Grand Prix Experiences Blog

The Greatest Comeback Drives in F1™ History

Posted by Darragh Farrelly on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 @ 11:09 AM

Making a comeback is an art form in itself, poetry in motion if you will. Extremely difficult to pull off but incredibly satisfying to witness, the act of coming back from being down invokes emotions that are unparalleled to anything in sport. In Formula 1™, every second counts to the highest degree. An illustrious history has seen some incredible comeback drives, here we look at some of the greatest of all-time.

Jenson Button, 2011 Canadian Grand Prix

In a rain-soaked Canadian Grand Prix, the world saw the best of 2009 World Champion Jenson Button. A marathon of a race which lasted over 4 hours saw the Brit make an incredible 6 pit stops as well as enduring a drive-through penalty to win what many onlookers consider one of the greatest races of Formula 1™ history.

Having begun the race from 7th on the grid, Button was demoted to 15th place following a stop-go penalty for making up ground on a safety car. The safety car was initially brought out after Button accidentally ran teammate Lewis Hamilton into the wall on Turn 1.

Further twists ensued when Button was once more involved in a collision, this time with Fernando Alonso. Another safety car ensued while Button miraculously managed to get his punctured car back to the pits. Rejoining the race in last place, Button embarked upon one of the great modern day driving displays ever seen. Sweeping the field with poise and vigour, Button chased down long-time race leader Sebastien Vettel before overtaking the German and his worn out tires on the second corner of the last lap to claim an unthinkable victory.

 

 

 

Kimi Raikkonen, 2005 Japanese Grand Prix

Kimi_2005_Japan.jpg“Ice-man” by nickname, ice cool by nature. At a rain-soaked Suzuka in 2005, Kimi Raikkonen produced the best drive of his career and one of the all-time comebacks to claim a historic win.

Having qualified in 17th position, chances of a podium finish were not in his thinking. A hectic start to the race which saw a collision between Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve brought out the safety car. By that time, the Finn had begun to slice his way through the field.

Having made a pit stop midway through the race, Raikkonen reappeared ahead of Fernando Alonso in 5thplace before passing Michael Schumacher into 4th. Benefitting from pitting early which saw him carry a heavy fuel load, both Mark Webber and Jenson Button were forced to make a stop to refuel, prompting The Iceman into second position.

What Raikkonen produced next can only be described as sheer magnificence. With 9 laps remaining, he set the fastest lap each time, and despite some brilliant defensive driving from long-time race leader Giancarlo Fisichella, a determined Raikkonen pulled off a brilliant maneuver on the run down to turn 2 on the final lap to complete the greatest comeback Suzuka ever witnessed.

 

 

 

Michael Schumacher, 1995 Belgian Grand Prix

Schumi_1995.jpgNo Formula 1™ greatest ever list would be complete without mention of the best of all-time, Michael Schumacher. Though Schumi’s career was coupled with dominance, his drive in the 1995 Belgian Grand Prix proved his greatness.

The 1995 season revolved around the rivalry of Schumacher and Damon Hill. Having both qualified down the field, Hill in 8th and Schumacher in 17th, and with the ever-changing conditions suggesting a classic was in store, what occurred as timeless.  

Off the blocks like a man possessed, Schumacher was up to 6th place by lap 5, just 5 seconds behind race leader David Coulthard. With the rain beginning to fall, Hill stopped for wet tires. Hill soon caught Schumacher and a game of cat and mouse began in earnest. The German’s slick tires were no match for Hill and he was overtaken on lap 26.

Incredibly, the rain stopped almost instantly and Schumacher once more passed Hill, after which the Williams pitted for slicks and began chasing him again. And yet again, the heavens opened three laps later and a heavy downpour followed, forcing all drivers to pit for wet tires.

The extra stop for Hill gave Schumacher a huge lead and the German brought the car home a massive 20 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, taking the checkered flag displaying incredible driving aggression.

 

 

 

The United States Grand Prix Awaits You!

