Tech-know-crat

Your Dose of obsession from Formula 1, Flying, Travel, Football, Watches, Collectibles and everything inspirational everywhere in daily life

Posts for Tag: SIlverstone

LIVING THE DREAM - DAY 3

SUNDAY :

Sunday was D-Day. The Day I was really looking forward to.

I reached Silverstone early braving all the Traffic Snarls and the torrential rain that came with it.

I passed the F1 Village on my way to the Paddock Club. Sky Sports was very enthusiastic about Batman - The Dark Knight Rises and Showcased the Batmobile :

 

I Reached the Suite and Preparations were in full swing ( on track ) for the start of one of the Support Races ( GP 2  ). A couple of F1 Reserve Drivers seemed to be quite interested.

 

Lotus F1 Team had ensured that they would give the best of the Goodies to the Guests today.

 

It was almost 10 am. As usual I had a nice chat with the Team Members at the Suite. It was now time for the Arrival of the Man I admire in Formula 1. The Flying Finn, The Iceman, The King of Spa are some of his nick-names. The Clock ran down and I couldn't wait to see my hero upfront. And then he arrived. I quickly got into the queue ( Thanks to the Table's Proximity to the Stage ). Then I cherised the Moment. The moment that I could treaure for a lifetime. Today I met KIMI RAIKKONEN!!! He obliged many with autographs and left to start preparations for the Race.

 

Kimi's Departure was followed by the Final Pit-Lane Walk of the Weekend. One of the Porsche cars ( From the Support race ) being rolled out of our way.

 

This is also the Time when the Big Boys of the Media go to work. Sky Sports had their team ready to start the Pre - Race Show. ALAN McNISH and MARTIN BRUNDLE were the       Co-hosts.

 

I also the met the Man I had met in Malaysia. Some might remember him. JOHNNY HERBERT!!

 

A Great Gesture by the LOTUS F1 TEAM.... RESPECT!!

 

McLaren Mercedes have had bad pit-stops all through the season. Well some Extra Practice would do them no harm

 

The Stands were full as the Fans waited to catch a glimpse of their F1 Stars.

 

The Drivers Spending time Together before Leaving for the Driver Parade.

 

AHEM AHEM

 

I have Learnt to respect this Man more and more. He has a great heart, is approachable and I would love to know this man better. My efforts to meet him over the weekend finally bore fruit on Sunday as I got to spend a few Minutes with him. Friends..... MICHAEL "HERBIE" BLASH ( FIA Deputy Race Director ).

 

As I made my way back up the Pitlane, I got the chance to share a moment with TONY FERNANDES ( CEO - AIR ASIA, TEAM PRINCIPAL - CATERHAM F1, CHAIRMAN - QPR FC ). Also got a quick picture of Nobert Haug ( Mercedes AMG Petronas ) and another near the Pit-Box of the Lotus F1 Team.

 

ROB SMEDLEY ( Felipe Massa's Race Engineer ) arrived a bit early and mingled with the fans. Great Guy. Martin Brundle smiled for the Shutterbugs. Got Introduced to a couple of people too. Some Marshalls know how to dress up for the Race!

 

The Lights that Signify the Start and End of Sessions :

 

Red Arrows - The Highly Acclaimed Aerobatic Team. The Pride of the RAF.

 

Final Checks before the Big Event.

 

We Returned to the Suite and were soon joined by MR. ERIC BOULLIER ( TEAM PRINCIPAL -LOTUS F1 TEAM ). He answered a few questions and did a quick review of the Team Performance so far ( which has been more than just Commendable ). A moment with The BOSS!!

 

Very Rarely does Food take a back-seat in my life. But Today was different. Here is a quick peek at what was the served. The Food - LIP SMACKING and the Hospitality Impeccable!

 

All the Guests then Hurried to the Balconies to witness the Start of the Race. Silverstone has changed in its Track Layout since 2011. Alonso, Webber, Schumacher started in the Top 3. However it didn't stay the same at the end of the race. Mark Webber was victorious. Alonso and Vettel completed the Podium.

KIMI RAIKKONEN finished 5th ( set the Fastest Lap of the Race )

ROMAIN GROSJEAN finished 6th ( a Fine drive after being pushed back to 22nd due to the incident with Paul Di Resta )

 

Lotus F1 Team has been running a competition on all three days rewarding the guest who predicted the name of the Driver who would set the Fastest Lap Time of the Session. I supported Kimi to do it & the Flying Finn didn't disappoint. I won a pair of Romain Grosjean Autographed Racing gloves!! Thank you Lotus F1 Team and Thank you Kimi!!

 

The TEAM that made this weekend more than just Memorable ( L to R : Gaby Mills, Matt Johnson & Gary Rosewell ). A Special Thanks to Gary for the experience of being right there during the Saturday Practice Session.

 

THE ENTIRE TEAM THAT TOOK CARE OF US ON THE WEEKEND!! MET ALL OF THEM. GREAT PEOPLE. HOPE TO MEET THEM AGAIN... SOON

 

As I bid Farewell to the Suite and to New Friends I had made, A Couple was gracious enough to take me down to the LOTUS F1 TEAM Motorhome!!

