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!
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.
Being the Ferrari suite, the M Lounge is decked out in Ferrari red!
Photo 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 .
The food served in the M Lounge was really good – but I got so happy eating that I forgot to take photos of the food.
The 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?
Yes it was Fernando Alonso!
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!
It 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.
Look 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…
There 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)
I just strolled along and took photos of all that was happening – soak up the atmosphere with me:
Free ice cream!
Even the smoking area is so chic -
Moving to the main area where the ‘live’ entertainment stage is…
Everyone’s favourite – the free flow of champagne:
Check out the restrooms – uber chic too:
In between gorging yourself with fine cuisine or getting drunk on champagne, you can also get in line for some palm reading or calligraphy.
Again, 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…
There’s even a corner of the lobby where you can have some fun in the racing simulator, like this kid!
I 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
Thank you M Lounge for the wonderful Paddock Club experience – it was sheer pampering and something I will remember fondly of F1, racing bit aside.
See you next year Paddock Club!