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Posts for Tag: Belgian GP

Paddock Club Diaries - 2018 Belgian GP - Day 1

The second race I had the opportunity of attending in 2018 was the Belgian Grand Prix. Its become like an annual pilgrimage to be at Spa - Francorchamps simply because of how beautiful and amazing the track layout is. The weather is always impeccable not to mention the history of racing at this circuit.

Here is a small recap of how the weekend unfolded, starting with Friday.

My friend invited me over for dinner at the Radisson Blu in Spa on Thursday night. Scuderia Ferrari Team personnel stay there as well and my race passes were ready for pickup.

The Race Passes for the weekend :

I also had the opportunity of meeting 2 drivers at the hotel.

Sergio Perez, Racing Point Force India F1 Team :

The Professor! Alain Prost :

Friday morning was an early start from the Pullman in Aachen ( Germany ), a different destination to travel from. 

Enroute to the circuit. Friday Morning was really cold in Spa :

The Taxi service drops you a fair distance from the Circuit entrance, so be prepared to walk a bit : 

The Pit lane walk is the first event of the day for the guests since the Paddock Club doesn't open until 930 in the morning.

Shots from the Pit Lane Walk :

Scuderia Ferrari F1 Garage during the Pit Lane Walk :

Some teams also indulged in Pit Stop Practices.

McLaren F1 and Haas F1 Team Pit Stop Practices ( Video Link ) :

Racing Point Force India F1 Team Pit Stop Practice ( Video Link ) :

The Pit lane walk done and it was time to enjoy the sessions from the comfort of our suite :

The Motorhomes neatly arranged on Friday morning, ready for the weekend!

Free Practice 1 underway :

Scuderia Ferrari F1 during FP1 :

Sebastian Vettel was the fastest from Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in FP1. Kimi Raikkonen was P4.

The lunch menu!

Lunch is served!

Desserts! The Mousse is unbelievable!!

Marc Gene visits us in the Ferrari F1 Suite for a quick rundown of the session and the experience gained from it by the team.

Soon it was time for the 2nd Pit Lane Walk of the day!

I got a chance to meet Renault Sport Academy and Russian Time F2 Driver Artem Markelov!

Time for some GoPro Action in the Pit Lane!

It was then time to head back and get ready for Free Practice 2 :

Kimi Raikkonen was the Fastest in FP2 followed by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

I was down in the garage for the second half of FP2 and had an opportunity of taking in the sights of the Paddock :

I was loitering around the Paddock when I suddenly spotted Kimi Raikkonen walking towards me! I requested for a selfie..this was followed by a pause and then an "OK" My Day was made!!!

It didn't end there. I met many other famous figures from the Racing world.

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing F1 Team Principal :

Mika Salo, ex-F1 Driver and now a FIA Steward :

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal Williams Martini F1 Racing Team :

Karun Chandok, ex-F1 Driver and Presenter for Channel 4 F1 :

Juan Pablo Montoya! The Legend!

I made it back to the Paddock Club and was admiring these racing beauties until it was time to head down for the Paddock Club Track Truck Tour!

bShots from the Track Truck Tour! 

Some more selfies with the GoPro!

It was then time to head back to Aachen Germany and the comfort of the Pullman! 

It was a great day at the Belgian Grand Prix and Ferrari looked strong for the rest of the weekend. 

Thank you to Scuderia Ferrari and their Hospitality team for a great Friday. Thank you to Edge Global Events for their flawless service as always.

Saturday and Sunday Experiences to follow soon!

A Gallery of Memories - Part 16

The 2018 Belgian Grand Prix was the second race of the season that I had the opportunity of attending. The Circuit is in the beautiful town of Spa nestled in the Ardennes. The 3 day experience starts with the "Gallery of Memories" :

Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 Team :

Alain Prost! 4 Time F1 World Champion and the man whose nickname is the "Professor" :

Artem Markelov, Renault Sport F1 Reserve Driver and Russian Time F2 Driver :

KIMI RAIKKONEN!! The weekend is made!

Juan Pablo Montoya! Ex F1 and Nascar Driver from Colombia. He was one fearless racer!

Karun Chandok, Ex F1 Driver from India and now with Channel 4 for F1 broadcasting :

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal of Williams Martini F1 Racing Team :

Mika Salo, now a FIA Steward :

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing F1 Team Principal :

Paddy Lowe of Williams Martini F1 Racing Team :

Callum Illot, Scuderia Ferrari Academy Driver in GP3 :

Jean Alesi, ex Ferrari F1 Driver :

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren Renault F1 Team :

Toni Vilander, Cmore F1 co-presenter and a close friend of Kimi Raikkonen :

Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Formula E Racer and Porsche GT Racer!

