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.
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!!!