United_States_GP-1.jpgOne thing we have learned from the 2016 Formula 1™ season is nothing is guaranteed. With Nico Rosberg taking 5 of the opening 8 races, teammate and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton roared back with four consecutive victories before Rosberg once more proved his worth with back-to-back victories. Heading to the United States Grand Prix? Make sure to witness the climatic end to this year’s title by making a trip to Austin for the F1™ USGP with one of our exclusive ticket packages available only through Circuit of The Americas™ program. With our Legends Club Access, participate in a Q & A session with racing legend David Coulthard while enjoying an appearance by Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi!

The weekend of a lifetime awaits you, witness the race from a privileged viewing positon, wine and dine with our gourmet fare and open bars. Take the pressure off yourself by adding exclusive ground transportation and hotel accommodations to make this a weekend you and your party will never forget! 

Take Me to The 2016 United States Grand Prix!

Topics: United States Grand Prix

Ranking The Wealthiest F1 Drivers Ever

Posted by Darragh Farrelly on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 @ 10:09 AM

In Formula 1™, money makes the wheels go around. Just this week, we have seen the words ‘Formula 1’ and ‘wealth’ but around like there’s no tomorrow with the news that American billionaire media tycoon John Malone has completed an $8.5bn mega deal to purchase motorsport’s premier franchise.

Big-budgets, multi-million dollar salaries and a head-spiraling prize fund for completing teams; make no mistake about it, Formula 1 exuberates the lifestyle of the rich and the famous.

Of those who benefit the most from Formula 1’s massive pockets, drivers are at the front of the grid. Here, we look at the five wealthiest F1 drivers in history.

  • Lewis_Hamilton-2.jpgLewis Hamilton, $110 million - Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton looks primed to claim his fourth this year, but has a battle on his hands from Mercedes’ teammate Nico Rosberg. Currently on a base salary of $30.1 million a year who should rise to about $42 million a year based on performances, Hamilton is in the prime of his career. Still only 31, Hamilton has endorsement deals with Santander, Tag Heuer and Reebok, and looks set to further his career earnings. He currently resides in the luxurious Monaco and is Britain’s highest earning athlete ahead of Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney.
  • Eddie Irvine, $140 million - Perhaps a surprise inclusion on this last and the least successful man on the track, Irishman Eddie Irvine won just four out of 148 races he took part in, all of which coming in 1999 when finishing second. Picked up by the Jordan Team, he spent 10 seasons in Formula 1, racing for Jaguar and Ferrari additionally. Owning more than 50 properties worldwide, the majority of his fortune has been made off the track. The least successful man on the track on this list, is the joint third most successful financially. Eddie Irvine won only four races out of the 148 he took part in, all of which came in the 1999 season when he finished second. Irvine spent 10 seasons in F1, racing for Jordan, Ferrari and Jaguar. He also owns a sports complex in his hometown in Bangor, Northern Ireland.
  • Kimi_Raikkonen.jpgKimi Raikkonen, $180 million - In 2007, Kimi Raikkonen became the highest paid athlete in the world with a base salary of $51 million a year when he moved from McLaren to Ferrari. The move also saw him win his first and only World Drivers’ Championship to date. Seeking pastures new, Raikkonen ventured into rallying and NASCAR before returning to F1 in 2012. Currently driving for the Ferrari team, he currently sits in fifth position in this year’s drivers’ championship. The Finnish driver also owns a Motocross World Championship team.
  • Fernando Alonso, $220 million - Having begun karting at the age of three, Spaniard Fernando Alonso was always destined for greatness. World champion in 2005 and 2006 for Renault, Alonso has also been runner-up three times also. Earning a base salary of $40 million a year which could rise depending on performances, the Spaniard has been a model of consistency ever since he entered F1 in 2001. He has consistently been one of the highest paid drivers on the circuit, and sits in sixth place all-time for most Grand Prix wins with 32.
  • Michael_Schumacher.jpgMichael Schumacher, $780 million - Similar to how his Formula 1 career went, Michael Schumacher is simply streets ahead of everyone else. The greatest driver of all-time, the seven-time world champion is the third wealthiest sportsman of all-time behind only Ion Tiriac and Michael Jordan. Once thought to be the first ever billionaire sportsman, he has donated more money than most on this list. He began F1 racing in 1991 and didn’t retire until 2012, although he did take a four-year break between 2006 and 2010. During the peak of his powers, he earned close to $50 million a year from Ferrari, while Shell paid Michael Schumacher $10 million each year to wear a hat with the company logo on it. Over 19 seasons, he raced for Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes, winning two championships with Benetton and five with Ferrari. Schumacher suffered a serious head injury whilst skiing in December 2013 and has been receiving regular treatment ever since.

