Tech-know-crat

Your Daily dose of obsession from Cars, Football, Formula 1, Watches, Collectibles, Gaming, Movies and everything inspirational everywhere in daily life-coffee and cakes included.

Posts for Tag: Spain

A Gallery of Memories - Part 13

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 :

http://tech-know-crat.posthaven.com/mclaren-f1-team-gala-dinner-at-the-hilton


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 :


Moko!


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!





McLaren F1 Team Gala Dinner at the Hilton!

There are trips that one remembers for a long time to come. There are experiences that stay with us for lifetime. 13th May 2017 was one such date.

I was busy attending the Spanish Grand Prix with Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team when I got to meet Mr. Wright, the co-host in the Pirelli Suite. Mr. Wright, a very gracious man invited me to attend the McLaren F1 Team Gala Dinner happening at the Hilton Diagonal Mar in Barcelona, the hotel I was staying at!

I started watching F1 in 1998 and have been a fan of McLaren & Mika Hakkinen since. 2007 saw Kimi Raikkonen leave for Ferrari so my loyalties became divided but McLaren are a team I always want to see do well.

It was impossible to resist such an offer. I rushed to the Hotel, got ready & down I was ready to attend the event! Hilton, sponsors for McLaren definitely know how to host events.

The event was attended by Sponsors viz. Hilton, Logitech, Reuters, Chandon & open to Fans & Guests of the team.

Logitech also tied up with McLaren to announce the latter's entrance into the e-sports arena, announcing World’s Fastest Gamer – the world’s most intense and demanding competition for virtual racers. It’s a contest that will see the winner offered the best job in esports – a role with the Formula 1 team as one of its official simulator drivers!


Time to give you a quick tour of how McLaren hosted its guests for the evening :

The Pre-dinner meet :


Cocktails, Hors d'oeuvres, Paella, Conversations & more!


The Host for the evening welcoming us ( Video Link ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3Vo6Qni5Dg


The Host soon announced that we would be joined by a Former McLaren Driver & 2 Time World Champion MIKA HAKKINEN!

FAN MOMENT!


Mika Hakkinen Q&A ( Video Link ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGm5cta0aJo


Mika Hakkinen wished us well for the evening and he was soon followed by Fernando Alonso! The Evening just got better!

Fernando spoke at length about McLaren's chances for the weekend after his brilliant qualifying result which saw end up in P7 and also the preparations for Indy 500 which was to be held on the Monaco GP weekend. Fernando would head to the airport after the race to get onto a Private Jet to head to Indianapolis for the Practice Session.


Fernando Alonso Q&A ( Video Link ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HepeePy6VQU


I got the chance to get quick selfies with the McLaren Team Principal Mr. Eric Boullier & a rushing Fernando Alonso!


We were now invited into the Ball Room for dinner. The Ball Room in all its glory!


Dinner Service commences! Lip-smacking! One of the best Desserts I ever had!


Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren joined us over dinner for a quick interview. The new boss has an elaborate plan to bring the team back to the sharp end of the grid and I like it!


Video Link of the Interview :


While we were enjoying our dinner, Mr. Pedro de la Rosa, Ex-McLaren Driver, Movistar TV Presenter & a thorough gentlemen entered the Ballroom to entertain the guests with his stories! What an amazing human being! He even handed out the latest gear of Logitech - G29 Gaming Wheel & Joystick to a lucky draw winner!


Video Links of his Interview ( Part 1 & 2 ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NhS32n94Ms


McLaren's hospitality didn't end with the Gala Dinner. The team were gracious enough to offer Signed Caps, Signed T Shirts & a Mega Prize of a 3 day 2 Night stay at any Hilton Property of the winner's choice! The audience were asked the questions, hands were raised & prizes won! I couldn't win any though :( :(

Mr. Stijn Bastiaens, Sr. Direction Loyalty Parternships for Hilton Hotels giving out the prizes :


I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Stijn who was so happy to meet a Gold Member on HHonors!


Parting Shots from the night :


Saturdays on a Race Weekend are pretty quiet for me when I travel - head to the hotel, hot meal and a shower, get the gear ready and have a good night's sleep. 13th May was really special and I had no intention of making it an early night. I did try my hand at the Simulator which had the Logitech G29 Wheel and I must say its far better than my ageing G25 at home. The ergonomics, buttons' layout, feel, force feedback feels just about right and no I am not trying to flatter anyone. I highly recommend this wheel for gamers.

It was a pleasure meeting F1 loyalists who shared the table with me. It was great to connect with people who are as passionate as a F1 fan can be!

I would like to thank McLaren F1 Team
for their hospitality and a memorable evening. A big thank you to Mr. Stijn and the team from the Hilton Diagonal Mar for ensuring top class service throughout the evening. Hatsoff to Logitech for kick-starting the campaign which could open up new opportunities for gamers in the real world.

