The Latest post in the Paddock Club Diaries comes in from the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix. The Event was held from 22nd August to 24th August at the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
I had the privilege of being a guest of Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team in the Paddock Club and as always, the first post is from what I experienced on Friday.
I stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hasselt. Hasselt is the birthplace of Red Bull Racing Driver Max Verstappen and about an hour's drive from the circuit. An early morning drive from Hasselt is recommended as the traffic was atrocious going into Spa.
Enroute to the Circuit :
The Race Passes picked up from Radisson Blu Hotel in Spa :
Walking to the circuit :
The Scuderia Ferrari F1 Club :
The View from the Ferrari F1 Club :
I didn't have the opportunity of making it to the First Pit Lane walk of the day and as soon as I settled in the Suite, it was time for Free Practice 1.
Shots from FP1 :
Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team during FP1 :
Chequered Flag :
Kimi Raikkonen was the fastest in FP1 with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel completing the Top 3. Only a tenth of a second separated the trio.
Marc Gene visits the Ferrari F1 Club for a quick Q&A :
Video Link of the Interview :
A Moment with Marc Gene :
Friends, Scuderia Ferrari Family!
Prior to the Pit Lane Walk, I signed up to go downstairs and join other guests on a truck which would take us around the track for an amazing tour. Its a part of the F1 Experiences, a new initiative by the new owners of F1 to bring the sport closer to its fans.
I got the Chance to do the Paddock Club Track Truck Tour. The Best Experience ever!
Video Link of the Track Truck Tour :
Shots from the 2nd Pit Lane Walk of the day :
The Scuderia Ferrari Garage :
Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari being readied for FP2 ( Video Link ) :
I had a hearty lunch and it was time to settle in for Free Practice 2. FP2 saw limited running after an hour thanks to rain belting down on the track. Only Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso volunteered to venture out but the conditions got treacherous really quickly.
Shots from FP2 :
Free Practice 2 saw Lewis Hamilton set the Fastest time. Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas not too far behind.
The track was then thrown open to the 2 Seater F1 Cars from the F1 Experiences.
2 Seater F1 cars offering those with deep pockets a couple of laps around the circuit. A new venture called F1 Experiences.
Formula 2 cars then took to the track for the Qualifying Session.
Qualifying Session of F2 :
The Session over, it was time to head back to the hotel, get some dinner, rest and be ready for Saturday Morning!
Returning to Hasselt :
It was quite an eventful Friday. I got the opportunity to be in the garage when it was raining in FP2 and the Ferrari cars up close!
Thank you to Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team and the hosts for hosting me over the weekend. Thank you to Edge Global Events for ensuring everything was arranged for and I was not found wanting anything.
Saturday and Sunday experiences to follow soon. Watch this space!