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Posts for Tag: Friday

Paddock Club Diaries - 2018 Abu Dhabi GP - Day 1

Kimi Raikkonen said Farewell to the Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team at the end of 2018 as he headed to Sauber F1 Team up until 2020. The news broke out in September and there was enough time to plan for being at the final race of the Iceman with the team. 

I was at Abu Dhabi when Kimi did his final race with Lotus F1 and would repeat the feat again. Here is a quick look at how the Friday experience panned out.

The Race Passes for the weekend :


Enroute to the Circuit. I was staying in Dubai, so the drive to Abu Dhabi was about 90 minutes :


The best way of entry into the circuit is through the Yas Viceroy Hotel and then through the Water Taxi service which drops you near the tunnel which goes under the circuit to the Paddock area :


2 Cars from the Pirelli Hot Laps experience. A man spent 25000 GBP for a Hot Laps Experience with Max Verstappen on Thursday! Wow!


The Stands quite empty on a Friday Afternoon :


The Ferrari F1 Suite with a slightly different layout, this one was Air Conditioned and thankfully so :


The first order of the day was Free Practice 1.


Red Bull Racing Team practicing Pit Stops ( Video Link ) :




The Pit Walls busy during FP1 :


Chequered flag to signal end of FP1 :


Practice Starts at the end of FP1 :


Returning to the Pits :


Max Verstappen was the fastest in FP1 from Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas.


Lunch service :


We were joined by Scuderia Ferrari Development Driver Marc Gene during lunch for a quick Q&A :


Video Link to the Interview :




Pit Lane walk on Friday :


Charles LeClerc!


Emilia Bottas, Finnish Olympian Swimmer and Valtteri Bottas' wife.


We returned to the Paddock Club and it was time for Free Practice 2 :


Chequered flag :


Time to do some practice starts :


The boys returning to the pits :


Max Verstappen returns to the Pits after FP2 ( Video Link ) :




Valtteri Bottas was fastest from Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.


FP2 ended and it was time for Qualifying for the Formula 2 Feature race :


Post Qualifying, all those who had signed up for the Paddock Club Track Truck Tour made their way downstairs for a tour of the track :


Taking in the sights with the GoPro Hero 5 Black :


A Final Walk of the Pit Lane in the evening before heading back.


It was a great day at the Abu Dhabi GP and I would like to thank Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team for the Hospitality extended to me. A Big Thank you to Edge Global Events for organizing the passes and ensuring an enjoyable weekend.

Paddock Club Diaries - 2018 Belgian GP - Day 1

The second race I had the opportunity of attending in 2018 was the Belgian Grand Prix. Its become like an annual pilgrimage to be at Spa - Francorchamps simply because of how beautiful and amazing the track layout is. The weather is always impeccable not to mention the history of racing at this circuit.

Here is a small recap of how the weekend unfolded, starting with Friday.

My friend invited me over for dinner at the Radisson Blu in Spa on Thursday night. Scuderia Ferrari Team personnel stay there as well and my race passes were ready for pickup.

The Race Passes for the weekend :


I also had the opportunity of meeting 2 drivers at the hotel.

Sergio Perez, Racing Point Force India F1 Team :


The Professor! Alain Prost :


Friday morning was an early start from the Pullman in Aachen ( Germany ), a different destination to travel from. 

Enroute to the circuit. Friday Morning was really cold in Spa :


The Taxi service drops you a fair distance from the Circuit entrance, so be prepared to walk a bit : 


The Pit lane walk is the first event of the day for the guests since the Paddock Club doesn't open until 930 in the morning.

Shots from the Pit Lane Walk :

Scuderia Ferrari F1 Garage during the Pit Lane Walk :


Some teams also indulged in Pit Stop Practices.

McLaren F1 and Haas F1 Team Pit Stop Practices ( Video Link ) :




Racing Point Force India F1 Team Pit Stop Practice ( Video Link ) :



The Pit lane walk done and it was time to enjoy the sessions from the comfort of our suite :


The Motorhomes neatly arranged on Friday morning, ready for the weekend!


Free Practice 1 underway :


Scuderia Ferrari F1 during FP1 :


Sebastian Vettel was the fastest from Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in FP1. Kimi Raikkonen was P4.


The lunch menu!


Lunch is served!


Desserts! The Mousse is unbelievable!!


