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Cage brings Hollywood to Melbourne 07 Mar 2005

Nicolas Cage (USA) on the grid with Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 6 March 2005 The boss of Cirque du Monde with Jean Todt (FRA) Ferrari General Manager on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 6 March 2005 Ian Thorpe (AUS) Olympic Swimmer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 5 March 2005 Dannii Minogue (AUS) Pop Star.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 5 March 2005 Stirling Moss (GBR) and his wife.
Grand Prix Welcome Party, Parliament House, Melbourne, Australia, 3 March 2005

Celebrity spotting in the Albert Park pit lane

Nicolas Cage, one of Hollywood’s leading men sneaked into the Melbourne paddock as a guest of Ferrari. What drew him to make a stop-over in the fast lane? “It is my second race after the Montreal paddock some years ago,” he said. “Many of the characters I have portrayed in my movies where men on the limit, living intense, extraordinary lives. This is what attracts me – that Formula One has that spirit of life on the edge.”

After being named one of the 50 most innovative business men in 2004 for revolutionizing the entertainment industry, Guy Laliberte, founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, was another famous face in the Melbourne paddock. “For years I am one of Formula One’s biggest fans,” he said. “To come to a race means relaxation for me. I love the people involved because theirs is a technical creativity while mine is on a visual level. What we have in common is the entertainment and sensation factor. And I am a friend of Flavio (Briatore).”

The dream of millions of men around the globe in the early 1980s, Bo Derek, was a welcome guest at Albert Park .The blond actress, who introduced that famous braided hairstyle to the Hollywood society when playing Dudley Moore’s fantasy woman in the box office smash ‘10’, was delighted with her first Grand Prix experience. “I was invited by friends and was not quite sure what to expect,” she said. “After this race weekend Formula One has a brand new fan. It is very likely that I will be around at another race. So watch out for me - somewhere.”

Legendary British race driver Sir Stirling Moss strolled through the paddock reminiscing about old times and was full of excitement for the 2005 season: “The new regulations will add excitement to Formula One – I am sure about that. Why am I here? I have not visited a race in quite a while but I came here because I particularly love the Australian Grand Prix. The atmosphere is great and the openness of the people incredible. You enter the paddock and the lady at the turnstiles wishes you a great day. That is very unusual.”

Dannii Minogue, Australian pop star and former partner of Jacques Villeneuve, found her way back into the paddock as a friend of Flavio Briatore. “I have spent some years in Formula One and made many good friends – so it is natural that whenever I can, that I will try to catch up with them,” she said. “For me it is still the greatest show on earth and I would miss something not coming once in a while.”

Swimmer Ian Thorpe, six-time Olympic gold medallist and Australia’s finest athlete, was mesmerized by the sounds of Formula One racing: “Swimming is a very ‘quiet’ sport so this is the total contrary to my daily routine. The sound is almost unbelievable. If they would build a car that would fit my broad shoulders I would love to give it a try and roar myself around a circuit, naturally, with all the respect of a novice. I will definitely come back and watch more Formula One whenever I have a chance.”