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The Formula One Paddock Club - the ultimate in fast-lane luxury 09 Nov 2007

(L to R): Anthony Hamilton (GBR) with Hip Hop Producer Pharrell Williams (USA). Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, United States Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Indianapolis, USA, Saturday 16 June 2007. World © Bumstead/Sutton Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen addresses guests in the Formula One Paddock Club. © Allsport Management SA. A corporate hospitality area in the Formula One Paddock Club. © Allsport Management SA. The Formula One Paddock Club provides unrivalled views of the racing. © Allsport Management SA. A team hospitality area in the Formula One Paddock Club. © Allsport Management SA.

“I thought that I would be given a beer in a brown paper bag and a hot dog. I had no idea that I was going to face high gastronomy! The beef I was served was the best I have ever eaten - better than Kobe beef - this cow must have been massaged with body lotion! And the best thing is you can wine and dine with one eye on your plate and the other on the action.”

High praise indeed. Especially as the gentleman waxing lyrical about his melt-in-the mouth experience is none other than Pharrell Williams, the multi-million dollar hip-hop artist and producer, who counts Lewis Hamilton amongst his friends. And the place he is describing? The Indianapolis Paddock Club during the United States Grand Prix.

When a member of the international jet set, well versed in the art of having a good time, is singing your praises, you know you have got it just right…

But what Williams doesn’t know, is that what he found so appealing at Indy, actually happens at every Grand Prix the world over. In fact, every time the magic of Formula One descends on a circuit for a race, the Formula One Paddock Club is not far behind. From Malaysia to Monaco, and from Shanghai to Silverstone, the same level of luxurious comfort, proximity to the action and sheer excitement is on offer.

Or as Patrick McNally, President and CEO of organizers Allsport Management, puts it: “No matter where a Grand Prix takes place in the world, Formula One Paddock club clients can count on the same first class standards of professionalism. Our ambition is to create an atmosphere of relaxed sophistication, with the ambiance of a private members club.”

One maxim the Paddock Club always follows is that location is everything. During a Grand Prix weekend, its guests are perfectly located to watch the unfolding on-track drama. The Paddock Club can usually be found either above or alongside the Formula One Paddock, where the teams set up their headquarters, or overlooking the pit lane, with a view of the start/finish line. In addition to enjoying some of the best views at a circuit, guests also get the chance to visit the pit lane, an area normally only open to Formula One personnel, to really immerse themselves in the experience.

Since it was established in 1984 the Formula One Paddock Club has become the ultimate in corporate hospitality luxury and spectator enjoyment, and a key element in the strategy of many of the world’s leading businesses. Its exclusivity provides an environment in which those who make Formula One racing the most glamorous sport in the world can sip champagne, savour exceptional cuisine and experience the thrill of the racing action. The perfect setting for business and socialising.

It comes as no surprise then that Formula One teams, technical suppliers and leading corporations return time and time again each season, inviting VIPs, clients and senior management to get a real taste of Formula One racing at its very best.

Clients can enjoy either their own private hospitality area, customised to reflect their brand, or the Club Suite, which has been specially-designed to relax, excite and impress guests in equal measure. In each area, lunch is always served with a smile, champagne glasses are never empty and everybody enjoys uninterrupted views of the race action. While corporate functions make up the majority of its clients, the Paddock Club is also available to anyone who wants to enjoy an unforgettable experience of the fast lane.

“Although each Formula One race is watched by an audience of millions, the Formula One Paddock Club has become a magnet to the world’s elite,” explains Isabelle Kaufmann, head of the Paddock Club. “Film stars, politicians, pop groups, business moguls, models and sports stars are keen to be invited because they appreciate the style and standards established. It presents a unique opportunity to mingle, including the chance of a close meeting with the drivers and team personnel.”

During a single race weekend, the Paddock Club hosts guests for 27 hours and serves over 10,000 meals, while during an average Grand Prix 3,000 pieces of lobster and 3,000 bottles of champagne and fine wines are enjoyed.

To achieve such a high standard of professionalism, the Formula One Paddock Club team at Allsport Management SA begins planning for a Formula One season before the last race of the previous season to ensure that every table is correctly allocated and every client’s requirements are met.

With such an early start to the Paddock Club’s year, it means that now is the time to start booking, if you are after an unforgettable race weekend in 2008. For more details visit the Paddock Club website at www.formulaonepaddockclub.com.