Book Your Spot At The United States Grand Prix!                   

United_States_GP.jpgWatch the best drivers in the world battle it out as this season’s championship race goes right down to the wire. As the drama unfolds in the year’s remaining races, why not take the unique opportunity to witness the action up close and personal at October 23rd’s FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™, which takes place at Circuit of The Americas™ in Austin, Texas.

Kick off your Formula One Paddock Club™ access with Grand Prix Experiences – it’s literally the best seat in the house!  Enjoy the luxury that the Paddock Club offers with privileged views of the race, gourmet food spreads, an exclusive Pit Lane Walk, access to the Support Race Paddock, and much, much more!    

Take Me to The 2016 United States Grand Prix! 

Topics: United States Grand Prix

Don’t Miss Out on This While at the F1™ USGP

Posted by Kristen Doolan on Thu, Aug 25, 2016 @ 09:08 AM

With the first day of the 2016 FORMULA ONE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ right around the corner on October 21st, you must start planning your trip to Austin, Texas. Known as one of the more popular youngprofessional and family-centered cities in the United States, Austin is sure full of life. From its abundant number of lakes and parks for outdoor activities to its nickname as the “live music capital of the world”, your trip to the F1™ USGP will be one of a lifetime.

Restaurants

Veracruz Tacos, 2711 La Frontera Blvd, STE 320 Round Rock, TX 7868: Check out this hot spot featured by Rachael Ray and Rolling Stone serving fresh tacos, homemade salsas, and authentic tortillas and chips.

Boiler Nine Bar & Grill, 800 W Cesar Chavez Street Austin, TX 78701: Located in downtown Austin, this art deco styled bar & grill isn’t one to miss. Visit them for Brunch. Lunch or Dinner to enjoy tapas style dinning.

Forthright, 98 San Jacinto Blvd Austin, TX 78701: Serving Breakfast and Lunch with a relaxed style is the name of the game for Forthright. If you need a place to relax and/or enjoy a well prepared meal with straightforward ingredients, this is your place!

Wu Chow, 500 W 5th Street Austin, Texas 78701: Looking for classic Chinese dishes while in Austin? Check out Wu Chow! With their eclectic dining and relaxed atmosphere, it’s no wonder this restaurant lands on the hottest places to go in Austin.  

Things to Do

Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail: Hit the outdoors and explore this lush green park and peaceful lake. Walk, bike, ride or just sit and relax at this amazing spot in Austin.

Haunted Austin and Bat Bridge Segway Tour: Explore Austin’s haunted past and visit the bat bridge while learning more about the history behind what makes Austin, Austin.

Sixth Street: Find all the nightlife that Austin has to offer on sixth street. From live music, to historic venues this downtown spot is the place to be!

Accommodations

Marriott Round Rock: Located just 30 miles from the Circuit of The Americas™ Austin Track,
 the Marriott Round Rock offers exceptional amenities for their guests. Relax in your hotel room with the comfort of plush mattresses and down comforters, while enjoying their well-known RC Grille which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t forget about the indoor pool and fitness center located on the property, making this accommodation choice ideal for any traveler.

Sheraton Austin: Looking to be in the middle of it all? Then the Sheraton Austin is yoCircuit-of-The-Americas-Experiences-F1-USGP-Racing-Austin-002.jpgur most promising choice - located only 18 miles from the Circuit of The Americas™ Austin Track and just steps away from Sixth Street/Warehouse District and the University of Texas. With two different dining options and well-appointed bedding, this hotel option makes your stay as comfortable as possible.

Don’t Forget Your Ticket to the F1™ USGP

As the only exclusive provider of ticket packages available through Circuit of The Americas™ program, Grand Prix Experiences is the package provider to go with! From our Legends Club access with Q&A sessions with Alexander Rossi, privileged viewing positions along the track and gourmet fare – this is not something you want to miss!

