2016 Hungarian Grand Prix was the last GP I had the privilege of attending. There was a lull in my travel plans but as soon as the 2017 Season kicked off, I shortlisted Spain, Belgium & Abu Dhabi for this year. Spain since meeting the F1 Fraternity is very easy and I really enjoyed myself in 2016, Belgium cause I wanted to see Kimi Raikkonen race there one last time ( should he retire ) and Abu Dhabi would be Raikkonen's Farewell Race.The Canadian Grand Prix remains on the to-do list and is delayed for an year since I am travelling to the UK to attend the Champions' Trophy ( Cricket ).
"A Gallery of Memories" my Blog Post Series which showcases all the famous people I had the privilege of meeting at the Circuit kicks off the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix Experience!
I arrived in my Emirates Transfer on Wednesday Afternoon to the Hilton Diagonal Mar and was amazed to Fernando Alonso signing off the "Join the Pact" Movement by Johnnie Walker!
I couldn't miss the Opportunity and Fernando happily obliged. I told him I believe he is the Best Driver on the Grid and he gave me a cheeky smile.
Fernando Alonso, McLaren F1 Driver & Double World Champion!
Gavin Emmett, BT Sport Presenter in MotoGP :
Mark Sutton, One of the best F1 Photographers!
Mark Arnall, Kimi Raikkonen's Physical Instructor
Mark Greenwood, Kimi Raikkonen's Race Engineer :
Marc Gene, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Development Driver :
Marc Gene's message for Fans in India :
Andy Stobart, Head of Communications, Renault Sport Racing :
Mattia Binotto, Chief Technical Officer, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :
Massimo Rivola, Head of the Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy :
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team :
Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber F1 Team :
KIMI RAIKKONEN, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team!
Kai Ebel, RTL Presenter for F1 :
Antonio Giovinazzi, 3rd Driver for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :
I was standing outside the Ferrari Suite when I saw the new boss of F1 pass me. Soon followed a quick photo, an excellent chat and as a F1 Fan, I was so glad to see the new boss as passionate as anyone can be, not to mention the fact that he was roaming in the Paddock Club without any security!
Chase Carey, CEO & Chairman of Formula 1, the new boss of F1 :
Mario Isola, Pirelli Racing Manager :
Sergey Sirotkin, Reserve Driver for Renault Sport F1 Team :
Karun Chandok, Presenter for Channel 4 :
Jock Clear, Senior Performance Engineer for Scuderia Ferrari F1 :
Anthony Davidson, Ex-F1 Driver & Presenter for Sky Sports F1 :
I got back to the Hotel and had the Invitation to attend the Mclaren F1 Gala Dinner at the Hilton.
Read all about it here :
Eric Boullier, Team Principal, McLaren F1 Team :
Stijn Bastiaens, Sr. Director, Loyalty Partnerships, Hilton Hotels :
Sunday Morning and I won the Raffles Draw and got a Keyplate autographed by Maurizio Arrivabene!
Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :
Ferrari preponed the Timing for Sebastian Vettel to visit the Ferrari F1 Club and that was a huge disappointment for me!
Post Race I got have a chat with the antagonist and Veteran actor Mr. Kelsey Grammer who was extremely friendly!
Hollywood Celebrity Kelsey Grammer!
Sebastian Vettel finished P2 in the race and Ferrari were gracious enough to bring the trophy upstairs and allow us a Photo Opportunity!
With Sebastian Vettel's P2 Trophy :
I got to meet Arjun Maini, GP3 Driver for Jenzer Motorsport and Development Driver for Haas F1 Team! Arjun is making India proud in the racing circuit with his performances and Won Race 2 in the GP3 series on Sunday Morning!
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 Team :
Damon Hill, 1996 F1 World Champion & Sky Sports F1 Presenter :
Susie Wolff, Ex-Williams F1 Development Driver & Presenter for Channel 4 :
Toto Wolff, Team Principal, Mercedes AMG F1 Team :
Felipe Massa, Williams F1 Team :
Felipinho Massa, Massa Jr. Love his smile!
James Allison, Technical Director, Mercedes AMG F1 Team :
Bernd Maylander, F1 Safety Car Driver :
Mats Hummels! Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich & German Defender :
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren F1 Team :
Peter Sauber, Owner of Sauber F1 Team and the man responsible for bringing so many drivers into F1 :
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team :
Lance Stroll, Williams F1 Team :
Cryil Abiteboul, MD, Renault Sport F1 Team :
Eliaquim Mangala, Manchester City, Valencia CF, France National Team Defender :
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team :
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing F1 Team :
Aerodynamic Genius Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing F1 Team :
David Coulthard, Ex-McLaren F1 Driver, Red Bull Ambassador & Channel 4 Presenter :
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing F1 Team, A Fun Guy!
Alan Permane, Sporting Director, Renault Sport F1 Team :
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team :
Gene Haas, owner of Haas F1 Team :
Jos Verstappen :
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 Team :
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing F1 Team :
The Professor! Alain Prost!
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team :
Martin Brundle, Ex-F1 Driver, Sky Sports F1 Presenter :
Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director, Pirelli Motorsport :
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber F1 Team :
Bob Fernley, Deputy Team Principal, Sahara Force India F1 Team :
Carlos Sainz Sr. :
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Driver :
Yusuke Hasegawa, Head of Honda's F1 Programme :
Sir Franz Tost, Team Principal of Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team :
Simon Rennie, Race Engineer, Red Bull Racing F1 Team :
Gino Rosato of Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :
Filippo, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :
Stefania Arrivabene, Press Officer at Scuderia Ferrari F1 :
Britta Roeske, Sebastian Vettel's PR Manager :
Ayao Komatsu, Chief Race Engineer, Haas F1 Team :
Jolyon Palmer, 2013 GP2 Champion & Renault Sport F1 Driver :
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Driver :
Lewis Hamilton! Mercedes AMG F1 Driver and Triple World Champion!
Friends from Renault Sport F1 Team. Miss them so much!
Hosts of Pirelli in the Ferrari F1 Club, Great bunch :
Hosts in the Ferrari F1 Club who ensured it was a memorable weekend!
Sebastian Vettel finished P2 in the race, Kimi Raikkonen however was taken out in Turn 1 on lap 1 after being tagged by Valtteri Bottas. Obviously I was gutted about it but the fact that I got to meet so many people from the F1 circuit more than made my day.
A Big Thank you to Edge Global Events for arranging the Passes and ensuring a hassle-free weekend, Thank you to Scuderia Ferrari F1 and Pirelli for their Hospitality!
Paddock Club Diaries return soon on the blog. Friday, Saturday and Sunday Experiences are in the Pipeline. I am travelling to the UK for the Champions' Trophy ( Cricket ) for a fortnight and request your patience till then.
Once again, Thank you all for supporting the Blog and I promise to do my best to better it each year!
Stay Safe and God Bless!