With the dust settled on the Australian Grand Prix (but with more likely to be kicked up in the FIA appeals court) those of us remaining Down Under can now concentrate on the more serious business of St Patrick’s Day.
Joking aside, the mood among most paddock peeps was fraught as they chewed their nails and keenly slurped hard liqour for medicinal purposes as they fret whether their cars would see the chequered flag. Opportunities for relaxing / hitting the bottle were plentiful, this being Australia. Kicking things off on Wednesday night, as most of us battled jet-lag, local celebs, Aussie V8 stars, and the odd F1 retiree – David Coulthard, Jackie Stewart, Mark Webber – sipped Mumm and watched fireworks at the GP@23 party.
The following evening the Governor of Victoria invited power brokers from F1 and the state to his mansion for this now annual garden party bunfight, and after than it was off to the penthouse suite of the arty Blackman hotel, with its stunning vista of Albert Park, for a Johnnie Walker / Hugo Boss party. A suited-and-booted Jenson Button was the guest of honour.
Throughout the weekend, the Podium Lounge – which already established itself in Abu Dhabi last year – was rocking to the sounds of hard house and techno, courtesy of F1-SD favourite DJ Erok and superstar Seb Fontaine. The venue was new club Ms Collins, which has taken over the space previous F1 hangout Silk Road once inhabited.
Cloudy Bay, lots of fizz and never-ending trays of canapes were on hand at the luxe Crown Metropole for Rolex on Friday night, where JYS held fort and F1 PRs and media mingled.
On Sunday night, with Mercedes engineers celebrating a win but concerned with Lewis Hamilton’s woes, Red Bull tearing their hair out, and others just exhausted from a very intense weekend the scene was strangely muted but The Emerson threw a wrap party which drew a crowd from Ferrari, McLaren and Force India.
Right, time for a Guinness.
Jenson Button at the Johnnie Walker party
The GP@23 party at the Crown