 

Get Legends Club Access Today!

 

Topics: Formula One, United States Grand Prix

Formula 1™ in 2016: Who is ahead for Australia? Part 2

Posted by Jaime Villegas on Fri, Mar 18, 2016 @ 09:03 AM

Circuit-of-The-Americas-Experiences-F1-USGP-Racing-Austin-033.jpgIf testing is anything to go by, the 2016 F1™ season is going to be defined in one word: impressive. The last two weeks have been incredibly busy for the 11 teams in Formula 1™. It seems that every single team came to perform. In the few weeks that testing has taken place, we’ve seen more from every team than we have in years prior.

Let’s take into account testing that took place a two years ago, where teams weren’t able to get two or three laps out of their cars with cars not running or breaking down and now we have teams like Toro Rosso running 150-160 laps a day. A DAY! This year’s testing has been amazing.

Mercedes has actually completed a season’s worth of laps in just two weeks of testing, already. It’s only just now that Lewis Hamilton is experiencing a few liability issues with his car. With all the exciting new demonstrations of power that we’ve seen during the winter testing, let’s take a look at the 2016 season and figure out this season’s pecking order.

Has anyone gained ground on Mercedes? What will Ferrari’s version of the halo head protection concept do for them? Who is leading in this year’s testing? It's almost time for the 2016 Formula One™ season to kick off in Australia, which means we are about to see the results of what the teams have been frantically working on.

Check out Part 1 of our Australia Preview

Manor Racing

After a sickly-looking season in 2015, it had been all change over at Manor, most notably in the renaming of the team formerly known as Manor Marussia. The ownership has also changed, as well as engine supplier, from Ferrari to Mercedes. They clearly liked Mercedes as they selected two drivers with previous affliliation with Mercedes, in German 21-year-old Pascal Wehrlien and Indonesia’s first-ever F1 driver, Rio Haryanto.

Toro Rosso

During the winter testing weeks Toro Rosso proved that it can run (to the surprise of many a team this year). Running more laps than anyone predicted gives new hopes to fans as the testing suggests that they will be right among the pack behind Mercedes and Ferrai and, with the incredibly talented teenager Verstappen, behind the wheel Toro Rosso could even top Red Bull.  Toro Rosso is quietly awaiting the opportunity to race among the leaders of the pack and this could very well be the year they do.

Renault

Having stepped back to become simply an engine supplier in 2011, this season marks the return of Renault as a full works team after they completed a takeover of Lotus. The French team has gone with two new drivers for their return, with Dane Kevin Magnussen, who had one season with McLaren in 2014, being joined by British newcomer Joylon Palmer.

Red Bull Racing

For such a young team, Red Bull Racing has seen a lot of success. However, last year the team was held back by power issues with its Renault engine. Daniel Ricciardo and Danill Kvyat unfortunately really struggled in the last few races of the 2015 championship, here’s to hoping the vast improvements they’ve shown in the winter testing is an indication of how the 2016 season will fare for them.

Ferrari

Having succeeded Luca di Montzemolo last year, new Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne made it very clear that success in Formula 1 is a top priority, and early signs in testing would suggest the Italians have the pace to challenge Mercedes. With its shortened nose, Ferrari’s engineers have fitted the car with pushrod suspension for the first time in four years.

Circuit-of-The-Americas-Experiences-F1-USGP-Legends-Club-Lunch-with-a-Legend-90.jpgSee F1™ in Austin!

See the world’s most complex and innovative vehicles put to the test as they compete on one of the most exciting and challenging tracks in Formula 1!  If you’re an F1™ fan, you already know that COTA is one of the most popular tracks on the calendar.  It’s one of just four anti-clockwise tracks on the schedule, featuring 19 turns and a 133-foot climb into a blind left turn. Last year’s championship was decided at Circuit of The Americas, will we see a repeat this year? Be there and find out for yourself!

Secure your spot at the F1 USGP!

