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Posts for Tag: Hungaroring

Paddock Club Diaries - 2022 Hungarian GP - Day 3

The final day of the 2022 F1 Hungarian GP dawned on us and unlike the Saturday, I tried to leave early in the morning. However, it wasn't early enough and once again I was at the mercy of errand taxi drivers quoting absurd fares to ferry me to the circuit. Thankfully, a couple decided to join me and the price seemed acceptable after negotiating with one taxi driver

Sunday morning and welcome to Raceday! Enroute to the circuit :


Due to the traffic snarls caused by the flurry of vehicles into the circuit, the taxi dropped us at an alternate entry and I had to walk almost around the length of the track to make it to the Paddock Club. The Vlog on my Youtube Channel, shared further on on this page, has a segment dedicated to that.


Coffee and Croissants to kickstart the Sunday in the Paddock Club :


The hosts at the Ferrari F1 Club obliged me with a paddock pass but asked me to return in time for the Charles Leclerc interview in the Club, scheduled around midday.


A quick visit to this very narrow and small paddock :


The story of meeting those from the F1 Fraternity began again!

Pat Fry, a Legend of F1 and Chief Technical Officer for Alpine F1 Team :



Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Alpha Tauri F1 driver :


Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia Alpha Tauri F1 driver :


Fernando Alonso, Double F1 World Champion and Alpine F1 Driver :


It was time to head back and grab a vantage point to see Leclerc up close in the Ferrari F1 Club.

Charles Leclerc joining the guests in the Ferrari F1 Club for an interview :


The menu for Sunday :


Lunch is served :


With Lunch complete, it was time for the final pit lane walk of the weekend.

Shots from the Pit Lane walk on Sunday :


The Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team getting prepped and ready for the Race and pitstop practice is a must!


Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team Pit Stop Practice ( Video Link ) :



The Oracle Red Bull Racing F1 Team mechanics practiced some stops of their own :



I had the opportunity of meeting some more famous people from the F1 circle.


Andrea Stella, Executive Racing Director for McLaren with a glorious career in F1 :



Jock Clear, Senior Performance Engineer for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :


Ralf Schumacher, Ex-Williams and BMW Williams F1 Driver, brother to Michael Schumacher and now an F1 Presenter :


I rushed back to the club and it was time to put the Headsets on, grab a good view and buckle up for the race!


The drivers leaving the pits for sighting laps :


Pit Lane opens for Drivers to leave the garages ( Video Link ) :



Carlos Sainz Jr leaves for sighting lap ( Video Link ) :



Obliging with interviews and legging it to the front of the grid for the pre-race formalities :


The drivers line up at the front of the grid for the Hungarian National Anthem :


The guests and dignitaries with grid access make their way back to the pit lane :


Time for the formation lap and the Race start :


Counting down to the Formation Lap ( Video Link ) :



Time for the Formation Lap ( Video Link ) :



A Video of the Race Start :



A Photo Dump of photos from the Race :


Virtual Safety Car period in the Race ( Video Link ) :



A Daniel Ricciardo Pit Stop in the Race ( Video Link ) :



Scuderia Ferrari drivers battling hard during the Hungarian GP :


Charles Leclerc pitting for Hard Tyres ( Video Link ) :



The Red Bull and Mercedes mechanics celebrate victory and podium finishes for their drivers from the Pit Wall. Max Verstappen won the race for Red Bull, while Lewis Hamilton and George Russell completed the podium for Mercedes. A strategic blunder left Sainz and Leclerc in P4 and P6, respectively.


Chequered Flag gets waved at the Hungarian GP ( Video Link ) :



Celebrations in Parc-Ferme :


The crowds invading the track to have a closer look at the podium celebrations and the pit lane :


Soon, it was time for the paddock club to close and I decided to head to the Paddock for some signatures and some selfies before we would get asked to leave from there too!


Roaming through the Paddock, post-race :


Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Driver :



Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo Orlen F1 Driver :


Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team Principal :


Sebastian Vettel!! Quadruple F1 World Champion and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team Driver :


Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal :


Tom Kristensen, a Record Nine-time LeMans winner!


