Journey: Bombay to Istanbul to Nice to Monaco…. Phew ..!!!
Weather: A max of 19 in the day and windy and 11 degs by nightfall!!
Arriving in Monte Carlo, the home to Grace Kelly, and a peaceful tranquil and postcard perfect principality. The drive from Nice airport to Monaco was the most scenic and picturesque journey. Checking into my AirBnB was even better, an apartment bang on Larvotto beach!!!
Usually I write on a thursday, but this time I am filling in on a Wednesday as at the Monaco GP all schedules for press conferences and media sessions are pushed back to the Wednesday due to Friday being off (hangover removal day)!! The day started with the usual, going to an accreditation centre, collecting my pass and proceeding further to the media centre.
The media centre at Monaco is better than Spain, no paid wi-fi for once. Also the track being in the heart of Monte Carlo makes the atmosphere much more lively than my last stint at Granollers in Spain. Talking of the glitz and glamour, there countless number of yachts parked at the numerous docks. While walking through the paddock one has to be super careful of not falling into the water, specially the area around the Red Bull Energy station.
The day kicked off with a driver’s press conference comprising Jolyon Palmer, Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Nico Rosberg, Romain Grosjean, and Pascal Wehrlein. Most of the talk involved the Max’s win and the expectations ahead, Nico Rosberg’s incident with Lewis and the new purple striped ultra-soft compound which will debut this weekend.
Post the press conference, the media sessions carried on as usual, with three teams which i attended Mercedes, McLaren, and Ferrari in particular.
At Ferrari, Kimi mumbled as usual, and at the Mercedes hospitality the two drivers are still miffed at each other due to the Spanish GP incident. Lewis has been discrete and diplomatic about handling questions and controlling his emotions, whereas Nico gave out all kinds of cues on how miffed he is. At the McLaren Jenson and Fernando had a bit if fun, they spoke of funny ways to store the tear-offs with the new visor tear-off rule. Jenson mentioned an incident where Alonso had two failures because he threw the tear-off in the cockpit and it got stuck in the brake-duct, leading to a retirement.
Most of the day went in finalising the party line-up for the weekend which would be as follows so far:
Thursday- (Red Bull Racing Media party at the Energy Station)
Friday- (All teams serving hangover lunches, special one on a yacht by Force India. Evening- Amber Lounge fashion show
Saturday- Amber Lounge Ladies Night
Sunday- Dead tired…Drivers party!! (To be confirmed)
The good part about Amber Lounge is, it is located right across my accommodation, 5 minutes. If Monaco GP was all work, no party it would really be the most boring one ever. Its a conventional race, and a track with little room for overtaking, more entertainment off the track than on it and its F1’s most iconic race.
Shopping in Monaco is out of the world, there are designer stores at every inch and corner of Monte Carlo, be it Lanvin, Elie Saab, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, etc. My shopping day is going to be Friday if i get done with that Force India yacht brunch soon. After a stroll through the shopping boulevard;s i finally end my day with a delicious sea food dinner at a resto by the seaside on Larvotto beach. Looking forward to an entertaining day tomorrow with the both the practice sessions scheduled from 10 AM onwards.