Grand Prix Experiences Blog

Kimi Raikkonen: Formula 1’s Iceman

Posted by Niala Samnarine on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

RaikkonenA familiar face on the F1™ circuit, prepare to learn about one of the sport’s coolest drivers, Kimi Raikkonen.

One of F1’s last ‘playboys’ as he’s been called in the media, Raikkonen has been on the circuit for well over a decade, and with his on and off-circuit antics he’s one of the most well-known faces in the sport.

In addition to being a laid back and cool guy, he’s also calm going into races earning him the nickname of the Iceman (a name he likes so much, he got it tattooed on his arm). Currently in 10th place in the F1™ points standings, read on to learn more about this Flying Finn.

Fast Facts

Team: Ferrari
Nationality: Finnish
Date of Birth: 10/17/1979
Birth Place: Espoo
Nicknames: Flying Finn, Iceman
Salary: In 2009, he was listed by Forbes as the second-highest paid athlete in the world behind Tiger Woods (Source)  
Trying New Things: Raikkonen had a brief stint in NASCAR, but returned shortly after to F1 (Source)

On the Track With Raikkonen: Records and Accomplishments

The Flying Finn’s career has seen his astronomical rise within the sport, wins and losses, and so much more. For his full bio visit: Kimi Raikkonen’s Official Website

In the meantime, enjoy these highlights from a career with no end in sight (at least not any time soon):

Kimi Raikkonen  F1In 2005, Räikkönen equaled the record of wins in a single season without winning the World Title (7), along with Alain Prost (1984 and 1988) and Michael Schumacher (2006)

In the 2005 and 2008 seasons, he equaled Schumacher's (2004) record of 10 fastest race laps in a season.

He currently holds the third highest record for total fastest laps at 40.

In 2008, Räikkönen scored six consecutive fastest race laps, tying Alberto Ascari's record for the most consecutive fastest laps in a single season and placing him one behind Ascari's overall record of seven consecutive fastest laps (split across two seasons: six in 1952 and one in 1953).

He was the first driver to win on his Ferrari debut since Nigel Mansell (1989) Brazilian Grand Prix and the first to win, set the fastest lap and pole position on his Ferrari debut since Juan Manuel Fangio (1956) Argentine Grand Prix. His replacement Fernando Alonso also won on his Ferrari debut at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix, setting the fastest lap on the way; however, Alonso qualified third.

After Schumacher's retired in 2006, Räikkönen was the highest paid driver in Formula One, with a reputed base salary of $51 m per year.

The 2007 Chinese Grand Prix saw Räikkönen give Scuderia Ferrari their 200th Formula One GP win, as well as their 600th podium (along with team-mate Felipe Massa who finished in third).

At the 2008 French Grand Prix Räikkönen gave Ferrari their 200th pole position.

Räikkönen is the second driver to win the World Championship after being third in the drivers’ standings before the final race. Giuseppe Farina, the first F1 World Champion, completed the feat in 1950. Sebastian Vettel repeated this feat in 2010.

Räikkönen is the third Ferrari driver after Juan Manuel Fangio and Jody Scheckter to win the world title in their first year with the team.

Räikkönen is the third Finnish driver to win the World Championship, after Keke Rosberg and Mika Häkkinen. He is also the most successful Finnish Formula One driver in terms of points, podium finishes and fastest laps, and shares the most wins with Mika Häkkinen.

Räikkönen holds the record for the most wins in a debut year with Ferrari with six.

Räikkönen achieved Lotus F1's first race win at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Räikkönen holds the record for the most classified finishes in a single season: 20 out of 20 in 2012.

Räikkönen holds the record for the most points finishes in a single season: 19 out of 20 in 2012.

Räikkönen holds the record (tied with Schumacher) for most fastest laps (5) at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit (2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2013).

Räikkönen holds the record for most consecutive point finishes: 27, starting with the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix and ending with the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix.

See Kimi and Team Ferrari Compete for the Championship LIVE!

There’s still plenty of racing left, and plenty of opportunities for the Iceman to get add some podiums to his illustrious career. Team Ferrari is currently in third place among the teams and with double points at Abu Dhabi’s Grand Prix, it’s really anyone’s season still!

Think it’s too late to get into these races? Think again! Through Grand Prix Experiences, get the ultimate F1™ experience with an Official Paddock Club™ Package to:

Formula 1 Gran Premio: Italy
Formula 1 Japanese GP: Japan
Formula 1 Russian GP: Russia
Formula 1 USGP: Texas
Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi GP: Abu Dhabi

Get two or three day Paddock Club™ access and enjoy the race in the lap of luxury! This lavish venue offers gourmet dining and beverage options with four course meals, open wine bars, Mumm Champagne bars, music, entertainment, and driver interviews!

F1 Paddock Club

Learn all about the Paddock Club™ here>>

Your Paddock Club Package also includes an exclusive Pit Lane walk, access to the Support Race Paddock, F1™ Village and so much more! Be at the biggest races in the world like a VIP! 

