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Posts for Tag: Italian

Paddock Club Diaries - Italian GP 2013 Day 3

The Big Day arrived.

Sundays are always Special, the Stands are filled, the atmosphere is awesome. The Tension slowly builds as how you fare on the Sunday is all that matters. Friday and Saturday Performances don't bring home any points.


An early start on Sunday morning ensured that I had a smooth run to Monza :

Brisk Travel :


A short walk to the Paddock :


We were ushered straight into the Pit Lane, most shutters were down with team personnel yet to arrive.


The Shutters coming up :

McLaren Mercedes celebrated 50 Years of Racing and all Team Personnel wore Vintage attire. RESPECT McLaren Mercedes!


It was them time to enter the Paddock Club and the gifts today were simply fantastic!!


Tea Time :


Shots from the GP2 Grid ( 2nd Race ) :


The Motorhomes on Sunday Morning :


The Helicopters having a busy Sunday Morning ferrying Drivers and Top Team Personnel :


It was time for Kimi Raikkonen to arrive!!!! The Line was huge and many people wanted a moment with the Iceman. I missed the opportunity but I still have a couple more chances!!


However I was able to gift Kimi the gift I had made for him and the Team was gracious enough to publish it on Twitter!!

THE GIFT :


The Photo on Twitter :


Lunch :


Shots from the Final Pit Lane Walk :


Some Entertainment on Track :


The Team Pit-Wall


Practice Makes Perfect :


Got an autograph from Dani Pedrosa who came down for the race. He raced at Misano one week later in MotoGP.


A Light Shower made everyone run helter-skelter while the Mechanics ensured all that was important was covered :


I hurriedly finished my Dessert to ensure that I don't lose a good place to shoot photos from.


The Activity on the Grid :


The Cars ready for the Formation Lap :

Video Link :




The Cars taking their Grid Slots :


The Race Start ( Video Link ) :




Vettel had a clean getaway while Kimi too had a fantastic start. However Perez cut across Kimi and missed his braking point. Kimi suffered a huge lockup and rammed into the back of the McLaren, damaging his Front wing pretty badly. This isn't the first time these 2 have crossed paths and it is clear that McLaren are running out of patience with Perez. The Ensuing Damage meant that Kimi had to pit for a front wing change and rejoined way back down the grid. Frustrating.....


Shots from the first few laps :  

Lotus F1 Team
having to play catchup. Romain was in a better position though.


Some Close Battles being fought :



Some more Shots from the Race :


Lotus F1 Team
in action :


The Lotus F1 Pit Wall discussing Strategic Changes :


Their Planning paid dividends as Romain Grosjean reeled in the McLarens and the Toro Rosso.


Kimi Raikkonen
too passed the Force India with relative ease and was on the tail of the McLaren duo :


Adrian Sutil drove into Retirement on the Penultimate Lap with Brake Failure :


Kimi Raikkonen's and Mark Webber's Cars stopped just after the Chequered Flag to save fuel for later scrutiny.


Sebastien Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber were the Podium Finishers. Massa, Hulkenberg, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Grosjean, Hamilton and Button completed the Top 10. Hamilton's late pit stop allowed up to charge upto 9th. Raikkonen produced a spirited drive but just missed out on points in 11th.


The Tifosi running towards the Podium


Fans as far as the Eyes can see!! Amazing, Absolutely Amazing!!



Podium Celebrations. Adrian Newey, the Da Vinci of Aerodynamics in F1 represented Red Bull Racing for collecting the Constructors' trophy. The Podium Interviews were carried out by the Great Sir John Surtees and Jean Alesi!



Mark Webber saying Goodbye to Fans in Europe :( He will be missed. AussieGrit all the Way!!



Fernando Alonso obliging the Tifosi with some photos :


Podium Celebrations ( Video Link ) :



As the Fans slowly left the track, the trucks came in and it was time to packup!!


Quick Photos with Kimi Raikkonen's Helmet!!


The Suite now bearing a deserted look :


The Motorhomes of 2013, for one last time!!


Made New Friends!!

Thank you Lotus F1 for all the Hospitality and Thank you Guys and Gals!



The way back to the Hotel :


It was a nice Sunday. We didn't achieve good results but memorable 3 days nonetheless.

Once again, a Big Thank You to the Lotus F1 Team for all the hospitality. Thank you to Anne-Charlotte Remy and Oliver Anderson for all the logistical help.

Thank you to Anita Nyers, Fleur Foster,  Luca Mazzocco, Francois Puentes, Frederic Garcia & Veronica Sassella for hosting me over the 3 days. Really enjoyed the Experience.


Indian GP is my next stop, till then God Bless and stay safe!!



