Monday, April 06, 2009
2009 F1 Malaysian Grand Prix - Paddock Club Experience
I am still ecstatic over the experience I had for this very recent 2009 Malaysian F1 Grand Prix which had just ended over the weekend.
I am the lucky few from my company to be selected to experience live from the Paddock Club. If you would not know, Paddock Club is the most exclusive arrangement to watch the F1 live from the circuit. The total cost per pax come to about RM20,000 per person to enjoy this experience.
We were greeted by Elizabeth (a UK correspondent for an agency who does the VVIP arrangement for F1 racing all over the world), registered ourselves and were given a specially made access card to the Paddock Club, a guide & also a goodies bag with LG official merchandises as the global & technology partner of F1.
We disembarked from Hilton KL, chauffeured driven by Mitsubishi Grandis complete with LG stickers all over the official car. And guess what, our driver for the day is of German nationality. Wow!
It took approximately 40 minutes to reach the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) and all these people who are involved in the arrangement I believe had been in Malaysia a few days prior to this big event. Why do I say so? This is because our driver is super familiar with the route from KL city to the circuit. Given me, I would have use the normal North South highway exitting from Sungei Besi enroute to Sepang. But this driver is using MEX (a new highway all together)
With the special sticker on the car, it is allowed to access into the pit right away where the Paddock Club. I am not sure about other circuits, but the Paddock Club in SIC is located right on top of the pit of all teams.
We were guided to the Paddock Suite and the place is heavily guarded with avant garde security. None of the security officers are local and most of them are kwai lous and this applies also for the staff who served us.
We were leaded to a round table for 10 pax and were first served with champagne. And I heard these champagnes are of those kind where drivers on the podium enjoy when they won the race. Awesome!
There was a menu for the day and they served 3 different set of menus throughout the 3 days racing event.
Food presentation is second to none of I had experienced in any fine dining restaurant and we started off with a starter dish of duck breast with mango. And continue with the buffet line with free flow of beverages.
Inside the Paddock suite, there is a dessert & drink bars and I can see plenty of LG LCDs all over the place.
Like I mentioned before, the Paddock Club is located above the pits. Right below the Paddock Suite would be the Toyota team and the place where we witnessed the F1 overseeing the Grand Stand. Let the pictures do the talking.
While enjoying our meals, there would be a personnel informing us of Pit Walk session. We are all allowed for an hour of pit walking. There are only 2 sessions each day and you need a special green color pass to access into it.
And this is the closest I had ever been with a real F1 cars & its crew.
As for the second session of pit walking, we toured the area where the crew, drivers, their WAGs & family members mingle. The exact location is right at the back of the pit. I saw Jenson Button, Bernie Ecclestone & Lewis Hamilton's dad who is also the agent for him.
However, we were all too stunned to flash out our camera and they seem not be disturbed.
Here we also can see the Bridgestone staff threading the tyres for reuse at a later stage.
We then went to the LG Technology Center located at the Mall Area. It is seriously an experience of a lifetime.
Thanks to LG! Life's Good!
Next post, experience from Grand Stand.