 

The Pirelli - PZeros. All Compounds were used this weekend.  Another Photo just before entering the Motorhome.

 

 

Hospitality in the Motorhome is World - Class. Some more shots of the Mobile Motorhome.

 

 I also had the Opportunity to have a quick chat with one of KIMI RAIKKONEN's ENGINEERS

( FORGOT HIS NAME... LOTUS F1 TEAM need some help here )

 

The Motorhomes of all the teams. Its Just Amazing to see how good teams are in Assembling and Dismantling all these.

 

I made new friends. A Special thanks to the Couple for their graciousness!! Thank you Eddie Sir!!

 

Its Amazing how quickly Friends are made. Great to meet them!!

 

 

 

Well what follows now might make people envious of me... SORRY

 

KIMI RAIKKONEN Autographed the Visor of his Mini-Helmet :

 

The Racing Gloves autographed by  ROMAIN GROSJEAN :

 

The Mini - Helmet and the Gloves :

 

I didn't have time to Take Photos of all the Goodies.. :

 

 

Finally I want to THANK GOD & My Parents for Fulfilling my Dream.

A BIG THANK YOU to the LOTUS F1 TEAM for Bringing back KIMI RAIKKONEN into the WORLD of FORMULA 1. F1 isn't the same without KIMI. I had a great weekend. Thank you for all the Hospitality!

THANK YOU www.exclusivegp.com for giving me an experience that I would never forget. FRIENDS If you want to have experiences such as mine, www.exclusivegp.com are the guys that can make it happen.

 

 

NOW FOR SINGAPORE AND INDIA!!!

LIVING THE DREAM - DAY 2

SATURDAY :

Day 2 started early in the morning. I reached Silverstone at arond 7:30am and just in time for the Pit-lane walk. The first 45 minutes of the day were PIT - STOP Practice Sessions for the team.

 

The FIA Garage where the Cars are Weighed post each session :

 

Marussia, HRT & Caterham go about their Pit - Stop Practice!

 

 

Red Bull, Mercedes AMG Petronas showcase their perfection :

 

LOTUS F1 Team showing their guests how Harmonic and Synchronized their Pit - Stop Practices are!!

 

Got a Chance to hold the Steering Wheel while Kimi Raikkonen's Car is rolled back into the Garage!

 

Some of the Spares of Teams on display.. well the more confidential ones are in the back of the Garage!

 

The Gates opened at 8:30 am and we were ushered back into the Paddock Club. Entered the Lotus Suite and I knew that I had an action packed day ahead !

Just like Friday the Team had goodies packed into bags for their guests. I had a nice chat with a couple of the team members. The Glum Weather was disappointing for all. Getting into the Circuit had become a big hassle.

 

Soon it was time for the Final Practice Session before the Qualifying! All the Teams were thankful as the weather opened up and sunshine trickled in. The Session was going to be a dry one and this was a welcome change for all teams!!

Everyone opted for the High-Fuel Runs in order to determine their pace during the race. The Session lasted for hour and the half.

The Lotus F1 Team had a surprise in store for me!!

There were only 10 mins left for the session to end and I was escorted down to the GARAGE to see the way the Mechanics and Engineers went about their task. The Team performed like a well - oiled machine. We were given the Pit - Radio Headsets and were able to hear conversations happening in the Pit Lane!! WHAT AN EXPERIENCE

Here are some captures... Guess who decided to join us??? - SIR JACKIE STEWART!!

 

The Session ended and we were escorted back to the Suite and we had Sir Jackie Stewart enthralling the fans with his stories. He Talked about his Racing Career, His Family, His Mother's fears about him racing because of the incidents with his brother. He also stressed on the Importance of EXPERIENCE in FORMULA 1 using the examples of KIMI RAIKKONEN and FERNANDO ALONSO who have been more successful than their team-mates as they have played it smart. In Short - HE WAS AT HIS CHARMING BEST!!

 

His Depature was soon followed by the arrival of another Formula 1 Legend.. the 1996 Formula 1 World Champion : DAMON HILL.

I managed to get his autograph on Friday and He obliged me with a photograph on Saturday. He made some more visits to the Suite but all were hasty ones.

He is a busy man thanks to his associations with SKY SPORTS :

 

 

Lunch was served and like Friday it was quite a spread. Well its important to be well fed to keep yourself going! Post - Lunch we all joined in for the 2nd Pit - Lane walk of the day.

As we waited for the Gates to be opened, the RAF entertained us with their Acrobatics in the sky :

 

Silverstone went through a re-haul in 2011 and the Start - Finish straight was changed. Well this is a shot of the New Paddock Club Building :

 

I walked down the Pit - Lane towards the FIA Race Control to say a quick Hello to Sir Charlie Whiting and Sir Herbie Blash. I met the Former but had to wait till Sunday to meet the other.