The team trucks getting loaded up with equipment as they make their way back to the team factories :


The sun sets on the 2022 Hungarian GP weekend :


Back at my Hotel in Budapest :


As promised, here is the Vlog of the Sunday Experience at the 2022 Hungarian GP :




It was a memorable weekend, despite the results for the Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team from the race. Finally, after a three-year break, I had the privilege of attending a race, live! A big thank you to Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team for hosting me over the weekend. 


This wouldn't be the last post from "The Paddock Club Diaries" in 2022. The Belgian GP experience will follow soon! So watch this space!

Paddock Club Diaries - 2022 Hungarian GP - Day 2

The Hungarian Grand Prix gets held at Hungaroring, close to the capital Budapest. Although it isn't too far from the city, hailing a taxi to the circuit is a cumbersome process and I learnt my lesson the hard way on Saturday morning. After several attempts, I could finally hop into a taxi with a couple of Dutch friends, but the delay meant that I would miss out on meeting Carlos Sainz Jr in the Ferrari F1 Club when the Spaniard visited.

 

Enroute to the circuit on Saturday morning :


I finally reached Hungaroring and it was already time for the Pit Lane walk.

Shots from the first pit lane walk of the day :



As I made my way back to the Paddock Club, I had the opportunity of meeting a couple of people from the F1 fraternity.



F2 Driver and Reserve for Williams Racing, Roy Nissany :



David Coulthard, ex-McLaren F1 Driver and Presenter :


The skies were overcast and rain was a certainty.

The Paddock and the drivers getting ready for action on a wet Saturday!


The view before the Final Practice session of the weekend :


Shots from Free Practice 3 :


As soon as FP3 got over, I headed to the food stations to grab some lunch.

The menu for Saturday :


Time to enjoy some goodies on offer in the Paddock Club :


With lunch done, it was time to get prepped for Qualifying.

The Pit Walls get ready for the start of Qualifying :


Drivers roll out of their pit boxes to get on the track for the start of Qualifying.



Shots from Q1 :


The Scuderia Ferrari drivers pushing hard in Q1.


Yuki Tsunoda, Alexander Albon, Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly and Nicholas Latifi got eliminated at the end of Q1.


Shots from Q2 :


Leclerc and Sainz at it in Q2 :


Sergio Perez, Zhou Guanyu, Kevin Magnussen, Lance Stroll and Mick Schumacher were the next lot of drivers to drop out of Qualifying. Perez's failure to make it into Q3 was a major upset.


The final top-ten shootout, time for Q3 :


Will the Ferrari duo come out on top?


George Russell took an unlikely pole from Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc. Max Verstappen, the Championship Leader, could only manage P10. It seemed like Red Bull was on the back foot. This was Ferrari's race to lose.


Post Qualifying, Mattia Binotto, the Team Principal joined the guests in the Ferrari F1 Club for a quick Q&A :


Video Link of the Interview :



Mattia Binotto, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team Principal :


I decided to walk to the Paddock Club entry and enjoy a moment with some trophies on display!

Take some photos with the Race Winning, Drivers' and Constructors' Championship Trophies!


I signed up for the Photo Safari that took Paddock Club guests to turn 5 to allow the latter to have a closer look at the cars. We had the opportunity of visiting the spot during the Formula 2 Sprint Race.


Some Selfies taken at the Photo Safari :


The drivers battling during the F2 Sprint race :



Video of the view from turn 5 at the Photo Safari :




Returning to the Paddock Club and taking more stills from the F2 Sprint race :


The Paddock Club shut shortly after the F2 Sprint Race but there was still a pit lane walk on offer for those wanting to visit the garages on Saturday evening.

Shots from the 2nd and final pit lane walk of the day. It bore a deserted look as most of the guests had left the track. All the cars were under wraps, waiting for Raceday.


As I bid adieu to the Paddock Club, I went down to the Support Race Paddock in the hope of meeting Mick Doohan, Jack Doohan's father. Mick Doohan had been my first Motorsport hero and I didn't want to miss the opportunity of meeting him. Jack, an Alpine Academy and Uni Virtuosi Driver had won the F2 Sprint race and it was befitting to wish Mick on his son's success.