GET ME TO THE PADDOCK!

Topics: Driver Feature

Meet the Record Breaking Formula 1 Rookie Daniil Kvyat

Posted by Niala Samnarine on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

Kvyat F1As we alluded to in our Driver Feature of Jean- Éric Vergne, you would be meeting his teammate shortly and here we are.

F1™ fans, say hello to Daniil Kvyat! As the other half of the young Toro Rosso team, Kvyat has already shown much promise, placing ninth in the 2014 Australian GP, to become the youngest points-scorer in F1™. (Previous record held by Sebastian Vettel and set in 2007)

So now that you’ve got a taste of what this young driver can do, are you ready for more?


I thought you might be, read on for more on this Russian youngster.

Fast Facts

Daniil

Team: Toro Rosso
Nationality: Russian
Date of Birth: 4/26/1994
Birth Place: Ufa, Bashkortostan - Russia
Special Talent: Ping Pong
Nickname: Dany

Source

Getting To Know Dany 

Not unlike his team mate, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to young Dany. For example:

Life Philosophy: The strongest survive
Favorite food: Bavarian sausage, mozzarella, Russian food
Favorite music: Disco, house, electronic
Quadra-lingual: Speaks English, Spanish, Italian and Russian Source
Favorite Circuit: Hungaroring, Vallelunga Source

Kvyat is also active on Twitter, where he regularly tweets out pictures of himself, updates and was particularly fervent in his support of the Russian men’s team during the FIFA World Cup!

On the Track With Kvyat

Dany showed promise as a youngster, starting in the same way as many of his peers: karting. In 2009, he placed third and second in the KF3 European Championship and WSK International Series respectively. 

In 2010, he finished tenth in the European Championship and appeared as guest driver in the Pacific series. He ended the years with two wins and three podiums out of eight total races.

He transferred to Formula Renault 2.0 and competed in both the Northern European Championship and Eurocup. He finished the season winning the last four rounds of the NEC, including a peerless triple at Monza.

In 2012, he accummulated 14 wins in Formula Renault 2.0. He competed in both the Eurocup, earning second place, and the Alps series, earning the title. 

“He took his next step up to GP3 in 2013 with the MW Arden Team. He quickly found lightning pace right from pre-season testing, eventually taking the 2013 Drivers' Championship title.”
Source  

See Kvyat and Team Toro Rosso LIVE!

The countdown to the end of the season is on! This weekend promises some high octane action at the
Belgium GP then it’s over to F1™ Italy, F1™ Japan, F1™ Russia and over to F1™ Austin.

Then the season wraps up with double points and the title on the line at Yas Marina for the Abu Dhabi GP!

Think it’s too late to get into these races? Think again! Through Grand Prix Experiences get the ultimate F1™ experience.

describe the imageBook Official Paddock Club™ Packages to any or all of these races and open the doors to unparalleled access and luxury! 

Get two or three day Paddock Club™ access and enjoy the best views of the race! This luxurious venue offers gourmet dining and beverage experiences with four course meals, open wine bars, Mumm Champagne bars, music, entertainment and
driver interviews!

Learn all about the Paddock Club™ here>>

Your Paddock Club Package also includes an exclusive Pit Lane walk, access to the Support Race Paddock, F1™ Village and so much more!

SEE THE CALENDAR OF  UPCOMING RACES!

Topics: Driver Feature

Formula 1’s Youngster: Max Chilton

Posted by Kellie Canosa on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 @ 12:35 PM

Max Chilton’s route to Formula 1™ racing was no different than most F1™ drivers. He began his journey in karts like many of his contemporaries and he then moved on to race in T Cars, a saloon car-based series from the age of 14-16, finishing second in the Championship with an impressive seven victories.

FAST FACTSmax chitlon2

Team: Marussia
Date of Birth: Apr. 21, 1991
Place of Birth: Reigate
Nationality: British
Grands Prix Entered: 30

 

max chitlonIn 2007, and at age 16, he made the move up to single-seater racing with the Arena International Team in the Formula 3™ series. Having no experience in single-seater racing, the youngster was thrown into a difficult learning curve, but he persevered through it. By 2009, he gained enough experience to win a race and finish fourth in point standings.

According to Formula1.com, “But rather than staying in the category for another year and having a run at the title, Chilton again threw himself in at the deep end, graduating to GP2 after a ‘trial run’ in the winter GP2 Asia Series.”

In 2010, Chilton was thrown to the wolves, racing against future Formula 1™ drivers such as Pastor Maldonado (who won the title), Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean, Jerome D’Ambrosio and Charles Pic. Unfortunately for Chilton, he did not score any points on two occasions and he was mentally hurting.

