My Paddock Club experience

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

Formula One is not F1 without the glitz, glamour and high life. 

 

When I wasn’t bashing away at my laptop furiously filing articles for the newspapers or running in and out of the circuit to attend events, I had the beautiful wonderful opportunity to enjoy the Paddock Club on Saturday – all thanks to M Lounge

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The Formula One Paddock Club™ is located within the Pit Building on the second and third storeys, right above the teams’ garages. The exclusive air-conditioned Paddock Club™ suites offer views directly over the race garages, pit lane and start/finish straight.

 

In addition, there are grandstand seats available to Paddock Club™ patrons overlooking the Pit Straight. Entrance to the suite is via the dedicated Formula One Paddock Club™ entrance and Lifestyle Area (more about this below). At specified times, you are also allowed to go for a walk down the pit lane.

 

It is a real luxurious experience being in the Paddock Club – no wonder it is worth about S$8,000 for a three-day Paddock Club pass. All 4,000 Paddock Club tickets were sold out this year!!!

 

M Lounge was on level 2 - Of course you can’t just walk into every single hospitality suite there is, but only the one that your ticket grants entry to. 

307471_266079403426304_131620790205500_835503_1441737874_nBeing the Ferrari suite, the M Lounge is decked out in Ferrari red!

mlounge-2011-singapore-f1-paddock-club-1Photo courtesy of: Fash-Eccentric

 

I don’t have many nice photos of myself because no one I knew there seemed to know how to use my DSLR :( .

316467_266079380092973_131620790205500_835502_2119355093_n291875_266079053426339_131620790205500_835495_1094358530_n315441_266078963426348_131620790205500_835493_1473659019_n302300_266078866759691_131620790205500_835491_756179778_n320828_266078910093020_131620790205500_835492_1649806532_n312222_266079003426344_131620790205500_835494_752773791_nThe food served in the M Lounge was really good – but I got so happy eating that I forgot to take photos of the food. :(

mlounge-2011-singapore-f1-paddock-club-3The M Lounge even has its own smoking room! How cool is that… (Photo courtesy of: Fash-Eccentric)

 

Right after qualifying, guess who came up briefly to make an appearance?

301070_266079096759668_131620790205500_835496_1960303838_nYes it was Fernando Alonso!

301272_266079220092989_131620790205500_835498_2103603147_n

Qualifying wasn’t thaaat good for him and I can imagine he would rather spend time sitting with his engineers discussing how to improve the car and also the strategy for the race, but sponsor commitment calls so here he is!

306948_266079246759653_131620790205500_835499_701579611_nIt didn’t take more than 10 minutes – he just came up, answered some questions from the emcee, signed some autographs and then off he went! They are all like that I suppose.

312180_266079163426328_131620790205500_835497_581394774_nLook at everyone trying to get a shot of Alonso!

 

We didn’t have to be in the suite the entire night as the Paddock Club grants access to the Lifestyle Area as well as the Sky Suites, paddock grandstands and the paddock itself (pit lane only during the specified pit lane walks). 

 

After having a hearty dinner, I went to explore the Lifestyle Area alone. 

 

The Asian theme was just so pretty and oriental – I felt proud to be Chinese!

 

The Lifestyle Area is like a village on its own, with restaurants, entertainment such as ‘live’ band performances and other amenities like massages – yes, all for free as part of your ticket.

 

This year, the Lifestyle Area had food from Jean-Georges restaurant by Michelin three-star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Japanese cuisine by celebrity Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa. If you are tired from all the walking, there was a Wellness Area by Aspara Spa. Then there was also free flow at the Champagne & Bellini bar. 

 

This is the walk down the stairs at the end of the pit building into the Paddock Club’s Lifestyle Area – wonder where all these people suddenly came from…

308222_266079476759630_131620790205500_835505_736284107_n302116_266079513426293_131620790205500_835506_1552577475_n302372_266079566759621_131620790205500_835507_1110568911_nThere were massages available to rub the soreness out of your shoulders, back and legs but you had to go in and make a booking for your appointment. The waiting list was kinda long so I didn’t bother. Those who did, certainly enjoyed the rub! (Photo courtesy of: Fash-Eccentric)

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I just strolled along and took photos of all that was happening – soak up the atmosphere with me:

316669_266079600092951_131620790205500_835508_271135613_n308812_266079636759614_131620790205500_835509_597062667_nFree ice cream!

297820_266079676759610_131620790205500_835510_1975032011_n299818_266079720092939_131620790205500_835512_1945243242_n306425_266079740092937_131620790205500_835513_789078865_nEven the smoking area is so chic -

302604_266079776759600_131620790205500_835514_44735518_nMoving to the main area where the ‘live’ entertainment stage is…

303894_266079843426260_131620790205500_835515_18645387_n299196_266079700092941_131620790205500_835511_2030675515_n300596_266080033426241_131620790205500_835519_849893001_n306950_266079973426247_131620790205500_835518_425823599_n308334_266079880092923_131620790205500_835516_1630455057_n302164_266079913426253_131620790205500_835517_1069573117_nEveryone’s favourite – the free flow of champagne:

301345_266080336759544_131620790205500_835527_308376480_nCheck out the restrooms – uber chic too:

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In between gorging yourself with fine cuisine or getting drunk on champagne, you can also get in line for some palm reading or calligraphy.

294019_266080236759554_131620790205500_835524_911005415_n307865_266080260092885_131620790205500_835525_649017683_n309015_266080210092890_131620790205500_835523_589577106_n313224_266080383426206_131620790205500_835528_1356756794_nAgain, I was too lazy to get in line and wait my turn so I just sneaked up to take photos and then continued exploring.

 

This is the lobby of the Paddock Club Lifestyle Area, just after the entrance and bag checks. Nice huh? Like some hotel…

316300_266080086759569_131620790205500_835520_749300537_n301610_266080123426232_131620790205500_835521_1007326609_nThere’s even a corner of the lobby where you can have some fun in the racing simulator, like this kid!

293656_266080453426199_131620790205500_835530_1315424046_nI don’t have any photos of the grandstand or Sky Suite, but I will get photos of them when I visit M Lounge again next year ok? *winks

296346_266079343426310_131620790205500_835501_232361258_nThank you M Lounge for the wonderful Paddock Club experience – it was sheer pampering and something I will remember fondly of F1, racing bit aside.

316423_266079290092982_131620790205500_835500_439677644_nSee you next year Paddock Club!

320632_266080523426192_131620790205500_835531_312619988_n

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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