Paddock Club Diaries - Italian GP 2013 Day 2

Saturday is always a busy day for Teams. Activity starts early in the morning with the Team Pit-Stop Practice. Setting up the Car for Qualifying is also very important. Any problems or niggles have to be ironed out so that the Drivers can have unhindered sessions.

I missed the Pit-Stop Practice in Germany so an early start allowed me to be in the thick of action.


En route to the Circuit :


The FIA Weigh-Bridge ( would see a lot of activity on Saturday ) :


Mercedes AMG - Petronas getting ready for their Pit-Stop Practice :


Francois and Oliver are all smiles as they welcome the Team Guests on Saturday :


The Car ready for Practice :


As the Boys were getting ready for practice, I grabbed the opportunity of sharing screen space with Alan Permane ( Lotus F1 Trackside Operations Director ), Ciaron Pilbeam ( Lotus F1 Chief Race Engineer ), Paul Seaby ( Lotus F1 Team Manager ) & Ayao Komatsu ( Romain Grosjean's Race Engineer ). 

Ciaron was fantastic and very welcoming. He was loving the challenge of pushing Lotus up the Grid, just like his stint at Red Bull Racing until last season.



The Mechanics busy practising :


Video Link :




More shots from the Garage :


Now that is a nice welcome ;)


The Paddock Area abuzz with Activity. Photographers waiting for Drivers to walk in :


Saturday Practice would see Teams run Race Simulations but the main agenda was to have Qualifying Simulations done.

Lotus F1 had run the Long Wheelbase Version for Kimi on Friday but as the difference was marginal, he switched back to the Standard Version for Saturday.

Some Shots from FP3 :



Lotus F1 Team in Action!!


Sebastien Vettel was the Fastest, Kimi and Romain 10th and 14th Respectively.


We were soon joined by Sir Jackie Stewart. The Triple World Champion talked about the Team's Performance so far this season. He talked about the changes brought into F1 down the years. He also stressed on the importance of Sponsorships for the teams.



Moments with the Legend himself !!


You cannot neglect nutrition in all this and I don't like missing lunch at the Paddock Club :)

A Quick Lunch and it was time to head down for the Pit-Lane Walk!

Oliver
had a surprise for me. I had 20 minutes to scurry around the Paddock and meet whoever I could! Fantastic!


The Paddock - Ground Zero!!



The SKY PAD - Best tool for Analysis!!

The Man who mans the Sky Pad - Anthony Davidson. Great Guy. The Waistline Difference is appalling!


Uh, wrong place Ma'am :P

With Romain Grosjean's Car :


It was now time for Qualifying! The Sessions that would decide the Grid for Sunday!

Q1 saw the slowest 6 being eliminated.

Shots from Q1 :



Lotus F1 Team in Q1 :

Sebastien Vettel topped Q1, Kimi was 11th and Romain 8th.

Gutierrez ( Sauber-Ferrari ), Bottas ( Williams-Renault ), Van Der Garde ( Caterham-Renault ), Pic
( Caterham-Renault ), Bianchi ( Marussia-Cosworth ) and Chilton ( Marussia-Cosworth ) were eliminated.



Times were reset after Q1. The Slowest 6 drivers from the remaining 16 would be eliminated in Q2.


Shots from Q2 :

Lotus F1 Team in Q2 :


Monza was never a Great Track for Lotus F1 and the lack of pace from the Renault Engine meant that both the Lotuses were Eliminated in Q2.

Sebastien Vettel Topped Q2. Kimi missed Q3 by a tenth of a second ( whisker ) while Romain was about 3 tenths slower than the 10th place Vergne.

Lewis Hamilton too was eliminated
but it was later revealed that Adrian Sutil impeded him on his flying lap. Sutil received a 3 place Grid Penalty.

Raikkonen ( Lotus-Renault ), Hamilton ( Mercedes ), Grosjean ( Lotus-Renault ), Sutil ( Force India-Mercedes ), Maldonado ( Williams-Renault ) and Di Resta ( Force India-Mercedes ) were eliminated from Q2.

A disappointing Qualifying Session but we were optimistic about the Race. The Lap Times were too close and the Lotus is confident in Race Trim, so all was not lost. A Free Tyre choice also meant that strategies could be different from the front runners.


The Times were Reset and it was time for the Top - 10 Shootout!! Q3 would see some really close battles!!

Shots from Q3 :


Sebastien Vettel dominated all three sessions and bagged Pole Position! Mark Webber ensured that the Red Bulls lock out the front row. Nico Hulkenberg sprung a surprise for Sauber-Ferrari and qualified 3rd on the Grid. The Team did well in 2012 too and now had a platform to score big on Sunday.


An Ecstatic Sauber Pit-Wall and Manisha Kaltenborn!