Formula 1™ Came Calling

It wasn’t long after that Formula 1™ came calling. In 2011, having impressed in GP2, Chilton was selected by the Force India F1™ team to participate in their young driver test at one the world’s hottest and advanced tracks –Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

That same year, Chilton returned to GP2 with Team Carlin where he had previously raced in Formula 3™. According to Maxchilton.com, “The partnership gained momentum and in 2012, the team received backing from the Marussia F1 Team. Shortly after, Max was celebrating second place in Malaysia and Monaco and an emphatic pole position in Hungary which he converted into his first race win.”

Another impressive accomplishment for the Brit came in Singapore on his way to fourth in the final standings and the highest placed British driver.

,ax chitlon3Fun Fact: During 2012, he impressed enough with the Marussia F1 Team at their Young Driver Test at Silverstone to be promoted to Reserve Driver.

2013 showed great reward and personal satisfaction for Chilton. He became the latest and youngest in a prestigious line of British racing drivers to enter the exclusive world of Formula 1™ as he earned a race seat with Marussia –Dreams do come true!

Did you know he set a world record, finishing 19 of 19 races; the best finishing record for a rookie F1™ driver, ever. He also achieved a highest place finish of 14th in Monaco and took the Team to Q2 alongside his teammate at the Belgium Grand Prix! #ClapClap

As of Jan. 2014, it was announced that Chilton will remain with the Marussia F1 Team and take his seat in the new MR-03 Ferrari powered race car. For the 2014 season, Chilton has taken a beating resulting in zero points in the overall standings. However, his racing has improved and he is making a come back!

Attend a Formula 1 Race Today!

abu dhabiYou can see this youngster make a come back live! Here’s how:

Grand Prix Experiences provides Official Ticket Packages DIRECT from the event organizers with the best-of-the-best inclusions. The Formula One Paddock Club™ Experience offers unrivalled views of the action in a private grandstand (don't know what that is? Check it out!), unique tours of the pit lane to witnessing real time interviews with drivers and team personnel.

You will experience the best views, foods, wines, and racing that will leave any race fan’s lips quivering. Don’t miss out on making memories of a lifetime at one of the world’s hottest, most thrilling sporting events! Get more information today on how YOU can attend an F1™ race!

 Experience Formula 1 Today! 

Topics: Driver Feature

The Man Behind the Helmet: F1’s Jenson Button

Posted by Jaclyn Harris on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

If you tuned into our driver feature on Kevin Magnussen a couple weeks ago, then you already know all about half of team McLaren. But now it’s time to talk about this other half of this McLaren duo – it’s time to delve into the career of Formula 1’s Jenson Button!

This past F1™ Champion was born to race and judging by his career, it’s safe to say we’ve only seen part of what this Brit can bring to the table. Take a look at how Button got his start in the sport, the accolades he has achieved since and where he’s standing in the 2014 season!

describe the imageFast Facts

Team: McLaren-Mercedes
Nationality: British
Date of Birth: Jan. 19, 1980 (34 years old)
From: Frome, Somerset, England
Resides: Monaco
Car Number: 22
Wins: 15
Podiums: 50
First F1 Title Win: 2009, this was his first Championship win

The Man Behind the Helmet

At the age of eight, Button’s father bought him his first kart and he took off in the sport quickly. In 1989, at nine years old, he won the British Super Prix and went on to win all 34 races in the British Cadet Kart Championship in 1991. His racing success continued when he won the British Open Kart Championship three times and in 1997, he won the Ayrton Senna Memorial Cup and became the youngest driver to win the European Super A Championship.

By age 18, Button was ready to move into the realm of car racing which began in a similar fashion – a win at the British Formula Ford Championship. His skills in racing awarded him the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award in 1998. In 1999, Button entered the British Formula Three Championship with Promatecme and won three times, finished third overall and was named the top rookie driver.

In 2000, he entered the world of Formula 1™ racing as a part of team Williams. The year after, he switched teams and joined Benetton, which later turned into Renault. By 2003, Button joined BAR where he finished third in the World Drivers’ Championship in 2004. BAR then changed its name to Honda in 2006, and this was when Button secured his first Grand Prix, his 113th race!

Honda withdrew from F1 in the winter of 2008, but the buyout by Ross Brawn quickly saw Button back in the drivers seat, but this time, in a Mercedes car.

Button continued on to win six of the first seven races in the 2009 season, securing the World Drivers’ Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The following season, he moved to McLaren and teamed up with former champion, Lewis Hamilton.

Since this move in 2010, Button finished runner-up in 2011, and took his first pole for McLaren in 2012. The former champion has 258 races under his belt, with 15 wins and 50 podium finishes.

Button has had quite the Formula 1 career so far and his 2014 season doesn’t look like he’s slowing down at all! He currently stands in eighth place for McLaren so far this season with 60 points under his belt. There’s still plenty of racing to go and with the new double points feature at the Abu Dhabi finale, truly anything can happen!

Read about other Formula 1 drivers>>

See Button Race at an Upcoming Grand Prix!

GPE AbuDhabi RaceThe season’s not over yet and there’s plenty of time to book your trip to see Jenson Button race LIVE! The F1 calendar is taking a turn towards the finale with exciting stops along the way like the Italian, United States and
Abu Dhabi Grands Prix!

