Photos courtesy of JamesMoy.com
The key to surviving Monaco is to pace yourself, but Thursday throws up an almighty curve ball as some teams plan their biggest shindigs for Thursday night, when your liver is only limbering up. Friday is ‘supposed’ to be a rest day, but it isn’t really anymore with support sessions on track and various jobs to do in the pits and paddock. So there wasn’t enough Nurofen in the world to deal with the after-effects of the Kingfisher party aboard Vijay Mallya’s yacht, the Indian Empress.
The evening kicked of in more conservative splendour at the handsome Hermitage Hotel, which has always drawn Monaco’s old money while the rest of the Principality gets more Vegas by the day. GH Mumm invited the paddock to a champagne and canapes reception, and Romain Grosjean put on a million watt smile for the cameras.
Race kit maker Sparco followed this up with beers on their boat, and several of the GP2 drivers made it along. Thursday is also the night Red Bull have their Energy Station bash for the media, which this year had a motorcycle stunt rider racing around the terrace. I’ll upload a video of this soon. Once again the Energy Station has its pool and once again everyone is too scared to go in it, probably after Christian Horner’s skinny dip some years ago.
Based on experience, I always know to head to Vijay’s party as early as possible before the ship starts to sink and good job I did as it started to spit rain and for much of the party the top deck was slipperier than an eel salesman and out of bounds until the downpour ceased. This meant we were all crammed in the lower fly-deck and the sardine feeling wasn’t just down to the harbour’s odour. But Vijay was the host with the most and we left the party more soaked in booze than the bad weather, as per usual.