Finally a thank you to Mr. Wright from Right Formula for inviting me to this wonderful event.

I wish McLaren F1 & its Sponsors all the best for the season ahead! Onwards & Upwards from here!








The Flying Diaries : BOM - BCN - BOM ( Emirates First & Business )

The First Race of the 2016 F1 Season that I had the privilege of attending was the Spanish Grand Prix. The Race was held on 15th May. I decided to opt for a Mixed Class Experience on Emirates since both the legs to Barcelona were Airbus A380 and the Return legs on the Boeing 777-300ER, so First Class on Outbound, Business Class on Inbound.


My Travel Dates : 12th May 2016 to 20th May 2016.



Mumbai - Barcelona ( 12th May 2016 ) :

Shots from the First Class Lounge :


The Spread in the Lounge :


First Class Suite onboard Emirates :


Aero Bridge retracting from Airbus A380 ( Video Link ):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KETtYVIxj4E


Taxiing to the Runway :


Takeoff from Mumbai International Airport ( Video Link ) :


The Menu enroute to Dubai :


Croissants and Yogurt for Breakfast :


The Airbus A380 has a Lounge behind the Business Class and one must not miss the chance to visit it :


Nearing touchdown at Dubai International Airport :


Landing at Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=543O6kDVW_4


Dubai International Airport :


Shots from the First Class Lounge :


After a quick nap it was time to board the flight to Barcelona.


My First Class Suite :


Taxiing to the Runway :


Takeoff from Dubai International Airport bound for Barcelona ( Video Link ) :


The Goodies Basket :


The Menu for Flight to Barcelona :


Savoury Snacks to start the journey :


Lunch Service commences :


Spending some time in the Onboard Lounge :


76 Business Class Seats :


A Mini-bar in First Class :


A Quick Walk-through the Business Class ( Video Link ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY5ofM45dKI


A Quick Walk-through First Class ( Video Link ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BvKkMto_VY


The Bed ready and set for the nap :


My First Class Suite ( Video Link ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2rUKmEDEyo


I always choose to have a shower an hour before landing. The Washroom doubles up as a Shower Facility onboard the A380 :


Video Link for Shower Spa :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhvUx6oowK4


Some fruits before landing :


Approaching Barcelona. The Compass Feature is beautiful on ICE :


Nearing Touchdown :



Landing at Barcelona Airport ( Video Link ) :


Barcelona El Prat International Airport :


A quick exit from the Airport Formalities and a spanking new BMW 7 Series was waiting for me to drop me at Novotel Barcelona City.


Enroute to the Hotel :




Barcelona - Mumbai ( 20th May 2016 ) :


The Mercedes Viano Van for return transfer :


Driving to the Airport :


All formalities complete in record time, it was time to relax in the lounge, common for First and Business :


My Business Class Seat to Dubai :


Ginger Ale, not anything else ;)


Dinner Options on-board :


Taxiing to the Runway :


Takeoff from Barcelona ( Video Link ) :




The English Premier League Show. Fairy Tale Story of Leicester City FC :


Dinner :


Such a comfortable looking bed :


"Hitting the Apex" a Fantastic Presentation about Moto GP riders :


Approaching Dubai International Airport :


Landing at Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bmYFMPjrbY


Touchdown at Dubai International Airport :


A Very Comfortable Bus Ride to the Airport Terminal :


Business Class Lounge in Dubai :


Business Class seats on final leg :


The Menu for the Final Leg :


Really? A Watch this expensive?!!


Goodbye Dubai, until next time :


Takeoff from Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQb0ayaPOrs


Lunch Service :


Touching down in Mumbai :


Landing at Mumbai Airport ( Video Link ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzli7HRoPLA



Mumbai International Airport :


Being picked up by a Mercedes C Class from Mumbai :

A very relaxing journey, lip smacking food, luxurious transfers, what more can an airline do to pamper you! Thoroughly impressed by the service by Emirates and I can't think of flying with any other airline.

The next trip will feature the Mixed Class Travel to Budapest. Thank you for being patient.














In-Season Testing - 2016 Spanish Grand Prix

The 2016 Spanish Grand Prix produced a great result for Ferrari. There was still work to be done and there was no better way to test some new upgrades then at the In-Season Tests in Montmelo after the Grand Prix. The Test was held on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Scuderia Ferrari Club of Denver ( of which I am a member ) offered the chance to attend the sessions as a team guest and I decided to attend Day 1. Sebastian Vettel was testing for the team on day 1 and this is a small write-up of the experience.


Enroute to the Circuit :


Many of the Trucks had left for their next destination i.e. Monaco and the Paddock felt so silent on a Testing day. Security was still strict about access but the atmosphere was a lot more relaxed.