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Kingfisher party provides ultimate Turkish delight 26 Aug 2007

The Fly Kingfisher Boat Party. Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday 25 August 2007. World © Sutton The Fly Kingfisher Boat Party. Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday 25 August 2007. World © Sutton (L to R): Bo Derekk, actress with Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) F1 Supremo at the Fly Kingfisher Boat Party. Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday 25 August 2007. Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) CEO Kingfisher at the Fly Kingfisher Boat Party. Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday 25 August 2007. World © Sutton

We reported earlier in the season about a Formula One party that set new standards -Toyota sponsor Kingfisher’s May bash at the Monaco Grand Prix. The lavish event, hosted by Dr Vijay Mallya, the company’s CEO, on board his yacht, the Indian Empress, left many wondering whether it could ever be topped…

This weekend in Istanbul Kingfisher successfully proved they could. The party, hosted once again on Dr Mallya’s yacht, will surely be the toast of the Formula One paddock for some time to come. With the Bosphorus Strait providing a stunning backdrop to proceedings, the party was the hottest ticket in town on Saturday night.

A jaw-dropping fireworks display lit up Istanbul’s skyline as the guests arrived, before everyone was personally welcomed onboard by Dr Mallya himself. As the VIPs mingled around the buffet on the ‘jacuzzi deck’ one question dominated the conversation - to really feel at home on the yacht do you leave your socks on, or off?

For Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone, covering up was the preferred option, while Renault team principal Flavio Briatore (ever the true Mediterranean) opted to show his toes. BMW Sauber’s Dr Mario Theissen, meanwhile, said with a wink, “it’s a shame that I have to take off my shoes as I have put so much effort in polishing them!”

After enjoying the food everyone - including model, actress and ‘80s heartthrob Bo Derek - headed to the yacht’s sun deck to give the dance floor a try. A troupe of belly-dancers joined the amateurs already shaking their stuff and added a real Turkish flavour. Finally, as the evening’s festivities drew to a close, the guests were fare-welled in spectacular style as hundreds of red and white (the colours of Kingfisher Airlines) balloons were released into the Istanbul skies.

Asked if he had enjoyed the evening, Mr Ecclestone said: “Absolutely! We should do these kind of high-end events more frequently. It’s great that Vijay is now part of Formula One and playing a leading role in taking the F1 experience into the night.”

Few would disagree. In fact, rumour has it that due to heavy demand there will be another party on Sunday night - same location, same procedure!