Grand Prix Experiences will put you in the heart of the action the only way we know how – in VIP fashion!

With Official Ticket Packages direct from the source, you can have the Formula 1 experience of a lifetime at any of the upcoming races! With exclusive access to the
Formula One Paddock Club™, you’ll experience unparalleled amenities and VIP extras a race fan could only dream of!

Your two or three day Paddock Club access will grant you amenities such as complimentary gourmet fare, premium open bars, live entertainment, Paddock Lane Walks, driver interviews, and so much more!

Get more information on how you can see Button race live at an upcoming event today by calling 866-915-6965 to speak to a representative or visit Grand Prix Experiences website for more information.

It’s time to rev your engines, folks, because you’re heading for the finish line!

SEE THE CALENDAR OF  UPCOMING RACES!

Topics: Driver Feature

Say Bonjour to Jean-Éric Vergne

Posted by Niala Samnarine on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 04:51 PM

Oui! Our F1™ Driver Feature series rolls on and this time we shine both headlights on Toro Rosso team driver, Frenchman Jean- Éric Vergne!

Vergne along with team mate Daniil Kvyat make up the Toro Rosso team. So what’s there to know about Vergne? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out!

Fast Facts

JEV F1Team: Toro Rosso

Nationality: French

Date of Birth: 4/25/1990

Birth Place: Pontoise

Actor Who Would Portray Him: “Maybe Brad Pitt, if he could be younger!” - Vergne Source

Favorite Track: “Spa. It’s just a great racing circuit with all kinds of corners and it has a lot of history as well. There isn’t really a corner I don’t like on the circuit.”– Vergne Source 

Inside the Helmet

Well, not literally inside his helmet.

Although F1™ drivers are very serious and world class athletes; under their uniforms and helmets they’re just like the rest of us! With hobbies, likes and dislikes. Get a up close and personal with JEV.

Favorite sport
JEV: Karting [laughs]. Let me think... this is quite hard, probably sailing. I don’t know, most sports I enjoy have an engine!

Favorite film
JEV: I have so many favorite films, I really like watching movies. The movies that I really enjoyed watching recently were the three Bourne films. I really like those movies. I spend most of my time watching movies so I don’t always remember the names but these are ones I remember.

Favorite type of music
JEV: House music. There are so many DJs that I like but let’s say a French one, David Guetta.

Favorite food
JEV: Italian.

Favorite holiday destination
JEV: As long as it’s somewhere hot with a nice beach and with good friends, that’s the best.

Favorite celebrity
JEV: Erm... [thinks] I don’t know really, I never had a hero growing up so I don’t really have any favorite celebrities.

Source

Vergne is an avid Twitter and Instagram user as well! He takes to both to chronicle some of his favorite activities including travel, cycling and hanging with his S.O.—just like the rest of us!

Racing and Vergne

Many F1™ fans are familiar with the story of Vergne’s beginnings in the sport. At the young age of four, Vergne began karting at his father’s kart circuit near Paris. At 10, he entered his first karting competing and the very next year he became the French Minimes (Kids) Champion. From there his love for karting grew as he pursued competition in the sport.

While collecting accolades in karting, he joined the French FFSA team, earning the title of “sportif de haut niveau” meaning highest level sportsman. This same organization allowed him to join single-seater racing by awarding him a grant.

F1 JEV Racing

Here are the highlights of Vergne’s already impressive career:

SINGLE-SEATER CAR

2013 : 13 points won in Formula One with the Toro Rosso.
2012 : 16 points won in Formula One with the Toro Rosso.
2011 : Second in World Series by Renault 3.5 (5 wins)
2010 : British Formula 3 Champion (13 wins)
2009 : Second in Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and Wec (4 wins)
2008 : French Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Champion (6 wins)
2007 : French Formula Renault Campus Champion (6 wins)

KARTING

2011 : Winner of the ERDF Masters Kart in Paris
2006 : Second in French Elite Karting Championship
2006 : 7th in World Karting championship (1st French Pilote)
2005 : Second in European Karting ICA championship
2004 : Second in Junior French Karting Rotax championship
2002 : Second in Minime French Karting championship
2001 : Minime French Karting Champion

Source

Thus far in the 2014 season Vergne has experience some tough breaks due to reliability and technical issues.

As of the Australian GP Verge had retired in five of eight races. Since then, he’s finished his last three races including a ninth place finish at Hungary. In June, Vergne was asked the question on every F1™ fan’s mind:

Who will be the 2014 Formula 1 World Champion?
JEV: I guess that will be one of the Mercedes drivers (laughing).

That is a political answer, Jean-Eric. Give me a name.
JEV: Then I would say Nico Hamilton

Source

With his recent success we wonder if he still believes this!

See Jean-Éric Vergne Live!