I waited for his arrival and was surprised to bump into the podium finishers from the F2 Sprint Race.


Enzo Fittipaldi and Juri Vips after finishing on the podium in the F2 Sprint Race :


Jack Doohan, the Winner of the F2 Sprint Race! I got to meet the son too!


After a long wait, night fell on the F2 paddock and distraught, I finally gave up the hope of meeting Mick Doohan. As I headed back up the bridge, I made one final glance to the entry. To my surprise, I saw the outline of a man in a white t-shirt walking with three people towards the Paddock Club parking. I couldn't follow their route since they went through the race track. I decided to leg it to the parking and as he was entering his vehicle, I shouted "Mick Mick!" It was really Mick Doohan! 

What followed was a brief and amazing exchange, followed by a picture clicked by Jack Doohan! This truly was a dream come true. I am still getting goosebumps as I type this! 

Meeting my hero, the man who made me fall in love with Motorsport. Got me hooked on Moto GP. Mick Doohan!


It was finally time to head back to my hotel and process all that had transpired on the Saturday!


Like the Friday Experience showcased in a Vlog on Youtube, here is the link for the Saturday experience :



A big thank you to Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team for hosting me over the weekend and being a part of these memorable days of my life. The Raceday experience follows suit shortly, so watch this space!!

Paddock Club Diaries - 2022 Hungarian GP - Day 1

The world as we knew it got turned upside down in 2020 when the pandemic COVID-19 caused havoc across the globe. Little did I know that I wouldn't have the opportunity to travel again after the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix, and it would be a three year wait before the international borders would fully open to welcome travellers without any restrictions!


In the interim, I had to say goodbye to my hero Kimi Raikkonen, who retired from the sport at the end of 2021, from the comfort of my home.


Thanks be to God for helping my family and me survive the onslaught of this pandemic and kudos to the government and local authorities for weathering one of the toughest times known to mankind. As the world recovered and people tried to return to normalcy, the gates finally opened to welcome guests to sporting events and Formula 1 was no such exception. Such was the demand for race passes and tickets that several races were sold out early in the year.


I was privileged to get myself races passes for the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix, as a guest of the Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team. It wasn't smooth sailing as I fell ill on the Sunday of my departure week and after a series of cancellations and rebookings, I got declared fit for travel on the Thursday before the Grand Prix weekend. PHEW!


After a three-year hiatus, The Paddock Club Diaries make a return to my blog, and it is the Friday experience from Hungaroring that will kickstart this series again!


The race was held on the final weekend of July, before the summer break in the F1 calendar. 


Photos clicked with the Sony RX10 IV and Samsung S22 Ultra.


Time to revisit 29th July, 2022!


The Race Passes for the weekend, picked up on Thursday evening from the team hotel :


Enroute to the circuit on Friday morning:


Home! Welcome to the F1 Paddock Club, after a hiatus of 3 years :


The views from the Ferrari F1 Club Suite :


The Ferrari F1 Club, a private hospitality space for the guests of the Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :


The schedule had changed drastically from the pre-Covid era, with the sessions happening later in the day.


Shots from the first Pit Lane walk of the weekend :


Some more stills, shot with the Samsung S22 Ultra :


Getting up close and personal with the Ferrari F1-75, in the Scuderia Ferrari garage :


McLaren F1 Team mechanics practising Pit Stops :



Williams F1 Racing Team Pit Stop Practice :



Former Honda F1 Boss and now Consultant to Red Bull Racing, Masashi Yamamoto :


The menu for Friday in the Paddock Club :


Lunch is served, from live food counters to buffet stations. The Desserts are to die for!


Free Practice 1 gets underway :


Cars leaving the garage at the start of FP1 ( Video Link ) :



I had the opportunity of visiting the garage during FP1 and it felt so good to be back!


