We celebrated the first anniversary of F1® Experiences’ launch in style at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton led his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas home for a one-two finish. Here are our highlights from a big weekend at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya!
Exclusive Pit Lane Walk, Drive the Track Tour & Trophy Photo Opportunity
Our trackside activities began on Thursday with an Exclusive Pit Lane Walk for our Starter, Trophy and Hero Package guests, who were able to watch teams preparing cars for the start of on-track action the next morning. Next up, we hit the track for a couple of laps aboard the same trucks used for the F1® Drivers’ Parade on Sunday as race drivers Sam Power and James Towers provided expert commentary. Our last activity for the day was a photo opportunity on the Main Straight with the actual trophies presented to the winners of the World Championship for constructors and drivers.
Paddock Club Party with Fernando Alonso
The highlight of a memorable weekend for many guests was our Paddock Club Party on Friday night with two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso. In the exclusive surroundings of the Paddock Club above the pits, the Spanish legend was interviewed by James O’Brien before staying around to sign some autographs and pose for selfies, including an awesome group selfie that’s been a big hit on social media. Alonso put a lot of smiles on our guests’ faces and we even spotted some tears of joy! It was that special. Thanks again Fernando.
Insider Access to the F1® Paddock
Our guests finished a huge day at the circuit on Friday with Insider Access to the F1 Paddock, which included four 20-minute stops. First up was the Haas garage, where the team’s young American development driver Santino Ferrucci explained the intricacies of an F1 steering wheel. Next up, we joined F1’s Christian Pollhammer in the cool down room, where the drivers spend their first minutes after the race. Our guests had their own snaps taken atop the podium, before we headed back downstairs for an audience with the nicest man in F1, Safety Car driver Bernd Maylander. Finally, Sam Power showed us around the incredible Porsche 911 GT3 of Michael Ammermüller, who went on to take pole position, fastest lap and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race win on Sunday!
Guests in our Champions Club at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya enjoyed some privileged views of the racing, not to mention tasty food and an open bar, from right above the F1® Experiences two-seater car garage on the Main Straight. We also welcomed some special visitors over the course of the weekend, including Haas development driver Santino Ferrucci and his father Michael. On Saturday afternoon, Antoine Magnan, Head of Partnerships at Renault Sport Racing, stopped by to talk about the French team’s progress and future plans. On race morning, we welcomed Force India driver Esteban Ocon, who had a chat with James O’Brien and answered some of our guests’ questions before posing for photos and signing their race programmes.
Guided Paddock Access
As always, our Champions Club, Premier and Legend Package Holders were treated to Guided Paddock Access. In addition to visiting the F1® Experiences two-seater garage, guests also used their 30-minute access to check out the different tyre compounds supplied by Pirelli and to compare the impressive hospitality compounds that the teams will drive to the European races this year. We spotted most of the current drivers plus a few F1 legends wandering the paddock on each tour, and some of our guests even managed a quick selfie.
F1® Experiences Two-Seater Garage
In Spain, our Guided Paddock Access also included a visit to the F1 Experiences two-seater car garage. A few of our lucky guests also got to meet Rupert Grint from the Harry Potter films and Hungarian supermodel Barbara Palvin, who were both taken for a spin. Gerard Piqué from FC Barcelona was also spotted in the garage on Saturday. The F1 Experiences two-seaters will be making their next appearance at the British Grand Prix this July. Want to go for a ride yourself? Become an Ultimate Legend at Silverstone!