JEV F1Stay tuned for the complete Toro Rosso team feature as we will be featuring Vergne’s team mate Kvyat in the upcoming weeks.

That said, we’re moving closer and closer to the Abu Dhabi GP with just a few more races remaining. With the introduction of double points at the final race of the year it’s anyone’s podium, so to speak, and YOU can be there to watch it all unfold LIVE!

Get your Official Paddock Club™ Package through Grand Prix Experiences and see first hand how Vergne finishes the season!

Experience F1™ action in the lap of luxury with the Paddock Club™.

Immerse yourself in fine dining, wining, entertainment, and more. Within the luxurious Paddock Club™ treat yourself and your guests to open wine and Mumm champagne bars, gourmet dining experiences, music, and driver interviews! Additionally, get access to an exclusive Pit Lane Walk, the Support Race Paddock, F1™ Village and more!

See Vergne and company chase championship glory at one of the upcoming F1™ races!  

See Jean-Éric Vergne Live at F1™!

Topics: Driver Feature

Born to Race: F1's Kevin Magnussen

Posted by Niala Samnarine on Fri, Aug 08, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

One half of Formula 1™ Team McLaren, F1™ fans, say hello to the Danish driver, Kevin Magnussen.

Fans might say that young Magnussen was born to race, especially coming from a pedigree that includes being the son of former F1 racer Jan Magnussen.

The young racer has earned his stripes though. Magnussen recently joined McLaren in Nov. 2013, replacing Sergio Pérez. He quickly showed his skill as he qualified in fourth position during the first race in Australia and earned a trip to the podium with a second place finish.

So what else could you need to know about an F1™ racer? Not much right? Think again! Read on to learn more about the young Dane!

Fast Facts

  • Formula 1 Kevin Magnussen GPETeam: McLaren
  • Nationality: Danish
  • Date of Birth: 10/5/1992
  • Birth Place: Roskilde
  • Resides: Woking, UK
  • Hero: Jan Magnussen (Father)
  • First Helmet Color: Black and yellow (Like his dad’s)
  • First Trophy: Six years old driving go-karts, he won after participating in the club championship (First race!)

Fun Fact: In March 2014, Magnussen became the first Dane to start a Formula 1™ race for a decade (Nicolas Keisa was the last in 2003)

The Man Behind the Car

Kevin Magnussen F1Formula1.com recently did an interview with Magnussen, the young Dane was very candid and showed his fun personality during the Q & A, here are some of our favorites:

When was your first big accident in a race car?
KM: It was in 2011, in the Formula Three race in Macau. I hit the back of another car and took off at 270 km/h, did a back flip in the air, and literally flew into the catch fencing. I had a knee injury, but nothing serious.

How nervous were you on your first day of school?
KM: Not nervous at all. I was cold-blooded - at least that is what I want my memory to be! (laughs)

What was the first meal you ever cooked?
KM: Still to come!

What was the first record you bought?
KM: Michael Jackson's Thriller.

What was the first sport you participated in as a kid?
KM: Karate. I think I had a red belt.

When was the first time you were asked to sign an autograph for a fan?
KM: I was very young - and it was because of my dad. Somebody came up saying that probably one day I will also be a racing driver. I guess I was 11.

What was the first word you said as a baby?
KM: Very likely ‘mummy'.

Source: Formula1.com 

Formula 1 Career

Magnussen joined McLaren’s young driver programme in 2009, and in four short years made it onto the F1 race team. In 2009, Magnussen also earned Rookie of the Year, a win, 12 podiums, two pole positions and four of the fastest laps.

The next year "Kev" amassed eight podiums, three wins, Rookie of the Year once again, and third overall. Magnussen finished the 2011 season as the driver with most pole positions, the most fastest laps and the driver leading over most laps on the year. He garnered seven race wins, nine podiums, six pole positions, nine of the fastest laps, led in 14 races and 146 leading laps (wow).

2012 proved that the Dane wasn’t slowing down, becoming the quickest driver at the F1 Young Driver Test in
Abu Dhabi setting a time of 1:42:651. He also earned a win, three podiums and three pole positions.

In 2013, Magnussen became a reserve driver for McLaren Mercedes and garnered five wins, 13 podiums and eight pole positions. As mentioned earlier, November 2013, he became an F1 McLaren Driver.

What was the first thing you did after getting your first F1™ seat?
KM: I cried. No, actually I called my mum - and probably we then both cried…

See Magnussen Live!


Stay tuned for a feature on Magnussen’s McLaren teammate Jenson Button. In the meantime, see Magnussen live at an upcoming Formula 1 race! With more than half of the season over, the countdown is on as the season ending race in Abu Dhabi is looming.

Through Grand Prix Experiences witness the heart racing action of Formula 1 racing as it’s meant to be experienced: Like a VIP.

F1 Paddock Club

Get two or three day Paddock Club™ access and enjoy the best views of the race! This luxurious venue offers gourmet dining and beverage experiences with four course meals, open wine bars, Mumm Champagne bars, music, entertainment and driver interviews!

