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Celebrity faces aplenty in Hockenheim 24 Jul 2005

(L to R): Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault, Hollywood actor Ralf Moeller (GER) and Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Race Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 24 July 2005 The Roots, a rock band, with the Red Bull Racing team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 22 July 2005 DJ at the Chilled Thirstday party at the Red Bull Racing Energy Station.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Hockenheim, Germany, 21 July 2005 Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota with German Hip Hop group Die Fantastischen Vier.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Race Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 24 July 2005 Boris Becker (GER) Tennis legend.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Race Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 24 July 2005

The German Grand Prix drew its fair share of famous names this weekend and we caught up with just a few of them...

At two metres tall, he towers above the average Formula One driver. Ralf Moeller is, quite literally, Germany’s biggest export to Hollywood. He starred alongside Russell Crowe in the box office smash The Gladiator and played an outstanding role in the Hockenheim paddock. “This is my third race but the most exciting one,” he said. “Before I was an ordinary guest - fascinating, yes, but with no insight of how it is to run a team. This time Renault gave me the opportunity to look behind the scenes - to rub elbows with Flavio (Briatore), the drivers and the crew in the pits. It was extraordinary. And the cream on the cake was to take a stroll on the grid. Fascinating!”

Boris Becker is another tall German with a long history of visiting Grands Prix, evidently hooked on Formula One racing. “Over the years I have made so many friends in Formula One that it comes naturally that whenever I can, I pay a visit to the paddock in Germany” said the tennis veteran, looking relaxed and suntanned. “Outside tennis, Formula One is the sport I watch on television and try to attend. It is the fight of an individual against the odds - whether a tennis player on centre court or a driver in his car on a fast lap - that makes this sport so fascinating for me. And of course that it has a perfect TV format to attract millions of fans around the globe.”

The links between Formula One racing and music may not be obvious, or perhaps he’s here as a fan - Smudo, front man with top German rap group Die Fantastischen Vier, sneaked into the Hockenheim paddock. “It is common knowledge that I have a crush for cars - fast cars that is,” he said. “So to be here and hang my nose into the wind of Formula One is simply great. I hope I can make it to another race this year. I’d really love to.”

For band members of top Philadelphia hip-hop group The Roots, this was their first contact with motor racing. Having been the star act at Red Bull’s Saturday night chill-out party, they strolled through the paddock with eyes widened in surprise. “Sure, car racing we do have in every shape or form in the US, but hey man, this here is the coolest thing one can imagine,” said front man Phil. “This here is ultra funky high tech! You can bet your ass that I will try to come back to have another look at it - wait for me next year at the US race, I’ll be there!”