I knew this was no ordinary arcade; it was a turbo-charged haven for Formula 1 fanatics and anyone with a need for speed.

There will be 53 full motion racing simulators at the new Birmingham venue

The moment I grabbed the steering wheel, I felt like a retired Mario Kart champ dusting off their skills – that is, until I veered off the virtual track on the very first corner and ended up in the digital gravel pit. The F1 Arcade team must have had a good laugh as I wrestled the steering wheel and mashed the pedals, attempting to regain my dignity along with control of the virtual full motion racing simulator.

And guess what? As if the adrenaline of virtual racing wasn’t enough, the cherry on top was the unexpected appearance of none other than David Coulthard himself! Yes, the F1 legend graced us with his presence, sending the excitement levels through the roof. I might’ve blurted out something about being his biggest fan while clutching the steering wheel like it was my lifeline, but let’s blame that on the adrenaline shall we?

The interiors are suitably slick

The highlight of the experience was when eight eager Brummies went head-to-head in a race. With all the confidence of someone who’d beaten their older brother at Mario Kart once, I was ready to show off my skills. But it turns out, driving a virtual F1 car is nothing like avoiding banana peels …  as I weaved, dodged, and occasionally spun out spectacularly, some ‘friends’ whizzed past me like seasoned professionals, whilst others rammed me up the bank (rude). I’m pretty sure they were grinning from ear to ear under their imaginary helmets – perhaps my performance was further impeded by the lashings of quite fabulous Ferrari Champagne we were treated to (don’t drink and drive kids).

Expect wall-to-ceiling F1 themed interiors

Let’s not forget the immersive environment – the blaring engine noises, the neon lights, and the enthusiastic cheers from other racers – all of which made me feel like I was about to do an actual victory lap at Silverstone. Though my victory lap was more of a limp over the finish line.

In the end, F1 Arcade isn’t just an arcade; it’s a fun-filled, adrenaline-pumping, and slightly humbling experience. It’s a place where you can revel in the fantasy of being an F1 superstar, all while realising that maybe your calling is more aligned with go-karts. So, whether you’re a racing pro or a karting klutz like me, F1 Arcade is guaranteed to give you a roaring good time – just make sure to check your ego at the door, bring your sense of humour to the starting line, and who knows, you might even run into a racing legend!

Bookings are now open here for the new F1 Arcade in Birmingham, which opens in Chamberlain Sqaure on the 21 November.