Getting into the Paddock Club ™ means witnessing this high class event in the lap of luxury.

Learn all about the Paddock Club here>>

Your Paddock Club Package also includes an exclusive Pit Lane walk, access to the Support Race Paddock, F1™ Village and so much more!

See Magnussen and the rest of the field compete for autoracing glory! 

See Kevin Magnussen Live at F1™!

Topics: Driver Feature

F1's Pastor Maldonado: No One Said it Would be Easy

Posted by Kellie Canosa on Fri, May 30, 2014 @ 03:23 PM

We all like to think that driving a racing car flat-out would be easy, but it isn’t, even if you have a natural born talent. You are probably wondering, “Than how are the pros that good?” Even the best-of-the-best Formula 1™ drivers have to work extremely hard day-in and day-out if he wants to win Grand’s Prix, and it doesn’t happen over night.

Biography

Pastor Maldonado has been working THAT hard, day-in and day-out, however, his performance has not yielded any reward since 2011 when he started racing F1 cars with team Williams.

Fast Facts

Team: Lotus
Nationality: Venezuelan
Date of Birth: Sept. 3, 1985
Place of Birth: Maracay       
Grand’s Prix Entered: 64                          

TRIVIA: He marks only the fourth driver in Formula 1 history who is from Venezuela.

Taking a pretty standard journey into F1 racing, Maldonado by the age of seven, was already racing karts competitively in Venezuela’s junior championships. Maldonado became interested in racing thanks to his father and uncles, who were extremely passionate about motorsports. Not to mention, located just five minutes from his childhood home in Maracay there was a kart track.

Pastor Maldonado Collage GPE

Before he turned 14, he was already a shinning star, claiming four regional and three national championships –the youngster was officially in love!

According to Formula1.com, “In 1998, he raced in Europe for the first time, competing in international kart races, but in 2000 he journeyed across the Atlantic again to compete in the Renault Winter series, eventually taking the title.” Maldonado enjoyed the atmosphere so much he made a permanent move to Europe in 2003, competing in the Italian Formula Renault Series. Three podiums and a pole position saw him finish the year in seventh.

His second season in the same series, he achieved eight wins and the championship. He also competed in the more competitive European Formula Renault V.6 Series and finished the year eighth with two wins. With his confidence high, he embarked down a new road for his 2005 season, but the results left him feeling slightly defeated.

However, Maldonado bounced back and his second season proved much more rewarding, with third overall in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series after three wins and six podiums. His performance was enough to secure him a spot in GP2 for 2007 with trident! Maldonado was the talk of the town after his impressive win in Monaco and it was looking like he was in route to be the king of GP2 until he fractured his collarbone, seeing him sit out four Grand’s Prix.

Pastor Car Collage

Between 2007-2009, Maldonado remained in the GP2 class, not because he wasn’t winning, but because a Formula 1 seat remained elusive, so he decided to stick with GP2 for a fourth season in 2010 where he had the year of his life.
Racing for Rappax, he clinched the title with six wins two further podiums and a lead of 16 points in the standings. He also broke a record, becoming the only driver to have won six successive feature races in a single season.

Formula 1

Finally! In 2011, Maldonado was in high demand, especially coming off post-season winter tests in Abu Dhabi, making appearances for both HRT and Williams. Remaining in GP2 gave him more experience and finally paid off when team Williams offered him their second race seat!

Not only was it special for Maldonado making it into the Formula 1 class, but it was also special for the country of Venezuela, considering he became the first Venezuelan in almost 30 years to make it to the Formula 1 grid.

 

Unfortunately, during his rookie year, Williams was having the worst season in their history. The car was not competitive which led them to have the worst results ever recorded. Maldonado came away with a single point for tenth place in Belgium. Lucky for him, he retained his seat for 2012.

The 2012 season brought new engines and a new technical team! The highlight of the year was his near perfect drive to victory from pole position in Spain, where he held off Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. Maldonado has yet to see such a highlight again... sitting in last place for the 2014 season with one point. Will he turn his game around? Be there next to find out!

THE CHOICE IS YOURS

There is no better way to attend Formula 1™ than with Official Ticket Packages through Grand Prix Experiences! Packages include access to the lavish Paddock Club, behind the scenes access, gourmet meals, jaw-dropping views, and many more amenities that aren’t available anywhere else. What is the Paddock Club? >> Click here!

Every guest at the Paddock Club can take advantage of the exclusive services, which are a complimentary part of the package. The catering and entertainment perks are tailed to suit every taste and expectation. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the race!

Pastor Maldonado is waiting for YOU!

Topics: Driver Feature

The Journey of Formula 1™ Romain Grosjean

Posted by Kellie Canosa on Tue, May 20, 2014 @ 03:15 PM

Profile

Romain Grosjean caught the auto sport bug a lot later in life compared to his Formula 1™ competitors, as he only started karting professionally in 2000, at age 14. From the junior series to Formula ICA, his career followed the traditional route up the ranks to Formula 1 racing!