However I had the Privilege to see Martin Whitmarsh ( McLaren Team Principal ), Niki Lauda ( 3 time Formula 1 World Champion ), Eddie Jordan ( Team Principal of now extinct Jordan, now a BBC Presenter ), David Coulthard ( Formula 1 Driver and a Co-host at BBC )

 

 

A Car - Lover would drool if he / she saw the Gull - Winged Car from close. However the Mercedes SLS AMG was made to look ordinary by the Formula 1 cars. Here is a picture of the Safety Car driven by Bernd Maylander. He has been with Formula 1 since 2000. RESPECT!!

 

I left the FIA Race Control just in time before the Qualifying Started. The Rain came down again and worsened conditons caused suspension of the the Q2 session.

 

Q2 Restarted 92 minutes later ( only 6 minutes remained ). All Drivers sensed the urgency to set a competitve time :

 

Eric Boullier looks on Intently as the Session Restarts :

 

Dr. Vijay Mallya seems to be relaxed and content as one car makes it to Q3.

Alonso reigned supreme in Qualifying. Webber and Schumacher completed the Top 3. Kimi Raikkonen Qualified in P6.

 

Romain Grosjean made it to Q3 but spun out at the end of Q2 and couldn't set a time in Q3. Obviously the Frenchman was disappointed. However he didn't let this show and managed to be his charming-self when he came down to the Suite to meet his guests.

 

A Moment with Romain. Definitely a World Champion in the Making!!

 

As usual there were other Support Races happening too, most notably GP2 Race 1. As I made my way back to the Main Entrance I stopped by to take a quick pic of the GP3 Cars Hurtling down the track :

 

All in all a Fantastic Day but D-DAY was yet to come.. the Dream was still Not Complete......

PATIENCE.....

 

Would like to Appreciate the Effort of www.exclusivegp.com for helping me fulfill this dream.

LIVING THE DREAM - DAY 1

I WOULD NOT DO JUSTICE TO THIS DREAM IN ONE POST! SO THIS IS PART 1 !!

We all have dreams. Many of us strive to fulfill our dreams. I got to live my dream! A Big Thank You to God, my Wonderful Dad and www.exclusivegp.com for helping this dream come true.

So whats the dream?? READ ON.....

 

 

I have been a follower of Formula 1 since the Mika Hakkinen Days.

However it was the arrival of another Finn into Formula 1 that changed the way I followed the sport.

The Man was KIMI RAIKKONEN.

I had seen him perform for Sauber in 2001. Then the switch to McLaren Mercedes & finally the World Championship year in 2007 with Ferrari.

I always wanted to meet the man I had grown to respect and admire over the years that I had been watching Formula 1. So when Kimi Raikkonen made a return to the world of Formula 1, I knew this was my chance to meet my favourite athlete!!

I could see my dream finally being fulfilled!!

The plans were drawn, then executed and I patiently waited for the day.

The 2012 British Grand Prix at Silverstone was the Venue.

I got the Opportunity of being a guest of the Lotus F1 Team at the 3 - Day Extravaganza!

So the fun was doubled!! - LOTUS F1 Team Paddock Club Hospitality and a chance to meet Kimi Raikkonen!! - Too good to be true.

 

 

FRIDAY :

I reached at the Hospitality Suite early on Friday Morning and was ushered in by Mr. Matt Johnson ( Lotus F1 Team )

The Team Suite :

 

The Ambience was perfect. Lotus F1 had many car components on display and the components were like art-work. Carbon - Fibre made components ( World's Strongest and Lightest material ) were awe-inspiring.

No sooner had I settled into the Suite and it was time for the First PIT - LANE Walk of the Weekend ( The FIRST OF MY LIFE!!! ).

It was a very familiar site however. The Engineers of every team were busy with their Car - Setups for the weekend. Some were busy gathering track & weather information and some others explained their guests the complexity of Formula 1 as a Sport.

Engineers preparing for the weekend :

 

The Helmet & The Steering Wheel : EXQUISITE PIECES OF ENGINEERING!

 

The Man at the Helm :

 

I thought I must try my hand at the simulator and I must say its very tough

I returned to the Suite and then had the opportunity to meet Jerome D'Ambrosio ( Lotus Reserve Driver )

 

Some Captures of the Boxes of teams during Friday Free Practice 2 :

 

 

The Icing on the Cake was the time spent with Sir JACKIE STEWART!

He Explained his role at GENII EXCHANGE, The Company's association with the Lotus F1 Team, a quick recap of the season so far and his experiences at Silverstone!

A MOMENT WITH THE LEGEND!!

 

BATAK : An Exercise for a Formula 1 Driver to improve his Peripheral Vision. A    Formula 1 Driver scores 70 hits in 30 seconds ( randomly glowing lights )

Motorhome : Temporary Headquarters / Briefing - Debriefing Centre / Technical Hub for Formula 1 teams over a Race - Weekend

 

Once Again a Special Thank you to www.exclusivegp.com for offering me this unique experience!!

So this was DAY 1. More to follow.... WATCH THIS SPACE!!