Topics: Formula One, United States Grand Prix

Formula 1™ in 2016: Who is ahead for Australia? Part 1

Posted by Jaime Villegas on Tue, Mar 15, 2016 @ 09:03 AM

Circuit-of-The-Americas-Experiences-F1-USGP-Racing-Austin-006.jpgIf testing is anything to go by, the 2016 F1™ season is going to be defined in one word: impressive. The last two weeks have been incredibly busy for the 11 teams in Formula 1™. It seems that every single team came to perform. In the few weeks that testing has taken place, we’ve seen more from every team than we have in years prior.

Let’s take into account testing that took place a two years ago, where teams weren’t able to get two or three laps out of their cars with cars not running or breaking down and now we have teams like Toro Rosso running 150-160 laps a day. A DAY! This year’s testing has been amazing.

Mercedes has actually completed a season’s worth of laps in just two weeks of testing, already. It’s only just now that Lewis Hamilton is experiencing a few liability issues with his car. With all the exciting new demonstrations of power that we’ve seen during the winter testing, let’s take a look at the 2016 season and figure out this season’s pecking order.

Has anyone gained ground on Mercedes? What will Ferrari’s version of the halo head protection concept do for them? Who is leading in this year’s testing? It's almost time for the 2016 Formula One™ season to kick off in Australia, which means we are about to see the results of what the teams have been frantically working on.

AMG Mercedes

Mercedes has retained their winning formula as they seek to extend their dominance of Formula 1 for a third season. Winter testing in Barcelona suggested that they remain the team to beat, although their advantage may mean that a repeat of 2015 might take place and seal the championship for Lewis Hamilton once again. Rosberg finished strong in 2015 and the long-simmering rivalry between the two could boil over and ultimately hurt their chances to earn podiums.

Haas F1 Team

Haas’ introduction into Formula 1 has been quietly happening in the background for the past five years, so it is perhaps no surprise that the American team appears better prepared than recent newcomers to Formula 1. Their close relationship with Ferrari (engine supplier) might also have something to do with their success, as well as having two drivers with F1 experience. Romain Grosjean has 10 podiums under his belt and showed plenty of determination during his years at Lotus, while Esteban Gutierrez spent the past two seasons with Sauber.

Force India

Force India’s 2016 campaign hinges on an evolution of last year’s b-spec chassis. With regulations likely to drastically change in 2017, there’s little hope that they’ll make any more improvements to the existing chassis. Technical Director Andrew Green went as far to say it “didn’t really seem like an efficient use of our resources to start from scratch on a project that would have such a limited lifetime.” I guess some teams are perfectly okay with not earning a podium. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

McLaren

No team suffered a more chastening experience in 2015 than McLaren. One of the standard bearers of the sport and eight time constructors’ champions, the British team suffered a disastrous fall from grace, often failing to make it through the first phase of qualifying and not scoring a single point until the sixth race. It could be another painful year for McLaren and Co. with little sign of the hoped for improvement in testing.

Sauber

While last season saw an improvement on the miserable zero-point year of 2014, 39 percent of their 36 points came in the opening Grand Prix and they finished without a point in the final three races. With finances still a major constraint, there has been little to suggest a real improvement in 2016, and another tough season for the Swiss team could well lie in store.

Williams

The past two years have been something of a resurgence from the Martini-liveried Williams outfit. Having finished third in the 2014 and 2015 Constructors’ Championhip, Frank Williams will be looking to make a leap and start challenging Ferrari, Red Bull, and of course Mercedes for the top step on the podium. After an up and down 2015, which perhaps cost him a move to Ferrari, Valtteri Bottas will be looking to step it up and show he is worthy of a seat among the real title challengers. Time to make moves Bottas!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Australia Preview!

Circuit-of-The-Americas-Experiences-F1-USGP-Legends-Club-Lunch-with-a-Legend-74.jpgSee F1™ in Austin!

See the world’s most complex and innovative vehicles put to the test as they compete on one of the most exciting and challenging tracks in Formula 1!  If you’re an F1™ fan, you already know that COTA is one of the most popular tracks on the calendar.  It’s one of just four anti-clockwise tracks on the schedule, featuring 19 turns and a 133-foot climb into a blind left turn. Last year’s championship was decided at Circuit of The Americas, will we see a repeat this year? Be there and find out for yourself!

Secure your spot at the F1 USGP!

Topics: Formula One, United States Grand Prix