The Ferraris could only manage 4th and 5th for the Ferrari Faithful, Massa out-qualifying his more consistent team-mate Alonso.

Rosberg ( Mercedes ), Ricciardo ( STR-Ferrari ), Perez ( McLaren-Mercedes ), Button ( McLaren-Mercedes ) and Vergne ( STR-Ferrari ) completed the top 10.


Monza has always favoured cars with better powertrains and the presence of only two Renault-powered cars in the top 10 was testimony to this fact. Red Bull came out on top due to the cars' aerodynamic efficiency ( Thanks to Adrian Newey ) and still lacked the raw pace compared to their Ferrari and Mercedes Powered Competitors.

Only the Red-Bulls cracked the 1min 23 secs barrier and only half a sec separated 3rd from 9th. It would be an intriguing race on Sunday!!


Dessert to douse the disappointment :


Romain Grosjean
visited the Suite an hour later and talked about his season so far. He was optimistic about Sunday and was sure about the team scoring points.


With the Frenchman : ( What did I make him sign? I shall reveal in due time )

It was now time to leave the Paddock Club. A Disappointing day in terms of the Result but an enjoyable day nonetheless!

I got to meet a host of people in the Paddock for which I am really really thankful to Oliver Anderson. Thank you Oli for your kindness!


The Journey Back :

Once again, a Big Thank You to the Lotus F1 Team for all the hospitality. Thank you to Anne-Charlotte Remy and Oliver Anderson for all the logistical help.

How can I forget Anita Nyers, Fleur Foster,  Luca Mazzocco, Francois Puentes, Frederic Garcia & Veronica Sassella for hosting me and ensuring that I enjoy the Saturday.


Day 3 not too long now.. Patience :)





Paddock Club Diaries - Italian GP 2013 Day 1

My F1 Travels took me to the "Home of the Tifosi".  To the north of Milan lies the Iconic track of Monza, the Fastest Circuit on the F1 Calender. Monza hosted the Italian Grand Prix from 6th September to 8th September 2013.

The Lotus F1 Team had their Private Suite ( for Hospitality ) this time. My 2nd Private Suite Experience after Silverstone GP in 2012.


The Passes arrived on time!


I left early on Friday Morning but was surprised to see heavy traffic at 7:30 am!! A Journey that should have lasted about 30 minutes extended to 90 minutes!


Enroute to the Circuit :


The Motorhomes at the Final European GP of the season!


The View from the Suite :


The Team Suite :


The Podium! Its the best podium as its visible to everyone in the paddock and the fans are allowed to get as close as possible to their favourite drivers.


Friday Free Practice
was early in the morning as usual and the stands were slowly filling up.

Shots from FP1 :



The Lotus F1 Team in Action in FP1 :



Lewis Hamilton was the Fastest, Kimi and Romain 5th and 12th respectively.


Lunch was served on time and I quickly finished my Appetizer to get ready for the arrival of Davide Valsecchi!



Davide Valsecchi
arrived and it was a nice interview at his Home Race!


Lunch!


A quick lunch and it was time to go down for the Pit Lane Walk!



Marussia F1 were gracious enough to allow me into the Garage! Thank you Graeme Lowdon for the kindness shown!


Some shots from the Lotus F1 Garage!


The FIA Weigh-Bridge :


I had the rare opportunity of meeting Mark Slade, Kimi's Race Engineer :


I wanted to do the Italian GP this year for one reason, to see the Tifosi support their beloved Scarlet-Red Ferraris and they left no stone unturned!
 

Dessert before FP2 :


FP2
saw teams run low fuel simulations and then Race Simulations mid session onwards. Race Simulations ( Full Fuel Load runs ) help teams to study lap times on both Option and Prime tyres helping them draw up strategies post qualifying on Sunday.

Shots from FP2 :


Lotus F1 Team in action in FP2 :



Sebastien Vettel was the Fastest, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean improved to 3rd and 4th respectively. The signs were good for Sunday.


Kimi Raikkonen
talking to Beat Zehnder ( Sauber F1 Team Manager ). Kimi is a nice guy as suggested otherwise and it once again shows how loved he is up and down the Paddock


The Motorhomes on a Friday evening :

A good Friday and expectations were big for the next two days!

The way back to the Hotel :



A Big Thank You to the Lotus F1 Team for a memorable day. Thank you to Anne-Charlotte Remy and Oliver Anderson for all the help with the Italian GP arrangements!

A Special Thank you to Oliver Anderson, Anita Nyers, Fleur Foster, Anne-Charlotte Remy,  Luca Mazzocco, Francois Puentes, Frederic Garcia & Veronica Sassella for all the Hospitality.


Day 2 and Day 3 Experience coming soon!!