Marc Gene visits us in the Ferrari F1 Suite for a quick rundown of the session and the experience gained from it by the team.


Soon it was time for the 2nd Pit Lane Walk of the day!


I got a chance to meet Renault Sport Academy and Russian Time F2 Driver Artem Markelov!


Time for some GoPro Action in the Pit Lane!


It was then time to head back and get ready for Free Practice 2 :


Kimi Raikkonen was the Fastest in FP2 followed by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.


I was down in the garage for the second half of FP2 and had an opportunity of taking in the sights of the Paddock :


I was loitering around the Paddock when I suddenly spotted Kimi Raikkonen walking towards me! I requested for a selfie..this was followed by a pause and then an "OK" My Day was made!!!


It didn't end there. I met many other famous figures from the Racing world.

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing F1 Team Principal :


Mika Salo, ex-F1 Driver and now a FIA Steward :


Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal Williams Martini F1 Racing Team :


Karun Chandok, ex-F1 Driver and Presenter for Channel 4 F1 :


Juan Pablo Montoya! The Legend!


I made it back to the Paddock Club and was admiring these racing beauties until it was time to head down for the Paddock Club Track Truck Tour!


bShots from the Track Truck Tour! 


Some more selfies with the GoPro!


It was then time to head back to Aachen Germany and the comfort of the Pullman! 

It was a great day at the Belgian Grand Prix and Ferrari looked strong for the rest of the weekend. 

Thank you to Scuderia Ferrari and their Hospitality team for a great Friday. Thank you to Edge Global Events for their flawless service as always.

Saturday and Sunday Experiences to follow soon!





Paddock Club Diares - 2017 Belgian Grand Prix - Day 1

The Latest post in the Paddock Club Diaries comes in from the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix. The Event was held from 22nd August to 24th August at the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

I had the privilege of being a guest of Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team in the Paddock Club and as always, the first post is from what I experienced on Friday.

I stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hasselt. Hasselt is the birthplace of Red Bull Racing Driver Max Verstappen and about an hour's drive from the circuit. An early morning drive from Hasselt is recommended as the traffic was atrocious going into Spa.


Enroute to the Circuit :


The Race Passes picked up from Radisson Blu Hotel in Spa :


Walking to the circuit :


The Scuderia Ferrari F1 Club :


The View from the Ferrari F1 Club :


I didn't have the opportunity of making it to the First Pit Lane walk of the day and as soon as I settled in the Suite, it was time for Free Practice 1.


Shots from FP1 :


Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team during FP1 :


Chequered Flag :



Kimi Raikkonen was the fastest in FP1 with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel completing the Top 3. Only a tenth of a second separated the trio.


Marc Gene visits the Ferrari F1 Club for a quick Q&A :


Video Link of the Interview :



A Moment with Marc Gene :


Friends, Scuderia Ferrari Family!


Prior to the Pit Lane Walk, I signed up to go downstairs and join other guests on a truck which would take us around the track for an amazing tour. Its a part of the F1 Experiences, a new initiative by the new owners of F1 to bring the sport closer to its fans.


I got the Chance to do the Paddock Club Track Truck Tour. The Best Experience ever!


Video Link of the Track Truck Tour :



Shots from the 2nd Pit Lane Walk of the day :


The Scuderia Ferrari Garage :


Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari being readied for FP2 ( Video Link ) :



Lunch!


I had a hearty lunch and it was time to settle in for Free Practice 2. FP2 saw limited running after an hour thanks to rain belting down on the track. Only Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso volunteered to venture out but the conditions got treacherous really quickly.


Shots from FP2 :


Free Practice 2 saw Lewis Hamilton set the Fastest time. Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas not too far behind.


The track was then thrown open to the 2 Seater F1 Cars from the F1 Experiences.

2 Seater F1 cars offering those with deep pockets a couple of laps around the circuit. A new venture called F1 Experiences.


Formula 2 cars then took to the track for the Qualifying Session.

Qualifying Session of F2 :


The Session over, it was time to head back to the hotel, get some dinner, rest and be ready for Saturday Morning!


Returning to Hasselt :



It was quite an eventful Friday. I got the opportunity to be in the garage when it was raining in FP2 and the Ferrari cars up close!


Thank you to Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team and the hosts for hosting me over the weekend. Thank you to Edge Global Events for ensuring everything was arranged for and I was not found wanting anything.

Saturday and Sunday experiences to follow soon. Watch this space!