Romain Grosjeanmain Profile

Team: Lotus
Nationality: French
Date of Birth: 4/17/1986
Birth Place: Geneva, Switzerland

In 2003, he put his name on the map when he was competing in the Swiss Formula Renault 1600 championship, winning all 10 rounds and claiming the 10 fastest laps –he obviously won the title with ease! Grosjean’s accomplishments quickly saw him move up to the French Formula Renault in 2004, where he was named the second-best rookie.

His first year in French Formula Renault wasn’t nearly as successful as his season with his 10 wins, 13 podiums, 10 poles and 211 points, earning himself the championship. With two single-seater titles under his belt, Grosjean moved up to Formula Three in 2006, where he remained for two seasons.

LOTus F1 Romain GrosjeanIn 2008, Grosjean had accomplished enough to graduate to GP2, where he performed very well in the inaugural GP2 Asia Series with ART, clinching four wins from 10 races to take the title. He also won two races in the main GP2 Series and finished the season in fourth.

In 2009, he became a Formula 1 test driver for Renault, taking over from Nelson Piquet. He struggled to impress during his time with the team, only turning heads when he crashed in practice at Singapore –in exactly the same place Piquet had during the race 12 months earlier (ironic).

A year later, he began driving a Ford GT in the GT1 World Championship. Soon after, he raced in the Auto GP championship before returning to GP2 with DAMS. He signed with Gravity Sports Management and shortly afterwards was appointed by Pirelli for F1 tire testing. In 2011, Grosjean raced a full season in GP2 winning the championship with three races to go.

In 2012, Grosjean had his first full season of Formula 1 and unfortunately it wasn’t a fairy tale ending. He triggered a four-car crash which led to him being banned for one race because championship contenders had been involved in the incident.

LOTUS

Not only did this happen once, but twice! He caused another collision on the first lap in Japan. Not to mention, he ruined his race in Brazil by tangling with Pedro de la Rosa during qualifying. The line of collisions clearly gave Lotus cause for concern, which is why they waited until the end of the season before confirming he would race for them in 2013.

The 2013 campaign was Grosjean’s second full season in Formula 1, where he began transforming his reputation. He achieved six podium appearances, including a second place in Austin, and he even out-performed world champion Kimi Raikkonen in later races. Lotus retained him for the 2014 year where he currently is in 13th place.

At the Heart of the Action

Action Formula1Through Grand Prix Experiences you can see this go-getter rider live! Grand Prix Experiences’ Official Ticket Packages are customized to ensure that your experience is truly special and memorable.

Enjoy the breath taking views, the world famous PADDOCK CLUB (don't know what that is? Check it out!), gourmet foods and lavish hospitality all while watching the world’s hottest sporting event. Don’t miss out on making memories of a lifetime! Be there today! 

See Romain Grosjean Live at F1™

Topics: Driver Feature

He's Back! F1's Kamui Kobayashi

Posted by Kellie Canosa on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 @ 02:15 PM

Kobayashi Bio Picture

 

BIOGRAPHY

Kamui Kobayashi, like most Formula 1™ drivers, began his racing journey at a young age in karting. In his first seven years of competition, he took home four championships through motorsport’s lower echelons before making his way into F1.

In 2003, he showcased his skills on the track at the Formula Toyota Racing School, which later led to him achieving second place in the Formula Toyota Championship. Kobayashi moved to Europe in 2004 to take on full-time racing. The following season he won both the Eurocup and Italian Formula Renault titles with combined 12 victories!

Kobayashi ChartKobayashi closed the doors on Formula 3 in 2006, winning the Euroseries rookie title and clinching a pole position at the Macau Grand Prix. The following season he finished fourth in the championship behind fellow future F1 drivers Romain Grosjean, Sebastien Buemi and Nico Hulkenberg, achieving his first category victory at Magny-Cours.

For Kobayashi, 2008 was a year filled with success and opportunity. He was racing in GP2 with DAMS and he started contesting the inaugural GP2 Asia Series, winning races in Malaysia and Bahrain, and finshing sixth in the standings. He also won the main series opener in Barcelona and claimed the 2008/09 Asia Series title, along with two more wins in Dubai and Bahrain.

Oh, and one more thing, he got his first real encounter with an F1 engine as a test driver for Toyota –no biggie!

At the end of the 2009 season, Kobayashi made his debut in Formula 1. After racing at his home circuit in the Japanese Grand Prix, he replaced Timo Glock for the last two races, finishing ninth in Brazil and scoring his first points with sixth place in Abu Dhabi.

For the next three seasons, Kobayashi signed with Sauber, where he got the reputation of being an exciting and daring driver. The highlight of his career to date was when he scored his maiden F1 podium at Suzuka on home turf.

I bet you were beginning to wonder if Kobayashi had any runs of bad luck. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. In 2013, he found himself without an F1 seat, but he joined Ferrari’s line-up in the FIA World Endurance Championship, which was his debut in the Le Mans 24 hours, finishing fifth in his class.

