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Posts for Tag: German GP

Paddock Club Diaries - 2018 German GP - Day 1

The German GP returned to the F1 Calendar after a hiatus in 2017. Hockenheimring, the circuit in the region of Baden-Württemberg hosted the race. I had the privilege of being there in 2014, my first race as a guest of Ferrari and with Kimi leaving for Sauber in 2019, it was befitting that I be here as a guest of the team again. 

The German Grand Prix was held from the 20th to 22nd of July and this year I chose to stay in Mannheim, a city that is just a 30 minute drive from the circuit. Mannheim and Heidelberg are both great towns to stay over a race weekend. Frankfurt is a 75 minute drive from these cities / towns. 

I drove to Heidelberg for my race passes.

The Race Passes for the Weekend :

An early morning start on Friday to make it in time for the First Pit Lane walk of the weekend.

Enroute to the Circuit :

Friday Morning Pit Lane Walk :

Scuderia Ferrari F1 getting ready before FP1 :

Shots with the GoPro Hero 5 Black :

Kimi Raikkonen Car's Systems Check ( Shot with Samsung Note 8 ), Video Link :

Kimi Raikkonen Car's Systems Check ( Shot with Nikon B700 ), Video Link :

The Pit Lane walk done, the Paddock Club was ready to usher in the guests on the Friday.

Entering into the Paddock Club :

The Ferrari F1 Club, our race weekend abode :

Chase Carey, CEO & Executive Chairman of F1, he is a regular in the Paddock Club maintaining a keen eye on how the product is running:

Soon enough it was time for the start of Free Practice 1.

Pit walls occupied by the top bosses of the teams :

FP1 underway :

Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team during FP1 :

Chequered Flag :

Daniel Ricciardo was the fastest of the session, four thousandths of a second separating Lewis Hamilton and him. Max Verstappen was third with the Ferraris of Vettel and Raikkonen in 4th and 6th respectively.

Marc Gene joined us to brief the guests after FP1 and explore the team's prospects for the weekend :

Lunch is served, I prefer sticking to the tried and tested!

Ice Cream anyone?

A fun feature happening in the Media Pen with Sky Sports F1 :

The 2nd pit lane walk coincided with the First Track Truck Tour of the day and I didn't wanna miss the opportunity of exploring the challenges the circuit poses for the drivers.

A Selfie with legends - James Towers, Sam Powers, William ( Hosts of F1 Paddock Club with a fair bit of racing history under their belts ), Philipp Frommenwiler ( Endurance Racing ) and Jos Matthews, my dear friend and a thorough Tifosi at heart.

Track Truck Tour ( Video Link ) :

Free Practice 2 commenced and I was in the Garage for most of the session. Some stills from FP2 :

Max Verstappen was the fastest in FP2 from Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Vettel and Raikkonen were P4 and P5 respectively.

Ferrari were kind enough to let us be in the Paddock after the session and roam in the most coveted area for a couple of hours!

Soon enough, I got to meet some F1 Fraternity!

Charles Leclerc, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team :

Dr. Helmut Marko of Red Bull Racing!

The cars from Pirelli Hot Laps and a Porsche Racing Simulator in the Paddock Club! Wow!

We had to wait before heading to the 2nd truck tour of the day due to cars from the Boss GP Series making their way back after qualifying. These are Old Vintage F1 race cars privately run by their respective owners in the series!

Shots from the Evening Track Truck Tour :

Tour done and it was time to head back to the Radisson Blu in Mannheim!

Returning to Mannheim :

It was a pretty hot Friday at Hockenheim but an enjoyable one nonetheless! Ferrari looked off the pace on Friday but mainly because they were sand-bagging. 

Thank you to Edge Global Events for arranging the passes for the weekend and Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team for their Hospitality. Saturday and Sunday Experiences to follow soon.

A Gallery of Memories - Part 15

The German Grand Prix made a return to the F1 Calendar this year and the race was held at Hockenheimring. I was fortunate to be a part of the same and the first blog post from the weekend kicks off with the "Gallery of Memories"

Chase Carey, CEO and Executive Chairman of the Formula One Group :

Dr. Helmut Marko, Head of Red Bull's Driver Development Program and advisor to Red Bull Racing F1 Team :

Charles Leclerc, Alfa-Romeo Sauber F1 Team!

Bernd Maylander, FIA Safety Car Driver :

Joe Saward, F1 Journalist :

Mervi Kallio, Finnish TV MTV Presenter :

Mara Sangiorgio, Sky F1 Italia Journalist!

Federica Masolin, Presenter for Sky Italia F1 :

Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 F1 World Champion :

The Man who made me fall in love with F1, Mika Hakkinen, 1998 and 1999 F1 World Champion! A LEGEND!!!

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team :

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing F1 Team :

Peter Bonnington, Race Engineer for Lewis Hamilton :

Norbert Haug, a legend from the Kimi years in McLaren and Former Vice President of Mercedes Motorsport :

Mattia Binotto of Scuderia Ferrari, Gene Haas ( Team Owner ) and Guenther Steiner ( Team Principal ) of Haas F1 Team :

Beat Zehnder of Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team :

Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team :

Grace Capristo, German Artist who had the honour of singing the National Anthem before the Race.

Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team :

Maurizio Arrivabene, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team Principal :

Antonio Giovinazzi, Reserve Driver for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :

Alexander Molina, Marketing Operations, F1 Hospitality :

Toto Wolff, Team Principal for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team :

Robert Kubica, reserve driver for Williams Martini Racing F1 Team. Nice to see him back in the Paddock.

Paul Ripke, Photographer for Mercedes AMG F1 Team :

Lewis Hamilton, 4 time World Champion and Driver for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team :

Matteo Bonciani, head of F1 Communications for FIA :

Riccardo Adami, Sebastian Vettel's Race Engineer in Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :

Rosanna Tennant, presenter and host for F1 :

Lance Stroll, Williams Martini F1 Racing :

Nico Rosberg, 2016 F1 World Champion :

Will Buxton, Broadcaster and Journalist in F1 :

Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team :

Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 Team :

Paddock Club Diaries to follow soon, so watch this space!

Paddock Club Diaries - German GP 2013 Day 3

Sunday finally arrived. I had 2 wonderful days at the Paddock Club and Sunday would be the icing on the Cake.

Day 3, the day of the Race!

I left early in the morning and still encountered some traffic near the circuit. The Journey though was smooth over all 3 days. KUDOS to the Organisers!

Enroute to the Circuit :

I was in awe of the F1 Village, the only covered facility I have seen so far. One must admit that the Germans are very organised. I spent some more time exploring and buying some merchandise :

The Paddock Club finally opened and the First Surprise of the Day was Mark Webber's appearance in the Red Bull Hospitality Area.

He spoke about the circuit in general and events that led him to believe that the time was right to retire from the sport and explore other endeavours

The Motorhomes on Sunday Morning :

The Paddock Club on Sunday Morning :

Tyres being Readied for Battle ( although Wets would not be used ) :

Valtteri Bottas made an appearance in the Williams Hospitality :

The Lotus Guests were soon joined by Romain Grosjean who was in a cheerful mood as usual :

A Moment with Romain :

The First Race of the Day was the Porsche Super Cup :

Lunch was fairly early in the afternoon to make time for the only Pit Lane Walk on Sunday :

Starters :

Main Course :

After a hearty meal, it was time to burn some calories and watch the teams prepare ( up-close ) for the Grand Prix.

Shots from the Lotus F1 Team Garage :

I returned from the Pit Lane Walk and was in for a pleasant surprise. The team took me down to the garage to witness all the preparations going on 30 minutes prior to the race start. I was there till Lap 8. I took some photos but cannot share them as they are the ownership of the Lotus F1 Team.

However there is one : Kimi walking to his Lotus E21 on the Grid :

Once I returned to the Paddock, I was shocked to see the unfortunate incident of the Cameraman being hit by a loose wheel from Webber's Car unfold right below me. Thank God he has recovered from the incident and the FIA has taken bigger steps to improve safety within the Pit-Lane.

Shots from the Early Part of the Race :

Kimi pitted early but Romain continued his charge and set a series of Fastest Laps in the lead!

Hamilton became a nuisance for the Early Stoppers but Kimi disposed him off with ease to start his charge towards the Front. Fernando though wasn't so lucky.

Kimi had to play catch-up to bring down the gap :

Jules Bianchi suffered an Engine Failure and had to leave the car in a jiffy. ( Lap 23 ). However a Lap Later the Marussia started rolling backwards onto the Track triggering a safety car situation. This led to a flurry of pit-stops and Kimi was able to negate the 10 sec lead that Vettel had.

The Safety car came in at Lap 30 and Vettel started pulling away slowly. Romain and Kimi kept him in sight but Alonso could not keep up with the Trio.

Nico Hulkenberg pitting :

The Pit Lane Poker at the front started with Romain Grosjean being the first one to pit on Lap 41 :

Hamilton and Rosberg pitted soon after :

Kimi Raikkonen got a free track after Vettel pitted and the fight for the front was a wide-open one.

Kimi finally pitted on Lap 50 to switch to Soft Tyres ( Options ), Alonso followed suit. The Order though at the front remained unchanged.

Kimi on the Option Tyre started catching the duo at front and Alonso too seemed to be joining the party. 

Kimi passed Romain on Lap 55 but not before the latter being informed about the Finn being on the option tyre and the team request to not hold him up ( Championship Contender )

Kimi wasted no time in closing the gap to Vettel and reduce his lead to less than second in the penultimate lap :

Alonso too closed in on Grosjean but the latter held on for a deserved 3rd place. Kimi tried his best but had to settle for 2nd place. Vettel admitted that he was glad that the race ended on Lap 60 and not 61 or 62 else Kimi would have been the sure winner!

The Team Personnel and Fans rush towards the Podium :

The Podium Finishers and a Pensive Kimi :

The Team ensured that all the Paddock Club Guests got a photo opportunity with the Trophies!!

The Team Members with the Trophies!

The Trophies :

The Team Trucks and The Personnel began their work of Dismantling everything :

It was time to say goodbye to the Team after 3 days of being together...

A Big Thank You to Sophie, Luca, Gaby, Anne-Charlotte and James for hosting me and being extremely hospitable and gracious.

A Big Thank You to Oliver Anderson for all the assistance offered. Really missed his presence at Germany.

Finally a Big Thank You to the Lotus F1 Team, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean for such a rocking weekend and fantastic results.

I hope the team goes from strength to strength from here on!!

Monza, Italy, The Land of the Tifosi is my next stop. The Paddock Club Diaries continue then....

God Bless Everyone!