Tadsuke Makino, Russian Time F2 Driver :

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team :

Antii Kontsas, Sebastian Vettel's Physio and Trainer :

Carlo Santi, Kimi's Race Engineer and Carlos, a part of Kimi's crew :

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing Team :

Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team :

Charles LeClerc, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team :

Marcus Ericsson, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team :

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team :

Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team :

Jolyon Palmer, ex GP2 Champion, ex F1 Driver and co-presenter for Channel 4 :

Mark Webber, ex - F1 driver and Channel 4 Presenter :

Sir Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team Principal :

Noemi de Miguel of Movistar F1 :

There is a lot to write about the Friday, Saturday and Sunday Experiences. I shall be posting about these soon! Apologies for the delay.

Paddock Club Diares - 2017 Belgian Grand Prix - Day 3

Sunday had arrived! D day! The Day that mattered! Friday and Saturday's performances are meaningless if a team or driver can't perform on the Sunday!

Race Day beckoned and once again it was an early start to the day. The Commute from Hasselt could easily take a good 2 it was imperative to head out at 630 in the morning.

Enroute to the Circuit :

Croissants for Breakfast!

The Second Event of the day was the Formula 2 Sprint Race. I was busy shopping in the F1 Village hence missed Race 2 of GP3.

Formula 2 Sprint Race Formation Lap ( Video Link ) :


Formula 2 Sprint Race Start ( Video Link ) :


Lap 1 of Formula 2 Sprint Race ( Video Link ) :


Formula 2 ended and we were joined by Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene in the Ferrari F1 Club :

A Moment with the Man :

Maurizio Arrivabene in the Ferrari F1 Club ( Video Link ) :

Kimi Raikkonen then visited the club for a quick Q&A!

I had to run behind him to click this. He did stop but my phone camera failed me! This was the best I could do! Next time..

Kimi Raikkonen Interview in the Ferrari F1 Club ( Video Link ) :


A Quick lunch before heading down for the final pit lane walk of the weekend!

Shots from the Pit Lane Walk :

Mick Schumacher driving his father's Benetton!

Some Stills with the GoPro Hero5 Black :

Gino Rosato from Ferrari :

Time to return to the Paddock Club and grab a vantage point for the race!

Cars heading out for the sighting laps as the pit lane opens :

Team Personnel, celebrities make their way to the grid :

Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team readying their grid slots :

5 minutes to the Race Start :

Kimi Raikkonen doing a final run through with his strategists :

The Grid gearing up for the start of the Formation Lap..the tension mounts!

The Clock winds down and we are ready for the Formation Lap before the Start of the Belgian GP!

Formation Lap ( Video Link ) :


Race Start ( Video Link ) :

Lap 1 of the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix ( Video Link ) :


Shots from the Belgian Grand Prix :

Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team fighting it out in the Belgian Grand Prix :

Chequered Flag ( Video Link ) :

Lewis Hamilton took victory from Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. Kimi Raikkonen finished P4 while Valtteri Bottas had a race to forget in P5.

Cars returning to Parc Ferme :

The Podium Celebrations!!

Crowds allowed to run onto the track after the race and join in the celebrations

Mechanics rolling the cars back to the garages post race :

Lewis Hamilton decides to join his faithful and do some crowd-surfing.

Scuderia Ferrari were gracious enough to bring Vettel's P2 Trophy to the Paddock Club.

With Sebastian's P2 Trophy :

Some more pics with Friends over the weekend.

A Selfie with the Hosts in the Ferrari F1 Club :

Packing up to head to Monza which was only a week away, so the turnaround time was short.

Enjoying the Track Walk after the Race!

Massimo Rivola, Scuderia Ferrari Academy Supremo :

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team :

Sir Franz Tost, Team Principal, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team :

Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team :


Silvia Hoffer, McLaren F1 Team PR and one of the oldest faces in the paddock :

Mark Arnall and Kimi's Partner in Ice One Racing ( Motocross ) :

Giuliano Alesi, Jean Alesi's son & Scuderia Ferrari Academy Driver in GP3 :

Returning to Hasselt from Spa :

It was a memorable weekend in Spa and I would like to thank Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team for the Hospitality and the graciousness shown to me over the weekend. Of course Kimi Raikkonen just missing out on the podium was a disappointment but the team had a great weekend nonetheless. A big thank you to Edge Global Events for ensuring nothing was out of place and ensuring that I had an enjoyable weekend.

Sadly this marks the end of the Paddock Club Diaries for 2017. The Diaries shall return in the 2018 Season!