You know when you wake up in the morning to find three wristbands on your arm that it’s been a big night.
Sunday night in Budapest is always a highlight of the season. Ushering in the August break, everyone is in holiday mode and buns to the hangover.
Following dinner at lakeside restaurant Robinson with some Infiniti guests, we packed into their car and headed for the Café del Rio, one of the preferred F1 hangouts. The only problem was that the Infiniti FX has five seats (and on this occasion a full boot) and we were six, which meant the account manager had to use my genitals as a pillow – I’m so awfully sorry.
At Rio, there were peeps from Ferrari, Toro Rosso, Mercedes, and Marussia . Way on the other side of town, though, was what was being dubbed as the ‘Official Afterparty’ at Symbol, which has, for the last few years, been the main draw on a Sunday night. This year I heard they were being a bit stingy with comp passes. Sakon Yamamoto was DJing though, and kindly offered to hook me up so I went to see his set which, as ever, was awesome and now he’s grown his hair and taken to wearing kimonos behind the decks he looks less like an F1 driver and more like a samurai – which is exactly what F1 has been missing.
Not many F1 faces at Symbol this year, but the place was filled with Hungarian beauties packing out figure-hugging Herve Leger dresses.
I just stayed for Sakon’s set as I was keen to get to GR1DCLUB for Tara Ramos and Davide Palumbo’s second party of the season. It was at the rather smart new Buddha Bar Hotel where Force India were staying. Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde was the warm-up DJ followed by F1-SD favourite Erok.
There was a private room for paddock folk who included Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Gutierrez. There was also a smattering of actors: Sam Worthington from Avatar, Thomas Kretschmann from King Kong and Valkyrie, and Liam Cunningham from pretty much every grand prix in the last 18 months.
The bar was made entirely from ice, and the décor was like that of an opium den meaning the FIA might be wise to conduct some tests in Spa. Mind you if Ferrari get off with just a fine for illegal use of DRS you can pretty much get away with anything, it seems.
Some stayed up all night to catch 7am flights back home. Rookie error. Always, always, always book an evening flight out of Budapest. And you’ll need the full month of August to recover.
F1-SD and Anita Nyers at GR1DCLUB
Christina Sunn Pedersen and Liam Cunningham at GR1DCLUB