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Posts for Tag: Friday

Paddock Club Diaries - 2019 Canadian GP - Day 1

The Canadian GP is held in the city of Montreal in the state of Quebec and has been on my to-do list for a long time. The Opportunity finally came in 2019, my first race of the season. Kimi Raikkonen had switched teams to Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team for 2019 and the "Italian Stallion" Antonio Giovinazzi would be his team-mate. I decided to try the F1 Experiences Legends since Alfa Romeo wasn't having a hospitality of their own.

The "Paddock Club Diaries" make a return and this was Day 1 ( Friday ) from the 2019 Canadian GP.

The Race Passes for the Weekend :

McLaren Racing F1 Team were staying at the same hotel and it was nice to meet Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Lando Norris! 

Carlos Sainz Jr.!

The Race Passes were made available trackside from Thursday and picking these up on Friday Morning was a bad bad decision. The pickup location was pretty poor and a good 20 minute shuttle bus ride away from the Casino entry point, the place of entry for Paddock Club Guests. This is something they must have a relook at.

Enroute to the Circuit :

The Circuit is on an island and the only way to get to the Paddock Area is via a boat! Now that is one way to arrive!

The F1 Experiences Suite at the Race :

The View from the Suite :

The traffic problems, time spent to collect passes and head to the Paddock meant that I missed the start of Free Practice 1.

Shots from Free Practice 1 :

Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team during FP1 :

VSC deployed after an incident on Track

Cars returning to the Pit Lane until the Track gets clear again :

The cars go back out again :

Haas F1 Team Pit Stop Practice ( Video Link ) :

Renault Sport F1 Team Pit Stop Practice ( Video Link ) :

Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team back ontrack :

Chequered Flag to bring an end to FP1 :

Cars returning to the Pits :

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in FP1 from Valtteri Bottas and Charles LeClerc. Kimi Raikkonen was P6 and Antonio Giovinazzi P14 for Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team.

The Paddock in unwind after FP1 as Track is prepared for the Ferrari Challenge Cars :

Esteban Gutierrez, test driver for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team!

It was also time to head downstairs for the Pitlane Walk of the Day :

The Pit Lane Walk :

Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team Garage :

Some Selfies with the GoPro Hero 7 Black :

The Pit Lane walk ended and we made our way back to the Paddock Club :

Lunch is Served :

Free Practice 2 followed shortly after. Charles LeClerc was the fastest from Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas. Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were P16 and P18 respectively.

Shots from Free Practice 2 :

Renault Sport F1 Team Pit Stop ( Video Link ) :

Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team during FP2 :

Chequered Flag!

Time for the Boys to return to the Pits :

One of my friends was the Physio & Trainer for one of the Drivers in Ferrari Challenge ( Ferrari Club Miami ) and I decided to head across the lake to say a quick hello. It was a nice feeling to have the whole boat to myself! These Boats would ferry guests from the Paddock Club entrance to the Support Race Paddock and back.

The Ferrari Challenge Cars heading down to the track for their Qualifying Session :

Video Link :

The Support Race Paddock :

The last activity of the day for the Paddock Club Guests was the much awaited Paddock Club Track Truck Tour! The Guests board 2 trucks which take them for a lap around the track accompanied by a Paddock Club Host and a Professional Racer ( here an ex-GP2 driver ). 

The Track Truck Tour! 

Shots with the Samsung Note 9 :

Selfie time!

That was an amazing Track Truck Tour!

Video Link of the Entire Truck Tour ( Apologies for the shaky video ) :

It was now time to say goodbye to the Paddock Club and head back to the parking. However I decided to stop for sometime outside the Paddock Gates and surely enough, I met a couple of the drivers!

Charles LeClerc, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team :

Walking back to the Transfer back to the city :

Returning to the hotel :

I returned to the city and I must say that Montreal loves F1. The city was abuzz with activity all through the night.

I was walking down to see a friend over dinner and came across a Plethora of beauties along the way!

It was a great Friday at the Canadian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi had mediocre days at the wheel and it was pretty evident that the race on Sunday would be one long afternoon. I still had hopes for Qualifying. A big Thank you to Edge Global Events for organizing the Passes for the weekend.

The Saturday experience follows soon, so watch this space.

Paddock Club Diaries - 2018 Abu Dhabi GP - Day 1

Kimi Raikkonen said Farewell to the Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team at the end of 2018 as he headed to Sauber F1 Team up until 2020. The news broke out in September and there was enough time to plan for being at the final race of the Iceman with the team. 

I was at Abu Dhabi when Kimi did his final race with Lotus F1 and would repeat the feat again. Here is a quick look at how the Friday experience panned out.

The Race Passes for the weekend :

Enroute to the Circuit. I was staying in Dubai, so the drive to Abu Dhabi was about 90 minutes :

The best way of entry into the circuit is through the Yas Viceroy Hotel and then through the Water Taxi service which drops you near the tunnel which goes under the circuit to the Paddock area :

2 Cars from the Pirelli Hot Laps experience. A man spent 25000 GBP for a Hot Laps Experience with Max Verstappen on Thursday! Wow!

The Stands quite empty on a Friday Afternoon :

The Ferrari F1 Suite with a slightly different layout, this one was Air Conditioned and thankfully so :

The first order of the day was Free Practice 1.

Red Bull Racing Team practicing Pit Stops ( Video Link ) :

The Pit Walls busy during FP1 :

Chequered flag to signal end of FP1 :

Practice Starts at the end of FP1 :

Returning to the Pits :

Max Verstappen was the fastest in FP1 from Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas.

Lunch service :

We were joined by Scuderia Ferrari Development Driver Marc Gene during lunch for a quick Q&A :

Video Link to the Interview :

Pit Lane walk on Friday :

Charles LeClerc!

Emilia Bottas, Finnish Olympian Swimmer and Valtteri Bottas' wife.

We returned to the Paddock Club and it was time for Free Practice 2 :

Chequered flag :

Time to do some practice starts :

The boys returning to the pits :

Max Verstappen returns to the Pits after FP2 ( Video Link ) :

Valtteri Bottas was fastest from Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

FP2 ended and it was time for Qualifying for the Formula 2 Feature race :

Post Qualifying, all those who had signed up for the Paddock Club Track Truck Tour made their way downstairs for a tour of the track :

Taking in the sights with the GoPro Hero 5 Black :

A Final Walk of the Pit Lane in the evening before heading back.

It was a great day at the Abu Dhabi GP and I would like to thank Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team for the Hospitality extended to me. A Big Thank you to Edge Global Events for organizing the passes and ensuring an enjoyable weekend.

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!