But, What Now?

After a long year of sitting on the sidelines of F1, Kobayashi is back on the Formula 1 grid racing alongside teammate, Marcus Ericsson, for Caterham! What better excuse to go to a Formula 1 race than to see a driver who is back doing what he loves? There’s no better excuse!

GPE 2014

Kobayashi has had his taste of victory before and he will stop at nothing to taste it again. Through Grand Prix Experiences you can watch history be made, all from within modern, sparkling hospitality venues or the Paddock club with breathtaking balconies.

We promise you, you DO NOT want to miss out on Kamui Kobayashi’s 2014 season! Be there or be bumped out! The choice is yours. 

 

Watch Kamui Kobayashi Live! 

Topics: Driver Feature

Who is Formula 1’s Marcus Ericsson?

Posted by Kellie Canosa on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 @ 05:20 PM

Rookies, rookies! Get your rookies here! Read all about ‘em! Marcus Ericsson is one of three rookies in the Formula 1™ field for the new 2014 season.

It all started at age nine when Ericsson showed up at the local go-kart rental track. Being his first time ever in a go-kart, he nearly broke the lap record and it so happened to be that the track owner was Fredrik Ekblom, an accomplished Swedish driver with experience in touring cars, Champ Car and Le Mans. I think you know where this is headed!

Fast Facts

Age: 23
Date of birth: September 2, 1990
Place of birth: Kumla, Orebro, Sweden
Nationality: Swedish

Fredrik quickly realized Ericsson could be a star and convinced his father to purchase his son a go-kart and so, the motorsport career began. Unlike many of the Formula 1 drivers, Ericsson oddly doesn’t come from a family with a motorsport background. However, being from the town Kumla, Orebro, a motorsport area where many drivers happen to come from, could have a lot to do with his talents.

Trivia: Ronnie Peterson, one of the most famous F1 drivers and legends from the 70’s, who was from Kumla, Orebro, Sweden.

Just seven years after showing up at the local go-kart track, Fredrick recommended Ericsson to Fortec Motorsport team head, Richard Dutton, where Swedish Indy500 and IndyCar champion Kenny Bräck put together a deal to have Ericsson race in Formula BMW UK.

At 16 years old, Marcus made quite the start to his car racing career in Formula BMW by winning the championship with seven victories and 11 pole positions. After having such success in his rookie car racing season, he moved up with Fortec to Formula 3 the following season.

Not surprised, Ericsson did extremely well in 2008, by finishing fifth overall in British F3. In 2009, he made a life changing decision to move to Japan to compete in the Japanese F3 Championship with TOM’S (see racing history below). His performance set him up for the move to GP2, which he started racing in at the end of 2009, in the Asia series –only being in his third year of car racing.

Over the next few years he moved around to a few different GP2 teams, but the most memorable was with Super Nova in 2010, when he won his first GP2 victory at Valencia. In 2013, Ericsson joined reigning champion team DAMS for his fourth season in GP2, where the first half of his season went down the drain. Getting back on his tires, he made an unbelievable comeback to finish sixth overall at Nürburgring, concluding with five podiums and two pole positions.

Now, at age 23, Marcus has joined Caterham to make his Formula 1 debut and to become Sweden’s first F1 driver since 1991!

Racing History

2007 - Formula BMW UK champion (7 wins, 11 poles, 13 podiums)
2008 - British F3, 5th (2 poles, 5 podiums); Macau GP
2009 - Japanese F3 champion (5 wins, 5 poles, 11 podiums); British F3, 11th (2 wins, 1               pole, 3 podiums); Macau GP, 4th; GP2 Asia
2010 - GP2, 17th (1 win)
2011 - GP2, 10th (2 podiums); GP2 Asia, 6th (1 podium)
2012 - GP2, 8th (1 win, 5 podiums)
2013 - GP2, 6th (1 win, 2 poles, 5 podiums)
2014 - Caterham F1 Team, Race Driver

Get Me to the Rookie

Yeesh! Now if that’s not an exciting rookie-run-through for you, we don’t know what is! Just think about the history that this young man could make and it all lies ahead of him. Before every F1 Grand Prix race this season he has the chance to add to his already unique and inspiring story. Which, leads us to our next point, YOU need to be there!

Here’s the 4-1-1: Grand Prix Experiences provides Official Ticket Packages DIRECT from the event organizers with the best of the best inclusions. The Formula One Paddock Club™ Experience offers unrivalled views of the action in a private grandstand, unique tours of the team pit lane to witnessing interviews with drivers and team personnel.

While The Club Suite offers interactive fine dining, entertainment, music and magnificent views of the circuit. Paired with multi-screen coverage of all the action on track, including the live timing screens used by the teams on their pit wall. You will be close enough to see if this Swede makes any rookie mistakes.

See Marcus Ericsson Live!

Topics: Driver Feature