Monte Carlo race proves a star attraction 22 May 2005
As always the Monaco Grand Prix drew famous names from around the globe, encompassing the worlds of film, sport, business and more. We caught up with just a few of them...
The queen of the global girlie society, Paris Hilton, flew into Monaco for a few hours to see what Formula One racing is all about. Why has nobody told me about this before, she exclaimed, surprised to find that a certain nearby film festival wasnt the only big event in the area. I would have come much earlier. It is so great. Monaco will definitely be on my schedule next year - Ill just pop in from Cannes.
Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, one of the worlds richest men, was back in the Formula One paddock, keeping a close eye on the progress of fellow countryman Narain Karthikeyan: It is my second race ever - the first one was Monaco last year - so you could say that I got hooked by this race. The scenery of the city and the fact that these drivers race - or rather manipulate - their cars through it is magic. I am exited that India has an F1 driver now because it gives F1 an immense boost in my home country. It almost seems inevitable - almost logical - that an Indian GP will follow. So lets wait and see.
UK retail king Philip Green, owner of BHS and the Arcadia Group, paid a visit to the Monaco paddock and played host to former team owner Eddie Jordan. Green, a resident of Monaco and one of Britains wealthiest men: It is still the most fantastic race of the calendar so I have to be here. And on Red Bulls motorhome he could find just one word: Fantastic - this new spirit that is represented here will give F1 rejuvenation.
The Force is with him, no doubt. George Lucas, a motor racing addict, enjoyed the Monte Carlo scenery as he teamed up with Red Bull: It is incredible to be here and I am enjoying every single minute of it. F1 is part of show biz and I always have the impression that when these drivers have closed their helmets they are the present day star warriors fighting for their territory - with each team representing another galaxy.
Hollywood actor and star of Lucas latest Revenge of the Sith epic, Hayden Christensen, was all eyes in the Monaco paddock: Sure I have heard of Formula One but what I saw here is 1000 percent more than I expected it would be. My wish? That F1 would race in California.
For new Jordan team owner Alex Shnaider it also was his first Monaco experience: I never imagined that the whole city will be taken over by F1. That one of the most sophisticated places in the world will even get more sophisticated by hosting this race. It is almost beyond imagination, and it is a great feeling to be part of this now.
Soccer legend Diego Maradonna, currently on a European business and holiday trip, was another international star in Monaco: Though I am not a frequent visitor to the fast lane I have so many friends, like Flavio (Briatore) or Fernando (Alonso), that I had to come. And Monaco truly is a special place - the atmosphere is awesome. And I really hope that Formula One could return to Argentina like in the good old days when we had a world class racer with Carlos Reutemann.
And as beauty always comes along with the beast - in this case the beast a Formula One car racing through narrow streets - Eva Padberg, the German supermodel, brought more beauty to the paddock, along with a very female attitude to the high-speed happenings: Men obviously like cars, but this here is a new dimension to this old amour - and from what I have seen it comes naturally!