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Missy Elliot stars at Turkish Grand Prix Party 26 Aug 2006

Missy Elliott (USA) Hip Hop Artist at the Grand Prix Party.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 25 August 2006

Rarely have so many famous Formula One faces been seen in one place (away from the paddock) than at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix Party, a special celebration to welcome a new member to the sport’s sponsorship family. And Petrol Ofisi, official sponsor of this year's Istanbul race, certainly knew how to treat its celebrity guests.

The location for the party was Istanbul's coolest venue, the Reina club on the shores of the Bosphorus, where Europe kisses Asia. Boats dropping off guests at Reina's own pier lined up a least a kilometre back, whilst on street level hundreds of fans gathered to catch a glimpse of the Formula One glitterati arriving along with the other 2500 lucky guests.

The upper level was reserved for the Formula One who’s-who, with tables for drivers and management from each of the 11 teams. In addition, a special table was reserved for Bernie Ecclestone and Jan Nahum, Petrol Ofisi's CEO. Mr Ecclestone congratulated Petrol Ofisi for its decision to join the Formula One fraternity, saying, "We always welcome folks who know how to throw a party!"

Meanwhile on stage, with the Asian side of Istanbul as a backdrop, the after-dinner entertainment started. First up was a fashion show displaying some ultra chic grid girl uniforms. Presenting the show, wearing evening-dress versions of the uniform, were Estella Warren, face of Chanel No 5 and actress in movie ‘Planet of the Apes’ and Sylvester Stallone’s motor racing picture ‘Driven’, along with former Baywatch babe Carmen Electra.

And then it got loud. US hip-hop queen Missy Elliot and her crew stormed the stage and turned the place to bedlam. Glasses on tables began to shake as she started with her smash hit ‘Minute Man’ and when she finished many jumped on their chairs to cheer, including Midland's Colin Kolles. Indeed, the only man who stayed cool in this frenzy was Ferrari's Jean Todt, who quietly played backgammon during all the on-stage activities.

Formula One racing’s unanimous comment the following day? Let's do it again next year!

Click here for more pictures from the party.