With FP1 done, it was time to welcome Marc Gene, Scuderia Ferrari's brand ambassador, test and development driver to the suite for a quick interview. The Italian decided to do a feature on the 2021 Steering wheel!


Marc Gene explains the role of the buttons on the 2021 Steering wheel :


Video Link from Marc Gene's crash course!



Beholding the wheel, in the flesh:


It was then time for some Formula 3 action on the track!


The F3 cars make their way into the pit lane before the start of their Qualifying session :


It was pure coincidence that the Ferrari F1 Club overlooked Kush Maini's pit box! What an encouragement to see Indian representation in the feeder series again.


Some shots from the Paddock Club Track Truck Tour :


Video of the Paddock Club Track Truck Tour :



As I made my way back to the Paddock Club, I came across a familiar looking face walking back with the guests from the Track Truck Tour. She was W Series and Le Mans Racer Beitske Visser. One of the best women racers of our era! More Power to her!


Back to the club and I bumped into Nicolas Longuet, F1 Esports Driver for Alfa Romeo :


Gelato, a saviour on warm European days and the Gelato station in the Paddock Club serves up some delicious flavours :


Time for Free Practice 2 :


Scuderia Ferrari running its program in FP2 :



Drivers practising Race Starts at the end of FP2 ( Video Link ) :




Norris is trying to assess his performance on Friday, in the paddock interviews :




It was time for the Paddock Club to shut and while exiting the club, I bumped into Pietro Fittipaldi, Reserve driver for Haas F1 Team :



I then made my way down through the support race paddock and met Red Bull Junior and F2 Driver for Carlin, Liam Lawson :



Time to head back to the hotel after a hectic day at Hungaroring :


It was an eventful and action-packed Friday at Hungaroring. The Paddock Club felt different than it used to be before COVID-19. Nevertheless, it felt great to be back, meet familiar faces, catch up on life and experiences and just enjoy the sport that I love, live!


To add more appeal to Paddock Club Diaries, I have also kickstarted a Vlog Series on my Youtube Channel that documents my experience on each day of the Race Weekend. I have tried to cover and show you the fans and supporters things that I am not usually able to cover in this blog series. 


The Video Link to my Friday Experience on my Youtube Channel :



A big thank you to Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team for hosting me over the weekend. Saturday and Sunday experiences to follow soon!

A Gallery of Memories - Part 21

The 2019 Japanese GP was the last race I had the privilege of attending before COVID-19 overtook the world. Little did I know that it would be three years before I would get an opportunity to be at a Formula 1 race again. Despite a few hiccups, I was back with my F1 travels with the 2022 Hungarian GP being the first trip since COVID-19.


The "Gallery of Memories" makes a return to kickstart the experiences from the Hungarian GP weekend, featuring people from the F1 Fraternity and otherwise.


Former Honda F1 Boss and now Consultant to Red Bull Racing, Masashi Yamamoto :


W Series and Le Mans Racer Beitske Visser. One of the best women racers of our era! More Power to her!


Nicolas Longuet, F1 Esports Driver for Alfa Romeo :


Pietro Fittipaldi, Reserve driver for Haas F1 Team :


Red Bull Junior and F2 Driver for Carlin, Liam Lawson :


F2 Driver and Reserve for Williams Racing, Roy Nissany :


David Coulthard, ex-McLaren F1 Driver and Presenter :


Mattia Binotto, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team Principal :


Enzo Fittipaldi and Juri Vips after the F2 Sprint Race :


Jack Doohan, the Winner of the F2 Sprint Race!


Meeting my hero, the man who made me fall in love with Motorsport. Got me hooked on Moto GP. Mick Doohan!


Pat Fry, a Legend of F1 and Chief Technical Officer for Alpine F1 Team :


Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Alpha Tauri F1 driver :


Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia Alpha Tauri F1 driver :


Fernando Alonso, Double F1 World Champion and Alpine F1 Driver :


Ralf Schumacher, Ex-Williams and BMW Williams F1 Driver, brother to Michael Schumacher and now an F1 Presenter :


Andrea Stella, Executive Racing Director for McLaren with a glorious career in F1 :